Pullet pecked around the comb, bled

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by trumpeting_angel, Nov 16, 2019.

  1. trumpeting_angel

    trumpeting_angel Free Ranging

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    F0AE1903-08FB-46E9-967D-71FACA159507.jpeg One of my 40-week-old Buff Orps (Little Bird) showed up with blood around her comb. Also head-shaking, scratching her head or neck, and looking a little rumpled and unkempt. She is holding back a little away from the others.

    We took her inside, wrapped her in a towel, and dabbed at the area with hydrogen peroxide. That did not go over well, so I cleaned with cotton dipped in water instead, then applied Vetericin Plus. There seems to be a raw spot immediately behind her comb.

    She went back out with the others, but hung back and spent some time near me (unusual for this one).

    I suspect pecking. The other Buffy (Big Bird) is generally the top of the pecking order, but in general they all do well together. In the past -maybe 3 months ago, I have seen Big Bird peck this one right on the head, but haven’t seen anything lately. Recently the chickens were keeping Callie (GLW) off the roost. Traditionally she has been at the bottom of the order.

    Questions: should I have used Blu-Kote? I have some.

    Should I take her off the roost and have another look? We did the cleaning about 5 hours ago.

    I took the photo when we thought something was wrong with her eye. Then she opened it. There was dried blood on the lid and I cleaned it gently.



    If this keeps up, I should separate her, right? It’s cold here (maybe 10*F tonight), and there isn’t much extra room in the coop. Would she be okay in our less-cold garage, caged? Or will this create integration problems that I could avoid? I could fit something small in the coop (cat carrier maybe) but much bigger and it won’t fit. I assume she is reasonably safe overnight.

    Thanks, all!
     
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  2. trumpeting_angel

    trumpeting_angel Free Ranging

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  3. azygous

    azygous Crossing the Road

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    She's best left in the coop at night. It depends on whether she's being bullied if you need to separate her during the day, and then it's best to keep her where she is still in sight of the flock. A safe pen is ideal for this, but a roomy crate will work.

    If the wound on the head is superficial, Blu-kote will be fine to use. Larger wounds need an antibiotic ointment to keep them moist. I can't see the wound from your photo.

    It appears she might have been pecked in the eye. If she's holding the eye closed most of the time, then you can safely assume it has been injured and it hurts.

    Flushing the eye with saline is important. Then put a little Neosporin directly into the eye. Do this twice a day until the eye appears better.
     
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  4. trumpeting_angel

    trumpeting_angel Free Ranging

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    Thank you, thank you @azygous !

    I don’t believe her eye is injured. She kept it open until some of the hydrogen peroxide fizzed and may have gotten in her eye. It was open afterward.

    The only injury I saw was a very small raw spot behind her comb. There may be another injury - I’m a first-time chicken vet today. It was all kind of new to me.
     
  5. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Enabler

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    I agree with the care that @azygous gave you.

    You mentioned she's head shaking and scratching around the head/neck. When you cared for her, did you happen to see and lice or mites? Checked in the ears too?

    Since the others are keeping her off the roost lately, I would take the time to observe her to see if she's acting a bit lethargic, if she's getting to eat/drink, if she's laying eggs o.k., etc.
    Sometimes it can just be a spat over space (you mention there's not much room) or some type of disruption in the pecking order, but sometimes being picked at, the bird is not feeling well too.
     
  6. trumpeting_angel

    trumpeting_angel Free Ranging

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    Thank you so much!

    She looks much better today. I will get her off the roost tonight and examine for lice or mites. All four are hanging out together, but she keeps an eye on Big Bird. As do I.

    I haven't seen any serious behavior, but Big Bird did glare at other birds when I put out warm, wet chicken feed mush this morning, and the ones who were glared at pulled back. I've seen this from time to time, but I also see that everyone does get plenty to eat, not necessarily first dibs.

    Thanks again! So grateful for all of you and for BYC!
     
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  7. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Enabler

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    Feed.jpg
    Glad she is doing better!
    Big Bird sounds like top hen, so she would get first dibs. Even though you only have 4 hens, you may want to split up the food a bit - maybe offer 2 feed stations/bowl. I have 4 "stations" for 10 hens, it works well for me (2 are mash and 2 are dry food, the cups are taken inside each night). Single birds and my pair both get 2 "stations" (1mash/1dry).

    Scatter treats if those are given, it's hard for 1 bird to control it all if it's scattered/split up. Space often can be an issue, so if expansion at some point is possible, then consider doing that too.
     
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  8. trumpeting_angel

    trumpeting_angel Free Ranging

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    Thanks for the tips!

    We are expanding next year; this coop is temporary. Their run is roomy, and partially roofed. We are going to cover the rest of the run to give them adequate space this winter.

    The feeding problems have only occurred with mash or treats. They share their feeder well - it has several ports. Good suggestions!
     
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