4 Month old pullet, possible prolapsed vent?


In the Brooder
Jul 9, 2018
One of our 4 month old Leghorn pullets seems to have something hanging out of her vent. She seems fine, clear eyes, active, pooping fine, and eating and drinking enough; but what we thought was pasty butt looks like something else. We soaked her and tried to use a toothbrush to massage it out, but it looks like something that actually belongs inside her? The chunk is hard and doesn't seem to be getting smaller or breaking apart even after soaking and scrubbing. It is very bloody and has mucus. The more I cleaned the more it seemed like I was making it worse. After our attempt at treatment she is walking around and seems fine. What is this? How can we help her?


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Where was this pullet when you discovered this? Were the other chickens pecking at the mass? How long do you estimate she's been like this?

I hesitate to try to guess what this is. It's not easy to see what's going on with a single photo only showing one view and no context. Can you take more photos and try for a variety of angles? We need a view of the pullet's whole body standing up for context, and a very closeup shot.

I will say that the black, dry, crusty appearance does not bode well for hopes of recovery as the black may indicate necrotic tissue. Is there any bad smell?
I will take more pictures. we noticed it last week. It was mostly covered with her feathers. I thought she might have a bit of pasty butt. It does not smell bad, I was trying to determine what it was by smelling and it has no smell; which ruled out poop for me. As for the other chickens, they have not bothered her.
Is she pooping normally? That is a prolapse with a lot of dead or necrotic tissue that has been drying out. I agree with Azygous that this does not look good. Many times when a prolapse occurs, the other chickens will peck and injure the red protruding tissue.

I would soak her for 20 minutes twice a day in either Epsom salts or warm soapy water, and try to wash off the black tissue until it slightly bleeds. This is debriding the dead tissue to get the healthy tissue exposed. Then apply some plain Neosporin or triple antibiotic ointment to the tissue. Sulfadene cream would be a good alternative, but requires a prescription.

Normally, a prolapse is pushed back inside, but while there is dead tissue, it may not be wise. Keep the tissue moist with ointment or cream so that it does not dry out and cause more necrotic tissue. Sorry about your pullet, but hope she can recover.
Thanks everyone! Would you suggest I cull her or wait and try to treat and see how she does?
Oh geez. I agree with @Eggcessive . That looks like a prolapse that has been outside too long and started to rot. Your choice to cull or try to save her. It will take a bit of work to save her, and it may not work. But soaking, scrubbing off all the necrotic tissue, antibiotic ointment to keep it moist. you will have to do this until you get down to healthy, pink tissue. Then you can try pushing it back in.
If she is thriving otherwise try treatment imo

I just had a 8 month old with prolapse but I discovered it early so there was no bad tissue. I used hydrocortisone cream to shrink it, and vetericyne spray for moisture/antibacterial. I was successful in treatment but can only suggest what to do once it's ready to go back in using vet wrap to keep in the hernia
Update--After treating her for several days, she stopped eating and drinking. We had her euthanized today. It became clear (during me treating her) that it was not a prolapsed vent. She was able to poop just fine. Today, when the vet examined her he couldn't figure what it was because the mass was so hard(even after epsom/iodine soaking for a week). After he put her to sleep and was able to cut into her, he said it was also not the result of a predator attack, that her guts had seeped out of, but just a large necrotic mass. I feel even worse knowing that. I wonder, if we could have seen someone that knew chickens they may have been able to remove the mass and she could have recovered. Of course we would have had to figure out why she stopped eating/drinking, maybe infection? I just wanted to thank everyone for answering my questions and offering helpful suggestions.
That's so sad I'm sorry! It happens, and it hurts, if she stopped eating, like you said, something was wrong and I'm sorry for your loss thanks for letting us know :hugs

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