Saggy bottom and missing vent feathers


Jun 25, 2021
Southeastern PA
Hi all - I need some help desperately! I have owned chickens for about a year and have come up on some bad luck. I had 3 Easter Eggers a few weeks ago. Two got killed by a raccoon while I was out of town and one survived. She was healthy and didn’t seem at all impacted by the attack. I didn’t want her to live alone and was fortunate to have a neighbor generously give me one of her chickens - a polish hen. This chicken was at the bottom of the pecking order in her coop and lost a lot of feathers because of it. She and my bird got along ok until earlier this week when my last Easter Egger started showing signs of distress - pale comb and lethargy. She sadly died last night. The polish chicken is fine but I’m afraid to get more chickens as she may be carrying a parasite or other deadly virus. I gave her a bath in an antiseptic today and was able to take some photos of her vent area. She has a saggy bottom and is missing lots of feathers. She’s in very sad shape. Any advice as to what she may have or how I should handle her would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!


  • 1B8B7433-B133-4D3C-B9A4-4862352189E4.jpeg
    455.3 KB · Views: 25
  • 148427E1-98D1-4935-A569-C0DEA8860B1B.jpeg
    490.7 KB · Views: 11
Can we get some photos of her face too?

I'm sorry to hear about your EE.

This Polish Gal, I'd look her over for lice and mites. If possible, get a fecal float through your vet to see if she's got worms. If not, then deworming her is probably a good idea. You don't mention where you're located in the world, so I'm going to assume the U.S. You can find Fenbendazole (Safeguard) at TSC.

The feather loss is cosmetic from being picked on. I see broken feathers, so those won't be replaced until she molts.
The saggy bottom. Does she lay eggs? When the bottom feathers are missing, the bottom does look a bit more saggy because it's not covered up, but it may be saggy due to she some extra fat, some fluid...hard to know.

There's always risk when you bring in or add new birds. No one can say it's 100% safe to add new birds, you'll have to make that decision.
Hi! So sorry for the delay! I was out of town and did not have a chance to take any photos of her face until today. I’ve attached them below. I really appreciate your response and hope it isn’t worms but a deworming treatment is easy enough to try. I do live in the US and have a Tractor Supply close by. I am amazed to see the improvement in her rump feathers after the antiseptic bath I gave her last week. I also tried to trim her crest feathers and noticed one of her eyes is always squinted so she may have a preexisting injury. She doesn’t seem to bothered being alone and seems to enjoy the ability to be a chicken without getting bullied. I do plan to return her to her prior owner now that my flock is gone and hope she can be a bit stronger with the other girls when that happens.


  • C8B5B523-9452-4CFE-8BAC-A1DF409C2C26.jpeg
    598.7 KB · Views: 9
  • 001E6C1B-0F9E-439B-86ED-373AE274401A.jpeg
    550.7 KB · Views: 9
  • DEA1FA6B-B3C2-40C7-893E-DD2C8AD5FB7F.jpeg
    753.3 KB · Views: 6
  • 986B7390-F890-49B0-AF15-22FB80E6E921.jpeg
    876.5 KB · Views: 5
She is feathering back in nicely since she's not being picked on and bullied.

Did you notice any lice or mites on her?
Looks like she may have a bit of facial swelling around the eye, hard to tell. If there is, you can put a bit of eye ointment in the eye to see if that helps.

I think she's improved under your care. She may have been to the point where she wasn't getting to eat/drink very well.
If she goes back to her flock, hopefully the original owner will set up some space so she can avoid the flock. Re-integration may be long and hard on her. If she was bullied then, she'll be bullied again.
Thanks for writing back! You are right about the eye swelling. I started another thread to see if anyone knows what’s going on there as I noticed it after clipping her crest. Here is another picture of her left side compared to her right.

I treated her with mite/lice spray but am going to use Electrol PSP as well. A friend is going to give me some this weekend and said it works wonders.

I was also curious about her beak and if there is anything wrong with it. She has enlarged holes compared to other birds I’ve had but I’ve also never has polish before.

And lastly, I am very concerned about reintegrating her into her prior flock as she appears to have been at the bottom of the pecking order. I don’t know what else to do. It’s breaking my heart to think of her being bullied again but I’m afraid to leave her alone for much longer. Any suggestions in that regard are welcome!


  • D18BAD35-52C8-4CD7-A240-AD542663997C.jpeg
    591.2 KB · Views: 4
  • 4F59DE75-7733-4CEF-94EA-7FA2D2BD3E41.jpeg
    550.7 KB · Views: 9
Not quite sure what's going on with the eye. I'd clean it with saline an put terramycin in the eye, see if that helps.

If she's got lice or mites, those may be an irritant to the face and eyes.

Hope you find a solution about what to do with her. Seem like having a lone hen can be a challenge. Sometimes they may be better off by themselves if they are bullied badly. Sometimes if they are integrated with younger birds that haven't formed a solid flock yet, they can do well.
Advertisement Purina Flock Layer

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom