I need help with Cannibalism....

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ChelleBelle, Jun 25, 2013.

  1. ChelleBelle

    ChelleBelle In the Brooder

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    Aug 17, 2012
    Glendale, Arizona
    My chickens have been pulling and eating each other's feathers. I thought they were moulting but I can't find any feathers so the must be eating them. I noticed today a huge wound on my chicken, I think the others (one in particular) were eating her. It's circular about as big around as a nickle and about 1/4 inch deep. I cleaned it with saline wound wash and Betadine solution. I separated her from the flock. I will clean it the same way at least 3 times a day until I see improvement. Does anyone have advice for me on what I should do? Is this the right course of action?
     
  2. chirpingcricket

    chirpingcricket Songster

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    Apr 6, 2011
    Fairhope, AL
    Hey, probably need to add protien/calcium to their diet. Canned cat food, cooked/mashed boiled eggs, egg shells OK if pulverised, canned salmon/tuna and upgrade their feed protein to at least 16 to 18... depending on their age.

    Add crushed oyster shell thrown about on the floor of the pen for them to scratch/eat or a small sturdy dish will work too. They will take the oyster shell free will. Boredom and overcrowding will also contribute to this behavour.

    Good idea to purchase a tube of NuSkin to have on hand to cover/fill wound(s). Also a bottle of purple (dye) wound antiseptic spray to mask the area of open wound/bleeding etc. It eventually wears off.

    Add apples cut in half (monitor for ants) a chunk of cabbage/lettuce, veggie scraps, etc. for them to investigate/scratch about in, also a few handfuls of a good mixed bird seed as well. Helps relieve boredom behavours, But, first, up that protein/calcium asap with the canned cat food and crushed oyster shells for a few days. Hope this helps. Keep us posted! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2013
  3. ChelleBelle

    ChelleBelle In the Brooder

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    Aug 17, 2012
    Glendale, Arizona
    Thank you for your advice. I have her separated from the flock and I have been cleaning the wound. I will up their protein and calcium intake. I am thinking about farming meal worms to supplement them in the long term.
     
  4. chirpingcricket

    chirpingcricket Songster

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    Apr 6, 2011
    Fairhope, AL
    Hey ChelleBelle [​IMG]
    Great!! Thanks so much for replying! I was just sitting down to reply and inquire of some posts, your's being the next one. Chickens can give each other a hard time just because, but thinking this situation is because they know they need calcium and they are smart enough I guess to know feathers have it. Amazes me, the survival of the fit always shows up in most unique ways somehow...

    Keep me posted, and I sure hope that works, and your wounded girl heals quickly. They are pretty resilient. [​IMG]
     
  5. ChelleBelle

    ChelleBelle In the Brooder

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    Aug 17, 2012
    Glendale, Arizona
    I've been giving them some oyster shell and canned cat food. Also scrambled eggs (their own) with crushed eggs shells mixed in. Plus all the normal veggie/fruit scraps I've always given them. They aren't eating very much of their food now though. I am going to start a meal worm colony to supplement protein for them. I will keep giving them the oyster shell long term. I don't know if there is anything else I should be doing. I am keeping my injured girl away from the rest until she's healed. Her wound is scabbed over and she seems to miss her "sisters". Their areas are right next to each other so they can see and cluck to each other. I also threw some wild bird seed in for them to scratch at and eat. What else can I do to alleviate boredom? Do they like toys for birds? Like the ones sold at pet stores for small birds...
     
  6. chirpingcricket

    chirpingcricket Songster

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    Apr 6, 2011
    Fairhope, AL
    Sounds good so far. Canned tuna fish or salmon will get them "bumped up". The problem right now is the heat, affects their appetite. Which is why the cat food, fish, etc.
    You could toss a quartered chunck or whole head of cabbage etc, into their pen to give them something to do. Toys=treats, so avoid sugary thinks due to ants. Has the pecking decreased some?
    Glad to hear your girl is healing. Continue wiyh the bird seed as another treat/diversion. Keep me posted if you like and good luck.
     

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