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post #21 of 24
Originally Posted by Bocktobery 10 View Post

  Hey all,



     Again, I'm here asking for help-   Have another chicken - a Rhode island red- who's got a swollen abdomen.   It happened very quickly, like the span of 24 hours.   She was lethargic before- like a week before- but I thought this was due to the extreme cold weather we were having at that time.  Her favorite hen friend- another Rhode island red-  that she likes to hang around has been sick with a swollen abdomen for many months now, but is actually doing quite well, moving around and being much more active than before.  I don't know if the illnesses are related.  I find it strange that the hen in question got so ill so quickly.  


  Her symptoms are this:


    Yellowish, watery slimy whitish droppings with bits of green in it  (The green I know means she has not been eating- she does eat, and has been but not that much lately)


     Her breastbone is sticking out and she is emaciated.  This weight loss also happened very quickly. 


   Her abdomen form the end of the breastbone to the vent is very swollen.  This grew over the span of about two days.  I think it was worse yesterday, but it seems to have gone down some since treating her with Lincomycin.  I also gave her 1cc shot of Tylan 50 once a day for two days.  I stopped that because I saw that some of her skin is black in the region-  I'm not sure if that is from the shot or not.  


     Her vent seems obstructed.  I put my lubed gloved finger up inside there to feel for an egg-  felt nothing like that.  The swelling seems outside of the cloaca and is putting pressure on the whole system there.  When I put my finger in there, yellowish slimey stuff came out.  It didn't smell bad. 


    She is about four years old.   She stopped laying two years ago. Same with the other hen (her buddy).  


    Her comb is of good color- she does have a bit of frostbite at the tips which has been healing over the past days I think due to bringing her inside and also giving her the antibiotics.    The comb is red, pliable.  


   She did seem interested in drinking the first few days, but now she is more interested in eating.  She does eat, but stops.   I wormed my flock about 8 weeks ago.   They were also dusted for mites at this time.


    She seems to be responding to the antibiotics, but not that much.  She is not eating a whole lot, but still is eating when she can.  She seems weak.  She can't stand on her own due to the swollen abdomen.  I'm afraid that if the problem is bacterial (why I'm giving her the antibiotics to try) that by the time the bacteria is cleared she will die from starvation.   I'm not sure if the swelling is obstructing her vent or not.  I have noticed that she does eliminate a little bit- about as much as she eats.  Yesterday she had brown poo- but about a teaspoon full.   Mostly it is yellow with a bit of green.  She has also eliminated a lot of fluid.   It smells funny-  I've smelled this scent with all of my hens that died with similar symptoms of a swollen abdomen.   It reminds me of the ph being off- like when cats have a urinary tract infection.   Sour smell, I guess.


    OH, I should note also that the abdomen does not feel like a water balloon- its more fleshy and hard, but not hard as a rock or anything like that.   Its firm.   I can't poke my finger into it very far.   Her veins are also showing in the skin around this area.  It looks very stretched. 






     I have one other hen showing signs of illness.  A five year old Plymouth Rock.  Up until today she was getting along really well, eating, walking about all while being super thin.   She was wormed as well, dusted.  I have her on the same antibiotic as these other two hens for the past few days.   She is not showing signs of improvement but she does eat.  She seems like she is putting on weight but it seems as though it only in her back end- I'm worried she is starting to swell just like the other two.  


     All my other chickens seem really good.  There are two that seem to be going through something like a molt and are a bit skinny.  They are younger and still laying. 




  I'm concerned that this is a virus rather than bacterial.  I free range my flock, so its entirely possible they could eat something bad.  The compost pile is their favorite hanging out ground.   Most all of my hens that I have lost in the history of my flock died of something similar.   Is this just normal chicken disease like liver disease or cancer?   Is it normal to loose hens to this sort of thing?   I'm worried about Lymphoid leukosis.   I don't know much about it. 


  I think I may try to do a necropsy if or when this hen dies, but I don't know what I'd be looking for.   I will try and take pictures and post if possible. 


  Anyone know what might be going on with her? 

Okay, our hen has pretty much the same symptoms, except the gurgling is in her lungs- it sounds like.  

post #22 of 24

Sorry- didn't mean to take up most of the page...  Still figuring out how to "quote" on here.  

post #23 of 24
Thread Starter 

Hi SuperChickRuth,



    I'm sorry your hen is ill.  I've learned since then that EYP is fairly common and its tough to watch your hen go through it.  There's not much that can be done for them, sadly.   They can sometimes live quite a while with it.. it depends, I assume, on every case. 


  I also noticed in my post that I must have been mistaken about her swollen abdomen occurring within a short time...  I don't know how that happened, but obviously I wasn't examining my chickens as much as I thought.    Chickens do hide pain very well.  I bet she had it for a long time and I never took notice anything was wrong to examine her until she got too sick with it.   


Oh, and just a note here, in my necropsy post I said the egg mass was about 8 pounds...I doubt that now.. its been a long time but I do believe I was guessing, but I do remember being surprised at how heavy it was.   Maybe more like 3 to 5 pounds. 



     No problem on the quoting a long post.. I'm glad you re-posted my quote because I had forgotten what I had written.  Feels like ages ago since this happened. 


   Sorry again to hear about your hen.  

post #24 of 24

Thanks for replying so quickly.  We think she has ascites now... not internal egg laying.  Here's the whole story.  


We have a trap-door with a pulley to let our girls out of the coop in the morning.  Younger member of family was playing with it when letting them out, and dropped the trapdoor on Cricket, the now sick hen.  She was stunned, but then seemed fine afterwards.  


Couple days later, we noticed she was doing the "penguin walk" and took her to the vet.  She had x-rays, and they said it was just soft tissue damage.  So she was on medication, and then after ten days, got sour crop.  She's off the medicine, and over the sour crop, but now she's doing the "penguin walk" again, and her abdomen is really swollen.  

Maybe it was before, and we just didn't notice it.


She seemed to have breathing difficulties, esp. when we picked her up.  Now it's really bad.  


Anyway, thanks again for replying!  



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