What to do about red butt on chicken

BarnDoorClosed

Chirping
May 24, 2018
76
173
97
I have a 9yo RIR hen that does not walk well. She had an unknown injury this summer and has recovered but walks slower now and at times lays down alot, since she has a wobbly walk now she has to take brakes often. From taking so many brakes she can ,at times, get crap stuck to her feathers, matted even, so I cut the poop out with scissors. Now she has exposed skin on her rear and it's getting very red and looks painful. What can I add topical to it, to help?? YES, I learned from this and will not cut feathers going forward I'll use a rag to get the poop off. Lesson learned, the hard way, per my usual, and at my hens butt's expense. Poor girl. I'll post a pic. Just need to know what topical will help redness and possibly soreness. No blisters or abrasions at all just red skin and ONLY red where I cut the feathers. Thanks!!
20181101_112910.jpg
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
23,293
33,327
1,122
Colorado Rockies
Vetericyn wound treatment is the best topical there is. It kills bacteria while promoting healthy new tissue.

Did you notice the redness appearing after you removed the butt feathers?

Does your hen have a wide stance and walk with a waddle?

Has she been laying normally?

Has she been passing small bits of yellow waxy objects with her poop?

Is her appetite normal?
 

BarnDoorClosed

Chirping
May 24, 2018
76
173
97
Vetericyn wound treatment is the best topical there is. It kills bacteria while promoting healthy new tissue.

Did you notice the redness appearing after you removed the butt feathers?

Does your hen have a wide stance and walk with a waddle?

Has she been laying normally?

Has she been passing small bits of yellow waxy objects with her poop?

Is her appetite normal?
Thank you I'll get some! All I have on hand is cut heal and its greasy and stinks.

She walks with a limp now. Several months ago she had an injury, and notes, so I treated her for 2 months until she got where she is now and that's where she walks with the limp.

The red spot was not there whenbi cut the poop from her feathers.

Poop is normal, appetite is normal, when she could not walk at all she still layed an egg for me everyday for those 2 months and has not layed at all the last 2 months until a few days ago and she layed a smaller (medium) size egg not her usual (large). She is old and it's getting chilly here and she always stops egg laying all together when the weather changes.

Her stance is not wide at all. She walks literally stepping on one foot with the other. Like crossing her legs when she walks and stands the same way with one foot on the other. When she had an injury months ago, she was let out of the lot with everyone else that morning, walked fine like a normal chicken, came in that evening to roost using her wings as support like her leg was broke, and it wasn't broke. Now she has days where she walks using her wing as balance, and she has days like today where she walks with a hop like her foot hurts, but feet are healthy looking. It's odd I never found what actually happen to her I just treated symptoms until she got better. Vet said no breaks or obvious injury aside from several possible le diseases her med book said it could be( the vet admitted to not having any experience with a chicken) so I took her disease suggestions with a grain of salt after I read about each one and she had no symptoms of any.
 

rebrascora

Free Ranging
5 Years
Feb 14, 2014
7,127
8,752
556
Consett Co.Durham. UK
Firstly I would like to say that you have done really well to get a production bird to 9 years old. She must have some good genetics. I hope you have raised some chicks from her.
To me her abdomen looks swollen as well as red. Have you compared it to other hens? This is best done at night whilst they are roosting, by cupping your hand between their legs from behind and feeling for any fullness. Unless her posture is more upright, that part of her body should not be coming into contact with the ground and poop sticking to it. My guess would be that it is her own poop snagging on her feathers because she is a little swollen. Poop would be sticking further forward if it was from resting frequently on soiled ground. Don't beat yourself up about clipping the feathers. Once poop gets caked on, it is like concrete and only a good long soak will get it off. A damp cloth will not do it and even then it is not practical to be getting her wet in the middle of winter. Those feathers are better removed so that you can see if there are any sores developing. The skin looks fine at the moment apart from the redness, which may be as much from exposure to the sun as the cold.... you don't specify your location, so I'm not sure if that is likely in your climate..... a person in California has a different idea of cold to someone in Alaska! I would just apply a good slather of Petroleum Jelly to keep the skin protected and supple or any other greasy ointment you have. I have a thick pink salve which is produced for wounds on horses and contains a little citronella to keep flies off and I use that for such things on chickens and it works great on scaly leg mite too, although your girl's legs clearly don't need that..... at 9 years old her legs look amazing!

As regards her problem with walking a couple of months ago, that sounds very much like an outbreak of Marek's disease to me. I have had several birds make limited or even full recovery from such sudden debility. Some took months to regain enough use to free range whilst others miraculously fully recovered after a few days. Most of what you read about Marek's is the worst case scenarios because those are usually the ones that get diagnosed (via necropsy when the bird dies) but there are milder strains where birds can recover from outbreaks but unfortunately will be prone to others in the future usually at times of stress. Your girl is old to be exhibiting the disease (it tends to hit adolescent birds most frequently), but it may be that now she is older her immune system is not so strong and it is surfacing or perhaps she has only recently been exposed to the virus this past summer. Of course it also may not be Marek's, it just sounds identical to how some of my Marek's birds have developed symptoms.

I would probably check and regularly monitor her breast condition.... feeling the breast bone area of the bird gives you an indication of their overall body condition. If the bird starts to lose muscle and the bone becomes prominent and sharp under the skin, that is a good indication that there is an underlying illness or internal problems. Muscle wastage is another symptom of Marek's, but like all Marek's symptoms, it may or may not happen. I would be inclined to give her some extra special treats like a little meat (a few small slivers of raw liver are good or cottage cheese or scrambled egg a couple of times a week and a good quality poultry vitamin supplement like Poultry Cell or Nutri Drench to support her immune system and a good slather of grease on that butt every couple of days.

Good luck with her.
 

Wyorp Rock

🐓 ❤ 🐛
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Sep 20, 2015
36,568
51,386
1,332
Southern N.C. Mountains
Thank you I'll get some! All I have on hand is cut heal and its greasy and stinks.

She walks with a limp now. Several months ago she had an injury, and notes, so I treated her for 2 months until she got where she is now and that's where she walks with the limp.

The red spot was not there whenbi cut the poop from her feathers.

Poop is normal, appetite is normal, when she could not walk at all she still layed an egg for me everyday for those 2 months and has not layed at all the last 2 months until a few days ago and she layed a smaller (medium) size egg not her usual (large). She is old and it's getting chilly here and she always stops egg laying all together when the weather changes.

Her stance is not wide at all. She walks literally stepping on one foot with the other. Like crossing her legs when she walks and stands the same way with one foot on the other. When she had an injury months ago, she was let out of the lot with everyone else that morning, walked fine like a normal chicken, came in that evening to roost using her wings as support like her leg was broke, and it wasn't broke. Now she has days where she walks using her wing as balance, and she has days like today where she walks with a hop like her foot hurts, but feet are healthy looking. It's odd I never found what actually happen to her I just treated symptoms until she got better. Vet said no breaks or obvious injury aside from several possible le diseases her med book said it could be( the vet admitted to not having any experience with a chicken) so I took her disease suggestions with a grain of salt after I read about each one and she had no symptoms of any.
From your description, I think old age is catching up to her.
I agree that the abdomen looks a bit swollen, I would lean toward her starting to have some reproductive problems which can cause some difficulty walking due to fluid or masses in the abdomen.

Regardless of what's going on with her, sometimes the best you can do is try to keep them going and put them down when they decline.
Monitor her crop on a regular basis to see that it's empty in the mornings before she eats/drinks, check her for external parasites and watch to see that she is up and getting enough to eat/drink.
https://hencam.com/henblog/2013/11/caring-for-feeble-old-hens/
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
23,293
33,327
1,122
Colorado Rockies
I have an eight-year old hen that has a limp. When a chicken limps, it usually means that leg hurts, and they will be less active because of it. I give her baby aspirin every day and it has enabled her to lay about less than she was. I now see her up and about much more.

Congratulations for giving this old girl a nice long normal life. You can help her feel more like being active if you give her baby aspirin. You can give her a baby tablet in the morning and again later in the day. That might knock her pain back enough so she feels more spry.
 

BarnDoorClosed

Chirping
May 24, 2018
76
173
97
Firstly I would like to say that you have done really well to get a production bird to 9 years old. She must have some good genetics. I hope you have raised some chicks from her.
To me her abdomen looks swollen as well as red. Have you compared it to other hens? This is best done at night whilst they are roosting, by cupping your hand between their legs from behind and feeling for any fullness. Unless her posture is more upright, that part of her body should not be coming into contact with the ground and poop sticking to it. My guess would be that it is her own poop snagging on her feathers because she is a little swollen. Poop would be sticking further forward if it was from resting frequently on soiled ground. Don't beat yourself up about clipping the feathers. Once poop gets caked on, it is like concrete and only a good long soak will get it off. A damp cloth will not do it and even then it is not practical to be getting her wet in the middle of winter. Those feathers are better removed so that you can see if there are any sores developing. The skin looks fine at the moment apart from the redness, which may be as much from exposure to the sun as the cold.... you don't specify your location, so I'm not sure if that is likely in your climate..... a person in California has a different idea of cold to someone in Alaska! I would just apply a good slather of Petroleum Jelly to keep the skin protected and supple or any other greasy ointment you have. I have a thick pink salve which is produced for wounds on horses and contains a little citronella to keep flies off and I use that for such things on chickens and it works great on scaly leg mite too, although your girl's legs clearly don't need that..... at 9 years old her legs look amazing!

As regards her problem with walking a couple of months ago, that sounds very much like an outbreak of Marek's disease to me. I have had several birds make limited or even full recovery from such sudden debility. Some took months to regain enough use to free range whilst others miraculously fully recovered after a few days. Most of what you read about Marek's is the worst case scenarios because those are usually the ones that get diagnosed (via necropsy when the bird dies) but there are milder strains where birds can recover from outbreaks but unfortunately will be prone to others in the future usually at times of stress. Your girl is old to be exhibiting the disease (it tends to hit adolescent birds most frequently), but it may be that now she is older her immune system is not so strong and it is surfacing or perhaps she has only recently been exposed to the virus this past summer. Of course it also may not be Marek's, it just sounds identical to how some of my Marek's birds have developed symptoms.

I would probably check and regularly monitor her breast condition.... feeling the breast bone area of the bird gives you an indication of their overall body condition. If the bird starts to lose muscle and the bone becomes prominent and sharp under the skin, that is a good indication that there is an underlying illness or internal problems. Muscle wastage is another symptom of Marek's, but like all Marek's symptoms, it may or may not happen. I would be inclined to give her some extra special treats like a little meat (a few small slivers of raw liver are good or cottage cheese or scrambled egg a couple of times a week and a good quality poultry vitamin supplement like Poultry Cell or Nutri Drench to support her immune system and a good slather of grease on that butt every couple of days.

Good luck with her.
Thank you so much! So much great info in your reaponse!! I will put some coconut oil on her rump and legs today. She layed a medium egg for me this morning and was out of her nest alot earlier than she has been! Today is going to be a good day for her. I have a small flock of younger hens that I raised in the RIR(Annabelle) lot and when she had the symptoms this past summer nobody else showed any signs at all, just the old lady. It was odd. I live in NC so its starting to get chilly but not crazy bad right now. Annabelle is in her own lot and when I turn out the young hens daily I let a few in with her, they run to her lot to say hello, and after theh visit for a bit I let then out. They do not bother her, even in her gimpy state she is still the boss over them when they visit her. I do this so she doesn't get lonely or depressed, after reading this can happen to birds. I visit with her several times a day and will take her out to let her forage, I stay close by of course. I do believe you are correct t that her immune system may be weaker with old age and that may have led to whatever was wrong before. She has days now where it's not a good walking day and other days where she an move very well and fast with her wobble! Thank you again for the great info!
 

BarnDoorClosed

Chirping
May 24, 2018
76
173
97
From your description, I think old age is catching up to her.
I agree that the abdomen looks a bit swollen, I would lean toward her starting to have some reproductive problems which can cause some difficulty walking due to fluid or masses in the abdomen.

Regardless of what's going on with her, sometimes the best you can do is try to keep them going and put them down when they decline.
Monitor her crop on a regular basis to see that it's empty in the mornings before she eats/drinks, check her for external parasites and watch to see that she is up and getting enough to eat/drink.
https://hencam.com/henblog/2013/11/caring-for-feeble-old-hens/
Thank you for your reply. First thung every morning I go out and make sure she is up and out of the nest, if she isn't then I get her out and make sure she eats/drinks/pooping etc. If i didnt have inside dogs she would live inside with me! Lol
 

BarnDoorClosed

Chirping
May 24, 2018
76
173
97
I have an eight-year old hen that has a limp. When a chicken limps, it usually means that leg hurts, and they will be less active because of it. I give her baby aspirin every day and it has enabled her to lay about less than she was. I now see her up and about much more.

Congratulations for giving this old girl a nice long normal life. You can help her feel more like being active if you give her baby aspirin. You can give her a baby tablet in the morning and again later in the day. That might knock her pain back enough so she feels more spry.
Thank you for your reply. I forgot to mention I do give her aspirin every other day. I have low dose that are chewable so I dissolve them in water and give to her by mouth and that has helped alot in her walking.
 

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