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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 28486
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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One of my freedom rangers is loosing it's comb. Base of head

Customer Question

One of my freedom rangers is loosing it's comb. Base of head is black as if dried blood. Any specific reason?
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the bird's name and age?
Customer: Amy, and 17 weeks. Otherwise healthy. Just started laying.
JA: Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Veterinarian will know how to help Amy,. Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Amy,?
Customer: Not really. She is eating well, and drinking plenty of water. She is in a coop with another healthy ranger.
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bird
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

If that black does indicate blood, Amy is being attacked and cannabalized. There are no chicken diseases that look as you've described but I'd like to see what you're seeing. Can you upload a photo(s) to our conversation? You can use the paperclip icon in the toolbar above your message box (if you can see that icon) or you can use an external app such as

Have you noticed other birds being aggressive toward Amy?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No. She is in a coop with only one other ranger. Same age. I do let them out with my red and barred rock but they don't mingle. I'm wondering if maybe in haste going in and out of the coop that she didn't catch her head on fencing from the run.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

If so, the fencing should have blood on it. Can you check?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Let me know what you find, please. For now, hydrogen peroxide will wash and bleach away blood on her head. If you don't see diluted blood when doing this, we need to consider another disorder.