Lost one to predator, hens now hurting each other?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by dgivens, Sep 13, 2014.

  1. dgivens

    dgivens New Egg

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    Jul 8, 2013
    Northwest Indiana
    We have had six araucana hens for the last year and a half and have done pretty well with them.  Sadly, we lost our first two nights ago to what we think was a weasel. When I went to get the girls out this morning I see that three of them are injured.  Pretty significant wounds on the head for two of them and the third looks pretty rough all over, having lost a lot of feathers.  After observing them for a while, I'm wondering if these wounds came from each other.  Our hen that was killed the other night was clearly one of, if not the, leader of their group.  Is this normal?  Are they reestablishing some kind of pecking order or is something else going on?  Also is the wound in my attached pictures serious enough that it needs to be taken care of more than cleaning and some antibiotic ointment?  We are very concerned and any advice would be much appreciated. 

    pictures:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/fhpc6m2wnry1hht/IMG_9439.JPG?dl=0
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/yzn7rtol5y9ild0/IMG_9434.JPG?dl=0
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2014
  2. Tricia5099

    Tricia5099 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    they could be reestablishing pecking order but are you sure the weasel didn't come back for another meal? once they find a free meal they wont stop until you catch and kill/recolate them
     
  3. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Overrun With Chickens

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    Rather than a weasel, I suspect a raccoon...they are famous for attacking the head and neck...so very sorry for your loss!

    None of your pictures are showing up so I can't tell...
     
  4. dgivens

    dgivens New Egg

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    Jul 8, 2013
    Northwest Indiana
    Argggh, so frustrating! My first thought was that something had come back for them. However, I don't know why it wouldn't have killed at least one of them as it did before. The other thing is that they were shut up securely inside their coop when these injuries happened. They were not secured inside their coop when the first one was killed. They have a very secure coop, surrounded by a larger area of less secure fencing with netting over the top which gives them room to run around during the day. Unfortunately, this summer we got out of the habit of securing them inside their coop each night, thinking that the outside perimeter was keeping them safe enough. Lesson learned... the hard way. I can see evidence of where a larger predator pushed into the outside enclosure last night (raccoon maybe), but no evidence that it was able to get into their secure coop. The only weakness I've been able to find in their coop area today is a 1.5-2" gap between some hardware cloth where a rodent may have dug through at some point. The links for the pictures above should be working now. Thanks so much for any additional thoughts.
     
  5. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Overrun With Chickens

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    WHAT LINK? WHERE?
     
  6. dgivens

    dgivens New Egg

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    Jul 8, 2013
    Northwest Indiana
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  7. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Overrun With Chickens

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    I would thoroughly clean that wound with Betadine and then apply Vetericyn Spray or BluKote on it. I think she should heal rather quickly, especially using Vetericyn, just keep a close eye on her and keep that wound clean and dry. If the others start in on her again, isolate her in her own area until she heals.
     
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  8. dgivens

    dgivens New Egg

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    Jul 8, 2013
    Northwest Indiana
    Thanks for your help. I'll treat all their wounds with the Vetericyn.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2014
  9. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Overrun With Chickens

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    In fact, it might be a good idea to just go ahead and isolate her now. Just make sure she can still see them and them can see her so she doesn't feel lonely.
     

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