Today I noticed that one of my Barred Rock hens has a terrible issue with her bottom! I thought it was a hemorrhoid, took her away fr the flock, washed her butt and examined it. My hens are all free range and this must have happened some time ago because it is red and inflamed and there is necrotic tissue around what looks like a ruptured abscess protruding fr her vent. She is acting normal, eating and drinking, but I'm worried about her getting an infection as there were tiny maggots eating the dead tissue. I now have her in a clean, dry isolation cage but I'm wondering if I should cut away the dead tissue and hope she heals on her own. Anyone have any suggestions?
Ruptured abscess or hemorrhoid?
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Welcome to BYC. A picture of the vent would help to make sure of the problem. It sounds like she may have had a prolapsed vent. Maggots can get up inside of the vent and kill a chicken, so you need to bathe her in soapy water and try to get them off. The longer a prolapse had been out and exposed to air, it can dry and become necrotic. The treatment of prolapse is to lubricate it and try to push it back inside, and apply honey, sugar, or hemorrhoid ointment to reduce the swelling. Now though you will need to try to debride or scrub off the dead tissue, pick off the maggots, and then try to get it pushed back in. A vet visit, of course, would be a good thing to do. Here are some links to help you, the first for prolapsed vent and the other two dealing with fly strike or maggot infestation:
Thank you for your response. I had already washed her butt and removed the maggots yesterday. Today I washed her again and cut away the dead tissue (there was too much to scrub off) Once I completed that, I stopped the bleeding and cleaned the area with Betadine scrub (which kills any germs) She seems to be doing fine and is now in the iso cage for her recovery.
BEFORE (she is belly up and you're looking at her vent)
Would you be able to tell me why this happens? I've kept chickens for 6 years now and never experienced this before.
I do have a rooster now (got one accidentally with my last batch of mail order chicks) Could that have anything to do with it?
I keep my coop clean (as clean as possible anyway) and they have plenty of room in there for all the hens to roost and lay their eggs in boxes filled with pine shavings. Would definitely like to prevent this from happening again.
My goodness, you really did a great job on debriding that prolapse tissue. The reason the cloaca can prolapse can be due to infection, the laying of too large of eggs, calcium deficiency causing egg binding, or being chronically constipated, which can damage the cloaca. It is fairly common, especially in the super egg layers, while roosters tend to get it from infection or constipation. You may want to stop her from laying by placing her in a dark cage for 16 hours a day and reducing her feed. A vet can also give a hormone injection to do this.