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Older chicken with swollen abdomen

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I have a 6 year old chicken that has a swollen abdomen. This just came up in the last week or so so I know that she's not just fat. She hasn't laid in about a year so I don't think she's eggbound. She's not moving around much and when she does she gets tired easily - breathing with her mouth open. She's waddling like a penguin. She is eating. Gave her food yesterday and she ate quite a bit. She's outside now and picks at the occasional piece grass but isn' t really foraging and isn't scratching at all. She's poopinf fine although her stools are a little yellower than normal - not runny though. Anyone have any ideas what might be going on here?

- Jan

Edited by janf1914 - 3/26/16 at 12:18pm
post #2 of 4

Given her age, it could be Ascites (water belly) or Peritonitis where the abdomen fills with fluid. The fluid can put pressure/strain on internal organs and cause breathing problems. There is no cure, some people do drain the abdomen with a needle (I believe 18gauge). Ascites would drain as more clear liquid while Peritonitis will be thick yellow liquid.

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thanks. Yes, this looks like possibly what's going on. Going to keep an eye on her for the next few days and see if she perks up. Not sure I' m up to draining her abdomen and we don't have a poultry vet in the area ( not that I would be able to afford it if I did).
post #4 of 4

I hope she starts doing better.

Keep us updated.

Edited by Wyorp Rock - 3/27/16 at 10:27pm
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