Should I be concerned w/ blood on neck?

PattyC2020

In the Brooder
Sep 19, 2020
3
1
11
Central VA
Hello!
I'm pretty new here and new to chickens and I have a hen that I'm a little concerned for. We picked up 6 hens from a local farmer (in Virginia) about 5 weeks ago. They are a year old and they are red sex links. Since we picked them up in the dark we didn't notice (or know to look) that this one was missing most of the feathers on her neck. They haven't grown back, hasn't seemed to have gotten worse, it just stays this way. She is not at the top of the pecking order, but neither is she docile and compliant. She can be a bit annoying, pushing other hens off the roost to get room for herself so she occasionally gets pecked at for her annoying behavior. Overall though, I don't see much bullying. I noticed today for the first time that she has some blood (a little stringy) on the side of her neck (closest to the camera in the picture) where it appears that some feathers are growing back in. It's been pretty cold this week (we had our first snow - just an inch or so) for our area. Should her feathers be growing back? Should I be concerned or do anything about the redness of her neck or the blood (it's not actively bleeding)? Any suggestions? Thanks in advance!
 

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frostic

Songster
Mar 7, 2018
699
1,018
237
Lake elsinore California
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the pointy things on her neck looks like new feather growth. I would separate her from the other chickens incase it is something else.. she could be getting bullied (pecked) but the only way to find out is see if she heals while being apart from the others or to watch them and see if it is the other chickens, it looks like shes being pecked and i don't see blood. just inflamed skin.. if not then i'd take her to an avian vet. she could need antibiotics for an infection or something else.
 

EggSighted4Life

Crossing the Road
5 Years
Apr 9, 2016
14,342
19,982
832
California's Redwood Coast
Overall though, I don't see much bullying. I noticed today for the first time that she has some blood (a little stringy) on the side of her neck (closest to the camera in the picture) where it appears that some feathers are growing back in.
Hi there, welcome to BYC! :frow

Molting sucks. and that blood may be from one of the pin feathers coming in... It does NOT look like bullying to me according to your description and nor do I recommend separation as reintegration can be havoc. I would just keep my eye open for any more blood that indicates more action should be taken.

Angry red skin like what I'm seeing.. may be caused by parasites. I would get a good look after dark using a flash just below the vent and on the abdomen, parting feathers down to the skin and look for things crawling away. Also for any dried "dirt" clumps on feather shafts close to skin. Skin usually stays normal light pink looking during regular molt. Use of DE may contribute to damaged skin and feathers. But if it were something environmental that stayed at the other place like overcrowding or filthy conditions.. I would expect to see SOME improvement to the skin at least if not the feathers also. Yes, with 10 years and hundreds of birds worth of experience.. It's not something to "worry" about but definitely cause for concern and worth looking into deeper.

How long it takes feathers to grow back in can depend on genetics as well as prior and current nutrition. Do you know if she is laying or not? Most molting birds will not be actively laying.. Regarding temps.. she is probably okay since she has other birds to roost with. Are you able to post a photo of her whole body and maybe your whole flock. My guess, when they said one year old.. is maybe approaching 2. What are you feeding including treats and supplements? Feathers are made from 90% protein and it's amino acids. Using a flock raiser with oyster shell on the side might be a better a choice than "layer" as it usually is higher in protein and amino acids but lower in calcium. It's been a good choice for me.

Hope she recovers quickly! :fl
 

PattyC2020

In the Brooder
Sep 19, 2020
3
1
11
Central VA
Hi there, welcome to BYC! :frow

Molting sucks. and that blood may be from one of the pin feathers coming in... It does NOT look like bullying to me according to your description and nor do I recommend separation as reintegration can be havoc. I would just keep my eye open for any more blood that indicates more action should be taken.

Angry red skin like what I'm seeing.. may be caused by parasites. I would get a good look after dark using a flash just below the vent and on the abdomen, parting feathers down to the skin and look for things crawling away. Also for any dried "dirt" clumps on feather shafts close to skin. Skin usually stays normal light pink looking during regular molt. ...I would expect to see SOME improvement to the skin at least if not the feathers also. Yes, with 10 years and hundreds of birds worth of experience.. It's not something to "worry" about but definitely cause for concern and worth looking into deeper.

How long it takes feathers to grow back in can depend on genetics as well as prior and current nutrition. Do you know if she is laying or not? Most molting birds will not be actively laying.. Regarding temps.. she is probably okay since she has other birds to roost with. Are you able to post a photo of her whole body and maybe your whole flock. My guess, when they said one year old.. is maybe approaching 2. What are you feeding including treats and supplements? Feathers are made from 90% protein and it's amino acids. Using a flock raiser with oyster shell on the side might be a better a choice than "layer" as it usually is higher in protein and amino acids but lower in calcium. It's been a good choice for me.

Hope she recovers quickly! :fl

Thanks for your thoughts and sharing your experience. I would rather not separate her as we don't really have the capacity for that and I would be concerned about reintroducing her to the flock. My understanding is that they are more recently turned 1 yrs old and will molt in couple of months (what the farmer said). She does seem to be laying (I don't sit out there to watch but I get 6 eggs at least once a week). I did check for parasites (on the skin) a few weeks ago when I started looking into this before the holidays (but then the blood brought me back to this) and there was nothing. I will try to check again in the next few days. I didn't get out before dark to get a better picture of her and the flock but I can try to post that tomorrow. They are on layer feed (16% protein) w/ kitchen scraps (mostly veggie & fruit) and crushed egg shells, occasionally some worms from our vermicompost, and of course whatever else they can scavenge. The coop is mobile and moved 2x/week + they get out to an attached hen yard for a few hours each day.
 

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