Don’t look any further if you are squeamish or easily offended.

I was cleaning out the hen house earlier today and was just spreading the new wood shavings when I noticed a hen dragging something behind her. Her intestine….

The other hens were pecking away as I lifted her up, and the entrails, and took her down to the barn. Unfortunately it was a total mess around the rear, so I culled her.

Not nice. Anyone know what causes this?




  1. Being a Gastroenterologist this is fascinating! I can certainly say that it does not happen in humans to this extent. There must have been some physical damage to the back passage, possibly from the other hens

  2. This was more than likely done when the hen was trying to lay her egg, the entrails being pushed into let’s call it the egg- laying canal through a weakened?/ less elastic and damaged? area of the internal side wall of the vent – a bit like a hernia that just kept on going! Many moons ago, as a boy, I kept show pigeons and something more or less identical happened to one of them. Mainly because I hadn’t the guts! to put it down myself and having invested several weeks of pocket money in this bird, I asked the vet. In an effort to encourage me / professional interest?, he carried out a free PM and found that the loop of gut originated through the side wall of the rear passage about an inch inside. He mentioned the above as possible reasons also mentioned that the initial damage may have been caused by an extra bit of shell with a sharp edge from another previous broken egg being stuck to the one she was trying to lay. Once a nick was there, the pressures of egg- birth would take over and she would basically push herself inside out until she felt relief, as if she had laid an egg! Once again, not very nice!
    However, 55 or so years later, I can still hear the vet trying to make me feel better by saying,”Ach well, I wouldn’t worry about it, at least it’s not contagious!”
    I agree that it won’t be down to polecats, which tend to grip the hens at the back of the skull and kill at least five or six at a go. (Personal experience again, I’m afraid.)

  3. Chunna mi-fhin rud gu math coltach ris a-seo a bhon-uiridh le caora – bha prolapse aig a chaora aig am nan uan, is an uairsin bha a caolan air a slaodadh air a culaibh, na starragan as a deidh. Gu math mi-chaileir – chanainn gur e deagh thomhais a th’aig an fhear os mo chionn le ugh briste a reubadh a broinn na circe

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