Fighting? Bloody hen

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by romita, Dec 27, 2016.

  1. romita

    romita Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 20, 2016
    NY
    This morning when I opened the coop door, there was blood everywhere! Splatters covered the feeder. The waterer. Splatters were on most of the other chickens (total 6 hens and 1 roo). On the floor.

    I inspected everyone. The comb on our Minorca hen had been cut (1/8') like a slice at the base in the back and it looked like there were maybe a few smaller cuts in the front. (Matted in blood.)

    I can't figure out what the heck happened. Can you help me sleuth it? Either she got into a fight with another hen, some animal got into the coop or she somehow hurt herself (which seems unlikely).

    - No other birds seem injured or like they were in a fight.
    - Our chickens get along. We have never had an issue in the past.
    - This hen is much liked by our roo and she is close to the top or in the middle of the pecking order.
    - The injured hen is business as usual - is not shying away from any other chickens and is hanging right in the middle of the group with no fear.
    - It has been very cold (NY) and the chickens are opting to stay in the coop most of the time. The coop is 12x8' with plenty of roosts and food. Think they should have plenty of space.


    - From the blood splatter, it does look like the fight took place near the feeder. Or she got cut and shook her head near the feeder.
    - Our Minorca is tough and pushy. She will take things out of my hands and annoys the other birds sometimes. They usually give her a quick peck or run her back if she is being too much of a jerk.


    - I was about to set-up a wild life camera in the coop because I'm pretty sure some animal is somehow getting into the coop and eating the food. Reasons - 1) food level is going down super fast and 2) about a month ago, the chickens started opting to sleep outside when they had been roosting in the coop regularly. Think something has been getting in at night. (Wish I had set the camera up last night!!!!!!!!!!!!!) Could she have attacked an intruder? She is very tough - she has no fear of me.

    Thoughts? Leaning toward another hen, but it's impossible to tell who.

    Also, I cleaned the wound. Any other things you think I should do to care for it. The comb is literally sliced from the base in - if she were a person, I would give her stitches.
     
  2. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    It sounds like Rooster damage....The Rooster will grab onto the comb during breeding.....She shook her head and the blood splattered.....Keep an eye on her so the other Birds do not eat her to death.....Or put her in a look no touch pen till she heals...


    Cheers!
     
  3. romita

    romita Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 20, 2016
    NY
    YES!! Makes perfect sense.
    Thank you!!!
     
  4. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    Best of luck.....

    [​IMG]

    Cheers!
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Curious, how old are your birds?
    Does sound like a mating injury.

    Combs can bleed a lot, the tiniest cut can make the coop look like a murder scene.
    But those cuts usually heal up pretty fast with no treatment...red comb color help camouflage the wound.
     
  6. romita

    romita Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 20, 2016
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    She seems to be healing well. We'll keep her separate for another day or two.

    Again, thank you! It was so horrific walking into the coop - it was like a crime scene.
     
  7. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    Yeah, I am sure it was shocking........


    Glad it is healing up....


    Cheers!
     
  8. romita

    romita Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 20, 2016
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    Our birds are all different ages. The hen who had the injury is about a year +.

    Mating injury makes sense. I couldn't figure it out - seemed so odd --- and so very very bloody. Most of the other birds were also splattered with blood - it was hard figuring out who was injured and who wasn't!

    I actually can't tell that she was cut - looks like it is healing very well. Relieved. Her entire head was matted in thick blood yesterday and she has managed to clean it off, less a little at the back of the comb. I'm going to keep her separate for a few more days to be on the safe side.

    Owning chickens is never boring! :)
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Do you have multiple males......maybe one who is just 'coming of age'??
    How's your space situation....how many birds in how big a space(feet by feet)?
    Crowding can cause some injurious conflicts.
    She could also have gotten the back of her comb caught on something....sticking her into/under and sharp and/or solid object and/or small space.
     
  10. romita

    romita Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 20, 2016
    NY
    Good thoughts. We have 1 male and he about 3 years. He is a Buff Wyandotte and quite sweet - but he isn't super skilled in the art of seduction --- or rather, he isn't a gentleman. When he is in the mood, the girls scatter like flies! He will hold the girls down quite violently (clearly he is hurting them) and they struggle equally as violently to get away from him. I could easily imagine that he unintentionally hurt the Minorca while he was holding onto her comb and she was trying to get away. She is one of his favorites.
     

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