Hen plucked by the others… will this heal, or will they do it again?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by chickeepoo, Feb 8, 2009.

  1. chickeepoo

    chickeepoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 10, 2008
    Orlando, FL
    My Chickeepoo got plucked by the other hens while I was out, so I cleaned the area with betadine/saline solution and kept her apart from the others until bedtime, when I put her up on the roost. I've included a pic of her- the feathers are missing of her back in front of the base of her tail, and there's a little bit of weeping and blood where the feathers are torn out.
    I was wondering:
    • if I should keep her out of the coop again tomorrow until bedtime again?
    • if I need to keep her separate, how long?
    • will this heal up by itself, or do I need to put some antibiotic ointment on it and wait for the feathers to grow in?
    • is it likely the others will keep doing this since they've done it once?

    They're all Rhode Island Reds, just shy of 1 year old. They've never actually injured each other before, just a little pecking order activity, but they've been in a new coop more confined for over a month now, so they may be getting stir-crazy I guess. I give them extra greens and treats, but something went wrong today, obviously.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2009
  2. RHewitt

    RHewitt Chillin' With My Peeps

    You may need to isolate her until the red looking areas have healed. The red will catch their eye and cause them to peck at the wounds even more. You can use any anibiotic ointment (Neosporine) you may have at home so it will heel quikly and not get infected.
     
  3. tim_TX

    tim_TX Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 4, 2008
    Confinement and carbohydrate treats lead to overactive chickens, which results in pecking. Too may treats can also dilute the protein content of their overall intake and that too can lead to feather picking.

    I'd cut back on the treats if they cannot get outside to work off the extra energy. Try substituting non-food toys instead, or at least make them work hard for the treats, such as scratch tossed onto the litter. They'll be scratching and remixing their litter all day long.
     
  4. birdlover

    birdlover Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    Northern Va.
    Yes, you will need to keep her away from the others so it can heal. Go to the feed store and buy some Blu-Kote. That has an antibiotic in it and is also supposed to keep them from pecking at a wound as it turns the wound dark bluish-purple. That way, if you don't get to her in the morning before they get off the roost, she will have some protection. Hens can be brutal when it comes to this sort of thing! [​IMG]
     
  5. chickeepoo

    chickeepoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 10, 2008
    Orlando, FL
    Thank you- No carb snacks for the girls, just greens/ egg/ grubs and scratch feed.
    I got the blue-kote and put it on Chickeepoo and kept her away yesterday. Then, since the whole area was dark purple and didn't seem weepy, I gave her another shot of the spray and put her in today to see how the other hen's would treat her… within a couple of hours, one of them had pecked her again a little and had the purple stain on her beak to prove it. I saw a pic of a "saddle" to protect the victim hen's back- where can I get one of those? I hate to make Chickeepoo live in isolation just because her sister has a crap attitude…
     
  6. birdlover

    birdlover Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    Northern Va.
    If you google hen aprons you should be able to find where to get them. You should be feeding your girls layer feed (if they are laying) or grow and finish food if they haven't started. Scratch is like feeding them candy although perhaps you already do and you were just listing the treats you give them?
     
  7. chickeepoo

    chickeepoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 10, 2008
    Orlando, FL
    Yes, they have layer feed available all the time- the scratch is just a treat. They'd prefer I just hand feed them grubs all day, but…[​IMG]

    I did find some patterns- I think I'll make a fleece one today as a stop-gap measure, then I might want to make them all pretty flowered ones so everybody's matching and nobody's left out (and hopefully nobody's able to pluck anyone else clean)[​IMG]
     

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