Having animals ensures there is never a dull moment. Many people are familiar with the needs and common ailments of cats and dogs. Somewhat fewer are aware of the needs of small fuzzy hamster-like creatures. A select few educate themselves in regards to reptiles, amphibians, and other cold-blooded wonders. Often if anything goes wrong the animal care-giver brings the poor creature to a vet to help it out.
Farming is a bit different. I have learned this today. It has been a long day.
It started a couple of days ago when I noticed that one of our chickens was looking a little worse for wear. She is a bit smaller than the others and the gland at the base of her tail was dirty as was her behind. This had seemed to come on quite suddenly. The day before last I also found an egg that had some blood on it.Well this morning I manage to catch her as she was coming out of the coop. I picked her up, turned her upside down and low and behold; she had prolapsed.
I have seen this in magazines and hoped that I would not have to deal with such a problem. At least not yet in my young chicken keeping career. This was not to be, I was not staring an obvious prolapsed vent right in the behind so to speak. I needed to go to the computer.
An hour later I had amassed a fair bit of information of how to treat this. You see, if you have livestock on a small scale using a vet really isn’t an option, and they often don’t know how to deal with a single animal. Chicken are generally kept in huge barns of 10,000+ so one little chicken is often not a problem. If a vet does happen to actually see this the first stream of action is to put the poor thing down. I found different and helpful information on-line. There are a number of resources for novice and experienced chicken keepers alike; thecitychicken.com, backyardchickens.com, mypetchicken.com, theaccidentalsmallholder.net among others. I found out things I never imagined to treat our poor pullet. The causes for this are numerous and I really don’t know why it has happened to her. She is well over 20 weeks, they have the run of a very large paddock and pen so calcium shouldn’t be an issue, and there is plenty of food accessible. Some preventative measures have been taken regardless; such as putting out oyster shells to increase calcium consumption just in case.
The basic information on how to treat a chicken’s prolapsed vent is as follows:
- set up chicken isolation unit
- catch chicken
- wash chicken behind
- have honey ready to apply to prolapse
- insert honey loaded finger into vent carefully
- push vent back in and make sure interior passage is coated with honey
- give some raw apple cider vinegar to chicken to boost immune system
- keep in the dark to attempt prevention of laying
Well this has been a large part of my day minus the apple cider vinegar. I cset up a pen in the basement using our dog Beauty’s old dog cage, caught her, bathed her, pushed the prolapse in with honey and put her in her new home. I have put back her innards again this evening. Hopefully she will be okay, but I suspect that killing cone and knife will come in handy that I ordered from Berryhill. No one ever said being self sufficient was pretty.