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Scared my chicken is sick

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Hi all,


I have an isa brown hen that I bought three weeks ago. When I put her away in the coop the other day I noticed that she had quite a large abdomen and thought It could be swollen but it could be normal. She had not been laying for a while either which made me worry about egg peritonitis. Other than potential swelling there have be no other symptoms other than slightly watery poop.  


The following day she layed a solid shelled normal egg. The shell was an off colour and almost had the normal brown colour but with a white circle around it? Maybe she is calcium deficient. I will break the egg when I do some cooking and see if there is a yolk in it.

Today she has layed a perfectly normal egg and I found her secret nest in the garden which makes me think that maybe she has been laying but something has been taking the eggs from the nesting spot I did not know about.

would a hen with peritonitis continue laying normal eggs?


I haven't had much experience with isa browns. she did come from a primary school that no longer wanted the chickens which leads me to think she may have been overfed with scraps etc. which have made her a bit overweight


I feel a bit silly but I keep thinking something isn't quite right

post #2 of 3

First of all, a chicken will let you know when it's sick. The first thing I look for when I greet my flock each morning is anyone who is hanging around on the edges, maybe near a wall, with their tail held low and flat.


A chicken that doesn't feel well will go mute, not uttering a sound. Their eyes may be at half mast or closed, not open and bright and clear.


There is a condition call acites where the liver is inflamed and fluid builds up in the abdomen. The chicken may act perfectly well otherwise, but will walk with a waddling gait due to the swelling pushing the legs apart.


I believe you have assessed the situation pretty well, though. Fat buildup in the lower abdomen is common in older hens, and if you suspect correctly that the students had been overfeeding it, you've probably nailed it. Also, if your hen is laying, then she's probably not sick. Try to stop worrying.

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your reply azygous


I will try not to worry, she still seems well so I think she must be okay :)

She has been laying well and seems to be quite happy

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