Originally Posted by FlyingNunFarm
She was a girl someone else couldn't keep. I have no idea on her origin or age. When I drained her belly I used a butterfly needle with tubing. That way I could leave the needle in and just hook up a syringe to pull fluid. I did it till I had a hard time pulling back the plunger. I guess I was expecting a dramatic change instantly. Or should I say hoping. Her belly is swollen but not massive. Maybe a grapefruit size. I've read cantaloupe size but with draining the hen lived a while longer. I know she won't be cured but if she could live comfortably only dealing with a draining every few months... She hasn't gone to roost recently but gets around ok. Eating and drinking. I'm new to chickens and this will be my first loss. Not a decision I wanted to have to make.
Thank you for responding and so quickly. Any other thoughts would be appreciated.
I do not fault you for trying. And this being your first time to deal with it (hopefully, the last, but probably not), it will teach you a lot. Lord knows, I did this so many times with sweet Olivia. She was a huge learning experience, both she and Ivy. What I did learn was that though you see the fluid in the abdomen, you don't see as it advances that fluid collects in other places like heart and lungs as well. It's a complete organ failure, really.
One thing that may help, though it won't cure it, is to give one round of penicillin injections. It seems to sometimes help the fluid dissipate to a degree, at least before the condition is far advanced. For this, do 3/4-1 cc injected in the breast muscle, alternating sides, for up to 4 days. I usually do one round and that is it.
With last hen, it didn't help her much. I prepared for her to die (splash Rock from a breeder). She stayed bloated for months. Then one day, I picked her up to check and no fluid, but she'd lost a LOT of weight and was molting. I thought it was the end for her. Nope, she started to gain her weight back and actually started laying again! That is VERY rare. But it was short-lived. I just pulled a crushed shell from her the other day-she prolapsed trying to push it out. And she's bloating again. I won't give her penicillin. She is 5 years old.
Best of luck to you. Let us know how it turns out for your hen.
Edited by speckledhen - 5/31/16 at 10:40am