Growth/dead skin under vent area on our hen

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by fivetreehillfarm, Jul 27, 2010.

  1. fivetreehillfarm

    fivetreehillfarm New Egg

    Jul 27, 2010
    We have an older rhode island red (maybe 4-5) not sure if she actually lays anymore, eating and drinking normally, but not quite as active as she has in the past. I noticed that she was missing most of the "fluff" on her underside, and what I thought was dried poop. Upon further investigation, I got her out to clean up the poop with some Nolvasan scrub, but it wasn't poop after all. Don't even know how to describe it other than what appears to be necrotic skin/growth below the vent. Also that entire area below is red and irritated looking. I will take a picture and upload tomorrow, but wondered if anyone could give me a clue as to what's going on with her. I flushed out the skin/wound and flushed out a maggot! UGH! I applied Neosporin to hopefully keep any other flies out. Help!

    Thank you!
  2. dreamgirl

    dreamgirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2007
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Sounds like she either had an injury that didn't heal or maybe (grosser) she had poop or egg (craked while sitting or shelless) stuck in her feathers and with the humidity and all it rotted the skin. The maggot definately indicates necrotic tissue, and, gross though it is, they do a good job of cleaning up dead tissue. Either way, you did the right thing in cleaning and flushing it. I would make sure to keep it clean and dry, check it 1-2x/day, and maybe put some triple antibiotic ointment on it, or better yet, Swat (available at most feed stores, it helps healing and keeping flys away--it's in the horse section). Good luck!
  3. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Do you mean dead skin, when you say Necrotic? A pic would definitely be helpful....Here's a really interesting bit of trivia....maggots are totally gross, BUT they eat only dead tissue, and are very beneficial to the healing process.......(eww, but oh)!
  4. fivetreehillfarm

    fivetreehillfarm New Egg

    Jul 27, 2010
    Thank you for your replies...I have horses so do have some Swat...good to know it works on the chickens too!
  5. Casey3043

    Casey3043 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I would advise you to keep a very close eye on this. I had a RIR hen who had a lot of poop stuck on her butt, and seemed quieter and not as active as before. When I brought her in and washed her, there was a reddened area under her vent. I put her back out with the others, and a couple of days later noticed she was poopy again. I washed her again, and now there was an open wound there, and maggots were in there. I flushed them out but couldn't get them all, so I put poultry dust and neosporin on it and kept her in where the flies couldn't get to her, but it was too late. She died within a couple of days.

    I never did know the reason for her developing this wound, but when you notice a hen not acting right and there are maggots in her wound, it's time to take action. I wish I had done so earlier.

    Best of luck with yours. Let us know how it goes.
  6. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    Medicinal maggots...
    If the poster is in one of the areas that does not have screw worm, the maggots present are likely only eating dead tissue. Still, in an uncontrolled situation it is best to get it and them off. But yes, in *some* instances the maggots are not harming the animal- and may be helping by debriding the area and secreting antibacterial substances. Some species (rabbits) can go rapidly into shock from substances secreted by the maggots- so don't assume they are safe for all. In general in livestock- maggots do more bad than good, as the situation is too uncontrolled. In human medicine the maggots are applied in packages or under dressings, and removed every few days & replaced as needed. They don't get to mature and breed & lay eggs. Maggots don't like betadine, so so dilute betadine is good to use to wash them away. Better to flush them away, than grab them with tweezers as grabbing them is more likely to make them secrete their toxins.


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