Our first real chicken “emergency” occurred on Friday evening after the kids and I returned home. The hen count resulted in a missing hen and after a few minutes of searching, Dirtbike (yes, she’s a she) was found sitting on the ground in a darkened corner of the coop. I picked her up and could immediately feel an (unnatural) large lump near her vent. I brought her inside and was (horrified) to find a bloodied, red and excrement covered lump under her tail feathers. I started a warm bath and began washing away the excrement in the hopes of uncovering the source of Dirtbike’s pain.
*Use Caution – following graphics are not for the weak of heart.*
She was obviously uncomfortable and had probably spent the better part of the day in pain. A tell tale egg was found on the floor of the coop (with some blood on it) and was probably Dirtbike’s final legacy left to the family.
In the midst of attempting to clean Dirtbike I contacted my chicken mentor, BigFootFarmer, who reiterated my suspicions that this occurred before or during her egg laying and there might be a need to ease Dirtbike from her misery. Next I checked out the Chicken Chick’s site (she’s basically an encyclopedia of all things chicken).
*Note, it is so important to have a “farm” first aid kit stocked and ready to go. If you don’t have one, get one. You’re going to need it someday.
I continued to clean the area while Dirtbike remained rather sedate during all of the attention. However she continued to lose blood and was unable to stand on her own after a big. The decision was made to say goodbye to one of our founding hens and help her cross the rainbow bridge to that great big chicken coop in the sky.