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Big belly, no eggs

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Lin Dixie, Feb 28, 2012.

  1. Lin Dixie

    Lin Dixie New Egg

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    Feb 28, 2012
    Hi Everyone,

    I'm new to the forum, but not new to chickens. I've cared for adult chickens for several years at a farm that I ran, but this past year my husband and I decided to raise our own flock from chicks. Our babies arrived in May of 2011, in the mail from a hatchery. So they're just about 10 months old.

    Late in December, one of our (then) 9 month old Ameraucanas, Daisy, didn't look right. Upon inspection, we realized that her belly was hanging low from behind her legs to her tail. She walked sort of upright like a duck, and held her tail pointing slightly downward. Her butt was crusted with poop. I figured she was egg-bound. We brought her inside and gave her a good long warm soak, which she loved, and cleaned off the crust. All looked fine, so we toweled her and set her up in our bathroom in a large box to monitor.

    The big belly stayed, but she ate, drank, talked and pooped like any other day. After two days and one escape, in which she trashed and shattered many items in our bathroom, she quietly laid a perfect blue egg, so the next day we put her outside again. She's been laying fine since then, but still has had the low-hanging belly.

    Last Friday morning when I went outside to feed them and let them outside, I noticed Daisy on the floor in a corner of the coop. Uh oh. I crouched down to see what was wrong, and noticed spots of blood. I picked her up and OH NO! blood everywhere on her belly and shavings underneath her. I brought her right inside and put her in the tub with warm water to clean her up and see what the injury was.

    Her vent looks fine. There were some large v-shaped tears or flaps on her skin, so I'm thinking she cut herself jumping down from her roost, or outside the evening before and we didn't notice it. Her belly hangs low so it wouldn't be noticable unless we were on the ground. Dried her off, let her spend the night inside her box in the bathroom, and sprayed herbehind with Blue-Kote, partly as an anteseptic and partly to cover any red from the bleeding (which had almost completely stopped except for a little oozing) and put her back out with the rest of the flock. Now she is a yellow chicken with a purple butt.

    Saturday my husband noticed the other hens were picking on her, so we put her in a large wire dog crate inside the coop so she could still be with the rest of them while she has a chance to heal and get plenty of food without interference. She ACTS fine, eating, drinking, talking, showing me the door of the crate each time I go in the coop, as if to say "look, stuppid, this is how you get me out of here". But Imn keeping her in there until I am sure she is ok, or at least until she lays an egg.

    So she's been in the crate since Saturday afternoon, it's now Tuesday evening, and no egg. Her round purple belly is almost to the ground, but she does not appear to be in pain except she walks a little funny because she's so big. Poops looks pretty normal. She seems alert and bright eyed, pecking, scratching and shows interest in the other girls, but is so big and I think really should have laid an egg by now.

    There are no vets in this area that deal with chickens although one "exotic animal" vet has offered to put her down for us. I prefer not to do that as she is a pet, and so young I'd like to give her a chance. I'm attaching a photo of her with her low-belly in December, when she had her first issue. The dark purple Blue-Kote on her belly now makes it hard to take a photo that shows much, but she is bigger now than she was in this picture from about 6 weeks ago.

    From what I've read, it seems like this may be internal laying, but I'm not clear on how to help her. Or could it be something else?? Any advice would be greatly appreciated, just please don't tell me "put her in the freezer"!

    Thanks,
    Lin

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Suzie

    Suzie Overrun With Chickens

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    Auvergne
    Hi![​IMG]

    Just read through your email and sorry to say I can't help, you really need somebody with knowledge of internal laying - Speckledhen has a wealth of knowledge about internal laying as do many others on this forum. Hopefully somebody will respond to you soon.

    What a beautiful chicken you have!

    Suzie
     
  3. Jessie66

    Jessie66 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 11, 2011
    Prince George, BC
    Just wondering if the big belly feels like? is it full of liquid? or is it like fleshy? she is very pretty...nice bathroom too...spoiled hen...LOL
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2012
  4. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    I'm not going to tell you to put her in the freezer because I don't recommend eating birds with active infections. She most likely has EYP. Take the vet up on his offer. She is not going to make it without some serious and expensive intervention under a vet's care. She likely isn't going to make it even if you do find a vet willing to work on her. I am sorry.

    Good luck.

    By the way, welcome to BYC. I wish it were under better circumstances.
     
  5. Lin Dixie

    Lin Dixie New Egg

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    Feb 28, 2012
    Hi Everyone,

    Thanks for your responses. Daisy is such a sweetie, she's do docile and trusting. She did trash the bathroom right before I took that picture in December, not because she was afraid, just because she was experimenting with shiny things on the counter. And you should've seen her talking to herself in the mirror! Yes, she is spoiled.

    Her belly feels hard and firm, but not hot. She is only 10 months old and I was really hoping she would get through this. CMV,we are in southern NH. If you are in this area, can you recommend a vet that "does chickens"? If not I'll call the exotic animal guy.

    Thanks again,
    Lin

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2012
  6. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Marlborough Veterinary Clinic
    115 Main St.
    Marlborough NH 03455
    603-876-3760

    This guy is supposed to be the best.

    There is another avian vet that works at The Court Street Vet in Keene, NH. I can't recommend him as I had problems with him years ago. He's kind of a big jerk.

    I hope this helps.
     
  7. 1livelychick

    1livelychick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi! So sorry about your hen. She is beautiful. I recently lost a hen and sent her to the state's poultry lab. My hen had a bacterial infection that they get from dirt.
    I had another one come down with the same thing and she survived. I gave her aspirin to help with the pain and swelling and Tylan 200 orally for two weeks. It worked and she is up and about scratching away.. Haven't seen an egg yet, though. Hope this helps.
     
  8. Lin Dixie

    Lin Dixie New Egg

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    Feb 28, 2012
    Hi Everyone,

    Our Daisy is still hanging in. We have her in a wire dog crate inside the coop, so she can still be with the other chickens, but is separate so we can tell if she lays an egg. So far, no egg. It's been 9 days. Her swollen abdomen is less swollen, and she is eating and drinking and "talking" and acting normal. Bright eyed, alert, curious and hungry. I shut all of the chickens outside of the coop today except one, and let Daisy out of her crate with her.... they had a fine time eating and scratching and throwing shavings into their waterer, and then went up to roost near sunset. Daisy immediately took the favorite roosting spot, and pecked/pushed the other hen away when she tried to get it. I had to put her back in her crate though, because as soon as I let the rest of the girls in, one of our Partridge Plymouth Rocks started chasing her around and packing at her belly.

    I honestly don't think she's suffering, but I know something is still wrong because the red hen goes after her, and because there are still no eggs. Anyone have any thoughts, recommendations or moral support? I can't keep her in the crate forever and we're hoping she'll continue to get stronger so we can let her back loose with the rest of the flock without worrying she'll be attacked. And still no idea what's going on inside.

    Thanks!
    Lin
     

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