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Old 09-19-2011, 07:25 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Is their a Chook doctor in the house?

2 weeks ago we were given 21 chooks.They have a suitable chook house etc.
but - a few of them are getting their feet pecked. One has a very deep wound on her foot. We seperated her from the others. Has anyone got any ideas as to why this happens and how to prevent /stop it from happening. Thanks. [translation note on Chook - Australian for Hen]
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Old 09-19-2011, 04:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Is their a Chook doctor in the house?

There's a "natural instinct" for some flocking birds to peck at, or flat out kill, any member of the flock that is perceived as injured or otherwise "different".

When I was raising baby chicks we would put little red circles with crayon on boards tied to the side of their incubator so they could exercise this annoying habit, without pecking their siblings to death.

You should remove the afflicted bird/s immediately & isolate them 'till wounds have had a chance to heal; more importantly 'till any "spot" or other abnormality or discoloration has disappeared.

... and take a couple boards (or even a cardboard box) & put little 1/2" red spots on them so the rest of the critters can peck themselves dizzy in the meanwhile.
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Old 09-19-2011, 05:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Is their a Chook doctor in the house?

Do you have enough space in the chicken house. Sometimes, if they are over crowded, they will attach each other. Also, put a red light inside the house at night. (Full grown hens should have about 5 sf for each bird. You didn't mention the age of your chooks.....

Do you have a product called Blue Kote? You can purchase it where you buy your feed. The injured hen should be treated as soon as possible. They sometimes will peck themselves at the injured site. The Blue Kote will cover the area and will speed up healing. Some folks also put heavy black oil on chicken injuries. I prefer the former, since it's made for wounds. I would also put her on an antibiotic, which can be purchased at your feed store. Another good thing would be to add an electrolyte to her drinking water. Make sure she's drinking really good.

Good Luck! I hope your little injured hen will be OK.
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Old 09-19-2011, 06:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is their a Chook doctor in the house?

I agree that overcrowding is probably the issue. They may seem to have plenty of space, but as already stated they need about 5 feet square each and otherwise the pecking order instinct will be enhanced.
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Old 09-19-2011, 07:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Is their a Chook doctor in the house?

You need 4sf per bird in the coop and atleast 9sf in the run per bird and you shouldnt have a problem. How old are the chickens? Once the other chickens see blood or red they will keep going at it until it dies, so seperating it is good. As other have said there will be some chickens at the bottem of the pecking order and they will get "beat up" more often.

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Old 09-19-2011, 08:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Is their a Chook doctor in the house?

Chickens are attracted to the color red, that is why food dishes and waterers have red on the bottom. Once the girl heals the others will leave her alone.
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Old 09-20-2011, 07:12 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob3 View Post
There's a "natural instinct" for some flocking birds to peck at, or flat out kill, any member of the flock that is perceived as injured or otherwise "different".

When I was raising baby chicks we would put little red circles with crayon on boards tied to the side of their incubator so they could exercise this annoying habit, without pecking their siblings to death.

You should remove the afflicted bird/s immediately & isolate them 'till wounds have had a chance to heal; more importantly 'till any "spot" or other abnormality or discoloration has disappeared.

... and take a couple boards (or even a cardboard box) & put little 1/2" red spots on them so the rest of the critters can peck themselves dizzy in the meanwhile.
Thanks for the boards/box with red dots solution.I hope "the girls" go for it. At the moment all we have as an infirmary is a make shift fence enclosure within the run.
In the pen,I think they have enough room. In a day or two they will be let out to free range for a few hours in the afternoons the padock out side is about 2 or 3 acresThe fenced chook pen is about 80 X 30 yards.
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Old 09-20-2011, 07:23 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Is their a Chook doctor in the house?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blake09 View Post
You need 4sf per bird in the coop and atleast 9sf in the run per bird and you shouldnt have a problem. How old are the chickens? Once the other chickens see blood or red they will keep going at it until it dies, so seperating it is good. As other have said there will be some chickens at the bottem of the pecking order and they will get "beat up" more often.

Thanks for the required area measurements per chook. I'll check the area to make sure its adequate.
Thanks for posting an eggceptionally good photo!
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Old 09-20-2011, 07:52 AM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Is their a Chook doctor in the house?

[quote=sunniesbloomers;173626]Do you have enough space in the chicken house. Sometimes, if they are over crowded, they will attach each other. Also, put a red light inside the house at night. (Full grown hens should have about 5 sf for each bird. You didn't mention the age of your chooks.....

Do you have a product called Blue Kote? You can purchase it where you buy your feed. The injured hen should be treated as soon as possible. They sometimes will peck themselves at the injured site. The Blue Kote will cover the area and will speed up healing. Some folks also put heavy black oil on chicken injuries. I prefer the former, since it's made for wounds. I would also put her on an antibiotic, which can be purchased at your feed store. Another good thing would be to add an electrolyte to her drinking water. Make sure she's drinking really good.

Good Luck! I hope your little injured hen will be OK.[/QUOTE

Re availability of Blue Cote:Probably the Blue Cote will have a different name here but the same ingredence. I'll try to get an antibotic. It looks like we'lle needing a chook first-aid kit. Theres no electricity in the chook yard or shed.
Can you suggest another way for a red light? Thanks for your help.
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