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Help needed - Hen with partial prolapse and vent pecking

 
pollinator
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We have hens trouble free for a year, but the past two weeks we have had a string of issues. On hen injured herself being trapped under a piece of wire, another had vent gleet (now resolved after daily washing and TLC) but now we have one with an inflamed vent, partial prolapse and some blood from where she has been pecked.

I have had her indoors for a few days and been washing the area, and it all settled down nicely. She went back outside with the flock the morning and just now she is bleeding again, and some of the hens were overly interested in her blood. Very gross.

I'm trying to work out what the root cause is - I suspect pecking while she was egg laying - but now that the others have started pecking her how the hell do we get it to stop? She is coming back indoors again for a bit more TLC, but she can't stay in here indefinitely.
 
gardener
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Not sure about the root cause, might just need more time to heal all the way.

When I farm sat for chickens in the US, everyone had this blue spray that they said to use on any wounds. It turns the red wound and blood blue which makes other chickens uninterested in pecking. Not sure about use in and around the vent....not sure what is in the spray as I can't find it where I live. There might be a homemade recipe. Hopefully someone more knowledgeable will reply also.
 
pollinator
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I think you're thinking of Blu-Kote: https://smile.amazon.com/Dr-Naylor-Blu-Kote-Aerosol-4-5/dp/B01CUH9T34/
 
pollinator
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I haven't used it on hens so I can't say for sure it's okay, especially on her vent, but a little research showed that the main ingredient of Blu Kote is gentian violet. This is an old-style antifungal/antibacterial that was still in use for humans when I was a student nurse (a loooong time ago!). It will stain wherever it's applied a bright purple, which rubs off onto anything the treated area is in contact with. Potentially, it might help, though if she's indoors you may find purple everywhere she goes.
 
Michael Cox
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Thanks for the replies. I’m not sure why but permies didn’t notify me of the responses!

Chicken is still in our laundry room. She seems pretty good now. Eating and pooping normally. No blood, no prolapse.

She does still have some nasty dried gunk (poo? Dried white discharge from vent gleet? Scab material?) just inside her vent. Repeated soaks in warm water has loosened most of it, and been gently removed by hand. Poor thing has been thoroughly manhandled!

We are hoping to put her out again tomorrow with the others, and I have brought some nasty tasting spray that is supposed to prevent/deter pecking. I’ll give her a thorough coating round her rear end before putting her out.

I’m a bit concerned that she hasn’t laid an egg in over a week. I’m hoping that this is a temporary hiatus due to stress, and not permanent sterility triggered by the infection.

 
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I often find that hens with a back-end problem benefit from a little extra magnesium - I use epsom salt in water, but the bird will refuse to drink it if it's too salty. I'd guess I start with a tsp in 500 ml of water and then dilute that 1/4 mix and 3/4 water into the bird's water source. I believe the magnesium helps to support muscle tone.

You may not know if the problem is solved or not until she lays a few eggs successfully.

If the other chickens have decided she's not welcome, it may be difficult to get her back with flock. I'd try re-integrating at bedtime so everyone wakes up with her just there. I'd make a point the next morning to give the birds lots of exciting things to pay attention to - a cabbage or favorite weeds to play with, a fresh run area, anything that gives them other things to attend to other than the returned chicken.

We've ended up having to put chickens like this in with out ducks in the past. Their flock wouldn't take them, but they continued to lay while living with the ducks.
 
Michael Cox
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Update

She is back outdoors now, despite still showing obvious signs of vent gleet. Her prolapse seems totally healed though, and this morning she laid an egg.

Not sure what to do about the persistent vent gleet, but she can't stay indoors any longer.

I have used some anti-peck spray on her nether regions, and they were not bothering her this morning when she was reintroduced to the flock. I put her on the roost bars after dark and all was well this morning.
 
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