HELP! My chook keeps getting vent prolapse.....

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by chickenpatch, Mar 10, 2015.

  1. chickenpatch

    chickenpatch Chillin' With My Peeps

    115
    13
    63
    Jan 28, 2015
    My little white chicken, Fifi, is about 5 years old, and constantly gets vent prolapses.

    Yesterday was her fourth vent prolapse, although it was quite small and only last 1 hour, I'm still worried for her. Her third time was the worst. I literally thought she was going to die.
    I don't know what is causing this and how to stop it, she lays eggs rarely.
    She gets them about 1 month apart from each other.

    Please help.
    Should I feed her something different? Medication? Cream?
    [​IMG]
     
  2. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

    4,905
    587
    286
    Apr 8, 2013
    Australia
    I'd add cold pressed extra virgin olive oil to her diet, a tablespoon a week roughly, more won't hurt but that's the least amount I'd give per week; you can easily drizzle it onto some wholemeal bread, or her grains or some other treat; it helps keep the mucosal membranes flexible and lubricated, which helps prevent prolapses. Vitamin E is also one of the 'fertility nutrients' so called because lack of it quickly shows in obvious problems like this; while vitamin E is added to their feeds, it's cooked and often synthetic forms, which do not act the same in the body.

    Personally I think she might need to go to a vet and get 'desexed', since such a repeated series of incidents is putting her at exacerbated risk more and more with every incident. Some vets remove one or both ovaries to prevent further problems like this. She should not be bred because there is often a strong genetic component to this problem.

    If you're absolutely sure she's not hiding eggs or eating them, or they're otherwise going missing, one egg per month definitely indicates something is quite amiss. Your hen may have tumors of the reproductive tract or other disorders which require veterinary intervention because there's pretty much nothing you can do at home. Such disorders are quite common and it's not necessarily a death sentence but she definitely sounds like she needs to be stopped from laying permanently if you want her to live much longer.

    Witch hazel extract or raspberry leaf tea is often used to 'tone' and strengthen the female reproductive system, however raspberry can induce contractions so I'd only use it externally, and the witch hazel is used externally to cause the membranes to tighten while correcting a prolapse. I've heard of some vets using white granulated sugar for the same purpose but unlike the herbal teas it's not cleansing and can directly feed harmful bacteria etc so I personally would not introduce it to any situation where infection is a concern. Some people make pads they apply to a hen's vent soaked in witch hazel, rosemary tea, or raspberry tea, to help prevent the prolapse from occurring again, but in a repeat prolapser the issue is likely to require medical intervention and prevention of reproductive processes, so, not ever being bred again, being desexed if necessary, etc. That info covers a few species from dogs to cows to poultry but in this case given the severity of the issue I would suggest you get her desexed.

    Some questions might help shed some light on the issue, if you can answer them:

    What diet do you have her on?

    What's her general state of health (color of comb, behavior, color and consistency of poops, etc)?

    Is she prolapsing while trying to lay, so, the reproductive 'gear' is prolapsing, or is it her bowels?

    Does it occur while she's not in lay?

    If you feel her abdomen, does she have a very bloated one compared to other hens?

    Best wishes.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. chickenpatch

    chickenpatch Chillin' With My Peeps

    115
    13
    63
    Jan 28, 2015
    Thankyou so much for your reply. Its a big help, but I won't be able to de-sex her.

    To answer your questions:

    I have her on a sorghum-free grain mix, with regular fresh fruits with occasional vegies. They also get 3 hours of strict free ranging time, I have to keep guard because Eagles love to patrol the area. They have 1 acre specially fenced flat land, all for themselves, the grass is mowed every week and they have lots of dirt to dust bath in. There are no weeds or un-known plants in the area, they are all toxin free, trust me, I checked every thing and even ended up chopping down two beautiful trees. Call me paranoid or crazy, haha, but I also check for predators before I let them out, since goannas and snakes love to sneak around. [​IMG]

    She is very healthy. No mites and I recently wormed her. Her comb is always a bright and healthy red. She is one psycho chook and loves to dust bath, especially in wet dirt.

    I noticed she prolapsed in the afternoon. In the morning she'd be perfectly fine, but once the afternoon hits, so does her prolapse. But the next morning she'd be fine, only with a naked bottom.

    She lays about once every 1-2 weeks. But I haven't managed to track what day.

    Her abdomen feels fine at the moment. But bloated during prolapses,


    I keep a very close eye on my girls. I check anything and everything on them. I'd always be sure to have them the happiest and healthiest chooks in the world. So I'm worried about Fifi. Thankyou for your help.
     
  4. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

    4,905
    587
    286
    Apr 8, 2013
    Australia
    Sounds like you've been quite careful and she's in decent health, I'm betting this is likely genetic anyway unfortunately.

    Do you know what breed she is, at all? Is it possible she's a broiler breed? Lots of them are crossed with layer breeds to make terminal crosses for the meat industry but some are sold as culls (often under incorrect names) despite the almost certain guarantee of them having serious health problems later on. A white hen that doesn't lay often and has reproductive issues is almost guaranteed to be a meat/broiler breed hen.

    Her abdomen being bloated when she prolapses can indicate it's due to egg peritonitis.
    Quote: Quote from the link above:

    "When hens have too many large ovarian follicles, a problem described as erratic oviposition and defective egg syndrome (EODES) is seen in broiler breeders. This condition is accompanied by a high incidence of double-yolked eggs, prolapses of the oviduct, internal ovulation, and/or internal laying that often results in egg peritonitis and mortality. EODES is prevented by avoiding light stimulation of underweight pullets too early and by following guidelines for body weight and uniformity, and lighting recommendations for each breeder strain. Overweight hens may also have a higher incidence of erratic ovulations and mortality associated with egg peritonitis."

    Despite the high incidence of double yolkers expected that's not a guaranteed symptom so it's worth considering as a cause.

    Unfortunately there's not generally too much you can do if this is the case with your hen, bar desexing her, but as you've said that is not an option. Maybe a Suprelorin implant might work, but it doesn't work for all hens it's tried on, like any contraceptive I guess.
    Quote: "Egg yolk peritonitis (the presence of yolk material in the coelomic cavity) is a common cause of abdominal distension in birds. Yolk material by itself induces a mild inflammatory response and may be reabsorbed by the peritoneum. Because yolk is an excellent growth medium for bacteria, peritonitis may result from secondary bacterial infection. Localized to diffuse fibrinous peritonitis may result, and may lead to secondary ascites and organ inflammation or compromise in chronic cases."

    Some general info below on egg and reproductive system disorders (for example irregular laying can also be caused by respiratory infection, which quite often doesn't show other symptoms. This occurs because the cells targeted by those infections, in the respiratory system, are the same type of cells found in the reproductive system):
    Quote: Quote from another site: "Recently, vets have been experimenting with Suprelorin Implants to stop hens from laying for a while, giving them a chance to recover."

    If worst comes to worst and you can't afford any help or figure something out that works which you can afford, it may well be kinder to put her down humanely because cases experiencing repeated prolapses tend to only go in one direction, eventually killing the animal.

    Best wishes.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by