Bloody Combs on my two Buffs! Advice please!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Astrid, Jan 10, 2008.

  1. Astrid

    Astrid Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 30, 2007
    Connecticut
    Hi there,
    I feel VERY Foolish with a capital "F" posting this after my post last night about introducing new hens into my little flock of four girls, and my reluctance to upset the apple cart since all is sweetness and light among the four girls.....but here goes!

    We have not gotten any new hens. NOTHING has changed in the coop, run, flock, etc. This morning dd went out to let the girls out and noticed a bloody mess in the nesting boxes, and blood caked all over the two Buff Orp's combs. I thought the other two girls, both Barred Rocks were picking on them, though I've never witnessed any such behavior before. Nevertheless, I brought both Buffs in, washed their combs gently with warm soapy water and slathered them with bag balm. I had a bit of trouble getting one of the combs to stop bleeding but it finally did with the aid of a bit of newsprint. They are now in a wire dog crate in my kitchen while their heads and shoulders dry off from the bath.

    Anything else I should do? Is this common, and I've just had the good fortune not to experience it yet? Is the bad Karma raining down on me for even THINKING of getting two more hens? Weird coincidence, that.

    Thanks for any advice and reassurance!

    Astrid
     
  2. Aun <HIS><

    Aun <HIS>< Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 28, 2007
    New Hampshire
    Hi Astrid,
    Are one of your "girls" a roo? If not, maybe you have a head hen performing roo mating behaviors, which is normal when there isn't a roo. The roo will bite hold of the comb to mate. When they're young, they do usually bloody a comb or two or many. They seem to get the hang of it in time, but it still happens now and then. Perhaps your head hen/roo is doing the same?
     
  3. Astrid

    Astrid Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 30, 2007
    Connecticut
    No, all four are hens; they all lay eggs. [​IMG] I was wondering if it might be some of the dominant roo-behavior that you describe. I've never witnessed it, but I train dogs, and know that spayed or intact grump can do the same thing.

    So should I just let things shake themselves out? The two bloody Buffs are inside now, drying off. Do you think the two Rocks outside will bug them when I return them to the coop, just because they may smell different from being inside?
     
  4. Aun <HIS><

    Aun <HIS>< Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 28, 2007
    New Hampshire
    If it were me, I'd put them outside with the others and watch a bit. I don't think the new smell will cause a problem, but if you keep them segregated for too long, you'll have real problems putting them back together. If the wounds aren't bleeding any longer and have dried over, they should be fine to go back. If there aren't any other injuries, I can't think what else it could be other than a dominant hen "mating." I don't know what kind of injuries rats cause... ? If it is the head hen, I'd let them shake themselves out...
     
  5. Astrid

    Astrid Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 30, 2007
    Connecticut
    Hmmm.....I've never seen a rat anywhere near here. Their coop is actually a shed that opens into our carriage barn behind our house. It's completely enclosed with a wooden floor, ceiling, walls, double-hung casement windows, and a HUGE rolling door that is closed and locked at night. The chicken door opens into the completely enclosed run (walls and ceiling of chicken wire, buried 12 inches all around) and the chicken door is shut and bolted with a bar of angle iron across it at night. I'm pretty sure there's NO WAY any kind of predator could get to them. (but never say never, right?) I'm thinking it's hen vs. hen.

    I"ll put them back when my daughter comes home from her flute lesson. They are pretty dry now and have only been in the house for an hour or so. That should be okay, right?

    Thanks for the advice!
    Astrid
     

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