Bloody Chicken Head

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by dsegel, Feb 12, 2008.

  1. dsegel

    dsegel Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 24, 2007
    Hi Everyone,

    I have six white leghorn hens about 6 months old. They are free range and never confined (even at night--they roost inside the barn).

    About 3-4 weeks ago, I noticed one of them had a dark, purplish looking head. My husband thought it might be dried blood but wasn't sure. It didn't seem to be picked on at all and each day the darkness got lighter until you could hardly tell it all. When I went down today, this hen was definitely bleeding. It seemed to be coming from around the crown area. She was walking around, eating and drinking like normal. We've been getting almost 6 eggs a day right along so she has been laying. A couple of the other hens pecked at her half-heartedly a couple times (possibly because she was bleeding?) but otherwise she did not seem cowed like she's picked on at all.

    Does anyone have a guess as to what is going on? Do you think the other hens are doing this? Do you think she may have had a predator after her (twice)? Do you think she might be getting her head caught in something? Is there anything I can do to help her (treat the wound, stop the bleeding, etc.)?

    Thanks for any advice.
     
  2. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

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    Jan 11, 2007
    The blood will encourage the others to peck at it (they can even cannibalize) so it would be a good ikea to separate her ...lfush the wound and treat with betadine and keep her separated until healed.
     
  3. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    You didnt mention if there is a rooster in the bunch. If there is, he might be the culprit. The Roo will grab the hen by the back of the neck/comb area..and "hold on " to mate. flush the wound...add some flour to stop the bleeding, and possibly wound kote, to hide the red. This will keep the other hens from pecking.
     
  4. dsegel

    dsegel Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 24, 2007
    You didnt mention if there is a rooster in the bunch. If there is, he might be the culprit. The Roo will grab the hen by the back of the neck/comb area..and "hold on " to mate.

    No, no rooster.

    I'm wondering, is this something common that chickens do? I've never seen them picking on each other.​
     
  5. brendalee

    brendalee New Egg

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    Nov 29, 2007
    Yes, chickens will do this. I have heard that they do this to the head or the rear of other chickens. I posted myself because I had four hens and one of the hens has one by one pecked the chickens behind so bad that one actually died from the injuries. They are drawn to blood, so separate them. The ones that I had are in a big barn now and I hear are doing fine, but stay far away from the mean hen.
     
  6. dsegel

    dsegel Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 24, 2007
    My chickens are free range. They are in a big barn and can go anywhere they want, whenever they want--even outside. Why would I need to separate them? And how would I separate them? If they can get away from each other at will, how are they able to do that much harm to one of them? Wouldn't the pecked on hen just run away?
     

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