Just joined, and already a crisis. Chicken drama ahead!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Mehitabel, Aug 26, 2016.

  1. Mehitabel

    Mehitabel Just Hatched

    Hello,fellow backyard chicken fans. I promise I will do a proper introduction in the newcomer Forum but it would ease my mind greatly if I could get your thoughts on what's happening with my 5 month old Columbian Rock hen.

    She was acting strangely for a couple of days, settling herself in large containers and half barrels, so I thought she was trying to lay her first egg. When I checked her a couple of days ago I saw that she had a mass of bloody tissue hanging out. I immediately thought she was either egg bound or had a prolapsed vent. After a warm Epsom salt bath I was able to get a much closer look and from what I can tell it appears to actually be a rectal prolapse (there is no sign of an egg anywhere in the oviduct, and she's a gentle and patient girl who stood completely still while I probed and worked on her). There's a great deal of white matter around the protruding tube, and I cleaned away as much of it as I could at the time. Then a thick coat of unpasturized honey and off to a hospital box in a dark room with food and water. The next morning I found her standing over an enormous bowl of almost Solid Waste, larger than a golf ball. That must have hurt.

    I kept her inside for a couple more days giving her warm epson salt baths, and coating her vent with both honey and an ointment similar to Preparation H. After two days she didn't have any tissue hanging out, her cloaca seemed muscular and strong. She seemed to have recovered completely, was anxious to get back outside, and was eating and drinking happily. She had been passing feces with no problem. So I took her out and let her rejoin the flock.

    A couple of hours later and she's back in the house. She was pecked in the face by one of her sisters (minor wound, should heal fine) but I noticed the prolapse protruding a bit while she was straining standing in the yard and one of the girls started pecking at it. So I grabbed her and brought her into the house before things got bloody.

    Am I missing something obvious? I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong. She's got a lovely personality, follows me everywhere and loves to tell me all about her day. I'd like to save her if I can.
  2. rita77

    rita77 Just Hatched

    Jun 13, 2016
    Pittsburgh, Pa

    Welcome and sorry about your hens problem. I've been reading a lot lately and most recently read quite a few threads about prolapses. First I want to say that I have not experienced this in any of my flock. Everything that I read says that once it happens, prolapses tend to return. You just have to be very diligent about checking her often and putting everything back when you see it. It seems that what you described was exactly what you are supposed to do. If you search the forums for "prolapsed vent" I think you'll be able to find plenty of information on this topic to keep you going in the right direction. I'm sure someone else with experience will answer your question soon! Good luck!
  3. Cluckcluck1215

    Cluckcluck1215 Overrun With Chickens

    Hmmm...so sorry about your little girl.

    It does sound like prolapsed vent.from much I read(as rita77 said)it does seem to return.im not sure how to treat it.

    @Wyorp Rock

    Prayers for the little girl! :fl
  4. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Flock Master

    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    Welcome to BYC.

    Photos are always welcome too.

    Sometimes prolapse treatment has to be repeated.
    Wash her up good and give her soak in an epsom salts bath. If she poops during the process[​IMG] just clean her up after her bath. Apply some vetericyn if you have it, if not a little plain neosporin since she was pecked. Let her dry for a few minutes, then apply your honey or some hemorrhoid cream - gently push the prolapse back in. You may need to hold it in for a little while. If it comes back out, repeat your process. Even if it stays in you may want to give her another soak and clean up later in the day, then reapply your honey or cream.

    Keep her separated, and in a darkened room. Give her some extra calcium like TUMS or liquid calcium. If you have some poultry vitamins add that to her water. Make sure she is drinking and eating - some extra protein like some egg, tuna or mackerel may give her a little boost as well.

    Let us know how she is doing.

    Here's a bit more detailed info:
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  5. Mehitabel

    Mehitabel Just Hatched

    Thank you so much for your advice and encouragement. I think now that I probably rushed her outside too quickly after just a couple of days. The prolapse is... Quite strange. When I set her on my shower chair and wash her bottom with a spray of warm water, she always lets go with what appears to be a lot of water with bits of regular textured chicken poop. I've been assuming that this is a result of the irritation of her colon from my cleaning her up, combined with the water she is steadily drinking.

    When she does poop you can see the prolapse - or at least the thing that I called a prolapse - push out for a few seconds, and then she draws it back in on her own with no trouble. Possibly the muscles in that area have been temporarily weakened from the past few days? That's the only conclusion I can come up with, but I'm new to this condition. I haven't had to do any manual manipulation of her vent to get parts inside, although I do continue to put on the honey and hemorrhoid cream.

    Even with this new waterfall of fecal matter she is not lethargic, moving around quite a lot and aggressively diving into her food.

    I have a tendency to let myself get a bit more stressed out over this than I normally would. I was widowed not long ago so I'm especially sensitive to external stressors. That makes this a battle on two fronts: keeping her as stress-free as possible so she has the best chance at recovery, and keeping myself from needlessly freaking out over things that I can do something about. I know all too well how animals pick up on our emotional states, and the best thing I can do for her is to let my imagination run wild. Of course I will have her culled if there is no hope and she is suffering, but considering her overall energy level and attitude I don't think she's at that point.

    Your help is hugely appreciated. I'll try to borrow a neighbor's camera; I'm afraid my own went to Electronics Heaven a while back.
  6. Mehitabel

    Mehitabel Just Hatched

    Oh, and I took your advice and scrambled her up a fresh egg. She gobbled it down greedily (I sprinkled it with a probiotic powder I sometimes use for myself). Then I took her back into a shower for another spraying, and this time she didn't release any waste at all. There was a bit of spasming of the cloaca (perhaps the vagus nerve has been over stimulated the past couple of days?) But everything was kept nice and tidy inside, even after I applied the Hemorrhoid ointment. It was good to see her dive in with such an appetite.
  7. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Flock Master

    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
  8. Mehitabel

    Mehitabel Just Hatched

    Some days it seems like everything happens all at once.

    I had barely finished reading Wyorp Rock's reply when I heard an ungodly screeching coming from the office ( temporary Chicken hospital.) I ran in to find a very surprised chicken looking at this large brown oval thing that had just emerged from her bottom. A bottom that did not show any sign of a prolapse, either from the colon or the oviduct.

    I think that's probably a good sign. :)
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2016
  9. Cluckcluck1215

    Cluckcluck1215 Overrun With Chickens

    The that's think must be. A egg.
  10. chickcrack

    chickcrack Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 27, 2016
    Ontario, Canada

    A very good sign [​IMG]
    Nice job doctor you just delivered her first egg. Sounds like her body had a bit of trouble adjusting to being an egg layer maybe. She should feel better now but i would keep an eye on her for the next few days to make sure her next egg passes a little easier.
    I read your thread yesterday so been checking in when I was on. I'm very sorry for your loss.

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