Bottom Heavy Bird - Overweight or Something else?

UrbanChick35456

In the Brooder
Mar 30, 2017
11
12
39
I have a bantam that stays mostly inside. She goes out daily in warmer months and stays in our home in the winter (we have other strictly-outdoor chickens, she is a special case). Over the past month or two, I noticed her gait change to a waddle and she feels bigger in her bum and sometimes seems to be breathing heavier than normal. Other than that she seems like herself.... I thought maybe water belly, but the area feels more firm than water-balloon-like and I thought may be she's just needs a little diet. I feel like she is bottom heavy, though - I can feel her keel bone in the chest. I'm getting hung up on whether I should be able to feel that bone if she's just overweight.

**Can chickens be bottom heavy in their weight gain or is this a sign of something else? (Note: she doesn't really ever lay eggs since being treated for something years ago) I think she may be 5 years old?

I thank you in advance for your kind suggestions.
 

Wyorp Rock

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Premium Feather Member
Sep 20, 2015
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If you have photos that would be great:)
From your description- the waddle, heavy belly, heavier breathing, etc., I would suspect that she may have a reproductive problem. Sadly, Internal laying, EYP, Salpingitis, cancer or tumors can be common in hens.

It's possible that she may have some fluid in the abdomen that can be drained to give some respiratory relief, but often times egg masses/tumors, etc. can also press upon the internal organs which makes breathing difficult as well.

If you have vet care that is always best.
 

UrbanChick35456

In the Brooder
Mar 30, 2017
11
12
39
Yes - he pulled out a little over 60cc and he said there was more in there, but he didn't want to shock her system so he just told me to keep an eye on her. It was icky brown fluid.
 

Wyorp Rock

Addict
Premium Feather Member
Sep 20, 2015
30,067
40,220
1,252
Southern N.C. Mountains
Yes - he pulled out a little over 60cc and he said there was more in there, but he didn't want to shock her system so he just told me to keep an eye on her. It was icky brown fluid.
Oh dear, that doesn't sound good:hugs
Did your vet prescribe any antibiotics?

Hopefully the draining will make her more comfortable.
You may also be interested in offering her further supportive care as outlined
in THIS POST.
Most of the time, there is an underlying condition which is causing the fluid to buildup, whether organ failure or reproductive problems, it's hard to know.
 

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