Hen O.K., then 3 hours later pecked bloody

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by bigoakhunter, Jul 7, 2010.

  1. bigoakhunter

    bigoakhunter Songster

    Jul 29, 2009
    I have some 13 week old hens and some 10 week old hens that have been together for 4-5 weeks now with little problems. Today, one of the 10 week olds that is towards the bottom of pecking order was fine when I left the house at 3p.m. Returned home at 6 p.m. went out to check feed and waterers. Saw that this bird was bleeding bad on back. Had a strip about 2 inches wide by 4-5 inches long that had no feathers and was bloody.

    I know birds, like humans are stressed by this heat and humidity we have had last 4-5 days. BUT How does a bird look fine and then 3 hours later be bloodied and weak? She was not a specific target before. Had no pecking issues or feather loss. I isolated her and applied some antiseptic.

    Would heat cause a flock to do this? They have 2 waterers that I check 3 times per day. Feed and a roofed run on part that provides shade.

  2. JLS

    JLS Love my feathered babies!

    May 29, 2009
    My Coop
    It is very possible that stress has triggered the aggression. You've done the right thing by removing her from the rest.

    I had my flock for about 7 months before I had an issue with pecking. And yes, it happens fast! Within a matter of a couple hours I had a hen pecked so bad that she had looked like she was eaten. She was. Thankfully she made it. It happened to one more before I could pin point who "Ms. Hannable Lecter" was. She found a new home where she has been no problem at all.

    Make sure you have at least 4 sq ft per bird for the coop and 10 sq ft per bird for the outside run. I had a light on to increase their egg production, which it did, but they had 24/7 to get on each other's nerves.

    The temp has been 95+ for the past 3 days with 70% humidity. I've been using 2 fans, blocking out the direct sun in the coop, openening doors & window (away from the sun), using a misting hose in the run, and putting frozen bottles of water in the coop to keep my girls as comfortable as possible.

    Sounds like you are doing a good job caring for them. Hang in there!

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