Brown bloody looking vent
Brown bloody looking vent: One of my laying hens seem to be missing most of the feathers around her vent, what is there for feathers are all brown almost muddy looking, and it seems bloody.
She is a free range hen, she’s acting normal, walking around, eating...nothing out of the usual. What do you think is wrong with her?
I feel so bad, I wish there was something I could do to help her.Answer
Possibly another chicken plucked the feathers and the skin around her vent. Sometimes another chicken gets grumpy when all are roosting and takes advantage of a chicken unwilling to jump down from the roost in the dark.
This may be why you are just noticing this. Chickens are funny about picking at each other. There may have been minimal feather loss at first, that you didn’t notice until most were gone.
New feathers growing in have a blood supply in the center. The blood supply dries up and retracts once the feather is fully grown in.
If one of these new “blood feathers” gets damaged it will bleed quite a bit.
I would suggest giving her a good bath, removing all the blood, so you can get a better idea what you are dealing with.
If there is broken skin you will want to apply an antibiotic spray daily till it heals. It might be a good idea to separate her from the flock until the feathers grow back.
Check her for thinness at the front of the breast. If she is underweight, her keel bone, that runs down the center of her breast muscles, will feel sharp.
She’s possibly being bullied by others and this can include being kept away from feed. With a nearly full set of feathers it’s really hard to see that a chicken may be starving to death and you may not notice the others bothering her much.
She may have been grabbed by a predator: dog, cat, raccoon or other and possibly all they got was a mouth full of feathers.
Having a bunch of feathers ripped out can cause some bleeding, especially if any blood feathers are present.
Hope this helps. I’m sure you hate to lock up a free ranging chicken, but this is for her own good.
The other chickens will probably peck her and make this worse. If you find she is thin I would get her on a conditioning feed and some extra poultry vitamins. Just follow the directions on the packages.Return to Raising Chickens Home Page