Can anyone tell me is this a prolapse?


In the Brooder
9 Years
Mar 25, 2010
Hi all, been reading all the posts re:prolapse and am following the care advice given.

Our little Jenny hen (bantum mix) which we bought about 18-20 weeks ago has never laid an egg yet and would have thought she would be by now. We thought we were on the verge of laying a couple of days ago as she kept sitting in the nestbox but coming out. Out of curiousity I picked her up for closer inspection and this is what I found - see pictures.

Can she have a prolapse without having laid an egg? She is eating an drinking fine and walking around as normal. None of the other hens have pecked at her but I have now brought her in following advice from the other forums. I have washed the area with salt water and used anusol and honey on the area and have out of precaution given her antibiotics in case this is just an infection. I would not be able to use my finger to examine the vent as she shows obvious dicsomfort if I use any pressure in this area.

So as I say I have brought her in and darkened her surroundings (even though she is not laying and never has) also changed diet to water and wheat.
Any thought/advice would be welcome please.



When my Silkie hen prolapsed, it looked like an egg encased in membrane was hanging out of her vent. She looks more eggbound in that picture, but what is that little plug in the 2nd picture?

Does she have any signs of being an internal layer? Hard abdomen? Yolk-like goo dripping from her vent?

Does she have access to calcium? Calcium is good for the shells, but more importantly it also helps the oviduct contract, making it easier to pass the eggs.

I hope she feels better soon!
I took the 3 pictures at the same time so not sure why they all look so different - she is passing poo and there is a slight crust there if that is the plug you refer to - if I push to hard to clean she shows her discomfort.

They are all fed normally on layers mash which I mix with boiled water and cooked and crushed egg shells as I heard was good for calcium. They also have free access to Oyster shell.

Can you recommend anything else?

I cannot feel any hard abdomen and have had no goo dripping from vent - maybe I will take her to the vet tomorrow - our vet is not taht good with poultry and I was hoping the antibiotics would kick in and take the soreness away.
From Practical Poultry -
Quote:Egg bound hens
A hen is said to be egg bound when she fails to lay her egg
This is a common condition, and may result from inflammation of the
oviduct, malformed or double yolker egg, or a too large egg in a young

The bird seems very restless
She will drink little and eat little
She will tend to stand all hunched up
She visits the nest regularly in an attempt to lay her egg
Hew oviduct may end up protrude due to excessive pushing by her to eject
the egg; internal haemorrhage or exhaustion may occur and the fowl may
She may smell badly
Her vent will look quite red and protrude
She may have faecal matter that has built up behind the egg, if you see
white liquid that will be her urates trying to pass (urine in chickens)

Sit her in a tub of warm soapy water
Make sure the vent is submerged for about 30 minutes, this may seem like
a long time, but you have to relax the vent area and make is subtle for
the egg to pass through, it really does help the hen, 85% of the time
this will be all that you will need to do for her and the egg will pass
out with a little push from her
You can rub some lubricant around the vent area if you think that may
help too, KY jelly, petroleum jelly, Vaseline or Olive Oil all work fine.
Make sure you isolate her from the other hens, or they will peck at her
vent causing more damage

Put her into an isolation cage, put plenty of news paper down first and
then put heated towels down they will act like a heat pad for her, no
drafts when she is wet or she will catch a chill
You can heat up towels in your microwave, works a treat
If you have a heat pad that would be even better, put plenty of towels
over it or it will get messy
Leave her for a little while to see if she passes the egg, if not, repeat
the warm water and soap again

Some people just use the heating pads, this sometimes seems to relax the
muscles and allow the egg to slip out

If this doesn?t work, you may have to resort to removing the egg
manually, not a nice task, and she will complain about what you are doing
bitterly, you will need two people to do this task

Using KY jelly, Petroleum jelly or Vaseline, insert your finger in the
With your other hand you can press gently on her abdomen moving the egg
down the oviduct towards the cloaca
Once you can see the egg, if it won?t pass, then rupture the egg and
gently remove all the shell
Some have suggested you use a sharp instrument, I would not recommend
this at all it could result in causing the hen internal injuries
The shell of the egg will be very sharp when broken and could also damage
the chicken internally
Once you have broken the shell, make sure you remove every particle
The cloaca should then be washed with a weak warm water/salt solution,
this is to make sure all the egg contents and shell has been removed from
inside the hen, if it isn?t it could cause bacteria to start growing
inside her, and then you?ve got an even bigger problem to solve

Once the egg has ejected you will want to keep an eye on her for a while
There may be another egg backed up in her oviduct system, especially if
she lays an egg every day or every other day

Sometimes they absorb the egg, but this is very unlikely and very unusual
If you can?t find the egg and it has gone from the hen, more than likely
she has eaten it shell and all

If it has ruptured inside her, you should look for small pieces of shell,
or evidence of any cuts around the vent area
Just remember while your looking and sticking your finger in places she
would prefer you didn?t, the egg shells can be quite sharp and may cut
you and her
If you do find any cuts around her cloaca, rinse with hydrogen peroxide
Watch her for listlessness, dull eyes, and signs of fever
Infection can come on pretty quick

Keep a close eye on her, this could happen again to her and she will need
immediate action to fix the problem

How to help prevent the hen from laying any more eggs
If there is any small prolapse gently push it back into the chicken with
your fingers.
The chicken should then be put on a maintenance diet of wheat and water
and put in a dark cage.
Leave the hen there for a week.

However, it is important to restrict the chickens diet to maintenance
only for possibly a couple of months. This does work!! Alternative to
maintenance diet is feeding the chicken enough to keep it alive, moving
and keeping warm plus enough extra feed for it to produce eggs.

You may find that by reducing the feed it brings on a forced molt

By reducing feed intake so that the bird has just enough feed to keep it
alive, moving and keeping warm you are feeding for maintenance only. The
chicken will not lay eggs and so give it the best chance of recovery.
Thank you - I have soaked her this morning for a good half an hour, and put vaseline around and slightly inside the vent. I can see some blood when you push on this sore area that is behind the swollen part in her vent towards the rear. I have warmed a towel and she has been sitting quietly all day in the warm and dark. Should I do this process several times a day and how long before I have to try the egg removal - although I have had a very good feel around her today and cannot feel anything like an egg.

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