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

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    Jul 29, 2009
    Michigan
    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.

    Help!!!
     
  2. JLS

    JLS Love my feathered babies!

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    May 29, 2009
    Maine
    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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