I feel like the worst chicken mom ever....

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by AltamontBee, Feb 9, 2013.

  1. AltamontBee

    AltamontBee New Egg

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    Nov 5, 2012
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica]I have 7 red sex link chickens that I got as chicks this past April, and quite frankly I'm feeling like a failure as a chicken owner.

    Currently, 2 have bare bottoms, I assume from being pecked. Sometimes they look red or irritated, especially when it's cold, but never bleeding or open wounds. I put vaseline on them when it's supposed to be really cold. Is there anything else I can put on there butts to kind of cover it up, help it heal, or make them less prone to being pecked? I can't separate those two from the flock, because they always roost with a third that would then be all alone.

    I also have 3 that all of a sudden have black on the tips of their combs. I'm assuming it's frostbite. Which I don't get. They have a well insulated coop that is off of the ground with tons of bedding. It has a ridge vent for ventilation, and I've never seen moisture build up on the windows. I put vaseline on them when it's supposed to be near or below zero overnight.

    And to top it off, one now has a bald spot on the back of her head, and another looks like she might be missing a few feathers from her chest. Sigh.

    Besides a couple of little pecks if one gets too close while one is eating, I've never seen them fighting or pecking at each other. Of course, I can't watch them all the time, so maybe they are just good when I'm looking at them.

    My only saving grace is that they all seem incredibly happy. They are laying well, active, etc. They come running out of the coop each morning when I open the pop door to the run.

    Any ideas to help my girls???
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    Jennifer
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    New Jersey
    First of all, relax, I think that you are doing fine by your girls. Do you have one or two hens in the flock who are in immaculate, perfect condiion? If so, they are your feather pluckers/eaters. This bad habit a result of low protein or more likely boredom becomes more apparent this time of year when chickens frequently are locked in the coop. Try adding some dry cat food (animal protein base) as a treat to their diet. Pinless Peepers applied to the feather pluckers would also be a good idea. Generally the Peepers can be removed once hens have regrown their feathers. With a winter like we have been having in the NE with some serious cold, frost bitten combs are almost inevitable in free range birds. If the Altamont in your user name refers to NY, frost bitten combs do not surprise me.
     

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