Blowout

2012 02 12_0019

Just when egg production started picking back up, I lost another hen to blowout.  A blowout, or prolapsed vent, is when the cloaca (vent) turns inside out and falls outside the body.  The first time I had heard of this was last fall when it happened to another of my hens.  I noticed blood drops on the coop floor and traced them to a hen sitting in a corner.  I picked her up and was shocked to see a large bloody mass coming from her bottom.  It was obvious the others had already been pecking at her, so we isolated her and did a quick Google search to figure out the problem, which led us to “blowout.”  Evidently it can be treated by warm soaks, slathering the prolapse with honey and pushing it back in, which may need to be done repeatedly for several days.  The chicken also needs to be isolated until she heals and will be out of production for weeks to months.  Quite frankly, I don’t have time for this.  I know some will disagree, but that’s okay, everyone needs to do what’s best for their situation.  My chickens are not pets.  I like them very much and take excellent care of them, but they have a job to do and if they can’t do it anymore they need to be culled, and that is what we did with both of these hens.  The likelihood of recurrence of a prolapse is very high, which just reiterates the need for culling.  I am curious about why this has happened twice now, as my hens don’t have any of the risk factors for prolapse, which include starting to lay at too young an age, unusually large eggs, overweight, lack of calcium and lack of exercise.  And they are Delawares, a heritage breed which should be quite hardy.  Anybody else have problems with this?

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6 thoughts on “Blowout

  1. ugh, not fun… Haven’t dealt with it in chickens but I worked on a farm where we had a sheep with a prolapsed uterus- I delivered the lamb and she was sent to a petting zoo soon after that, though for this particular farm that was a viable option.

    I understand the farm vs. pet situation. We are hopefully buying this year and I will be farming again! Can’t wait, maybe I’ll contact you for goat info when the time comes! 😉

    Happy farming!

  2. I am sorry to hear about your hen. I have no idea about this as we have never dealt with it. I agree with your choice- its the yucky part of farming.
    I do like your blog. Your hens are beautiful.

    1. Yes, dealing with death is the hardest part of farming, but it is reality. Glad you like our blog and thanks for stopping by and commenting!

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