Contact Me

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Flipping Fancy: Hen Gyno

No gyno pictures!

Sunday, 5 pm
I just finished putting Fancy in a bath. She complained about being picked up....right during her dinner! She flapped and squawked when I tried to turn her up to see her vent. There is nothing hanging out. So far, no prolapse. But, after I bathed her, actually soaked her I could see  better. The vent is quite evident. There was something fleshy that I could see inside. The vent is round, opened with something inside that is flesh I poked it and it is quite solid. So, I shoved my finger in farther. I don't know if that was a prolapse or not.

Hen gyno exam is not as gross as I thought. It was all  just pink flesh, just like any other flesh. Later, after another brief soak I looked and the vent was closed but pulsing. I could see that whatever was causing it to be open was now receded after my pushing on it. I put my finger all the way in again, and YES, I do have rubber gloves that I just bought yesterday. Otherwise, I would have had nothing. And, this would not have happened.

If I had possessed three hands, I would have taken pictures. I used an aluminum pan that I carry vegetables in for Fancy's bath. It is used for food and will be again. It is not for prepared food, just to hold apples before I cut them up, etc. Just because it is aluminum is one reason that I never put prepared food in it. Now, I have a second reason. It will be disinfected to the best of my ability.

Hens don't like to be flipped. She squawked and flapped. They especially don't like to be set into water that may have been too hot. No, she as right-side-up when she was placed into the bath. She tried her best to escape, gripping the side of the pan., clawing and squawking and flapping. But, she relaxed under my iron grip.

Fancy, "SIGH..."

The residue poop is not gone from feathers. It is gone from feathers near the vent. I used an old pair of pants, gotten from my rag bag to wipe Her Poopiness. As I had her upside down, she held her head up like she was trying to look off to the side. If I relaxed my heavy-hand position, she made a bid for freedom and uprightness.

She would have been easier to contain if I had not been careful about grabbing her just anywhere. But, I did not want to break a wing or injure her as she fought and flapped and kicked and clawed. Once I had to let go and stick a finger in her, she seemed okay.

One problem I had was the water should have been a bit deeper. Since I could not carry enough in the pan, I had to keep a heavy hand on her behind to get her vent in water. I almost fell coming down the back steps, so I didn't need to go back one more time for another gallon. And, I had no helper. Everyone was busy, did not answer the phone, or just did not care to discuss the matter. The neighbor with a chicken did not answer the door! One friend called a guy who had a layer house and said this happens to all animals. Sometimes they live. If a person has 80,000 hens cooped up, does he really care?

5:30 pm, Sunday
I got a feeder and waterer up in the cage--make do, of course. She is partaking of my offerings- water and raw oats. I will cook some oats in a bit.

When I held her in the water, she had her mouth open, panting. I am hoping it was the extra-warm water or stress. But, she made a clicking noise when she panted. I could feel it in her body, too. Now, she is neither clicking nor panting.

However, she is straining even now, it appears. But, this is not all the time. i am standing near her cage, watching her. The way she is standing, her tail is down and there is a huge area that is bowed up/rising/bumped up. In other words, she does not have the relative smoothness from neck to tail. The midway between neck and tail is a marked "valley" when the lower part of the back that  is bumped up and her "shoulders." I say she is straining since the part rises and falls like a muscle being flexed and relaxed. She is very quiet, cannot see me, and is relatively still. She does not appear to be in distress.

Oh, I have never flipped a chicken before, but it appeared that the area between her legs was more "there" than it should be. It seems to be huge, from leg to leg, which would account for the splayed/spraddle-legged walk. I felt the area and sort of squeezed it. She did not react. But, it appears this is the area that is the problem.

I took a little plastic dish from food and put two holes with the icepick. Then, put two heavy twist ties in the holes and twisted once. Inside the house pen, I twisted several times around the wall wires.
water and oats
And, at the other end of the pen is Fancy.

                                                     7 pm, dark, and she still stands

I called Charlie just to talk and see how he was managing with his shoulder surgery. He started screaming to buy a new chicken for that amount of money. He has no soul. I yelled at him and told him I was not even considering spending that kind of money, that he could at least say it was too bad. 

Exbf just listened and hung up. I did not want money, just to talk! I think I hate people.

At least Fancy seemed content once she was inside in the cage where she spent the first few months of her life and later spent 14 months in safety until their outdoor pen was fortified.

It seems strange, but Pepper made her first overture to me the day Fancy first seemed lethargic. She came and talked to me like Fancy does.  Rarely do Thelma and Louise talk to me. Well, Louise did come and talk to me, but she complained about Pepper.
Wonder if it hurts Fancy to sit?


  1. You did great!! You are a strong woman and a great chicken mama. I have been so worried. Thanks for updating. It is a very good sign that the prolapse was only partial. Does she still lay? If so, do you know when she last laid?

    I should have mentioned a trick I find helpful is to wrap the hen in a towel nice and snug with wings pinned at her sides.

    Now you know that you have done everything you can to save her. And guess what, the vet would have done the same thing for $80. There is not surgery or medicine for this problem. It is a hit or miss situation and the only thing to be done is what you did.

    I am proud of you. Praying for a full recovery for Fancy.

  2. I thought about a towel, but decided it was just something to get wet. Tomorrow, we do this again. I will use the towel so I can get photos. So, it was a prolapse, just partial?

    She last laid about a month ago, maybe longer. They all slacked off after being put out of warm my house after their cold pen was secured. Then, with more protein I got about three eggs a week, all but two were from Thelma. Each week, she would lay two and Fancy laid one. The next week, Thelma laid two and Louise laid one. For about three weeks or more, no one but Thelma has laid. Maybe Fancy had one ready to go. Could she have an egg ready to lay?

    1. It sounds like a partial prolapse because it was not on the outside of her body all the time.

      It is possible that the hard thing you felt could be an egg that is bound. Sometimes a bound egg can cause a prolapse.

      The way you describe feeling a hard lump and her back arching sounds like this might be the case. There are two passages inside the vent and if you felt something hard but fleshy you were in the lower passage. The upper is where the eggs come out.

      Here is a link to an old blog post that does an excellent job of describing what to do in the case of an egg bound hen:

      If you google egg bound you will get a lot of information. Some better than others. The above link is one of the better ones I have found.

      Please let me know how things go.

  3. Thanks,
    I read the article and all the comments. I was googling for a prolapse. I supposed she is partially prolapsed with a bound egg to boot. Now, I will google 'egg bound.'

    11:00 pm--she is still standing in her cage. I have her covered, so too much light is not the problem. Only the sound of laptop keys under my fingers disturbs her. I am going to add ACV to water right now and olive oil soaked uncooked oats. She loves oats. I think I will give her crushed eggshells and go get some grit for her food bowl.

  4. I did not really flip her in the sense you think. I turned her gently to her back so I could see her vent. She died. You can see that in the post of the seventh or eighth of March.

    None of them had layed for a month because of the cold weather. They were not laying right when she got sick.


For the present, I am taking comment moderation off the blog.