Help! Blood in nest box

rachelbinnc

In the Brooder
10 Years
Aug 11, 2009
58
3
31
Durham, NC
I need your help figuring out what happened in the coop today.

The set-up:
Three of my little ladies started laying Saturday and I've gotten 8 eggs in the first four days. Nothing weird at all. Strong, smooth shells. No long delays between eggs. All three of them have been laying in the same spot in the corner of a large communal nest box -- very tidy. They are happy. I am happy. Well, I was happy. Tonight I went out to the coop with my flashlight to see what they had left for me and found something very strange. One egg was laying in the absolute worst place -- smack in the middle of the doorway to the coop and nowhere near the nest. Weird, but whatever. No biggie. More startling was what I found in the nest box. Two eggs smeared with bright red blood. It was all over the bedding and had actually dripped through the boards in the bottom of the box down onto the floor of the coop below it. Poor chickie!

The examination:
All of the ladies were on their roosts, so I started looking for the one who may need assistance. I knew for certain who 2 of the 3 layers were -- the Easter Egger was obvious because some of the eggs are a pretty blue. The RIR because I walked in on her private moment the other day (and she was none too happy about it). I started with them. Checked vents, toes, bellies, faces. Nothing. Then I started on the others. I found my third layer -- the australorp. Her chest and belly feathers are crusty with blood. I took her into the house and gave her a thorough examination. She looks messy but totally fine. Absolutely no blood around the vent, no obvious injury, acted totally offended and not in the least like someone who had recently experienced signficant blood loss.

The question:
What the heck happened? Is the injury internal? Is it that painful to give birth to a one small smooth little egg? Somehow I wouldn't think so. Is it possible to bleed that much from an external injury and show no sign of it? Do you think the girls are already fighting over the nesting area? Could a line have formed for the prized nesting area, resulting in one bloody chicken and one chicken (who couldn't keep her legs crossed long enough to get her turn) being forced to lay an egg in the doorway? If so, what the heck am I going to do when all nine girls start laying?
 

Happy Chooks

Free Ranging
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Jul 9, 2009
40,417
3,554
626
Northern CA
My Coop
My Coop
I've had some eggs with a bit of blood on them, but it sounds like there's a lot more than that. Did you check the others? It is possible that the Australorp laid her egg AFTER the blood got in the nest.

I hope everythings okay with all of them.
 

dawg53

Humble
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Nov 27, 2008
27,700
13,902
886
Glen St Mary, Florida
Sounds like a bloody mystery.( pun intended lol) I assume you thoroughly inspected all your hens top to bottom with negative results... no cuts,scratches,scrapes,no blood in or around their vent areas,or under their wings and sides. Is their poop normal looking? If it is and that's the case, I dont see much more that you could do. What I would do is observe them very closely and ensure that they are eating,drinking,scratching around... doing all the things that a chicken normally does. If you see one of them not eating or acting strange for example,that hen needs to be seperated and attempt a diagnosis and try to treat it accordingly. If there's blood in their poop, I'd suspect cocci. Good luck.
 

rachelbinnc

In the Brooder
10 Years
Aug 11, 2009
58
3
31
Durham, NC
Thanks for your replies! Yep, I looked them over from beak to toe and really can't see anything unusual. They all seem really feisty too. I'm wondering if maybe someboday got pecked on her comb and I just can't tell because the comb is so red? I'll keep watch over them this weekend.
 

dawg53

Humble
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Nov 27, 2008
27,700
13,902
886
Glen St Mary, Florida
If one of them got pecked on the comb, there'd be a scab. Even a scrape or cut on the comb would be easy to detect. How about their poop, did you get a chance to check it out for any signs of blood? Keep monitoring.
 

fordmommy

Dancing With My Chickens
10 Years
Jul 16, 2009
3,810
7
189
Wisconsin
Maybe they got a mouse or a rat and pecked and ate in the nest?
idunno.gif
 

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