Chicken emergency - help!


7 Years
Sep 11, 2014
Hi everybody, we've been learning lots of stuff about chicken keeping from reading the forums, but now I need help!
We are new owners. We have three chickens, about 24 weeks. Two have started laying fine, but one of them, Sunshine, hadn't. She's a late bloomer so we didn't worry too much. Then she started getting a poopy tush. Today we cleaned it off and I noticed that her vent was sort of contracting, I figured it was the way we were holding her (maybe she thought we were a rooster kind of thing) then this evening when we went to put the girls away, she had an egg, literally hanging from her backside covered with her (uterus?) and skin. Upside crying chicken mommy calmed herself down, then I brought her in and wet it and used vaseline to roll the vent back and get the egg out, but she had a small tear. I then soaked her in the sink with warm water and epsom salt for about twenty minutes and cleaned everything. All her "parts" receded, but they are very bright red. I wasn't sure if I should push things back all the way or not, it is still very red and puffy. I treated with neosporin and she is sleeping inside in a box. We made it dark to prevent her from laying again tomorrow. We are not sure if this was her first egg or not, but it was a big one. We did have a big egg about a week ago, a double yoke. She just started doing "the squat" so I think it may have been her first, but I'm not sure. Is their anything else I should do? Will the tear in her duct heal? Can I buy over the counter anti-biotic? I'm afraid she'll get an infection inside. She has access to oyster shells and always has fresh water. I'll be heart broken if she doesn't make it. She's the sweetest thing and even jumps up on my lap for petting. If anybody has any advice, I'd sure appreciate it.
Gee, I'm sorry but, I can't offer any advice. Most of the other greeters are offline for now and won't come on till maybe 8-9 am. or so. You can post with full details at "Emergencies, diseases, injuries, cures," thread (put that in search box if you can't find it) but, I have no idea if anyone monitors it during these early am hours.

You could also put "Prolapsed vent," in the search box, to get some DIU pointers, what you are doing for her sounds right. I've heard of people giving some Tums to up the calcium

I truly hope someone will show up and be able to help you.
Welcome to BYC. Sounds like prolapse. The tear should heal with continued use of neosporin. I recommend that you type "Prolapse" in the BYC search box and read about it, there's plenty of info about it.
Glad you joined us!

I would definitely post this in the emergencies section. Good luck with your hen!
Hello there and welcome to BYC!

So sorry about your bird. Yes, this sounds like prolapse. You need to keep her in a semi darkened area for a few weeks to keep her from laying. Only 8 hours of not too bright light, 16 hours of complete darkness. This should help stop her from laying. No high protein goodies. Just her chicken feed. Too much protein leads to egg laying. trim the feathers around her vent and apply Preperation H to her vent and inside as well. This will help to bring down the swelling to keep the uterus inside her.

Here is a thread from a member that had a hen with prolapse. I have not read this entire thing, but maybe you can glean some info from it...

And you can also post this in our emergency section for more help as well...

When she does seem to have recovered, make sure she has plenty of layer feed and oyster shell on the side. Limit the goodies so the flock is eating a good diet. Hopefully the lack of light for a while throws her into a molt and thus will give her more time to heal.

Good luck with your girl. I hope she can help up from this and return to good health soon.
Thanks for all the help. I re-posted over in the emergencies section - just want to make sure I'm doing everything I can.
Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

Yes this sounds like prolapse.

You need to get her out of direct light as this may encourage her to lay which you don't want. Don't even give her a full 10 hours of light. She shouldn't eat protein but just some regular feed. No eggs, oatmeal, etc.

Prolapse occurs when there is degeneration to the muscular system responsible for laying. It can occur when the shell of eggs is not forming properly due to a lack of calcium. Soft shelled eggs are harder to pass through the oviduct and can cause this strain injury. Hens can also be more prone to this injury if they are being forced to continue laying beyond their natural laying cycle. A hen may also have issues with her conformation that make her more prone to develop a prolapse (pinched tail, wry tail and other bone or muscular issues).

After applying a lubricating hemorrhoid cream, push the tissue back inside the vent, and isolate the bird until she is healed.

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