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Serious Feather Pulling

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by temerick, Oct 16, 2012.

  1. temerick

    temerick In the Brooder

    Oct 11, 2012
    We are raising 9 chicks who are currently about six weeks old. Today we came home and heard a cry come from one. We found that my salmon fav had had most of her back feathers pulled out. Some spots were bleeding and most of the area up to her neck was bare. This raised a bunch of questions.
    1. We put no peck gel on her but not directly on the wounded area. I know it has cayenne pepper in it to deter the birds, so I was hesitant about putting it directly on raw skin. Would it irritate the injury at all?
    2. Their food was empty all day. Could this be the probable cause of this?
    3. What's the best way to care for the wound? Do I put neosporin or isolate her until it heals or just leave it alone?
    4. We spent most of the night observing the birds. We have a gold sex link that I saw 5+ times go peck the salmon, despite having full food. She also pecked 3 other birds, enough to elicit a screech. Is it possible that such damage could have been done from one bird alone? What do you do if one bird is dangerously aggressive?

    I have photos that I will post as well. Any advice would be ,much appreciated! :(

  2. dracoe19

    dracoe19 Songster

    May 31, 2011
    Warrenton, Virgina
    For treating the wounds I would put neosporan on. As for the pecking it could have been for lack of food and dominance. From the sound of it she is on he bottom of the pecking order at the moment. Is she the same size or smaller than the others? When ever I had red sexlinks they always seemed to be the bossiest. If you are worried about her when you leave you could get a see through container for her to be in in the enclosure with the others. This way she can of be pecked and can relax but more importantly can be seen by the others.
  3. janinepeters

    janinepeters Songster

    Jun 9, 2009
    I would isolate the victim immediately. Once blood shows, it is usually not long before others join in torturing her. As for the long term plan, be sure they have plenty of space and adequate dietary protein. If they are always confined, perhaps dried meal worm treats would help. Never let food or water go empty.

    If you want to try to keep all the birds, I would also isolate the bully. Once the victim has healed, reintroduce her to the flock while bully is still isolated. If all goes well, then reintroduce bully and see how it goes. Reorganization of peck order might make her reluctant to behave in dominant manner again: sometimes when a bird returns to flock, she finds herself at bottom or peck order, and has to work her way up. However, there is a high likelihood that she will eventually become a bully again. I have had limited success in reforming a bully, and usually end up culling her.

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