Friday, January 20, 2012

What, What, Chicken Butt?

As I was letting the girls (and guy) out the other day, I noticed Gloria (pictured below) had something red on her bottom. I got closer, and yep, everything I read was true. If you have laying hens, you will have one or a few with a prolapsed oviduct. Man! And I didn't have my camera handy!!! Basically, the hole the egg comes out was turned inside out--and sticking out of her body! Sounds pretty traumatic, and I guess it is. Especially for the chicken. It's dangerous for several reasons. One, the other chickens will start pecking it, naturally attracted to the color red (ever notice poultry waterers and feeders are red???), and if the hen has an egg stuck, it could kill her. No fun. So, Shannon grabbed the camera, and I grabbed the bird.

I'm turning her upside down to put her to sleep. Chickens, when turned upside down, go into a hypnotic trance. It's cool. Hannibal thought so, too. Luckily our dogs are not in the least interested in hurting our feathered friends.

The prolapse had apparently already corrected itself. I had a happy chicken, and I was a happy momma.

In case your wondering, I had called my friend, Frances, who is a vet, and asked her what to do. I had read that you wash the area, and with Vaseline, gently put the bulge back in. I was prepared to do this, and not grossed out in the least. Frances said that sounded right, but her specialty is more of the 4-legged kind. That's ok. I got on the Backyard Chicken forum, and sure enough, I was right. I was a bit disappointed it had corrected itself because I felt as though it would have been good practice. I've been going out and keeping an eye on Gloria. She's so sweet. I did feel for the presence of a trapped egg, and felt none. I think she'll be ok. I've read though that once they prolapse, they will likely do it again though. We'll see.

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