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Country Discussion Topics
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Laying hens - sick
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Country Maritimer    Posted 05-27-2003 at 05:30:58       [Reply]  [No Email]
I've got some 18 hens or so and two roosters. They have a caged in pen attached to coop. They get out all weekend and some evenings to scratch and explore the yard. Reasonably happy birds. Last night there was one just laying on the ground while the other plucked every feather from her back, she was bald and bleeding and seemed very weak so we had to do away with her. Has anyone heard of this....they are Reds and can be viscious by times with other breeds but nothing like this. Could she have been sick? If it happens again we will take for examination to post mortem lab. ???

M in carolina    Posted 05-28-2003 at 17:44:04       [Reply]  [No Email]
You probably did away with a healthy bird. Lots of times the pecking order will center for a time on one bird. I second Toms suggestion-you should put the bird in a seperate pen till she heals up-adminsiter antibiotic to her water if she has open wounds- youd be suprised how big a gash in a chicken will heal up.

Tom A    Posted 05-28-2003 at 05:56:15       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Cannabilism is usually but not always a result of overcrowding.

But, if a bird has an open wound for whatever reason, the other birds will pick at the wound and make it worse (eventually killing the bird) if the injured bird cannot get away. Since we free-range our birds during daylight hours, we don't usually have the problem although it croppped up once during bad weather when they were cooped for a few days.

I'd suggest that if/when you have a bird with an open wound, you cage it separately while the wound heals. We have a small wire dog-crate that I've used for this purpose...just place it in the coop so the bird stays with the flock, and provide food and water in the cage. Once the wound heals up, the bird is safe to release back with the others.

good luck,

Sid    Posted 05-27-2003 at 19:43:07       [Reply]  [No Email]
I have heard of canabalism in schickens but don't remember what causes it.

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