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Dr Linda
Dr Linda, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1184
Experience:  I am a practicing veterinarian with over 20 years experience in a mixed animal practice.
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We are new to backyard chickens! We got 5 chicks hatched at

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Hi there! We are new to backyard chickens! We got 5 chicks hatched at the end of February! They have all been doing well and just started laying this week! However, this morning when we let them out of the coop one's head was bloody and she had feathers missing. There was. I evidence of a predator, and my husband saw one of the other hens peck her, so I think she must have somehow gotten a sore and then one or more of the others pecked her all night. We currently have the injured hen in our bathroom with food and water to rest. On the recommendation if a friend who raises chickens I got some special spray to put on her to help it heal. I know that we shouldn't put her back with the other chickens until she is healed, but I just wondered if we needed to seal vetrinary care or do anything else?
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. This sounds like it might be serious. I'll let the Veterinarian know what's going on ASAP. Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about the bird?
Customer: No - she's very sweet and was the first to lay an egg - we happened to catch her in the act. She is probably toward the bottom of the pecking order.

Hello, this is Dr. Linda. I hope I can help with your question today.

If your little hen is eating well, then you probably do not have to have her seen by a veterinarian. If she is eating, but not well, supplement her with some cooked egg, corn bread, pancakes, bits of melon & greens such as spinach & kale. I will guess that the spray you are using is vetricyn, which is very good for wounds.

You have been introduced to the world of tiny dinosaurs. Chickens can be vicious, cannibalistic, eating machines. They are incensed by the sight of blood, & even newly hatched chicks will attacked another newborn if they see red. It is the reason most people will use a red brooder lamp, not just for the heat, but to disguise & protect any injured chicks. Chickens can not see blood with the red light. Once your hen has more or less healed ( all the feathers do not have to grow back ), you can place her back in with the rest of the hens. Supervise closely for the first day or so to make sure she is not picked on again. Chickens have pretty good memories. Hopefully as she matures, she will find her place with the rest of the hens, but it is amazing how much like high school it is within a flock.

I hope this makes sense & you find the information useful. Please let me know if you have any further questions or concerns.

Thank you.

Dr Linda and other Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Thank you so much for your response - it was very helpful and reassuring. She seems to be eating and drinking well and is resting in our bathroom (where she and the others lived as babies). That is the spray that we got. I'm glad I was able to find it at a farm supply store nearby. We will keep an eye on her and hopefully she will heal quickly.

Chickens actually heal very quickly. My hens have a very definite hierarchy. It is so much fun to watch them every day.

Take care & all the best to your flock.


I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr Linda