HELP-One chicken dead, 2 more showing same symptoms of bloody vent

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by mjm073, May 14, 2011.

  1. mjm073

    mjm073 Out Of The Brooder

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    Someone plese help me figure out what is wrong with my hens. I had one pass away a few days ago that was showing the same symptoms. I thought it was egg bound, but after a lot of research it doesn't seem to be this anymore. I have two that are showing the same symptoms that the other one did that passed away. Their vents are very swollen and bloody. All the hair is plucked out from around the vent area. They seem to struggle when they use the bathroom, but they do seem be able to use the bathroom. We soaked their bottoms in warm water yesterday thinking it was egg bound, but they still seem to be struggling today. They are 6 months old. We called the company we bought them from and they said it was the food we were giving them that they were too young to be on egg laying type food. But the chickens we have raised before were on the same fodo and never had these problems. We are starting to think it may be some intestinal disorder due to overbreeding but are not too sure. Any help would be greatly appreciated! We really don't want to lose anymore pets!

    We can't take them to the vet because no one in our area treats chickens so please any advice is appreciated.
     
  2. Miyashi

    Miyashi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I hope someone can help you. <3 [​IMG]
     
  3. mjm073

    mjm073 Out Of The Brooder

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    Me too! I wanted to post pics but since I am still a new member it won't allow me to do so.
     
  4. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    What is needed I think is a lot more information. How many hens and roosters, size of coop and run, do they free range, what exactly do you feed them including treats and scraps, have you seen any of them attacking any of the others, for a start.
     
  5. mjm073

    mjm073 Out Of The Brooder

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    I haven't seen any of them attacking each other but I have seen them peck at the ones vent area at times. I separated the two that were having problems. They both have swollen vent areas and there is a yellow substance that is draining out of the area. There are no feathers around the vent area. When they use the bathroom they definitely seem to be struggling and that's usually when a lot of the yellow substance drains out. Their vent is almost always making a pulsating movement and they seem to always need to go to the bathroom. I thought it was egg binding but there doesn't seem to be an egg there because it is no big bulge. I also considered prolapse but it doesn't seem to be that because it doesn't look like intestines or anything are coming out. I do also notice an odor coming from the vent area. They are kept in a coop at night, but we usually let them out in a fenced in yard which is pretty large during the day. We have 8 hens and 3 ducks that stay together.

    I really would appreciate any help. I have pictures if there is anyway for me to send them to someone.
     
  6. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    The yellow sure sounds like a broken egg that is coming out. Of course it could be something else; that is just a guess. If it looks anything at all like broken egg, you might also want to add a Tums to their water for several days, for the calcium. They need to eat mostly layer feed with oyster shell on the side, and only small amounts of table scraps or scratch. If they were mine I'd also add some animal protein, maybe canned mackerel or some freezer burned meat in my freezer, cooked in the microwave. You were wise to separate them; they need the protection til they heal. Whatever started this, once there is a wound, any chicken will attack it.

    Good luck.
     
  7. Erica

    Erica Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Were they laying soft shelled eggs before this happened? Or have they just come into lay?

    Sometimes soft shelled eggs break inside the bird, and unfortunately the egg yolk etc is a great medium to support bacterial growth. An infection often results (also known as EYP, egg yolk peritonitis). This is very hard to treat. I would always suspect this in cases of yellow and smelly discharge. However you've got the added issue of vent damage, which makes it a little complicated as to what came first.

    Another possibility is that one of your other hens is a vent-picker and is attacking these birds so badly that the eggs aren't able to be laid (due to damage to the vent and internal organs). Again the prognosis isn't good (same with prolapse in general).

    I would keep these birds separate and quiet, in darkness if possible, and feed them only low protein feed like grain. This will force a moult to give their reproductive system a break (and let them try to heal).

    Then I would reassess the whole situation (including the possibility of vent pickers). If you've seen some of that behaviour then you might want to remove the pickers, or make sure (if it's happening after and not before the initial injury, i.e. if the picking didn't cause the initial injury) that they have other fun things to pick at. Using blue spray on the injuries can help if you decide to keep injured birds in the flock.

    Just a small point about feeding young birds layer diets: the people you bought the birds off are quite right. Giving young birds (under 14 weeks with commercial layers, probably under 18 weeks for other birds) a high calcium diet can cause a malfunction in their calcium absorption system, and may result in permanent damage. When they do come into lay they *may* lay soft shelled eggs and as a result get EYP because they can't absorb enough calcium to make good shells. It may not happen but it's something to beware of (and that's why feeds are separated by age). Another issue that can happen is that the lower protein in layer feed makes young birds seek protein elsewhere. The obvious source to satisfy this craving can be, unfortunately, the vents of other birds, or feathers etc.

    I hope you get to the bottom of it -- I'm not a guru but these are some things I learned the hard way. Apologies if they don't apply in your case.

    regards
    Erica
     
  8. Kelly's Chickens

    Kelly's Chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a 2 year old hatchery hen who about 4 weeks ago had something sticking out of her vent that looked like intestines. It was real clean but I gave her a bath and pushed what I thought were her intestines back in. She was fine after that and didn't show any signs of illness until last night. I checked her over really well before bedtime but I didn't see anything out of the ordinary. This morning she had what looked like intestines sticking out of her vent. I brought her in the house and gave her a bath. I realized it wasn't intestines it was the albumin of her egg! This time the white part of the actual egg was still attached to the albumin but there wasn't any yolk or shell. I pulled off all I could get without hurting her. This afternoon (about an hour ago) I pulled off more albumin. She is really listless and not eating. I don't see any damage to her vent area and the other girls are leaving her alone. She is usually very active and the loudest one to let the others know when I coming to see them. My 18 girls and one rooster are pastured behind 364 ft of electro net fence with lots of grass, trees and bugs. They are fed wheat, oats, sunflower seeds, and brown rice free choice along with free choice oyster shell.
    Could this be EYP from the yolk not expelling with the rest of the egg? How do I treat it? Also I noticed her go in a nest box a few days ago and saw her come out. There was an egg in there so I assumed it was hers. Than about a half hour later she went back in the nest but left without laying an egg. She isn't broody so maybe she was having trouble laying then???
     
  9. Erica

    Erica Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Soft shelled eggs are very hard to lay. The bird can strain for hours without getting a grip to push it out. Then they get exhausted and listless. Infection can follow if the eggs has broken internally.

    She may come good on her own, if this is just a sporadic soft shell. Or it may be a sign of a major battle to come. It's not a battle many birds win, though I had one bird who had severe EYP and survived without treatment. She never laid again and developed rooster signs.

    You can try increasing calcium, increasing vitamin D (which allows calcium to be absorbed), or taking her off the lay using darkness and low protein feed. Infection may be treated with antibiotics if the vet feels there's a need. Or you could wait and see if it's just a one-off, in which case it might resolve.

    Best of luck, hope this helps (though I'm no expert),
    Erica
     
  10. Kelly's Chickens

    Kelly's Chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you Erica. She did seem better when I checked on her around 5:30 this evening. I was thinking I might need to isolate her in a dark place but I wasn't sure. This is most likely the second time she's tried to lay a soft shelled egg.How long do you think I should keep her in the dark?
     

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