Baby Chick "Prolapse"?! HELP


10 Years
Apr 17, 2009
Coos Bay, OR
We just got some baby chicks a few days ago. I'm not exactly sure how old they are, but I think about a week old. One of our EEs, Kohla, had what looked like a prolapse. I was sitting by their brooder watching them when she squatted and started chirping really loudly, like she was in pain, and pooped. I picked her up to make sure she was okay, and her "butt" was hanging out of her vent. We put vaseline on a Q-tip and pushed it back in because her vent was way too small for fingers. I'm not really sure what to do, if there is anything. I'm worried it might happen again when I'm not there and then the other chicks will peck at it. Please help. Thank you.
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Oh no. Maybe a little prep H? I have read of people doing this for pullets/hens maybe it would be ok for a chick too.

Also maybe seperate that one. ...

I wish I knew better> bump
Prep H may definitely be beneficial.. If it's really bad, you may need to push it back in very gently while you apply it.. Otherwise, just put some on his vent and it should help.. If there is any way to separate him, do so.. Make sure he has the same accommodations as the brooder as to a space with a light to keep warm and also a place to get away from the heat if need be.. Make sure he has plenty of fresh food and water also.. If you can't do this in the brooder itself and need to move him to his own area, you can put a small stuffed animal in there with him to keep him company for a few days.. If you keep him with the other chicks, you run the risk of them pecking on him and exacerbating the problem...

I personally would give it some time. If it happens again then I would probably cull. According to Practical Poultry mag prolapse is something that is likely to be a problem w/ a bird and not curable. In point if it happens once it is likely to happen again. In a chick so young I would be hoping they'd out grow it, if their muscles tighten up. If it happened again I dont' have time to invest, to keep treating one chick. I will say it is probably not something you've done.

All the best
We did push it back in, and it hasn't happened again *knock on wood*
I don't think any of us would be able to cull. These birds are our pets and we love them all a lot. Lets just pray it doesn't happen again..Thanks everyone.
It happened again. Will her muscles tighten up? Why does this keep happening? I'm really concerned and I'm hoping it'll stop happening..
This is not a common thing w/ chicks this young and usually happens w/ pullets trying to lay an oversized egg. This is what the Practical Poultry has to say, though I am sure there is alot more information on the web and you may want to google it.

"It's most likely to occur in pullets as they come into lay, especially if they are somewhat undersize, or if they've been subjected to rapid increases in day length which has resulted in doulbe =yolked eggs that are simply too big to lay.
Treatment is rarely worth the effort: either infection will set in or the problem will reoccur when the bird lays the next egg. Where it is attempted the exposed organs should be washed w/ an antiseptic solution and gently pushed back inside. To aid recovery, the bird should be placed in a clean coop, given water and fed a lightweight diet w/ a greater propotion of grain than usual. "

Remember this is inregards to an older bird.

It is difficult to say what's going on "inside". If she's chirping in pain it's likely there are things going on you can't see. If she is this young you may want to restrict her to a liquid diet of water and vitamins, puree everything. This might reduce the strain when she poops. Put her in a bin w/ paper towels for the flooring to prevent the bedding from causing infection. Keep in mind I'm not a vet. nor experienced w/ this type of thing. You will need to clean it everytime she poops, and hope for the best. If you wonder why this happened, it's impossible to know. Unfortunately chickens are fragile, just as any bird would be. One thing is certain it is not your fault and you should feel no guilt. Take care and you have my sympathy.

Thank you rancher. It happened again, but by the time I got some prep H on a Q-tip, she had sucked it back in herself. I don't know if that is a good sign or not. I'll try what you suggested. Thanks again.
I had a chick who did that at around 7 weeks, i think.

If she sucked it back in on her own, i would say that is an excellent sign.

I would keep a very close eye on her to make sure she's eating drinking and pooping regularly. If she isn't, then you know that something more is wrong on the inside - like her intestines may be twisted or something.

You did the right thing with the q-tip.

I would go ahead and dab some prep-h or honey in the area anyway to hopefully prevent more swelling, etc.

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