Vent problems

by Angela
(NY)

Question
Vent problems: I have a chicken that has what looks to be a ruptured vent. It is swollen, bloody and seems to be stretched out.

The chicken is only about 9 months old. It does not (at this point) seem bothered by it. Why did this happen and how do I treat it?

Answer
Hopefully this is not a prolapse, which is a very serious condition when a portion of the internal egg producing and laying path suffers some sort of trauma and is pushed with muscle contractions to the outside of the body.

Swelling, due to internal tearing, broken blood vessels, could cause what you have described.

It’s possible that an egg was broken inside her, due to being handled roughly by a human or other animal.

Pushing the rough edges out as she lays the egg can cause cuts as it passes. You didn’t say what size an area this involves, but by your input that: she doesn’t seem to be bothered by it, may mean it is not extremely serious.

Sometimes, just like in childbirth, or the birth of animals, there can be a tearing in the “birth canal” when a hen lays an egg.

If she has just started laying, possibly an egg was poorly lubricated, the passage too tight and the egg too large for her to easily pass it.

The effort of straining to pass the egg can push internal tissues out and ruptures.



I believe, what ever has caused this, that there is a high risk of infection, which may also explain the swelling.

The bloodiness that you see is very likely from some sort of rupture inside her vent.

Since chickens pass their waste and eggs through the vent, this area is exposed to bacteria that could irritate and cause infection.

With her vent area swollen it is possible that she cannot pass any eggs and this can cause a life threatening blockage for eggs and feces.

You need to make sure she is able to pass her droppings, that she is eating and drinking well, too.

I would suggest separating her from the rest of the flock. A bloody area like that can trigger other chickens to peck at it, if only out of curiosity, and she doesn’t need any more irritations.

I strongly believe she should be on some strong antibiotics, but a veterinarian would have to prescribe which one.

It maybe possible to give her some comfort with a pain relief triple antibiotic salve, but I wouldn’t rely on that alone. Worst case: this is life threatening.

Best case; it will clear up quickly and she will be fine. Somewhere in the middle: her life is in your hands and I believe she needs medical attention.

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