How Often Do You Check Vents?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by moderndayhippy, May 30, 2010.

  1. moderndayhippy

    moderndayhippy Out Of The Brooder

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    I am wondering how often I should be checking my hens' vents? We checked 4 of our 9 girls today, and all looked fine (at least I think they did). I am gathering from what I've read thus far, that if they had a prolapse, I'd definitely know it, as well as being egg bound (it'd be bulging and very noticeable, correct?). Is that all I should be looking for, and how often do you check your flock's vents?

    I'll be checking the rest out tomorrow, so knowing if there's anything else I should be looking for would be great.

    Thank you again for all of your help and answering my questions. I really appreciate it.
     
  2. NancyinAlaska

    NancyinAlaska Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've only had one prolapse and I knoew it because the others were chasing her around to peck at her vent. I've had several hens go egg bound and die.............. and their vent was not bulging and noticeable, it was their behavior that was different. Personally........ I don't check vents..................... but I may be wrong.
     
  3. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    good, I don't check them either!
     
  4. Buttercup Chillin

    Buttercup Chillin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 27, 2008
    SouthEast TX
    Never, just watch your chicckens.
     
  5. MotherJean

    MotherJean Chillin' With My Peeps

    Guess I'm the odd one out. I check vents (actually the whole bird gets a good looking over) about once a week in the course of normal handling of my chickens. Of course, I only have a small flock (8 birds) and I try to give each one a little individual attention. After I've fed, watered, and cleaned up pen and coop, I generally pick out a least one hen to pick up and pet. In the process, I'm peeking under wings, looking at the vent and tail feathers, checking eyes, messing with their feet. I enjoy holding my birds and in the process I'm getting them used to being held and examined in case I ever need to treat them for a disease or injury. Just as important, I'm able to spot lost weight, or dull eyes, or other symptoms in a pretty timely fashion. At eight weeks, my girls are quite comfortable with being picked up and handled. They don't even duck and dodge anymore when I go to pick them up. I love that. Really hate that whole "chicken rodeo" routine.
     
  6. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    I sit in a chair on the patio, while they have their morning snack. While they are milling around, eating their sunflower seeds, I look at their feet, legs, combs, eyes, butts and general condition. I watch for signs of scaly leg mites, healthy comb color, nails that need trimming, bright eyes, discharges from eyes or nostrils that could mean illness, injuries, limping and general health. I don't look at their vents closely at this time, just a glance, in case anyone has diarrhea. During warm months, I do check their vents from time to time, just to make sure they don't have a problem with mites. In winter, I look them over either in the coop or the run. I pay extra attention to checking their combs and toes for frost bite.
     
  7. moderndayhippy

    moderndayhippy Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you for the responses!

    Do you just trim their nails with a dog nail clipper? How far down should you trim? I ask because a few of my Buffs have some long nails. A few of them have actually broken off and I feel badly for them. They were wonky from them having scaly leg mites, but now that that's under control and their legs and feet are looking better, their nails seem to be going back to normal too.

    Also.....if chickens have mites, is it super noticeable? Like especially around the vent area I'm guessing from what people have said?

    Thanks again for all of the help. Seems like I'm learning a lot as I go along.
     
  8. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    Yes, you can just use a dog nail clipper. On chickens with light nails, you should be able to see the pink of the blood in the vein at the base of the nail. Out towards the tip, the vein will have receded and it is safe to cut. For really long nails, you can cut some of the tip off and the blood supply will gradually recede over time and then you can cut more off. If you make a mistake and the nail bleeds, you can press some flour into the end of the nail, to help it clot. When in doubt, just snip a bit off the tip. [​IMG]

    Mites look like tiny dark specks, almost like dirt, except that they move. If they have mites, it's very noticeable at the vent. That's for the type of mites that live on the chickens, which is the only kind I've ever seen. There's another kind that is more common in warmer climates, that hide in the coop cracks and litter during the day. That kind comes out at night and feeds on the chickens while they are roosting. For that kind, you take a flashlight out to the coop and check them at night.
     

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