Where to keep injured hen?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Petra Pancake, Apr 6, 2017.

  1. Petra Pancake

    Petra Pancake Chillin' With My Peeps

    Marble, the lowest ranking hen of my flock has a nasty bleeding wound near the tail. I think it's from being pecked and the other hens keep pecking the wound.
    So I caught her and put her in a separate cage. At first I put the cage out of sight from the coop and run but Marble was very nervous and stressed. I put it back into the run next to the coop at sunset. She realized where she was and almost broke her neck trying to get out of the cage and into the coop. Only stopped when I covered the cage with a piece of tarp. Question: What is less stress for her, being in a cage in sight of the others or being away from them?
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2017
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    That's a great question! If you remover her from the flock, that is probably just adding to her stress. If she's away too long, it'll be like she's a stranger and then she'll REALLY get picked on once you let her back in with the others. Something to try would be to put one of those hen saddles on her. They cover the back, so maybe it'll be long enough to cover up that wound. Also, spray some "Blue Cote" on the wound. It'll be bright blue, but it helps heal and cover the injury.

    The pecking order can be so brutal for chickens! I do feel bad for your little Marble. I hope this helped!

    Take care,
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Flock Master Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    I would leave her cage inside the coop uncovered. Most hens will thrash around trying to get out for a little time, but then will relax and settle down. Vent pecking like that can lead to cannibalism and death. I would look closer at her vent to see if she may have suffered a prolapsed vent, where red tissue pops out from straining to lay an egg. This isn't always the case for vent pecking, but it can draw attention. I would soak her bottom in warm water to make sure it stays clean, and use an antibiotic ointment, such as neosporin or something like coconut oil to help heal. Some reasons for vent pecking may be not getting enough protein in the chickens feed (usually 16-20% is good,) overcrowding, and not getting outside to roam around. Allow 4 square feet of room for each chicken. Below is a picture of a prolapse and a pic of cannibalism (vent pecking.) Here is some reading: https://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/content/dam/pubs_ext_vt_edu/2902/2902-1095/2902-1095_pdf.pdf

    Prolapsed cloaca

    Vent pecking (cannibalism)
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2017
  4. Petra Pancake

    Petra Pancake Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks @chicmom and @Eggcessive. I'll try to keep her in the cage close to the flock tomorrow (it's night here now) and see how it goes. Not sure if they have Blue Cote here, I'll ask around. If not, do you reckon blue food color could do the job? It doesn't disinfect of course but it would make the red wound disppear. The wound is not on the vent, it's more to the side and on top where the tail feathers grow (most of them are missing now). I've noticed a second hen going bald in the tail and vent region as well, so far without wounds.
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Flock Master Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Some use bad tasting menthol ointments or antipecking creams to prevent pecking. Pine tar (Stockholm tar) has been used in the same way. Iodine may work as well. It is important to find the reasons for the pecking, and to separate the bully for several days away from the flock to lower her rank.
  6. Petra Pancake

    Petra Pancake Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'll try to find some ointment. I don't know who the original bully was. Yesterday, her "best friend", the hen she often hangs out with and who is also low ranking, pecked at the wound, but it looked more like she couldn't resist the red color and not like hostile pecking.
  7. strangeanimal

    strangeanimal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 21, 2017
    In order of the injured hen to regain health it is highly recommanded to really isolate her , meaning thus NOT any near other chickens ! NEVER in case of wounds , simply due the fact she has to gather all her strength and is extremely vulnerable to become ill as well , that even includes virusses and other deseases your hens can carry yet not necissarily HAVE / show symptoms !!!
    Every chicken can be just healthy BUT might be a carrier of ' desease X ' and virus Y or bacterial infection carrier Z , without ever getting the deseases etc but they can pass it on to any other hen , healthy or not .
    So in this case I can only say that is is not a good idea to keep her close to other hens untill she is better ( better yet CURED ) .
    That is reason number one , the second reason is simply due hygiene wich is now really needed . In other words is it so that the injured hen must be kept in a sterile area , this can even be a simple small pen you made but just NOT anywhere flies or other insects can enter her area .
    You should also clean the area she sits in keep dry and that clean that you're in fact constantly busy cleaning up .
    Every bit of poop has to be removed as soon as possible , every leftover from food she is not eating right away must be taken out and the area desinfected .
    It is possible to keep her near the rest as soon as the wound starts to show curing , in the sense that it s not a real wound anymore , a crest is fine to let her go near the rest yet has to be still kept apart .

    Ofcourse everything is in your opinion only best for your hens , so I do leave it up to you and just give my experience / advice / knowledge which is shared with a vet I work close with . It is not said your hens are necissarily going to bring over any infections or deseases but is possible , and the risk is high now , especially to hens that are or ill , weakened or injured like yours . I do hope your hen is gotten better already .

    Kind Regards out of Belgium ( do 4-give me any grammar and spelling faults :) )
  8. MrsBachbach

    MrsBachbach Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 6, 2013
    If you have a cage or crate that others can see her but can't reach the wound that is best. I wouldn't separate her completely, especially if it's going to take awhile to heal. If you don't have blue kote, can you check for a product called Wonder Dust? That is like charcoal powder with antibacterial properties that heals up nasty wounds very quickly. It is usually found in the horse section of the vet supply or feed store. It drys up the wound and has done a great job of keeping wounds from getting infected.

    If your other chickens are losing feathers around the tail, you could have a feather eater in the bunch. In that case, it is usually because they are not getting enough protein in their diet. I would look for a higher protein feed. Some may have developed a habit of it and that would be hard to break, put you could pinless peepers if you find the culprit and if increasing the protein in diet doesn't stop the habit in a couple of weeks.

    Or you could have feather mites. The quills on the tail feathers would look bare in areas, like a stick, if it is feather mites.

    So, feathers missing, could be feather eater, bare looking quills could be feather mites.

    I'm thinking feather eater that progressed to cannibalism on your poor bird. Up your protein and if possible increase your pen size.
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2017
  9. Petra Pancake

    Petra Pancake Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks @strangeanimal and @MrsBachbach. The wound has healed well over the last two days, it's competely closed now. Marble the hen took the housing question into her own hands(wings): She escaped from the cage when I was tending to her, flew away and hid herself for two days and nights in an inaccessible crack underneath our house. No idea how she escaped the stray cats and dogs... this morning she was back and I caught her and decided to put her back with the others. Hope they don't peck her again. I think there may be a lack of protein involved - I've been improvising feed for two weeks, will get new proper feed today.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by