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Vent prolapse is defined as the presence of prolapsed cloacal tissue outside of the hen's body. It is often seen in hen breeds that are known for excessive egg laying. The prolapse occurs from excessive straining to lay, presence of an excessively large or abnormal egg), poor nutrition, behavioral problems, infection, and neoplasia (presence of a tumor).
When a vent prolapse occurs, it is important that it is recognized early, as one of the biggest concerns is the potential damage caused by other flock members (if they notice the exposed tissue). Chickens have a tendency to peck at things that are shiny, new or red in color, such as blood and inflamed tissue.
Isolate the bird from the flock and place in a safe, comfortable, warm location (your own chicken "intensive care unit") with easy access to water and food. Limit stress.
Gently wash the tissue with luke warm, running water and saline solution, followed by an antiseptic rinse. Blot dry with a clean, soft towel.
Apply a lubricant (honey, Prep H, K-Y gel, or activated yeast gel) to the prolapsed tissue using a Q-tip.
If the tissue has not been damaged or potentially contaminated
Using a fresh pair of gloves, gently push the prolapsed tissue back into the hen's vent. Place your finger over the vent for 30-60 seconds. Relocate the hen to a warm, comfortable, isolated area. Check back in 30 minutes to see whether the prolapsed tissue remains inside the bird. If it has pushed back outside of her body, you will need to take her to your veterinarian, for sutures may be needed in order to decrease the size of the cloacal opening.
If the tissue has been damaged or badly contaminated
Call your veterinarian immediately.
May be recommended by your veterinarian for hens with recurrent prolapses.