When I found a slightly blood smeared egg a couple of days ago, I knew we might be in for some trouble. I took a good look then at the Vicarage Girls, but saw no signs of a hen in difficulty. However, today DH found an egg with rather more blood on it … and eventually managed to identify the source.

Belle has a prolapse.

A prolapse can be a life threatening issue in more ways than one … not only from infection or an intestinal blockage, but also because other hens will peck at the blood causing serious injury and eventually death :( There are no signs that Belle has been pecked, but we can’t trust that it won’t happen, so we immediately removed her to the Eglu – via a bath and some treatment.

Treating a prolapse isn’t always successful (we lost a Light Sussex hen to a prolapse last summer), but we’ll see how she copes over the next day or two. The first thing was to get her cleaned up, and to apply some haemorrhoid cream to tighten up the muscles around the prolapse. The next thing is to change her feed to corn in the hope that she will stop laying – but as anyone who keeps ex-batts knows, they are bred to lay most days in virtually any condition.

We didn’t only apply cream, but also wound powder and purple spray, and then gave her a blow dry …

2013-06-21 10.50.03

Initially, since hens don’t like being alone, we put Bertha in the Eglu with her. Bertha is coming out of her moult, but is still feeling (and looking) fairly miserable, and tries to avoid the company of the other hens. We thought she might appreciate a couple of days on holiday with a friend, but we were careful to put the Eglu in sight of the kitchen door so we could look out for any pecking …

However, we weren’t expecting Belle to be the culprit! Perhaps that’s why she’s not been pecked herself? Or perhaps it’s simply that during her moult, Bertha is the lowest of the low and a target for everyone in the brood? In any case, I removed Bertha back to the Run where she can at least find space to run and hide. So Belle is currently living in splendid isolation in the Eglu, on a diet of corn and grass. What luxury! There’s no knowing how things will turn out for her … but in the meanwhile, she has everything she needs. We’ll repeat the cream again tomorrow, and watch carefully for signs of any improvement or otherwise …

This is a useful page of info about all aspects of hen care from Little Hen Rescue … there’s a detailed article about prolapse about half way down the page. But I’ve no intention of getting involved in the complexities of bandaging a prolapse …  too distressing for all concerned. If there’s no sign of any improvement in a day or two, or any sign of deterioration, I’m sorry to say Belle will be put to sleep. Sadly, I’m not too hopeful of a positive outcome …


Previous Post
Next Post
Leave a comment


  1. To stop a hen from laying you can try keeping her in the dark for 15 hours out of the day. Without the stimulus of the light, she should stop laying.

  2. Thanks, Terry – I’ll see what we can rig up x

  3. lscheuer

     /  June 21, 2013

    So scary and so sad. Good advice from Terry!

  4. This something I think we all dread having to deal with. I hope she can recover.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

  • The Hen House Archive

    Our original hen keeping adventure came to an end in January 2013, when a fox took our entire brood of hens. But don’t let that put you off … you can find the story at The Hen House Archive where there are still lots of stories, photos, and information about keeping hens I hope you'll find useful.

    March 2017 ... All change in the hen garden as the fruit cage run is retired in favour of an electric fence, the veg beds are relocated to put the hens on fresh ground, and the new girls arrive, Dorcas, Delilah and Deanna.

    January 2017 ... Bird flu outbreak and all domestic foul are quarantined until the end of February.

  • Hen Pics

  • Hen Topics

  • Hen Archive

  • Hen Visitors

    • 20,554 clucks
  • Enter your email address to receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 199 other followers

  • Advertisements