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One of my girls had all of her feathers around her vent pecked out and her vent torn by the other he

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by hockmangirl, Jan 17, 2012.

  1. hockmangirl

    hockmangirl Out Of The Brooder

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    29
    Dec 16, 2011
    Pacific Northwest
    I was out mucking out the barn yesterday when I heard a commotion coming from the chicken pen, looked in and saw my hen Geanne being followed around by some of the other hens and they were picking at her bum. As she was squawking pretty loudly, I ran in and picked her up. Her rear end was a bloody mess. I took her inside, cleaned her up, and treated her. There were some pretty big scabs on the knob of her tail, and her bum is pretty much bald from her vent to over the top of her knob where her tail feathers should be. So, I know this must have been happening for a bit. I tried putting her back out after the bleeding stopped and the redness was gone, and they went right back to attacking her bum, and even ripped her open again. So, obviously I brought her back in and am keeping her in as a house chicken at the very least until she heals completely.

    Don't know why they would go for that particular area... except maybe because she and some of the others are molting their tail feathers right now, so there must be some new (blood-filled) quills coming in. And I also know that she is lower on the scale of chicken hierarchy. I checked over all the others and she is the only one, thankfully.

    I don't like the idea of having a single chicken as a house pet, with them being flock animals. But can't really bring even one of the other girls in to keep her company, as they all were culpable. She seems to be doing fine as a part of the household. I've been super hands on with the chickens since we got them as chicks, so I believe I'm seen as a member/head of the flock. I think that has kept her calm from being separated from her sister's. She pretty much free-ranges in the house with the pups, cats, and cockatiels, during the day (yes, I keep a close eye on everyone). All are use to this as we let the chickens out in the house to run around and play when they were still inside as chicks, (with supervision of course). My cats have been raised with birds, so don't chase or harass, and even ignore, the "indoor" ones. And my pups adore their "Sissies". So, I have no real worries on that front.

    I made her a little coop out of a giant dog crate with a nest box, perch, etc. that she slept wonderfully in last night (it's actually in my bedroom - so she's technically still with her "indoor" flock, as everyone piles in the bed with me at night). So, so far so good. I still have hopes that once her bum completely heals she can head back out with the other chickens, so she can better BE a chicken, and out with the rest of her "chicken" flock. But, I guess we'll worry about that when the time comes.

    Between this happening yesterday, and getting the outdoor animals through the Winter storms today.... I'm beat!
     

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