Pecking order or something else? Pics...

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ekofke201, Dec 28, 2012.

  1. ekofke201

    ekofke201 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 27, 2011
    Southern PA
    I just went out to let the girls out for the day and found my Blue Polish, Lola, missing a head full of feathers. They did not go out yesterday so it was not a predator. I am not sure if this is an adjustment in the pecking order with it getting colder and the birds spending more time inside (voluntarily- I don't lock them in). It looks terrible, though I think that the blood is from the feathers, the skin doesn't look broken. I brought her inside to look more closely, trimmed the tips of most of the bloody feathers in hopes that it might be a deterrent from further pecking, and put neosporen on it.

    She is not avoiding the other birds... The only other change that I can come up with are the 3 ducks... I found a duck egg in the chicken coop this morning. I wonder if they are sleeping there instead of in their house causing an imbalance in their normalcy.

    I guess I really just want to know how to care for her from here. And how to avoid this in the future.

    Thank you for reading!




  2. Angiebubs

    Angiebubs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2011
    Amery, WI WI/MN border
    Its hard to tell from the pics but I dont see any major scabs? Is it more of a scrape? Could she have caught her head in something and pulled it loose-causing a scrape? If you have any BluKote I would put some of that on to prevent the others from pecking at the redness.
  3. Sunflower

    Sunflower Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2007
    Berryton, KS
    Poor baby....I would try and clean it up a bit, like Angiebubs said, you don't want to attract others to pecking on her. Just make sure it's good and dry if you wet it down before she goes back out. It does look like some feathers may have been ripped out somehow? Keep an eye on her - if it is a pecking order thing, hopefully they will work it out. But it doesn't look too serious at this point.
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Very frequently Polish with their crests become the target of flockmates. It does not seem to be a pecking order thing as much as a boredom situation. Some have luck with trimming their crests and coating the damaged areas with Blu-Kote. Good luck at resolving this. It can become a chronc bad habit.
  5. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I have a house chicken now for exactly this reason. My WCB Polish roo, Jack, had so much picking of his crest and then actual pecking he lives in the house. I have rescued him 3 times, letting him convalesce inside, and that made the decision for me.

    I think he may even have suffered some brain damage because he's slightly addled. But I love him anyway.
  6. ekofke201

    ekofke201 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 27, 2011
    Southern PA
    It has not gotten any worse and I have spent some time watching them. Which has not resulted in any additional information. They appear to be leaving her alone. Trimming the crest seems like a good idea for now and I will try some more tricky edibles in the run to encourage some other entertainment, perhaps. I am worried about getting back to a normal routine, as that means less time free ranging and more time in the run. (I am a teacher and was off for the holiday so I was able to let them out most days).

    I hope that we can keep this under control. Not sure the husband will willingly submit to a house chicken...

    Poor little thing![​IMG]
  7. nikischicks

    nikischicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 16, 2009
    NE/Mid Ohio
    That looks like what has happened to some of mine before when they get picked on. I would use the blu-kote so it would mask the blood and that usually would clear it up.

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