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Chicken with bloated stomach, sits like a penguin

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

We have a 5 month old Red Sex-Link (1 of 3) - a few days ago we returned from our vacation to find our biggest girl sitting in her coop on her butt like a penguin. She had been sitting there for a while since her poop covered her bottom and her feathers in the area.  Our next door neighbour had been taking care of our girls while we were away (topping up the food & water, cleaning the coop and collecting the eggs). He said a that the day after we left she had been sitting like this. She cannot seem to move her legs, she uses her wings to try and steady herself and keep herself upright. Since we got home we moved her into a box in the basement with food and water at head level so she can reach it better. Two days ago while she was in the house I had to force feed her and dip her beak in the water to get her to drink. She then seemed to get a little stronger and was feeding on her own. The next day I she was the same, I put her outside to get some fresh air (and to air out the house) but she didn't get any better and didn't move at all. Last night my husband brought her into the back porch for the night in the box. Today her breathing seems laboured and she constantly either falls asleep or passes out after she drinks just a little, I've had to go back to force feeding her.
The poor thing stinks so bad so my husband and I took her to the laundry tub to rinse the poo off her feathers. Her stomach seems very distended (sp?) but we don't know if that was normal or not. I don't know the terminology, but the part that the egg comes out of is a bit red and seems bloated as well. While we were rinsing her butt with the warm water something yellow, runny and very smelly was squirting out of her.
Her poo had looked normal up until this last incident.
We have the 3 birds, they have an A-frame coop that they live in during the night and in the morning we let them free range in our yard.
We live in southwestern Ontario, Canada.
We are also having a problem with rats who have moved in under the coop. Could the rats have bitten the chicken and made her sick?
Should we be worried about eating eggs from the other chickens?
The other 2 chickens haven't laid an egg for us since we've been home (our neighbour said he got 7 eggs while we were away).

Can anyone help us? We don't want to euthanize her if we don't have to, but we also do not want her to suffer.
I can send photos of her if needed.

post #2 of 18

There is a search function at the top of the page . use that to search for ASCITES
This is the name of what I suspect that "bloating" is >it is a symptom usually secondary to another primary problem such as a reproduction problem which might also be going with your girl (that yellow runny stuff you saw might have been an egg that burst inside your girl).
I am assuming you have  a nesting /  sleeping   area inside the A-fram that is off the ground for your birds to sleep in at nite?
What do you feed them?   What are the temps and weather conditions there at the moment?

post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 

Yes, they do have a nesting boxes that are off the ground.
The night time temps here now are around 5-10 degrees celsius, daytime in the mid to low teens.
We are feeding them some grain the the farm supply store and a couple weeks ago we started giving them some cracked corn.

post #4 of 18

Sounds like she's egg bound.  Lots of good info on here regarding this.   Do a search and you will find everything you need to know.  It can be fixed alot of the times.  Good luck http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=32648&p=1 http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=22308


Edited by chickensioux - 10/22/09 at 7:05am
Me,DH, 2 DS, 3 dogs, 1 parakeet,  2 frogs, 19 hens, 1 turk, 24 ducks (8 calls, 2 kcs, 3 runners, 3 scovy, 2 Mandy, 3 teal,  2 rouen, 1 pekin) 3 geese (1 Embden, 1 Sebastopol, 1 toulouse), 1 Flem Giant Rabbit, 1 Neth. Dwarf rabbit, 2 sugar glider. 
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Me,DH, 2 DS, 3 dogs, 1 parakeet,  2 frogs, 19 hens, 1 turk, 24 ducks (8 calls, 2 kcs, 3 runners, 3 scovy, 2 Mandy, 3 teal,  2 rouen, 1 pekin) 3 geese (1 Embden, 1 Sebastopol, 1 toulouse), 1 Flem Giant Rabbit, 1 Neth. Dwarf rabbit, 2 sugar glider. 
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post #5 of 18

We are feeding them some grain the the farm supply store and a couple weeks ago we started giving them some cracked corn.


I suspect the "grain" you are feeding them is actually a mixed scratch and not a commercial  layer feed  that guarantees (of sorts)  the minimum nutritional recquirements for laying birds.   When their nutritional recquirements are not met then your birds will have reproductive problems, deficiency problems  and will become ill.
My suggestion if the above is applicable is to find a commercial layer pelleted or crumble basic feed and only give a handful of scratch in the evening before they go to bed.

post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 

I have her in the laundry tub now soaking in warm water. If I touch around here "who-hoo" she doesn't like it. It feels like there are pebbles in that area - is this egg shell?

post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 

Okay, there is definitely something that feels like crumbs or shell pieces in that area, also feel a lump the size of a grape. When I put some pressure in that area, yellow, smelly fluid came out.
Poor girl is just exhausted.

post #8 of 18

I have cured this by keeping a hen in a warm, moist, dark environment.  bring her in the house, put her in a small box or crate, run a warm mist vaporizor if you have one.  Make sure she keep eating and drinking and make sure she gets calcium.  Are you offering the hens grit?  You can moisturize her "who hoo" (her vent) with vaseline too.  Soak her in warm water and gently massage her abdomen.  If you think the egg has broken she need to pass it.  This can be a critical point.  The egg shell can cut her so you have to be careful.  Keep her quiet in a dark place for a few days if you can.   Hope this helps and maybe someone else can add to it.

Me,DH, 2 DS, 3 dogs, 1 parakeet,  2 frogs, 19 hens, 1 turk, 24 ducks (8 calls, 2 kcs, 3 runners, 3 scovy, 2 Mandy, 3 teal,  2 rouen, 1 pekin) 3 geese (1 Embden, 1 Sebastopol, 1 toulouse), 1 Flem Giant Rabbit, 1 Neth. Dwarf rabbit, 2 sugar glider. 
Reply
Me,DH, 2 DS, 3 dogs, 1 parakeet,  2 frogs, 19 hens, 1 turk, 24 ducks (8 calls, 2 kcs, 3 runners, 3 scovy, 2 Mandy, 3 teal,  2 rouen, 1 pekin) 3 geese (1 Embden, 1 Sebastopol, 1 toulouse), 1 Flem Giant Rabbit, 1 Neth. Dwarf rabbit, 2 sugar glider. 
Reply
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 

I have her in the basement, in a basket, lined with an heating pad under her and wrapped in a towel (since she's wet from the tub).
I picked up the vitamins, oatmeal, plain yogurt & electrolytes from the pharmacy which I'm about to give her. She doesn't seem to have any strength right now.

I can't believe I'm doing all this for a chicken. These were my husbands idea. The dog is mine, he won't even pick up her poop outside and I'm spending the day taking care of his chickens!
Stupid things really grow on ya.

post #10 of 18

Give the pullet about half  to 3/4 of of a low-dose aspirin (the dose is 55 mg/kg, and I suspect she is just over a kg in weight).  THe low-dose aspirin are 81 mg, so split it in half or just over that and give it to the pullet - just pop it down her throat and then give her a bit of water to wash it down.  Also give her some liquid calcium (available at a chemist or pharmacy)  - for a pullet that size, about 2 cc should do the trick.  This is equivalent to about 600 mg, give or take, so you could even crush a 500 mg calcium pill, mix it with water and give her that.  THe calcium will help her expel the eggshell and the contents of the broken egg (if that is the problem) and the aspirin will help with discomfort, as well as take down any inflammation that may be happening from the infection that is setting in.  Hopefully that perks her up.  If you have a dog, you may also have a drug called Metacam on hand.  You can give this to your hen in place of aspirin.  The dose is 0.1 mg/kg, once per day, orally.  If the fluid build-up is still there, I can give you instructions on draining her, although it is risky to do so.  My suggestion is also to get this pullet on antibiotics, as it sounds like she already has an infection that has caused all the fluid build-up.  If she goes septic (the infection becomes body-wide) you likely won't be able to save her...

Laura

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