Yesterday afternoon I went out to feed the chickens and put them up for the night when I noticed one of my Buff Orpingotns was not herself. She had a huge bulge coming our of her rear end, and feces smeared all down her backside. Oh, no! I went to read up in one of my chicken books and sure enough, her oviduct is prolapsed. It is protruding outside her body, and it is large and hard so there is probably an egg stuck inside. It was like there was the membrane covering the egg, because you can't see the egg, and I don't know how to get it out. We tried to work it around a little, but with no luck.
Hens that have prolapsed and that are left to the natural instincts of flock members, will be picked at on their exposed tissue from the vent. This will result in hemorrhaging, shock, and death.
We isolated her last night. I leave before daylight so did not check on her. My DD said this morning she wasn't moving and is dad going to shoot her when he gets home? Well, I get home 2 hours before DH, so I got a garbage bag and the .22 and headed out to the barn. She was alert and had eaten. The bulge seemed to have reduced in size and I find it hard to kill an animal that still seems to have life and not be suffering enormously. I gave her some more food and checked her water. I will see what DH says when he gets home. Even if she lays that egg, she will never be the same and will be prolapsing often.
Now I know which chicken has been laying the gigantic eggs, sometimes with 2 yolks. While it may seem cool at the time to be getting such large eggs, the downside is that it is ultimately going to cost us the life and egg laying of one of our flock. She is beautiful. She is slightly larger than Rhode Island reds and has golden yellow feathers, with slightly darker feathers around her neck. I know that if the is not put out of her misery tonight, it will be soon. I will keep you posted.