Brown bloody looking vent

by Anne
(Maine)

Question

Brown bloody looking vent: One of my laying hens seem to be missing most of the feathers around her vent, what is there for feathers are all brown almost muddy looking, and it seems bloody.

She is a free range hen, she’s acting normal, walking around, eating...nothing out of the usual. What do you think is wrong with her?

I feel so bad, I wish there was something I could do to help her.

Answer
Possibly another chicken plucked the feathers and the skin around her vent. Sometimes another chicken gets grumpy when all are roosting and takes advantage of a chicken unwilling to jump down from the roost in the dark.

This may be why you are just noticing this. Chickens are funny about picking at each other. There may have been minimal feather loss at first, that you didn’t notice until most were gone.

New feathers growing in have a blood supply in the center. The blood supply dries up and retracts once the feather is fully grown in.

If one of these new “blood feathers” gets damaged it will bleed quite a bit.

I would suggest giving her a good bath, removing all the blood, so you can get a better idea what you are dealing with.

If there is broken skin you will want to apply an antibiotic spray daily till it heals. It might be a good idea to separate her from the flock until the feathers grow back.

Check her for thinness at the front of the breast. If she is underweight, her keel bone, that runs down the center of her breast muscles, will feel sharp.

She’s possibly being bullied by others and this can include being kept away from feed. With a nearly full set of feathers it’s really hard to see that a chicken may be starving to death and you may not notice the others bothering her much.

She may have been grabbed by a predator: dog, cat, raccoon or other and possibly all they got was a mouth full of feathers.

Having a bunch of feathers ripped out can cause some bleeding, especially if any blood feathers are present.

Hope this helps. I’m sure you hate to lock up a free ranging chicken, but this is for her own good.

The other chickens will probably peck her and make this worse. If you find she is thin I would get her on a conditioning feed and some extra poultry vitamins. Just follow the directions on the packages.

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Bloody vent but still laying
by: Susan

I have two pullets (8months), one was laying for about 5 weeks, the other has not laid yet. They both have dark bloody discharge on their vents and feathers around it.

Both are eating, drinking and friendly. I have another pullet that does not have any problems like above. When my rooster tries breeding with the above two pullets, the healthy one pecks at their vents.

I gave the two chickens with bloody vents baths and olive oil and one laid a clean egg this morning. Any thoughts or helpful info. I'd really appreciate it.

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Brown bloody looking vent comment
by: Sharon

It sounds like your girls may be mineral deficient. They need more than calcium. Free ranging hens can pick up good trace minerals when scratching and pecking through the soil, but only if the minerals are there to be had.

You might want to find a good multi-mineral supplement for them or a better quality layer or conditioner or breeder feed with good mineral content.

Mineral deficiencies are the leading cause for a hen becoming egg bound. The shells can be rough and not easy to pass.

Plenty of room to roam and run is also good for good muscle tone making laying eggs easier and general health good.

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sick chicken
by: Anonymous

I found my chicken with a problem similar today. I found her with what looked like a prolapse.

The egg was out but her bum was still all around the egg n she just couldn't get the egg out of the sack.

I had to help her out. managed to get the egg out of it with a little gentle manouvering in the end but got 1 very sad chicken now. not sure what to do in case it happens again.

Also my silkies haven't layed since last November and its now June so that's 7 or 8 months. crazy? egg bound or just lazy.


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Thanx
by: anne

Thank you so much for the helpful info..I'm not feeling to optimistic about her recovery right now.

She has all kinds of stuff oozing out of her, my guess is shes not going to make it much longer. But we are still trying everything we can to help..

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Bloody Vent/ Vet visit
by: Sharon

I wonder if they gave her antibiotics?

I don't know what kind of hopes they might have given you for this hen. When an egg has little shell coating, mostly the membrane sack, this means it probably got hung up in the part of the oviduct before or in the shell coating section.

Once a hen has a prolapse like this, saying she has a 50/50 chance of returning to normal is being optimistic.

Since a hens body is programmed for laying eggs much of the year, the chances are high of another egg getting stuck, before the swelling is down and prolapse healed.

One of your best chances is to keep her in the dark, not absolute, enough to find food and drink, but dim.

Maybe just the light of a heat lamp would work. Chicken ovulation is stimulated by daylight (full spectrum light) and the passing of the previous egg.

Her continued contractions may just be in response to the swelling, but could be another egg on the way.

You might check with your vet, but I think getting some lubricant into the oviduct may prevent another egg getting stuck.

Checking what the vet might recommend in her condition would be good. I've heard Hemorrhoid cream can be very soothing for prolapsed hens and helps reduce swelling.

If you want to do all to try to nurse her back to health, she should probably be on antibiotics, extra vitamins and minerals and not fed layer feed, but mostly scratch grains.

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Vet
by: Anne

I actually ended up bringing this chicken to the vet last night. They washed her vent area, checked her all out.

The hens vent insides were hanging out from straining and pushing so much causing the bleeding.

There was an egg stuck in her that she couldn't push out, they reached in and got it out. It had a really soft shell, they put her insides back in her, gave her muscle relaxers to help her from straining anymore.

I have her separated from the flock, I keep checking on her...Her back end is still bloody today, and she acts like shes still trying to push..I dont get it. I cant figure it out...

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