4 week old chick with swollen belly

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Troutdale Chicken Mama, May 7, 2009.

  1. Troutdale Chicken Mama

    Troutdale Chicken Mama New Egg

    May 7, 2009
    I am a new Chicken Mama who discovered last night that my smallest of 6 chicks has a very swollen belly and a hard time walking (waddling because her belly is so enlarged).
    The belly is not hard, and I don't see any signs of crusted poop around her vent. She was eager to let me rub her belly and fell asleep while I was massaging her.
    She is still drinking water, but I haven't seen her eat. She seems to be cold, as she kept huddling with the others (or maybe she just wants comfort). The coop is plenty warm, but I did move the light down a bit lower for her.
    What should I do / watch for?
  2. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    It's possible she has water buildup (ascites). I have no experience with this, but you may want to search here concerning this until someone with experience can assist...I do know that some owners have syringed the fluid, if this is the cause...

    I think you are doing the right thing by separating her and keeping her warm. She may accept feed moistened with water, you might have to offer by dropper or straw.

    Here is a link to the condition in the Merck Veterinary manual.


    Have these chicks received anything containing salt?
    Last edited: May 7, 2009
  3. Troutdale Chicken Mama

    Troutdale Chicken Mama New Egg

    May 7, 2009
    Thanks for the link, Lynne.

    I am going to try & leave work early today to see if I can take her in somewhere to be looked at.

    As far as I know, she hasn't had any salt (?) -- should she??
  4. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Glad they have had no salt, was just checking because it can trigger ascites and other problems.

    Glad you have a vet to consult (wish I did) and please let us know how baby is doing! [​IMG]
  5. Bird Brain

    Bird Brain Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2009
    Hixson, TN
    does your bird look like this? Abdomen kinda stickin out (best pic I could get)


    Im not sure if anything is wrong with this chick. I know its pooping, it pooped on my counter while i was taking a pic. It just stands different than the others. It was sold to me as a moran, but it stands and looks just a tad different than the other two I have. Let me know what you find out. Im curious if my chick is sick.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2009
  6. Troutdale Chicken Mama

    Troutdale Chicken Mama New Egg

    May 7, 2009
    No, her tummy is REALLY swollen. A bit 'squishy' to the touch, not hard or hot. She is so swollen that she can barely walk.

    I took her to the feed store I bought her at and the gentleman there thought that she was stressed from being cold. He did not have anything else to offer.

    I found out there is a vet locally that sees chickens, but not until this Saturday.

    She is back inside the house in her old brooder with a heat lamp. Keeping our fingers crossed that this is really all that is wrong with her.
  7. California Ducken

    California Ducken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Good Luck. with your chickie. I hope she makes it so the vet can help make her all better.
    Keep us posted please.
    Poor baby. Keep up the good work mom!!
  8. ChickOhio

    ChickOhio Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 17, 2009
    sounds like a sour or impacted crop we just lost a 12 week old from this...we didnt recognize it fast enough

    search this site for good info...good luck

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by