Pecked Silkie

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ellebelle, Oct 27, 2010.

  1. ellebelle

    ellebelle Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 3, 2010
    I have a mixed flock of 4 birds. They have all been together since they were chicks and I've never had a problem. They are 8 months old. The silkie is at the bottom of the pecking order, but none of the other chickens had actually pecked her until today. When I got home from work, the silkie had a big wound on the top of her head and it looks like a bunch of her crest feathers are gone. [​IMG].

    First, what should I do about the wound? Our chickens do not like being handled much.

    Second, why the pecking now? They have plenty of space. Could it be because the days are getting shorter and we added a light to the coop to keep them laying more? I've notice the bedding is getting messed up a lot more now and they tend to cause a little ruckus indoors in the evening.

    Third, do I have to separate her while she heals, or do I just assume she'll be okay? I really don't want to lose this bird. [​IMG]
     
  2. chickenriot

    chickenriot Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 12, 2010
    Brownsboro, Tx.
    Hi,

    Is your mixed flock all bantams or a combination ?

    If the silkie is the only small one the bigger chickens can kill her. Silkies have delicate little heads and I would get her out of that situation because she can't effectively fight back.

    I have a mixed flock also but I keep my standard sized chickens away from the bantams.
     
  3. Quote:Agreed! You need to separate her---silkies don't do well in mix flocks for the most part. They're a more delicate bird and have a spot on their head that if hit the right way, could kill her. I would remove her right away--if she is bleeding on her head or has an open wound, I would put some neosporin or blu-kote if you have it. My silkies are separated from the rest of the flock for this very reason. Good luck and keep us posted!
     
  4. ellebelle

    ellebelle Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 3, 2010
    She is the only bantam - the other chickens are a barred rock, a SL wyandotte and an easter egger. Actually, the easter egger isn't much bigger than the silkie. The silkie is a bit on the large side, I think, because she isn't a show chicken.

    I removed her from the other chickens, tried to clean up her head as best as possible and slathered it with neosporin. She isn't eating or drinking right now, but I assume that is stress. Hopefully she'll get better. We're going to build a separate, but adjoining coopette for her, I guess.
     
  5. chickenriot

    chickenriot Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Depending on what area of the country you are in you might want to consider getting another silkie or 2 for her to "cuddle up" with at night. From what I have read, chickens lose a lot of their body heat in the cold and stay warm by piling up together. Silkies just seem to require a little extra pampering. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2010
  6. ellebelle

    ellebelle Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 3, 2010
    I know. We had a second one, but she was so noisy that we thought she was a rooster! I put photos up here and everyone who responded said she was a roo, so we gave her away and lo and behold, "he" began to lay eggs. IF I could get another silkie female, and IF they would accept each other, I would do it but it's hard - I live in Manhattan. When I had them both, they never slept together though - the one roosted, while this one doesn't.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2010
  7. chickenriot

    chickenriot Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Have you considered making her a "house" chicken ? [​IMG]
     
  8. bad_coffee

    bad_coffee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 8, 2010
    Quote:I'm pretty sure the cats wouldn't like that. Well, the would like it for about 2 minutes. Then I'd have to clean up the mess.

    So has anyone built a coop for one banty? We have a space where the coop and run can be next to the old run, so the banty will be able to 'socialize' with the other birds and not get pecked. But will that be enough? Should we look into getting a couple of more banties? From what I've read silkies make great surrogate mothers, so what are the chances that she will accept one or two chicks and not peck them to death?

    Also, could we put the new chicks outside with the silkie and not worry about keeping them warm inside? We still have most of the brooder pieces, so we could just leave the chickens in the bathtub until the chick(s) are feathered enough to go outside. But I'd rather not tie up the spare bathroom all winter.

    Help!

    B
     
  9. bad_coffee

    bad_coffee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 8, 2010
    Anyone have any suggestions on whether to get more chicks or not?

    B
     
  10. chickenriot

    chickenriot Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Since it isn't a sure thing that she would accept the new chicks I probably wouldn't get any. If you could find another female close to her age it might work but you still have the 30 day quarantine for the new silkie.

    Have you considered possibly re-homing her since it is heading into winter and she won't do well in the coop alone? I guess you could put a heat light out for her but she'll still be alone.

    Maybe someone else will have a better idea on how to help. I know how easy it is to become attached to the little things. I have 9. [​IMG]
     

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