Blood drops in the coop!

debster1556

Songster
7 Years
Feb 21, 2014
206
6
121
Chickens were fine and have been healthy since we've had them. They are about 10 months old and we have had them 2 months or so.
The most docile hen, Daisy, is going broody, I think. Plucking ALOT of her breast feathers out, spending most the time in a nest box and I don't think she laid today.

We have 1 rooster and 4 hens. All same age, all buff Orpingtons.

This morning when my husband went out to let them into their run, he noticed 10 to 15 drops of blood on the tray under where they perch and on the ramp up to their perch.

We have looked at each bird as closely as we could, especially Daisy for any injuries and the only thing I found is a couple of small scabs on Daisys chest from where I guess she ripped her breast feathers out? Could that have caused the blood drops?

Coincidentally, last night, we picked up 1 of the hens and I guess she had just drank because she threw up. I think I was holding her to tightly. I put her down immediately and it was like nothing ever happened. I felt really bad about this by the way!! :(

What do you guys think? And does it sound like Daisy has gone broody? Anything I can do to make her stop?

Thanks in advance!
 
Hens can get in a peck fight occasionally, or a rooster grabs a hen clumsily by the comb instead of the usual neck feathers, and a cut bleeds. You might see some drops of blood later after the wound has stopped bleeding. I have a few older hens that need a nail clipping every once in awhile. I clipped one a bit close once, saw a minute blood spot form at the end of the nail, dabbed it with blood stop powder, and set her back on the roost. When I let them out the next morning, I noticed a baseball sized blood spot in the shavings beneath the roost. The hen was not weak, nor became sick. I am much more careful since then. I regularly supplement water with a good quality vitamin powder and balanced feed. Vitamin K is important as a blood coagulant. Supplementation is also important during moult, breeding, weather extremes, or after medicinal therapy.

When I have chicks maturing, I will spy on them to get an idea of the pecking order. Most of the time the order is established among them with no injuries, but sometimes there can be a nasty one. There are numerous ways to deal with that, which probably isn't necessary to elaborate upon now.

Broody hens pull feathers in the nest sometimes, but have never seen self inflicted damage as a result of it.. You can tell the difference between an irritated hen and a preening hen. When they preen, they gently run the beak from the vain up the rachis of the feathers as if they were cleaning them. When hens are irritated, they stop frequently and pick at themselves, or pull feathers from different regions of the body. When they are about to moult, feathers fall out and new feather vains can be seen protruding from the skin.

Check through the feathers along the skin for mites/lice, or white clusters of eggs along the base of feathers next to the skin. Some hens will pick themselves, and when the vain of the feather containing blood is broken, pecking can become worse.
 
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Wow, thanks for all that info. In the morning, I will check for bugs/eggs. Ew! :(
I hear that when they go broody, they pluck the feathers from their breast.
She was still in a nest box when we checked her a 1/2 hour ago. She was sitting on a couple of eggs and we did grab those. We take the eggs daily. She fans out her feathers, growls and bites any hand that comes near her. It's almost an overnight change in her behavior.

Thanks again!
 
We went out to the coop to give a small scratch treat before bed and there she was in her nest box. She will let me touch her but still puffs up and gets all bad on me. She is sitting on imaginary eggs right now.

We didn't see anymore blood and I couldn't see her feathers very clearly so I'll check again tomorrow.

Will she get off the nest to eat?? And take care of herself? Is there anyway to stop this behavior or is it temporary? If we keep taking eggs daily will she figure it out?

Thanks again, have a great night!
 
We went out to the coop to give a small scratch treat before bed and there she was in her nest box. She will let me touch her but still puffs up and gets all bad on me. She is sitting on imaginary eggs right now.

We didn't see anymore blood and I couldn't see her feathers very clearly so I'll check again tomorrow.

Will she get off the nest to eat?? And take care of herself? Is there anyway to stop this behavior or is it temporary? If we keep taking eggs daily will she figure it out?

Thanks again, have a great night!

The way I've always dealt with broody hens in the past is to gently take the bird out of the nest , and set her out in the yard, in front of feed and water. A hen realizes she is hungry and gets busy. While she's out I'd pick up any eggs from the nest without her seeing me. I always take extra steps to avoid stressing the hens. Eventually the broody behavior diminishes. That has always been my experience with those breeds that tend to be broody.
 
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That's a great idea and makes alot of sense so I'll try that tomorrow.

I'll let you know how it works out.

Thanks!!
 
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