Bloody Hen - Picking/Fighting

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by memc33, Aug 4, 2010.

  1. memc33

    memc33 New Egg

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    Hello, I am new to the board and chickens and could really use some advice. My husband used to have chickens and I loved them, so we decided to get 3 Buff Brahma chicks (all hens) in April for pet/egg purposes to get back into it. When I am at work, I keep them in an 8x4x6 multilevel pen, and whenever I am home they are freerange until night when they put themselves back to bed. All was well until yesterday, when I noticed one of the chickens (the smallest) bleeding from her ear and lobe area with a pretty deep gash. I watched them for a while and noticed the others were picking at her. We decided to separate her into a small pen for the night and most of today to give her a chance to heal. This evening, I let them all out together and everything seemed fine, but then she started to fight (really fight!) with one of the others. I broke them up, then she went off on her own and wouldn't go near the others and went to bed in the large pen much earlier than the others. After a little noise, the others joined her and I watched for nearly an hour to make sure there was no trouble. I don't know what to do because I want her to heal without them picking at her, but I don't want to make things worse by isolating her. I feed them scratch, vegetables, and cereals...could they be doing it because of protein deficiency? Or boredom? Should I put something on the wound and leave her with them? Should I separate them until she heals?

    Any advice would be much appreciated!
     
  2. BeccaB00

    BeccaB00 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    hmm. well first off [​IMG]

    secondly. I have no idea what causes chickens to just start attacking a sertain chicken. They may attack the weakest one, or the one who isnt as old and strong. But they do. just recently some of my BABIES (like 4 months old) started attacking & killing each other. I would put her in a see through pen and put her with all the others. This way they can see her and she can talk to them and not feel lonely, but they can't get to her if they tried to attack. Normally if you take a chicken away from the flock for just a few days and then put her/him back with the flock. the others will normally attack. so this sounds normal...for a chicken. just wait on the wound to heal and then start SLOWLY trying to get her back with the others. Chickens will peck hurt chickens to death. even if its just a tiny scab, or dried blood.

    good luck ! [​IMG]
     
  3. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    The reason the other two were picking on the one chick was because of the bloody gash on or near the ear(lobe). You need to find out where this happened and make repairs or it could happen again. I recommend you clean the wound as best you can then put Blu Kote on it. Blu Kote will disinfect and heal the wound and also should prevent picking/pecking. If it's a deep wound, use betadine and then pack it with regualar neosporin (without pain reliever.) I agree with BeecaB00 regarding seperation procedure she suggested. I also recommend you feed your chicks medicated starter/grower crumbles...not scratch, not vegetables and not cereals. You need to make a trip to the feed store to buy the Blu Kote and starter/grower crumbles. You also might want to buy some crushed oyster shell and grit. Grit will assist them in grinding up their feed and you'll need to give them oyster shell (calcium) for egg laying purposes. I usually add grit and oyster shell to the their feed.
     
  4. Surehatch

    Surehatch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]
     
  5. memc33

    memc33 New Egg

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    Aug 3, 2010
    Thank you both for the advice. I have her separated right now in a see through cage in the large pen. I might go with the betadyne and neosporin as it is a pretty large wound, and it is starting to swell as it heals and look even worse. I do have one more question about feed...I had them on starter feed for the first 3 months (they are close to 5 months now) and then my feed store recommended switching. How long should I put them back on starter feed? They still aren't laying or anything yet.
     
  6. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    I switched over from starter/grower crumbles to layer crumbles when the first egg was layed, no matter which one layed the egg. Since they're 5 months old, I'd go ahead and put them on layer crumbles. Since you're starting to see swelling from the wound, I recommend putting her on an antibiotic. I've never had to use antibiotics, sorry I cant help you there...but you can use the search box and see what antibiotic would be best.
     
  7. farmgirls

    farmgirls Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Reply urgent!
    Came home today and found one of my beautiful white stars neck bleeding. Her wattle appears to have been pulled and pecked. We cleansed it thoroughly with peroxide and coated with neosporin. We do have some blu coat so we will coat her also. As I watched them roaming the backyard they began to peck at her so we put her back in the run while the others roam. What should we do about tonight????? If we blu coat her will that keep the others at bay or should we separate? They will be getting ready to roost in about 1 hr. It has been very hot and they have started laying. They always have available food (layer), water, greens, grit and oystershell. What should we do? I feel terrible but I know this is the pecking order. Thanks, Martha
     
  8. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Seperate til she heals. Try to keep her in visual sight with the others so reintroduction will be easier.
     
  9. farmgirls

    farmgirls Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dawg, i read your post after i closed them up. I hope we did the right thing. We watched her closely with the others and they did try and peck but apparently didn't like the blu coat. We waited until they were all happily on their roost. The white one (Jemima) found her place on the roost and was left alone. We kept the door open and watched until all heads began to droop and then locked them up. I plan on letting them out at the crack of dawn so there is no hanky panky. Thank you Dawg! You're awesome. I hope tomorrow will be better. If not, we have a cage and will separate her. Martha
     
  10. CCFarms9559

    CCFarms9559 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a chicken with a cut on the back of her neck from my roo and I keep it covered with blue kote. It is scabbed over now and the other hens have left it alone. Usually the blue kote stops them from picking at it... Hope all goes well and she heals.
     

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