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Barred Rock Hen with Diarrhea and Enlarged Belly

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I have an almost 3 year old hen with green diarrhea and an enlarged, soft and squishy belly. I just noticed she has labored breathing at times too (after exertion - jumping up on roosting bar or running while free ranging).  Her color is good (comb and wattles) and for the most part, she's keeping up with her mates.  Any ideas of what might be causing her symptoms?  What I can do for her?

post #2 of 5
Thread Starter 
Can anyone help me? It's been almost two weeks since I've posted and no responses... Now the hen has her tail feathers down and is not moving so well. All the swelling is gone from her belly and she's just not herself. Any suggestions appreciated. I hate seeing her this way =(
post #3 of 5

Next time post again sooner if you don't get answers. From her upright stance, and earlier the labored breathing with the large squishy abdomen, my guess is that she is suffering from internal laying or egg yolk peritonitis. Ascites, or water belly is also common in these hens, and can produce labored breathing and a tight enlarged abdomen. Sometimes draining off some of the fluid can ease breathing and pressure. Not much can be done for these hens to prolong life, if that is what she has. Just keep her comfortable and feed her what she likes. When she is suffering think about putting her down. Here is some reading for you:

http://www.chickenvet.co.uk/health-and-common-diseases/egg-laying-issues/index.aspx

http://scoopfromthecoop.nutrenaworld.com/tag/laying-issues/

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/853726/ascites-in-desperate-need-of-some-help-and-guidance  (See post #4)

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/526089/egg-yolk-peritonitis


Edited by Eggcessive - 5/30/16 at 9:51am
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thank you for responding and for the links.  She went from being like I originally posted to tail down/penguin standing in less than a day =(  She is eating some scratch mixed with sunflower seeds, drinking water with acv and probiotics, and has recently returned to venturing outside the enclosure to forage.  After looking at all the information you shared, I'm feeling that things are not looking good for her.  I hope she'll either pass peacefully or that I'll know when the time is right to help her along (something I've never done and fear doing).  Thanks again for your response and all the links. 

post #5 of 5
You're welcome, but sadly a lot of chickens from hatcheries and feed stores have this sort of problem, especially when they start to age.
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