Bleeding in chickens is a condition you can treat if caught early. It’s even more serious if the hen is bleeding from the vent area. If you’re a new chicken farmer, this can be a harrowing experience.
Thankfully, the condition is manageable and preventable. So, why is my chicken bleeding from her vent?
Read on to learn more!
If you find blood spots on the laying nest or the eggshell, the blood vessel may have ruptured after laying eggs. This is not a big issue if it happens once. But if the problem persists, you should consult the vet.
The first time you notice some bleeding, you should separate the chicken from the other hens. This prevents other hens from pecking the problem area, which can result in distress or serious injuries.
What causes the bleeding?
Blood from the vent is mostly associated with laying difficulties. Sometimes, the oviduct is pushed out of the body causing bleeding. When hens begin to lay eggs, they can burst the vessels and smear the blood on the feathers. So if you see some blood on the egg, there’s nothing wrong with it. Of course, this problem rarely persists beyond the second egg. Keep in mind a young chicken is likely to exacerbate any of these problems.
Bullying could be the problem
The vent is a prime area for bullies, so there’s a chance the bleeding occurred from pecking. Hens are attracted to red colour, and this can leave them in a dreadful state.
Prolapse of the cloaca or vent is a serious problem. If left untreated, it can lead to death within hours. And more often than not, it can be a horror experience for a new keeper. Prolapses can be classified as mild or extreme depending on how much the external organs have extruded.
It’s not surprising to see egg tubes out of the body, but again it could be a sign of a bigger problem. Some of the common causes of prolapse include calcium deficiency (can cause rough shells on eggs), chickens laying very young, or undernourished birds. It’s worth mentioning that older hens are also susceptible to prolapse.
Missing feathers around the vent or swelling could also be a red flag that you’re dealing with bleeding.
Unless you’re experienced to handle the problem, you should get some advice from a vet.
To prevent bleeding
I would suggest you fill a tub with water and stand the chicken for a couple of minutes. This will have a relaxing effect on the muscles and can prevent prolapse.
Next, you should trim the area with bloody feathers. You won’t see the problem with all those feathers on the way. Then, wash the prolapsed area with warm water and apply some antiseptic. If there’s an egg in the prolapse, you should remove it without breaking.
If any pieces are left in the abdominal region, they can trigger an infection.
Once you clean the area, tuck the head under your arm and try to calm her. Then, wear some gloves and push the prolapsed area back to the vent cavity. You can place her in a dark area to allow for recovery.
If you want to prevent future bleeding, you should ensure she doesn’t lay for a while. A little olive oil or Vaseline will also help to relax the muscles.
Another way to stop the bleeding is to starve her for 24 hours but give her plenty of water. With time, you can start feeding bland food like Weetabix. If the bleeding was severe, you can use false eggs to encourage her to go broody. But if the bleeding continues, you may want to call a veterinary.
Never treat vent bleeding with antibiotics as this can destroy the good bacteria in the gut. You ought to use probiotics to restore a healthy balance in the gut. If you address the problem early, it will take a few days to resolve it.
If the bleeding is a result of pecking, there’re lots of sprays that can make the feathers smell unpleasant. And this is enough to deter the pecking. You can also use a veterinary wound powder to stain the area – it makes the bloody vent less attractive for the bully.
If the skin is red or there’s a wound, you must separate the injured hen right away. This will allow the wound to heal for a couple of days before you introduce it back to the other hens.
But the problem won’t be over if you don’t address the root cause of the problem. The best approach is to add protein to the diet and amuse the other chickens. You can also provide a swing rope or perches, chicken scratch, or hang the cabbage to keep the hens busy.
How to treat prolapse
Early treatment requires a few stitches – this will hold the organ in place. The vet will also advise that you ensure the hen doesn’t lay eggs for a couple of months. If the prolapse is pecked by other hens or has become dirty, the chances of success are quite small. And there’s a likelihood this can happen the second time.
Prolapse is a problem you can treat at home. But unless the laying process is uninterrupted, it will pop out again. Most vets recommend that you ensure the eggs don’t pass through the system for 7-14 days. You can stop egg laying within a week by giving your hens less than 10 hours of light.
How to prevent bleeding from the vent
Now that you know what causes bleeding from the vent, how can you prevent the problem? You should provide clean fresh water regularly. In addition to that, you ought to add a probiotic powder to the daily feed. This will ensure a smooth digestive system. How about adding small yoghurt as an occasional treat?
Experts also recommend that you add 2-3 spoons of apple cedar vinegar for every gallon of water.
Tips to remember when treating chickens
You should cover the hen with a towel to keep it in the dark. But no more than 10 hours of daylight.
Secondly, don’t be rush to get your chicken laying
You should always separate a bleeding chicken from the rest. If you don’t have an extra coop, you can use a large dog or cat carrier.
Whether you’re a new or an experienced chicken farmer, you should be vigilant of any sign of bleeding. By following the above tips, you’ll ensure this doesn’t happen again. Keep in mind fluffy butts are a sign of healthy hens.