Strange Bleeding??

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by allisonbronwyn, Jan 8, 2015.

  1. allisonbronwyn

    allisonbronwyn New Egg

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    Jan 8, 2015
    Pennsylvania, USA
    Hello! I'm new to Backyardchickens, but I've had chickens for about seven or so years now. This is the first time I've ever had this happen, but I'm hoping someone will be able to explain it for me!

    A couple days ago I smelled a terrible smell in the coop that smelled like something died. I looked around and didn't see anything and all the chickens looked fine, there was nothing dead anywhere I could see. The next day though, the smell was still there and one of my hens, a perfectly healthy White Leghorn hen, whose neck feathers were completely pink! Of course, I thought it was blood so I picked her up but there were no wounds or gashes where blood could come from, and her feathers weren't wet. She seemed fine, so I let her go. Two days passed and the smell got worse, and today the hen was dripping blood all from her head and neck. We have a couple roosters, so I figured it was just that, but when I picked her up again I noticed she still had all her feathers (they were just thinned with blood) and once again, there was no wound where blood could come from! It seemed to be dripping from the feather's themselves and the dead smell was coming from her.
    I've moved her into solitaire in the barn where it's warmer but I'm extremely confused. I live in Pennsylvania and it's been extremely cold the past couple of days, so I didn't know if that had anything to do with it.

    None of the other chickens have it and I was hoping that someone whose maybe had a similar thing happen could tell me what's going on? I've looked everywhere but can't find any information. It's like the blood is coming from her feathers themselves!

    Thank you!
     
  2. MrsBrooke

    MrsBrooke Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Magnolia, Texas
    http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2013/03/chicken-feather-loss-cannibalism-causes.html

    This IS very odd.

    Do they have enough space in their coop or get out to free-range? If they have been cooped up due to weather, that might be the cause.

    Do they have artificial lighting? Too much light can make them cannibalize each other. Super.

    Do you suspect feather picking? Feathers can bleed if broken at the shaft (especially new feathers regrown after a molt)... Are her feathers broken in the bloodied area? It may be that she's getting pecked.

    As for the smell... That usually indicates infection. Chickens don't normally "smell." Have you noticed swelling in her wattles, bubbly eyes, wheezing, coughing, regurgitation, or weird poops?

    I'd clean her up, give her a VERY thorough inspection, make sure she's eating and drinking normally, and observe her for a few days. If confinement clears it up, you'll know it was pecking. :)

    Let us know and post pictures if you can!

    MrsB
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2015
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    southern Ohio
    Welcome to BYC. Mrs.Brooke has given you good advice of what to look for. She may have an abscess or infected wound somewhere. Look her over from head to toe, and try to smell where the odor is coming from--the neck, inside the beak, the vent, or wherever.
     
  4. allisonbronwyn

    allisonbronwyn New Egg

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    Jan 8, 2015
    Pennsylvania, USA
    I'll definitely be posting pictures tomorrow if she is still holding on. She's still full of energy and is eating and drinking well, like it doesn't even bother her.
    As for lighting-I don't give the birds artificial light in the winter (I feel like it's their resting period/vacation, so I have recipes for winter eggs), unfortunately they are cooped up with all the snow, but the coop is extremely spacious. I don't think it's cannibalism or pecking though, there were no wounds to indicate so and all the chickens were settled in very calmly with each other (I had put toys in their coop to help keep them occupied) and none of her feathers were disturbed at all, which is what I had originally expect.
    And yea it's definitely in the neck and head, that's the only place the feathers have turned pink
    It's literally like the blood is coming out of her body and through her feathers, but I'll give her a bath tomorrow and try to find things.
     
  5. MrsBrooke

    MrsBrooke Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 11, 2014
    Magnolia, Texas
    I'm sorry I can't be of more help... It sounds like you're doing everything right. How exceedingly strange.

    Maybe she's scored the lead role in a play and they used fake blood during rehersals these last few days??

    MrsB
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2015

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