Hen’s insides turned out

by Connie


Hen’s insides turned out: I have a young hen who just laid her first egg. The egg was too big and it turned her insides out.

Every one is telling me to put her down. Is there anything I can do other than killing her? I did get the egg out but she is ripped and bleeding.

I’m so sorry. Sadly, I believe the kindest thing to do is put her down. Sounds like her oviduct has prolapsed.

The chances of her healing well and being able to lay normally are small. Once prolapsed, it would most likely take surgery to re-attach things internally.

The chances of this prolapse happening again and eggs getting bound up inside her are high. But she is your chicken, and you have to judge her quality of life.

If you decide to try to nurse her back to health she should have antibiotics, a heat lamp, but not be confined to a small cage.

She needs exercise and to be kept clean. You should keep her in the dark about 20 hours a day to slow or stop her egg production.

The problems are these: any eggs in the process of forming may get stuck. With her oviduct prolapsed she may not be able to pass any eggs or her droppings.

You need to watch for that. If she isn’t passing any droppings I would assume the worst; that she is beyond healing naturally. She would probably die a painful death.

This may just have been a fluke of her anatomy and not your fault;

The following issues can lead to a hen getting egg bound, having trouble laying and prolapsed oviduct:

  • Calcium and other mineral deficiencies

  • Poor quality diet-including protein and vitamin deficiencies

  • Lack of exercise

  • Injury

  • I’ve never had this happen to a chicken, but in my younger days, a friend found a runner duck of hers in this condition one morning.

    She was unable to do what needed to be done, so I offered to help, though lacking any experience.

    Growing up in a big city, I’d never killed an animal before, and she was a beautiful duck…but for the sake of her future suffering, I knew what had to be done.

    (The following is graphic, but I believe as an animal caregiver, it’s important to know when it’s time to put an animal down, and if possible, to be able to do it quickly and end suffering immediately.

    It’s legal in most countries, states and counties.) I put the duck in a feed sack and got her head securely in one of the corners and used one accurate blow to her head with a hammer.

    I didn’t have to look her in the eye or have the image in my mind, which made it easier.

    No matter, if using animals we raise for food, or having to end their lives mercifully for medical issues, it’s part of being responsible for their quality of life (and even death).

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