I came home from work and went out to feed everybody as usual. John was not here -- he is out showing houses, and writing an offer (Thank God!!! Real estate has been so blasted slow!!). I gave the chickens some bread as a treat, and noticed one of them had a mess on her backside. I won't get into the gross details, but obviously something is wrong. I picked her up and turned her over and things did not look good -- red, swollen, that sort of thing. Her feathers were a mess, too. So I put her in the barn and came inside to search the internet. I think I may have found out what is wrong.
According to what I read, she may have what they call "prolapse." It happens when pullets lay large eggs (you would not believe the size of some of the eggs we've been getting). I guess their insides sort of come out. YUK!! Poor thing! Although she does not act sick or anything. She eats and walks around like normal, and this article I read online said that is the case with prolapse. They say to clean the area, apply Preparation H (no kidding!!) and keep her away from the other chickens (they will peck at the affected area) and in the dark as much as possible so she will stop laying.
So I took a bucket of warm water out there, put on my plastic gloves, and set her down in the water. She was real good about it. I turned her over and tried to wipe her off a bit, and she struggled some with that -- I think her little bum is painful. It sure looks painful. I do not have any Preparation H -- if John calls tonight I will ask him to pick some up on his way home. I guess I could call the neighbors and see if they have any, but that is not the sort of thing you do, I suppose! (lol) We are used to borrowing stuff back and forth with the neighbors, but I think we will draw the line here. This one guy on one of the websites I read said he cured his chicken of this by putting sugar on her first, then the Preparation H....pretty wierd, but I think I will give it a try. I have her in the barn, and I put a large box out there with hay in it -- I laid the box on its side so she can go in to sleep. I closed the window so the cats and/or raccoons won't get in there and bother her.
I hope she makes it......I do not want to have another chicken funeral!
I just went out to check on her before publishing this post -- she was laying on the feed box. Now why would she lay there when I made this perfectly good nesting box for her???