Pecked....Battered.....Angel Wing... and Coop on Fire... What a Week!!

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by Bullwinkle, Mar 30, 2009.

  1. Bullwinkle

    Bullwinkle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My birds have had a rough week!

    Last Thursday I noticed that my (5 1/2week old) W/Crested Polish who had been developing really pretty feathers was being badly picked on by the other chickens. They had picked the whole back of her head clean of feathers and made her head bleed (as well as taking a small chunk out!).

    I also had discovered that one of my Pekin Ducklings (5 weeks old) had some how managed to squeeze in between her 5 gallon waterer and the wall. She must have panicked when she realized she was trapped (I do wonder if the other goslings/ducklings might have pecked at her too). She had completely lost all the feathers on one wing (down to the skin... it was yucky looking), as well as a big patch on her neck and the side of her face. Her bill was discolored and looked "bruised." Her face was swollen and I was unsure if she still had her left eye. [​IMG]

    Finally, I had been watching the development of one of my goslings... she/he was starting to develop angel wing.

    I had my wife run to the local Tractor Supply and we got some Blue-Kote and some antibiotics.

    The Polish: I put the blue-kote on her head and it seemed to stop most of the interest in pecking her. Since some were still a little interested, I trimmed most of her pretty white feathers off around her head and then used the blue-kote (from a wet cloth) to 'darken' the remaining white feathers. Today... 4 days later, it seems to have worked. I can see no pecking and the feathers are starting to close over the area.

    The Duckling: Two days after beginning the antibiotics and separating/fencing her off from the other goslings/ducklings (who were being mean) I saw 'pus' coming from her damaged eye. I felt pretty sure the eye was gone. She also has trouble walking. Today she seems to be improving. She is eating and drinking. I also saw 'movement' throught the 'slit' to her damaged eye lids so I have hope that her eye is still intact. I brought her in and let her bathe in the bath tub. She was loud and seemed to enjoy it.

    The Gosling: I read several posts here and on the internet regarding Angel Wing (seems to be genetically based, but doesn't manifest unless they are fed a high protein diet). I bought different, lower protein feed, and I am withholding feed at night time (my duckings and goslings were growing really, really fast). The angel wing hasn't gotten any worse, but its too early to tell the final outcome.

    Finally... THE FIRE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    This morning I left for work and I was in a hurry so I called back on my cell phone and asked my wife if she could check to make sure everything in the coop (chicks on one side, ducks/goslings on the other) was good. She called back panicked: I have 3 red infared heat lamps/brooders in their coop for heat. These are the regular 'aluminum' circle hood types like you would buy at Tractor Supply. On the end there is a 'wire' that clips into a hole on both sides of the hood. Anyways, some how (I'm guessing a chicken tried to fly onto it) the wire came lose and the brooder fell to the coop floor (stray and wood chips). Luckily it was a regular brooder light that has the criss-crossing wires in the front to keep the bulb from contacting directly the floor. It was hot enough though that the straw/wood chips was smoldering/black and had just started to flame when my wife opened the door to check on them!! [​IMG]

    She poured a little of the chickens water on it and tried to air it out. I came back from work and drenched the area good. While I had the brooder lights secured good (double tied), I never though about the wire handle coming out. Now I have the remaining two secured and also have the electric wires secured so it can't happen to the last two brooder lights.

    It's been a rough week as a new chick/duckling/gosling "Parent", but its getting better now... [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2009
  2. antiquebuff

    antiquebuff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow, you have had a bad day! I hope it gets better. We have to have a few of these to make us appreciate the normal days!
     
  3. Bullwinkle

    Bullwinkle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Thank Antiquebuff. I've thanked my wife several times for checking on them this morning for me, otherwise I have no doubt the fire would have spread. She's a good mommy!
     
  4. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

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    NW Kentucky
    All I can say is Have a beer or a glass of wine and send this [​IMG]

    Edit: to say my DH just said today as he looked at my Dominique that is in the house after nearly choking and who now has the sniffles.... "Honey, I know I said I did not mind if you had chickens but why is that is never as easy as the videos and books say it is? It is always something."

    I could not answer except to chuckle.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2009
  5. amartinlb

    amartinlb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] Thank God you asked your wife to check on them.


    What is angel wing?

    Your poor pecked chicken [​IMG] Blue kote? Is it a protective covering? Is it in a jar /tube? Just in case I need to look for it.


    I agree it was a horrible week- but it ended ok - the duck is doing better and you did not lose your coop and all in it so I'm happy for you [​IMG]
     
  6. Bullwinkle

    Bullwinkle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Something seems to always come up in life... but it worth it when you get to watch the them running around pecking, having fun, and doing 'chicken' things.

    Quote:Yes... I thanked my wife AND God for looking out for the chicks and ducks/geese today.


    Quote:From what I've read its a combination of genetics with feeding feed higher in protein than waterfowl would get in the wild. They grow faster (especially their feathers in their wings) than their muscles can handle resulting in the last part of their wing sort of growing/turning outwards. Instead of the feathers growing backwards (along their body) they stick out and grow out at an angle.

    Quote:Blue-Kote does several things: its applied to wounds and is antibacterial and anti-fungal. It also tastes bad and helps to make the wound dark (as opposed to red or bloody which attracts other chickens). Since most of my chickens are dark, it has worked wonderful for my little white crested polish. On my white Pekin duckling, it seems to have helped with its neck and wing wound (along with the antibiotics in its water). I bought an extra bottle to keep on hand. Tractor Supply had it in a pump spray bottle.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2009
  7. cockadoodlemom

    cockadoodlemom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2007
    Texas
    [​IMG] for you and your wife on the crazy week. Just wanted to say I thought one of my Embden geese had Angel Wing but it turned out to be the heat was getting to her and she would let hers droop because it cooled her off. Do you have a heat lamp on the goslings?
     
  8. Bullwinkle

    Bullwinkle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Thanks Cockadoodlemom....

    I still have two heat lamps for the chicks, and one for the sick duckling, but no lamps on the goslings/ducklings. They stopped 'using' the heat lamps when they were only a couple of weeks old (I think their quick growth and larger body size plus the thick down resulted in them being warmer). The large room/coop I have divided by fencing to keep the ducks/geese separated from the chickens. The room stays warm enough on our cold nights in Nebraska.

    The goose with the angel wing has its feathers growing at the wrong angle (i.e. its not just drooping its wings) - sticking outwards. The feathers look the same whether they are in the coop or outside (i.e. its not dependent upon how windy or cold it is). Since I changed their diet the angel wing hasn't got any worse which is a good sign. I'm hoping I caught it early enough. Most of the feed bags seem to recommend a higher protein diet for waterfowl so I thought I was doing a good thing. Now I'm trying to make sure they get extra time outside to eat grass and feeding a lower protein diet.
     

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