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My hens have bloody ankles - why? what to do?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Victoria Armigo, Nov 19, 2010.

  1. Victoria Armigo

    Victoria Armigo New Egg

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    May 19, 2010
    I have five hens who are six months old and have been happy and healthy living in a small coop with a large attached chicken run. We live in the city of Sunnyvale, Ca. In the last couple of weeks I have noticed that two of my hens have large brownish patches on their ankles. This afternoon their ankles are bloody and I am quite concerned. Any suggestions anyone?
     
  2. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have never heard of this.

    Is it possible that they're running into something? Maybe nails sticking out of the woodwork or something to that effect?
     
  3. Carrie Lynn

    Carrie Lynn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are they picking on each other's brown patches?
     
  4. Victoria Armigo

    Victoria Armigo New Egg

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    Thank you both. I checked the coop and did find (and have now removed) a small piece of broken ceramic and an imbedded piece of wire hanger which the girls only partially unearthed. I checked with the local vet and have applied some polysporin to the wounds on their ankles which are already scabbing over. I will observe them more closely tomorrow to see if there is any pecking going on. I will also check tomorrow to see if I can find anything else that the can injure themselves with.
     
  5. Carrie Lynn

    Carrie Lynn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm glad to hear you've discovered the cause, and the chickens are on the mend.
     
  6. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    Once I had two with bloody ear patches, they were sticking their head through the chicken wire, but they quit and healed up. MrsK
     
  7. Victoria Armigo

    Victoria Armigo New Egg

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    Thanks to everyone who replied. I finally figured out the problem - pecking! As I was observing my girls free ranging in my backyard, I saw Crystal going after ankles and biting them! I isolated her immediately in the chicken tractor, away from the others. After a few days I started to let her free range with the others. I took almost a week and she seemed to be getting depressed. I put her in with the others at night and found no new injuries the next morning. While I did succeed in "breaking" Crystal, the saga continued. A few days later four of the chickens all had bloody ankles and I observed Ravenclaw going after ankles. I isolated her, but as she was head chicken at the time the entire process took much longer. I kept her in the chicken tractor away from the other chickens for four weeks. I allowed her to free range with others for a short time each day. I was fairly certain I was going to have to put her down, but a friend of mine encouraged me to stick with it. A few days ago there was a shift in behavior. Ravenclaw and Hera would be perfectly still staring at the same spot at the ground - like a stare down - and Hera would then walk away leaving Ravenclaw still staring and perfectly still. Then, on Christmas eve both Hera and Ravenclaw were wanting to lay an egg at the same time in the chicken coop. They were really noisy and I stayed for awhile observed them, but there was no pecking. I felt the time was right, and I put all the girls together in the run and for the night. Christmas morning I checked the girls and they were all okay! So far so good. It was a lot of extra work for me but I am really happy that I did not have to put an end to my Ravenclaw. Merry Christmas!
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2010

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