Help!! Cannibal hen eating rooster need advice!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by socks, Jul 25, 2010.

  1. socks

    socks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My rooster lord of 3 hens did a valiant thing last week and took on a coon after telling the girls to go inside the coop. I had them out free ranging and was gardening nearby so heard the screaming (the coon was yowling horrifyingly) in time for (eventually, he was in the brambles) scare off the coon and save the rooster with only seconds to spare.

    We were so proud of our roo who had only lost all his tail feathers. There didn't seem to be any need to do anything about it as it looked like it would all grow back. But now a week later one of the hens (will go back and confirm if it is only one) has been picking at his butt like she is at a buffet. Maybe it is really only little feathers she is picking and this may have happened because they haven't had as much free range time and she's getting bored (now it has to be supervised, the neighbourhood is lousy with coons and apparently people who feed them) but his butt now is much barer and red rashy looking.

    I know I need to separate them but if she is the only offender I would rather try to separate her (easier, I think). Do you think it is just a matter of time before the others start???? Is there anything I can spray on his butt (that's as close as he will let me get) like hydrogen peroxide to make sure nothing gets infected???

    I've got to do something right away but first I will watch to see if the others are doing it. We have a largish portable dog carrier but in this heat it seems unfair to keep any of them in it. The only other choice is to lure one of them into a separate area outside the coop but encased in hardware cloth. (I did this to the roo last fall when he seemed sick and he didn't like it but got better).

    Here's another odd sick possibility. They have slowed down to only one or two eggs a day and I have suspected that one hasn't been laying, the pecker. But in the last 2 days we have had 3 eggs twice.....is she needing protein??? We have been giving them layer pellets same as usual and don't usually give them too many treats (sunflower seeds being the most common).

    I don't understand why the roo is putting up with this, he just looks a little stunned and doesn't seem to know what is going on. He is actually such a gentlemen and always finds food for them and lets them eat first....if one of them had to go into the stew pot I think I would rather it was her.

    I will check back soon to look for advice....kind of panicked here.
     
  2. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's so natural for chickens to peck at anything that looks interesting. I wouldn't panic too much. And i wouldn't separate them.

    I would, however, pick up a spray can of whatever blue-kote type product your feed store carries. Make sure you get the spray. It cost me about $8.00 here, and i've used it so many times. It works as an antiseptic, makes the area a little bit numb, and i don't think it tastes very good. In addition, it colors the affected area blue/purple, which for some reason, camouflages it from the other chickens' "that-looks-different-let's-peck-at-it" radar.

    I have had to use that product so many times, and it is so faithful. I hope i never have to do without it.

    Oh, and if you don't want stains on your hands, pick up some gloves while you're out. The blue doesn't come off for a while. [​IMG]
     
  3. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:[​IMG]

    If it keeps getting worse after the blu-kote has been on for a day or two you might need to seperate him until it starts to heal up a bit. Blu-kote is great stuff though so hopefully that will do the trick.
     
  4. socks

    socks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks PunkinPeep , I will see if our store has anything like that (though it's pretty slim on poultry supplies and big on doggy biscuits and such). I won't be able to get anything else right away as I don't have the time for a trip to the city. I still think I need to separate the peckerhead as she just won't stop and soon I'm afraid the others will do it. In the couple of days she's been doing it she has cleared a fair area. She is the hen at the top of the pecking order and maybe a little time out will be good for her.

    My husband has been building a little jail in the run where she will still be able to see everyone.....now to get her in there. They were so upset by the building that we thought we'd let them settle down a bit before we get her with a fishnet.

    Perhaps if I had that stuff right away it would be worth a try to keep it together and I will look early tomorrow but I live in a very small community so most of that stuff isn't to hand.
     
  5. socks

    socks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I hope this bluekote stuff can be applied by spray because while he doesn't seem to notice her pecking his butt he gives me the snake eye if I come up behind him.
     
  6. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's easiest to do catching and medicating at night while they're on the roost. You prob. won't find blu-kote at the pet store, but a feed store should carry it or something similar.
     
  7. socks

    socks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi, just thought I'd tell you (and anyone else doing a search) how this went. I did find a farmer friend with a blue kote type spray product....can't remember the name and left it down in the coop area. It has the gentian violet in it and though it said it was for horses and the like he is a chicken guy and figured it should be fine.

    I did need some practice on the spraying as my rooster, never one to turn his back on me was hard to catch unawares so...um...he has a bit more than a purple butt. His beak is purple too as I guess he scratched himself there anyway, nice colour coordination...

    The feather pecking offender immediately lost interest, purple I guess is not her colour. I have started to give them more protein just in case. I did notice that the pecker has learned to pull feathers as she is head chicken and chases one of the others and I just caught her taking a nip at the other one and have never seen that before. I am watching them closely and am not sure if I am supposed to use more of this stuff. The bottle says every 6 to 12 hours to reapply but I'm just watching for any bare spots or any more feather plucking.

    We did build a little jail/hospital at the side of the run and are considering putting ms.feather pincher in for a time out. would like to know if you think that would improve anything???.....In this weather she might get too hot in there so maybe I should spend more time making sure they are all cool and happy.

    anyway, thanks for the help.
     
  8. chkn

    chkn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh I tell you somebody's always pecking. Some of my hens started doing that to my old rooster when he was going downhill. They used to pick gently at the face when he was younger, I thought it was a bit of adoration. When he was getting weak, it became more questionable and then bloody. Had to separate. Chickens are basically cannibals, don't ever become incapacitated in your chicken coup!!!
     
  9. socks

    socks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 12, 2009
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    Chickens are basically cannibals, don't ever become incapacitated in your chicken coup!!!

    Haha! Yikes!! The thought has occurred to me and I don't think my husband got why I was so irritated when he automatically closed the latch on me when I was in the run......well he says it was a mistake hmmmm.....​
     
  10. chkn

    chkn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Haha! Yikes!! The thought has occurred to me and I don't think my husband got why I was so irritated when he automatically closed the latch on me when I was in the run......well he says it was a mistake hmmmm.....

    [​IMG]
     

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