Hen's nail has been injured...

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by SilverMoon, Dec 3, 2011.

  1. SilverMoon

    SilverMoon Out Of The Brooder

    As I stated before our black chickens Silver And Shadow have suddenly become aggressive. Most importantly have been aggressive towards our golden brown buff Artemis. I had said sure Artemis did cause some damage a tear of sorts to Shadow or Silver's ear area. But for the most part they have been the aggressors so far. Last I had seen Artemis was in the cage with fellow buff Serena this morning all fine. I thought before ok she is still scared to come down its fine. Just a while ago I thought to check up on them. I saw Serena pretty much hanging around this time with the bad girls.

    I thought ok lets see how Artemis is doing. I come back to check and I see her in the corner with one leg up. I thought oh she must be doing a flamingo thing my parakeets used to do the same. I did notice red spotting in places and like a few drag marks. Then I realized something must have happened. I finally was able to see why she was holding her foot up. It seems they injured her. I assume it was those two aggressive bad girls. I can see where the blood is dry perhaps but her nail isnt long anymore. I was wondering what kind of care can I give her and what can I do so she can heal and will it grow back like human nails do?
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2011
  2. Chicken_Pauper

    Chicken_Pauper Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 8, 2011
    Southern California
    Hi... pictures of any injuries would be helpful.

    And, are any of these roosters? How many chickens do you have? How old are they? Are any "new" to the flock? Have they all been together, in the same area, with you for this whole time, since you got them?

    Are you sure they are all hens that are being aggressive? Are you sure you don't have a rooster or two?

    Blu Kote Spray or any other antiseptic spray or dab on... on any cuts or injuries.... available at you local feed store... but, if this hen is in danger, being attacked, there is a reason. If she is sickly or weak, they may kill her, they can kill.

    To cut down on "pecking" at each other.. generally done by the younger flock.. put out whole heads of cabbage... (whole cobs of fresh corn)... you can hang it or just put it on the ground in the coop. I also buy Alfalfa Hay and take a "flake" and lean it up against the wall. They need to have some "distractions"... something to do... other than pick on each other.

    Separate the injured one(s) until they are well and strong again. If you can, put the aggressive ones in separate cages, a separate area away from the flock. Sometimes separating the "aggresives" will rework "the pecking order" and when they come back in, it will be up to all to readjust and reset the pecking order.

    Do they free range? I am not sure about whether a nail will grow back.. if it is cut or broken off and the base is still there, I assume it will grow back. If it was torn out by the root, it may not?? Not sure. Blu Kote Spray to prevent infection and aid healing.
    (Just never spray around eyes or nostrils... spray on your finger or a q-tip and dab around areas you don't want to spray.)

    Or, you an find another home for the aggressives and replace them?
    Young hens, young flocks have to adjust to each other... it is the establishment of the pecking order. "Raising Chickens for Dummies" explains this and is a helpful book for beginners. A lot depends on age..... and many issues will resolve over time, with age. Just separate as you have to... have some separate areas or cages to put them in as needed.

    Too small a coop and run can cause problems.. "overcrowding" so to speak.

    Good luck...
  3. SilverMoon

    SilverMoon Out Of The Brooder

    Quote:We spent a few days with the bad girls put into seperate areas in the daytime. We have them sleeping differently as well. Friday was I think the first time in like two days or so we had them all seperated. They do free range and I believe three months ago when we got them it was about all they loved to do. Exploring our yard, eating little bugs, rolling around in dirt together. They were a closenit flock until recently monday. The nail is still there I would say its just the tip. The part that would curve. Now its square and even. Well so far we can assure ourselves a bit they are all girls. Though we were told by the previous owners they were told there might be a boy in the mix. As of right now the troublesome girl is in a penn while the other is roaming about. The injured one is inside with her sister in a seperate area. Its been pretty windy so its kinda good they arent all out and about or they might fly off someplace. Thank you for the advice. I will surely go and get some anticeptic spray for her foot. Its saddening to know they cant hang abouts anymore all four girls as a unit.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2011
  4. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    It's like cutting a dog's nails and cutting too close, into the quick, so it bleeds.
    My BA has done that twice - possibly when scratching around in our gravel driveway. I only noticed (both times) because she was standing as you described, holding a foot/leg tucked up. It must hurt a decent amount when the nail gets broken down that far, because the 2nd time it happened, my girl avoided walking around most of the day. As long as it's not actively bleeding any more, she will be fine. Cornstarch can be used to help stop bleeding if needed. You can bluekote it; I just babied my girl a bit and she was fine by the next day. You may want to check it to make sure there are no snag/hanging areas to the nail that could get caught on something and cause more pain - I did have to clip a section off of my girl's.
  5. SilverMoon

    SilverMoon Out Of The Brooder

    Quote:For right now all she was doing was perched up with her other buff sibling in the cage. I know it must hurt like a dickens really. Its best they all stay a bit seperated for a while. I would assume till the new coop is finally up and ready to use. Our parakeets used to do the same thing. I think they just liked doing the flamingo thing. I almost thought they tore her foot off. But a nail can still hurt tons.

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