Bloated Chicken


In the Brooder
11 Years
Apr 4, 2008
Hi there. Yesterday I found my chicken who I had been missing for 2 days. When I picked her up, I found her belly extremely bloated. Her vent was caked with poo and she couldn't stand or walk. She was bloated from just below her keel bone all the way to her vent. It was soft and felt like a water balloon. She was all puffed up and had her eyes closed most of the time. I had someone come and put the poor thing out of her misery, but I have no idea what was wrong with her. The people I have spoken to have never heard of bloating like that in a chicken. Has anyone had this happen before? Any ideas what was wrong with her? How panicked do I need to be about all my other hens?


Hmmmm......I hadn't thought of that. It isn't impossible, but highly unlikely. We only have 2 venomous species here in CT, but according to DEP there are none in my area of the state. They do spend a lot of time on and around a wood pile. Possibly an infected bite? Thanks!
dlhunicorn, thank you! That article was great! I am glad to know that it is not anything contagious! I am also glad I had someone end it all quickly for her. I did notice a sort of gurgling at times when I was holding her. It was not constant and not a sound I have heard before. My poor girl! I miss her very much, but am relieved to know that she isn't suffering.

Thanks again!

I have a chicken with a similar problem. Her bottom is very bloated, squishy. I don't know what to do. She is a Buff Orpington about 2 ½ years old. I believe she has been laying on a regular basis. But I cannot find out what to do. All the veternarians around me don't seem to take care of farm animals. Can anyone offer a suggestion.
Was it her abdomen, or more like a full, pendulous crop?
If it was only 2 days that she was gone, and was healthy before she left, it seems like she wouldn't have ascites yet....but possible that she ate alot of junk and got clogged up??
With ascites and with a crop that is full of liquid, they can make those sounds. I'm sorry for your loss. She must have had a bad couple of days. :(
I read that article about ascites that is listed. I just cleaned the coop and it was dusty, which could have been the onset. And I understand the complications with the air sacs not being able to pump the blood around. I don't think she has gotten to the bad stage yet. I've had her in the kitchen for an hour and she does poop, and eat, although her crop isn't really full. It is night here and I don't expect she wants to eat right now. Her name is "Special". She just ate some meal worms and yogurt (the yogurt was my sister's suggestion) and some stale bread. I'm not sure how long she has, but she doesn't seem bothered by the bloat right now.
Has she always seemed normal? Normal weight, normal growth?
I had a buff orp that was always a little smaller than the others. By the time she was 6 months old, she had a full abdomen. I took her to an avian vet a couple times and she drained her abdomen. I started doing that at home about every 3-5 months, and she would be fine inbetween those times. It was clear fluid.
She lived for about 8 years.
I had another hen who had a swollen abdomen, and I drained her, and it was bright green. She died soon after that.
I'm thinking the first one had some sort of congenital heart problem, or something like that.
The second one probably had an egg-laying problem and had peritonitis. If you're feeling brave enough to drain her, it might help.
I described the process somewhere around here. I'll try to find it for you.
If you're afraid you might hit an organ with the needle, sometimes you can just make very shallow pokes in the skin, and it drains out by gravity.
Sometimes chickens get problems that we just can't figure out and we can't do anything about. Its sad, but it happens.

You say she has a bloated you mean her abdomen, or do you mean around her vent?

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom