Yeah. The thing you felt reading the title of this post? That’s exactly what my Tuesday morning was. Complete with squinch-face and all.
Let’s talk about chicken… shit.
Kind of literally.
When I wrote this post on Sunday– particularly the part about what emergency supplies to have on hand– it occurred to me that in a year I’d never had a real “chicken emergency.” And then Tuesday morning happened. The Nugs ran out of the coop during morning chores, as usual, but the first thing I noted was what can only be described as a “bloody mass” on the rear end of one of my Nuggets.
Turns out that there are some things that are should usually be inside a chicken, that occasionally end up outside a chicken. It’s called a prolapsed vent (the vent is where the egg comes out, the prolapsed part is… well, take a guess.)
I spent two seconds reminding myself that proper farm-girls don’t faint and then jumped in to action. There were some panicked minutes with a chicken bleeding-from-the-rear in my newly refinished bathroom, a couple of chicken baths, and reminding myself that farm life isn’t all about donkey hugs and snuggling chicks but that sometimes you have to manually reinsert part of an intestine into a live chicken. Because, reasons.
My girl has been such a good little Nug throughout all of this. (Apparently chickens like baths.) She sat still through the soaking, cleaning, prepping, and… uh… the part where I had to “maneuver the prolapsed intestine back in to place.” (I would say “use your imagination” but actually? Don’t.)
Unfortunately all of the parts didn’t stay in the proper places for long, but it is significantly better than where it started. She’s been in her own little crate in the house and seems otherwise in good spirits.
She’ll get another bath– and possibly a “chicken nappie” (I’ve been reading British message boards)– in the morning, and I’m really hoping the damage isn’t too extensive and she’ll pull through this.
I’m not going to post “prolapse vent” pictures here, but if you’re interested, here’s one of the “way better” shots, post-bath. Also, if you’re a chicken person and need resources, this is what I’ve been reading:
- The Chicken Chick – Prolapse Vent
- Backyard Chicken message boards
- Making a diaper for prolapsed vent
It has been kind of emotional and stressful, knowing I’ve got exactly zero veterinary or, like, internal medicine related skills, and not wanting my own ignorance to cost me one of my flock. I also know I’ve done the best I can, will continue to do the best for this little Nug, and hope that it’s enough for her to make it through this.