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Prolapsed Chicken

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Our 7 month old Speckled Sussex has a prolapse. She is a very sweet and loving girl who has enjoyed every moment of the special attention of the treatment. We purposely didn't name our chickens in case hard decisions came up, but during treatment, our bond with this chicken is now at pet level. 

Fortunately we have a small flock so we discovered the prolapse day-of the occurrence, and her fluffy bottom feathers must have hid the issue from the others because the prolapse itself was not damaged. 

2/26 - Discovery of prolapse. Prolapse routine: warm bath, blow dry, prep H, held the prolapse up against her with a prep h rubber glove and sang to her until she relaxed and retracted it back in, crate her in the house, kept it dark and warm, electrolytes in water. 
2/27 - Yes Egg; Yes Prolapse (before egg laying, not after). Prolapsed in the morning. Realized she was egg bound and put lube up her, she laid the egg an hour later and no prolapse.
2/28 - Yes Egg; No Prolapse. 
2/29 - Yes Egg; Yes Prolapse (before egg laying, but not after). Prolapsed in morning and we did the same routine. She laid an egg later with no prolapse. 
3/01 - Yes Egg; Yes Prolapse (in evening). When I came home for the evening, she was freshly prolapsed (no poop on it yet) and had laid an egg (which she usually does in the morning). We did the same routine (instead of prep H used honey) and she has no problem retracting. 
3/02 - Yes Egg; No prolapse.  

3/03 - Yes Egg; Yes Prolapse (in morning before egg laying, but not after). Prolapse in morning before egg laying. Used vetericyn and honey. For the first time, she had difficulty retracting, but probably because the egg was close to laying. She laid an egg, it had dried blood on it.
3/04 - No prolapse

The decision to cull would be easier if she was prolapsing everyday all the time no matter what we did. But she isn't. She prolapses every other day. Even though she is in darkness (and we withheld food for one day, and limit food to a survival amount the rest of the days) she still is a daily egg layer. It almost seems like her prolapses occur separately from egg laying.

She has electrolytes in her water, we turn the light on for an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening so she can drink/eat. We are feeding her her normal feed but in small quantities (1/4 cup) and mixed with yogurt, cod liver oil, and pulverized egg shells. 

Any fellow chicken keepers have any suggestion in regards to the cause of the prolapse or treatment? Any last ditch efforts? I read somewhere about aspirin and benedryl, but I don't have nearly enough info to move forward with that. 

Please tell me there are other options and strategies out there. I am willing to try anything. If her issue regresses and she starts prolapsing multiple times a day, we will probably cull her. 

Thank you for all for your time and energy. 

(I am at work right now and do not have any pictures of the prolapse.)


For those wanting more details of our prolapse protocol.
1. Clean Prolapse. We use the kitchen sink but any tub will work. At first we gave her long, warm baths (but not so hot that she pants!). Now we just take the sprayer and spray it off. 
2. Dry Chicken. We help the chicken out of the sink and onto a towel on the counter. If you bathed her, then you can blow dry her (be careful to not make her too hot and dry). When we just spray her, we towel off the excess water. 
3. Apply Vetericyn or Prep H or Honey or All. At first we just used Prep H. Now we spray on Vetericyn and use honey in the next step.
4. Hold the Prolapse. Get that gloved hand really greased up with either Prep H or Honey. Gently, and then more firmly, hold the prolapse up and onto the vent. I also hold the chicken's chest so she doesn't walk away.
Now, sing to that chicken. I'm not kidding. When my partner does it, he doesn't sing, and she won't retract. But when I do it, I sing to her and she really enjoys it and relaxes and coos back and then magically, she retracts it back in usually in less than 5 minutes. 

5. Keep Chicken Separate & TLC. We keep her in a dog cage in the house with a space heater in the room. Electrolytes in the water. Do some googling on what to do food wise, we are trial and error on whats best right now for that. 


Edited by Urbanchicster - 3/4/16 at 6:08am
post #2 of 4

Sounds like you are doing a good job!

The only other things I have read that may help is offer liquid calcium to help the the uterus muscle to contract, you could also try to diaper or sling her (wrapping the area for support).


Sling/diaper information:


I'm sure you have seen this link, but just in case:

Edited by Wyorp Rock - 3/3/16 at 8:24pm
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

Thank you Wyorp Rock.

Yes, I have looked at both of those sites, thanks for the link though. I am not quite sure how the heck I could make a chicken sling that would allow the chicken to successfully lay an egg through it (I am at work during the day). 

Its weird because she does not prolapse after laying an egg. It is always before egg laying (straining to get it out?) or just randomly at the end of the day (straining from droppings?)

The vet suggested putting her on a oatmeal diet to get her off the layer feed to try to slow her laying. 

post #4 of 4

I see your problem, yes, I think the sling would have to be monitored closely, so while you are at work it couldn't be done for sure.

As far as food goes, you could switch to chick starter or an all flock type food for a while. Less calcium in those. Mine love oatmeal, but I would be afraid to make it a complete meal for more than a couple of days because it doesn't have enough protein it is not nutritionally complete for poultry.  Both of the feeds mentioned do have some calcium in them, but not near what layer feed has in it.

If you try the oatmeal add some hard boiled/scrambled egg or tuna to boost the protein. Omit the egg shells for a couple of days.

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