vent picking problem

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by cobralady13, Feb 11, 2012.

  1. cobralady13

    cobralady13 New Egg

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    Feb 11, 2012
    Hello all...This morning my chicken herders ( my daughters ages 12 and 15) went outside to perform their daily feeding ritual and found a mess that has them very upset. We live in Western Pa and this year we have had some crazy weather and I am sure this has not been easy on my layers. We have 6 pullets, and 2 older hens. Today we found 4 our 6 pullets very bloody and injured. It appears as though there has been significant vent picking by the other birds, although its not confined to just the vent. the thighs and backs of these birds is raw and there is some significant bleeding. I removed the 4 affected birds, cleaned the area, and applied blue Kote. We put them in our broody pen, gave them fresh layer mash, water and scratch grains. They are still picking a bit amongst themselves, and are just laying in the straw bedding we have provided. I will have a red light put in for them as soon as my husband is able to make it home to assist with the electrical work. They are still laying, and of course the eggs we got today were blood covered. My daughter opted to throw these away and I did not argue the fact. Is there any other suggestions as to what may be affecting my crew, what I can do to help them and my biggest question, since I applied blue kote to the vent itself, will the eggs be safe to eat after the healing process is complete? I have heard once a chicken is treated, you cannot eat their meat, does the same apply for their eggs in this instance? Thank you for any advise you may give as my children are very upset by this, these chickens are members of our family, each with a well thought out name even.
     
  2. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Blue kote will have no affect on the eggs.

    Can you tell us more information? Does the coop have ample space for your 8 birds? Overcrowding often causes picking/pecking issues.
    If there is ample space, then boredom or protein deficiency would be two other possible causes. Boredom can be somewhat alleviated by adding branches or roosts, hanging cabbages, or providing Flock Block or similar treat blocks. They have little nutritional value, but when caught between a rock and a hard place, you have to make choices.
    If you're already providing lots of treats, then you may be dealing with protein deficiency. Feathers are made of protein, which is why some birds will pick/eat them. But if you're finding a lot of feathers around, then they're probably NOT eating them. If you suspect they're eating the feathers, try boosting protein. Cut WAY back on treats/scraps except for high protein ones. If they're on layer feed, you might switch to Flock Raiser or game bird feed with higher protein levels. Meat scraps, BOSS, fish, or other foods high in protein could be added.

    Sorry to hear about your problems. That would totally stress me out to find some of my girls that way. I sure hope you find out what's going on...
     
  3. cobralady13

    cobralady13 New Egg

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    Feb 11, 2012
    We have a 4x8 coop that housed 8 birds since september of last year. They have lived well together until this weekend. They have multiple perches inside to roost on. There are not alot of feathers in the coop, so today I bought Flock raiser and flock blocks for each coop, one for healthy birds, and one for sick birds. Unfortunately we lost one bird overnight, she was the one that was the worst, pecked and bleeding badly. today there doesn't seem to be a lot of new picking, although now I have a barred rock picking at herself. not good. I am in a bad situation, feeling as if I should have done more, but as my family keeps telling me, what else can you do. We are keeping an eye on everyone, using the red heated light and praying for the best. Thank you for your help and advise teach.
     
  4. nurse_turtle

    nurse_turtle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Be sure to check for bugs, especially lice. Check the bases of the feathers around the vent area for clusters of white eggs.
     
  5. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Quote:
    Yes - if you've seen them pick at their own feathers, definitely check for lice/mites. I'd assumed they were pecking at each other...
     
  6. AHDCST

    AHDCST Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]Okay, I am no expert but I have had a similar problem. I was horrified at first when I was told to look for lice. They are not the same lice as ones that get onto humans so just relax! The treatment for mites and lice are the same. Sevin dust or poultry dust applied liberally to the behind parts Then I would not eat the eggs for maybe 2 days to give the dust time to get rubbed into their systems. The whole area where they have been kept both before the powder and after need to be cleaned and given fresh shavings. The roosts need to be wiped down with cooking oil. Any kind will do just rub it into the roosts real good. The most important step is the one most people forget. Repeat the whole dusting and clean up 10 -14 days later. The eggs left behind on the behind will hatch and you will be starting all over again. [​IMG] Sorry I had to say it! I hope this info from my experience with rear trouble helps.
     

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