Chicken pecking her own wound on her vent

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by kuntrydazy, Jan 21, 2015.

  1. kuntrydazy

    kuntrydazy Out Of The Brooder

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    I posted a few days ago because I had a chicken at death's door. I think I've figured out what's going on but I can't figure out how to stop it. I had an issue with the person watching my chickens while I was out of town for a week leaving a white light on the entire time I was gone. We also had our coldest snap yet (-10 during the day) so the chickens weren't going outside, and my coop is designed to be big enough when they can also go outside. So they all kind of went crazy and pecked at each other. I ended up with 10 out of 24 chickens bleeding profusely by the time I got home, and I had to separate them all. Luckily their wounds looked worse than they ended up being, but it was still over two weeks before I put any back in the main coop. One of the last chickens I put back in was healed up, and as other chickens had left at this point I moved her into a bigger cage. She is the smallest chicken so she had been in the smallest cage. The next day she had an enormous chunk of congealed blood hanging off the feathers on her hind end, almost the size of a golf ball. She had laid an egg and there was blood all over her cage too. I when I switched cages I let all the chickens out in my garage while I switched them around, so I figured one of them must have pecked her wound back wide open. However when I looked the wound was tiny like it had been last time I checked, and only a tiny dot was open at all. She had no other injuries. I couldn't figure out why so much blood would have come out of her. She seemed completely fine, and she was the last chicken I was putting back in the coop. I didn't want to wait longer because I was worried she would get ganged up on. I put that no peck stuff around her vent and put her back in the coop and figured maybe it was just weird bad luck for her. The next day when I went in she was at deaths door, lying on her side on the floor, floppy, comb and face drained of color (pale yellow and white). I rushed her inside but couldn't find any injury. I thought maybe her immune system was down and she got sick. She went back in the small cage, and I had to dropper feed her. I was pretty certain she was done. Now, it's three days later, and she has been eating and drinking and seems all healthy again, though that one tiny spot every once in awhile is open again, not enough to get blood anywhere.

    I think what is happening is she is pecking her own wound. She is an Ancona and is smaller and more flexible than some of the birds. I've watched and she can reach all the way around. I think when I put her in the big cage originally she was able to move around better than she can in the little cage, had nothing to do, and just pecked at it all day and night. I think that made her lose so much blood she became severely anemic. Her symptoms look like the anemia caused by mites, but she has nothing on her. I also think it's possible she has a big interior wound that only comes out when she lays, and that's where that huge blood clot thing came from. Since she is in the small cage, and wasn't eating therefore wasn't laying, I think she can't reach the wound(s?) as easily so she wasn't causing that much damage, plus the first few days she was so lethargic she wouldn't have done anything anyway. I've checked for absolutely everything else. No one else got sick or had any issues, though some of the other chickens are still getting pecked despite me using the no peck stuff (I'm trying to get the snow cleared, we have someone with a snow blower tomorrow coming, so that a big space can be cleared for them to run around in during the day - we are having our worst winter in decades). I'm also now wondering if the reason the no peck stuff isn't working on all the chickens is because those chickens are pecking themselves as well.

    My question is, I can't find info on how to keep a chicken from picking at a wound on their vent. Some threads talk about general pecking at a wound, and the solution is covering it. I can't do that with her vent area obviously. The "no peck" stuff doesn't seem to work plus I'm still worried that maybe it is toxic in larger doses and she originally was so sick from also ingesting too much of it. I use emu oil wound stuff on the wound which normally heals cuts insanely fast, but it doesn't keep them from pecking and it can't heal faster than she can cause damage. The small cage is helping but she can still get to it and I can't put her in a cage so small that she wouldn't be able to turn around in, that seems inhumane. Already I don't like her being in this small of a cage. And it would be at least a week before everything healed absolutely completely including the scab coming off. Anyone had this issue before???? I'm pretty much at a loss.
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Have you tried blu kote on the wound also? It makes it darker and less likely to be pecked.

    I would do the blu kote and keep her separated and wait/watch.
     
  3. kuntrydazy

    kuntrydazy Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 8, 2014
    No I haven't heard of that! I will try to find some and try it. Thanks!
     
  4. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Blu Kote is sold at the feed store and stains everything (including your hands LOL) purple/blue. It sprays on and lasts awhile. You can probably find it in the poultry section, or the horse section.
     
  5. BonRae67

    BonRae67 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 23, 2014
    Florida
    I have heard others putting vicks vapor rub near the area and the smell will make them not want to peck at it. I have not tried it bit sounds reasonable. The smell would make me not want to peck there.
     
  6. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Oooh I am filing that one away in my mind for future use...thanks- good idea! [​IMG]
     
  7. BonRae67

    BonRae67 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 23, 2014
    Florida
    Thank you. Yep read it here and put that in my file of remedies as well.
     
  8. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    Pinless peepers would help.
     
  9. hennible

    hennible Overrun With Chickens

    An e collar may help too... You know, a head cone like for dogs... You can make one and test it out...
    [​IMG]
    This e collar was made out of thin plastic lid like for a Tupperware or a margarine container.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2015
  10. jenniferkeillor

    jenniferkeillor New Egg

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    Jul 8, 2015
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    One of my chickens vents was being pecked on by all our other hens. We separsted her and have been putting that purple goopy stuff on the wound, but she doesn't seem to be healing. She will either peck it herself or escape from solitary and get re-pecked [​IMG]

    If left u healed too long I'm afraid she will get an infection and die [​IMG][​IMG]

    Any suggestions welcome
     

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