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Bleeding through feathers... Infection!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by loralei, Oct 23, 2009.

  1. loralei

    loralei Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 4, 2009
    New Caney, Texas
    I have a flock of 23, all of which are 22 weeks old. In the past they have had a problem with aggressive pecking. The problem was pretty simple to correct. I started giving them a higher protein feed, Purina Flock Raiser 20% (Tractor Supply in my area has started carrying at mt request) and black oil sunflower seeds. They go crazy for the seeds... it's like chicken crack! The problem stopped and new feathers are coming in quite nicely![​IMG]

    Yesterday I noticed blood dripping from the wing-tip of one of my Polish girls. I caught her and me and hubby examined her. The blood is coming from a group of feathers under her wing. They are all clumped together, stuck as if glued or something, some are broken off but the source of the bleeding is not the skin beneath. It's actually the feathers. I will post pics later when he gets home to help. He says there is something green (I couldn't look. I'm terribly squeemish so I just held her.) and it looks infected. It definately smells infected!

    She is behaving normally... eating, drinking, pooing. Poo looks normal. The other chickens are not pecking her. She is losing quite a bit of blood tho which appears to be coming out of the quills. We need to clean out the infected area but I am afraid to cut the feathers/quills for risk of worsening the bleeding.

    What do I do?

    How do I stop the bleeding?

    Should I start her on antibiotics or treat locally?

    Last nite we cleaned with peroxide and applied a wound dressing. I could not find Blu Kote today but not sure that would stop the bleeding. She is isolated with the low girl in the pecking order to keep her company. Perhaps a chance to maybe catch low girl up.

    Please advise.
     
  2. mythkat

    mythkat Chillin' With My Peeps

    You could use flour or styptic powder to stop the bleeding. I use Wonder Dust. I found it in the horse section of the feed store. It works really well but it does turn everything it sticks to black.
     
  3. ShaggysGirl

    ShaggysGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 24, 2009
    Temperance, MI
    When we bred parrots we would have to pull the feather out that was bleeding. A blood feather has a supply of blood going to it and if broke can drain a bird.
    We'd use hemostats to clamp down and yank in the direction that the feather is growing so as to not damage the follicle.
     
  4. loralei

    loralei Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 4, 2009
    New Caney, Texas
    Eeegads! Pulling out feathers sounds terribly painful! I'll try Wonder Dust first and as a last resort pull the broken feathers.

    Thanks for the info!
     
  5. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    If she has broken blood feathers, the only effective thing to do is pull them out as a previous reply said. Sure it will hurt momentarily- like pulling out an eyebrow hair or leg hair- but then you have fixed the problem. Feathers are keratin- like your finger nails & hair. A broken or cracked feather will not heal- it will keep oozing. If it is still growing, it has a blood supply. The fastest way to stop the bleeding is pull it out. The vessel will spasm and stop bleeding very fast. The feather will grow back. If it smells bad, you need to soak the area and clean it all up- get the gunk off, do not add more gunk to the gunk ball. Hemostats work great to grab a feather at the base to pull it out- holding the wing at the site of the feather attachment- don't wrench the wing (don't break the wing). If you don't have a hemostat, use a needle nose plier held firmly.
     
  6. loralei

    loralei Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 4, 2009
    New Caney, Texas
    Thanks for putting it in perspective for me, mypicklebird! Sounds like a job for the hubby! There are about 4 that need to come out. Poor baby! She will get lots of extra special attention over the next few days!
     

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