Urgent...hen with severe comb injury

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by AKChickenGal, Nov 1, 2016.

  1. AKChickenGal

    AKChickenGal Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 10, 2016
    Southeast Alaska
    I was closing up the coop tonight and noticed that my black minorca's head was covered in blood! After they were all roosted and the light turned off I grabbed her off the roost to see if I could clean her up. She has a larger and floppier comb than all the others and I think the rooster grabbed hold of it while mating. There is a large gash, I am surprised it is still attached. It looks like it bled a lot and her head is crusty with blood. I cleaned her beak and nostrils, but she would not let me clean the rest of her face. A couple questions for those of you that are more experienced:

    1. Should I scrub hard to get her clean or will she figure out a way?
    2. I noticed another minorca with a scabby back of her head. Should I get rid of the rooster? (This is new - a few hens had head feathers pulled before, but never accompanied by scabs/wounds).
    3. Do I need to isolate the injured hen so the other hens don't pick on or eat her? And so the rooster doesn't reopen the wound?

    They are happily sleeping now but I would greatly appreciate advice before morning in case I need to do something drastic to protect my hen!
     
  2. cluckcluckgirl

    cluckcluckgirl Queen of the Coop Premium Member

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    I would advise against scrubbing hard at the wound. I use Blu-Kote when one of my chickens gets a wound, and it always works great for me.
    Maybe isolate the rooster for a little while to see if he will calm down. How long has he been in the flock compared to when you noticed wounds?
    Definitely isolate the hen so she can heal up. From the sounds of it, it's a good cut. Chickens are drawn to peck at blood, or most shiny and/or red objects, so they will likely peck at her and only make the wound worse.

    Good luck!
     
  3. AKChickenGal

    AKChickenGal Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 10, 2016
    Southeast Alaska
    The rooster grew up with the hens and they are just over seven months old now.
    What is Blu-Kote? I live in a small town in Alaska and probably can't get it here but is there a substie I can make on my own?
    How much space does an isolated chicken need? Like a dog kennel or more?
     
  4. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    I'd suggest using warm water and cotton wool to try and clean away the dried blood (if you can get another person to help hold her head, it will help). Do you have any iodine, or any other antiseptic solution? - if so, that would help prevent infection.

    A dog kennel is fine as a temporary home until she heals up.

    Regarding your rooster - how many hens do you have? The general rule of thumb is 10 hens for every 1 rooster - this is not written in stone however. Research has shown that the more subordinate females are mated more often that their higher ranking flock mates. Do you have him for breeding purposes? If not, and you are sure that the injuries were caused by the rooster - then get him in the stock pot (or give him away). If you do want to keep him for breeding, then you could consider building a bachelor pad for him, and only let him mingle with the females when you wish to breed.

    Good luck
     
  5. AKChickenGal

    AKChickenGal Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 10, 2016
    Southeast Alaska
    Do I need to reintroduce her to the flock as I would a brand new chicken after she is in isolation for a few days?

    I have 13 hens and just the one rooster. He has a few favorite ladies, and usually they are not the minorcas. The minorcas usually run away, so I am thinking he is holding them down more aggressively than the others. I have him to protect the flock, but if he is hurting them then he might have to be dinner soon.
     
  6. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    Ideally, you do no some degree of integration - the extent may differ on whether you let your flock free range or keep them in a run. Here's a link that may help

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/reintegrating-a-recovered-hen-to-a-small-flock

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1015820/reintegration-by-supervised-visits#post_15742910
     
  7. AKChickenGal

    AKChickenGal Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 10, 2016
    Southeast Alaska
    Thanks for all the help! I am setting up a temporary pen now for my injured hen and will keep an eye on the rooster. My husband will be surprised to have a chicken in the basement when he gets home in a few days!
     
  8. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    You are most welcome. Maybe other members will chime in with other ideas.

    Re: your rooster and flock protection - it's my experience that they are great for alarm-calling, but protection - no. Other people believe otherwise, but I personally would not keep a rooster for the sole reason of flock "protection".
     
  9. AKChickenGal

    AKChickenGal Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 10, 2016
    Southeast Alaska

    He does a good job keeping all the ladies together when they free range and he breaks up little hen fights. Otherwise he is just a pain. We do hope that he would scare off weasels or minks if they got in the coop, but who knows.
     
  10. AKChickenGal

    AKChickenGal Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 10, 2016
    Southeast Alaska
    I would gladly take advice on how to reintroduce my hen to a flock of 14 after just a few days of recovery. Will they even notice if it is just a short period of time? I will likely cull the rooster before then. He is pretty protective and I have a feeling he will not accept any "new" chickens.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2016

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