Injury, Infection, then Bump

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by hawkeyext, Nov 6, 2016.

  1. hawkeyext

    hawkeyext Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 5, 2016
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    Hi all,

    We recently started raising baby chicks which are about 1.5-2 months old now. We've noticed a few of them with bruises on their backs. They seem to be pecking at each other and striking blood. A few got infected. We are now going to check them daily and spray any bruises with hydrogen peroxide.

    For one or two that got infected, their backs started to look like the picture attached but now have a lump that is the size of a gumball. We are a small farm with no money and the vets around here charge outrageous amounts of money. Does anyone have any ideas on how we can treat this ourselves?

    A photo is attached of one chick before the lump started to show up.

    Thanks for any advice.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    I'm going to ask to have your thread moved to the Emergencies forum where it might get more attention than here.

    Your chicks have obvious infection. Just spraying with peroxide isn't going to do much to treat it.

    Others may have other advice, but if it were me, I would lance the infected material that's causing the "bump". Clean it out well, removing all yucky stuff (that's an official medical term). Flush well with Betadine, then rinse with saline or sterile water.

    Get some Vetericyn spray from the feed store. It's wonderful stuff and promotes growth of new tissue. Spray it on and let dry then dab some antibiotic ointment on it.

    You will need to clean the site daily and do the Vertericyn and ointment until it heals.

    If the chicks are acting sick, the infection may be systemic and antibiotic treatment may be called for.

    The cause of chicks hurting each other is usually overcrowding. They need at least a square foot of brooder space each. Overheating is another cause. So is white light which over excites them. You need to try to remedy the conditions that are underlying the problem.
     
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  3. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    X2 Agree with everything that @azygous has said.

    Also stop using the Peroxide and switch to Vetericyn (great stuff) or use a triple antibiotic ointment (Neosporin, Bacitracin, etc.) once you have cleaned out/rinsed the bump and removed the yucky stuff.

    As previously mentioned if they are picking/hurting one another then try to identify the cause and remedy the problem. Agree, overcrowding and boredom are a couple of problems that are usually easiest to fix. A larger pen/run and add in some perches, hang fresh greens/veggies for them to peck at instead of each other.

    There are a lot of great ideas here on BYC and the web, just search for "boredom busters for chickens".

    Keep us posted on their progress.
     
  4. hawkeyext

    hawkeyext Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks azygous and wyorp rock,

    We started using Vertericyn and ointment and they seem to be doing better. Our only problem now is that we've lost 6 of them to cannibalism. Once they see that bruise/blood.... It's odd because it always seems to be happening between 9am and noon. We expanded the area and started providing treats (corn, cabbage, scratch, etc...) Still no improvement. Any ideas are welcome.

    Again, good news is the bumps are subsiding at least. :) Just gotta stop them from pecking each other to death now.
     
  5. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Glad to hear they seem to be doing better.

    A few questions:
    What type of food do you normally feed?
    How many do you have?
    How much space (sq.ft.) do they have in run and coop?
    Any photos?

    Sometimes lack of enough protein and/or nutritional-vitamin deficiency can cause the cannibalism. Check the protein content in your feed and aim for at least 18-20% protein. Chick Starter or an All Flock/Flock Raiser formula is usually sufficient (for those in lay, offer oyster shell free choice). Limit treats to no more than 5-10% of their daily intake. Also provide some poultry vitamins in their water a couple of days a week.

    You also need to investigate the cause of the wounds. If it is pecking, then you may have one or two that is picking on them all creating a wound, then that flock mentality kicks in and it's a free for all. If there is a specific offender, then separate her/him for several days to see if the picking stops while separated.

    I'm sure @azygous will have some great ideas/advice.

    Please do keep us updated.


    http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2013/03/chicken-feather-loss-cannibalism-causes.html
     
  6. hawkeyext

    hawkeyext Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi Wyorp Rock,

    We're using Blue Seal Organic Crumble which should be sufficient, correct? The chicks are about 2 months old now. We have between 90-100. We had them in 4 brooders and when they were ready to come out placed them in a 10x10 shed (which are are converting into their coop). We have since almost doubled that 10x10 area with that second area completely outdoors. On Wednesday we will be expanding once again adding an additional 50ft by 25ft (give or take) with visible exposure to our existing 33 one year old chickens who are in a much larger field. Two weeks after that we will release them into the whole field with the older chickens.

    Attached are two photos. One was from a month ago when we opened up the brooders to release them, and another a few weeks later (of a chick who we put a splint on her leg).
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Giving more space will be helpful for sure. Adding several feed and water stations may be helpful as well. That is a lot of cute chicks![​IMG]
    A general guideline is for at least 10sqft. per bird of run space and 4sqft. of coop space per bird. Roosting space minimum 1sqft. per bird. Of course some people go with less, but do encounter aggression/picking as you have seen. Adding the additional 25'X50' space will be good. You may want to look into more room for coop if 10'X10' is all you plan on. All of us do things differently, but more is always best.

    The feed should be O.K. I see that Blue Seal Grower Crumbles analysis is only 16.5% protein. This is surprising since it's a grower formula. I should be o.k., but personally I prefer a higher protein content. Provide them with some poultry grit and some fresh veggies/fruit to work on. I think space and not enough feeders/waterers could be part of your problem.

    Nice grow out/brooder boxes. Birds look good to me, but observe their behavior. Make sure feed and water is available 24/7 especially if you are still using lighting/heat, which really they are old enough to not need.

    What are your goals with these birds if you don't mind me asking?
     
  8. hawkeyext

    hawkeyext Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi Wyorp,

    I just ordered grower grit. I wasn't sure when to start feeding them grit but Scratch and Peck's website says this size is for 8-20 weeks so that should be fine. When do you transition to pellets? I'm reading some people wait till they start laying but when I received my 4-5 month old pullets last spring I started them on pellets right away.

    We're not using light/heat. (Which I was very nervous about with it going down to 34 outside. But so far so good. We put down lots of hay so they could nestle into it for warmth but they just stomp it down.

    I started a farm with 35 golden comets and the eggs were selling out after 3hrs at a farmers' market. Between 2 farmers' markets, local residents stopping by, a CSA, and local grocery stores interested, I decided to purchase 300 chicks from 7 different breeds who lay all different colors.
     
  9. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Just place the grit out for them free choice.

    If you are planning on feeding layer pellets, then I would personally wait until they have started laying eggs. Offer oyster shell free choice even when using layer feed.

    I use an all flock/flock raiser formula for my whole flock. I just offer oyster shell free choice. Since I have a rooster he does not need the extra calcium in layer feed and I like the higher protein content that the formula provides. This just my personal preference. There is nothing wrong with layer feed, it is usually lower in protein, so you will want to limit your treats so it doesn't dilute the amount of daily protein intake they get.

    With that many birds, you have to go with what is most cost effective in feed, but research your ingredients to make sure they are getting the correct amount of nutrition.

    Congratulations on your egg business! This sounds great and I wish you continued success[​IMG]

    Please keep us posted on their progress.
     
  10. hawkeyext

    hawkeyext Out Of The Brooder

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    Will do! Thanks for all the helpful advice.
     

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