Chick feels soft and swollen

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by fowltemptress, Apr 25, 2008.

  1. fowltemptress

    fowltemptress Frugal Fan Club President

    1,796
    42
    181
    Jan 20, 2008
    I have several two week old japanese bantams, and I'm always sure to pick them up once early in the day and once in the evening, mainly for socialization. Two mornings ago the chicks were normal. In the evening, one of my chicks felt weird, like it had been partially filled with air. She doesn't look swollen, but she feels swollen, and there is alot of give to the swelling. I've done searches on the internet, but I'm not sure what to type in the search bar, and the things I've found on swelling seem to describe a visual, more solid feeling form of swelling. The chicken is acting normal as far as I can see, and she seems to be pooping. From what I've read on swelling chicks it can't be spread, so I haven't made plans for quarantine. It's the second day and she doesn't act sick. Does this sound familiar to anyone who could direct me to some web resources? Could it be water belly or something similar? Nothing seems to quite fit what's going on with this bird, and I would like to at least have SOME idea of what is going on, short of a vet visit (sorry, but my chickens get diagnosed and treated by me. I know this will rub some folks the wrong way, but I'm not willing to spend money where it is more cost effective to simply cull. I'm hoping most of you will understand). Any ideas? Even some better key words than "swelling chick" would be appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. sammi

    sammi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 21, 2007
    Southeast USA
    where exactly is the swelling, or bloated feeling?

    is it the crop?
    could the chick have an impacted crop from eating bedding, or corn?

    another possibility is an air sac injury..

    have you checked the vent to make sure it is clear?
    is the chick having droppings?
     
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Which part of the chick? The whole chick? Just the crop area? Under the wings? If she's filled with air, maybe a ruptured air sac? But that wouldn't be a happy bird I think. Dunno?
     
  4. jimd

    jimd Out Of The Brooder

    81
    0
    29
    Feb 17, 2008
    Mounds, Oklahoma
    My son just pointed out a similar 4 week old bird in our flock.
    This one is only on the left side, under wing. Bird is fine otherwise. Crop is fine.
    It's like someone injected air uner the bird's skin.
     
  5. jimd

    jimd Out Of The Brooder

    81
    0
    29
    Feb 17, 2008
    Mounds, Oklahoma
    Found this
    Hope it works, I just "popped" our bird and he didn't get upset, and looks better.
     
  6. fowltemptress

    fowltemptress Frugal Fan Club President

    1,796
    42
    181
    Jan 20, 2008
    It's the whole bird, except for the wings, legs, and head, of course.
    I'd be terrified of "popping" a bird. How did you pop yours?
     
  7. jimd

    jimd Out Of The Brooder

    81
    0
    29
    Feb 17, 2008
    Mounds, Oklahoma
    I sterilized a needle. Looking at the skin, it was so thin that it was easy to miss any blood vessels. so I made the absolute smallest hole I could, and applied pressure. The air escaped, I put him down, and he ran back to his buds.
     
  8. fowltemptress

    fowltemptress Frugal Fan Club President

    1,796
    42
    181
    Jan 20, 2008
    Well, I've been reading up on subcutaneous emphysema (most google results bring up people afflicted with this), and as far as I can tell, even in people the treatment involves a fancy form of "popping." The sites overall did mention that this was only done in severe cases where the trapped air was getting in the way of breathing or other normal behavior. Since my chick is not displaying any signs that it is in distress, I have decided not to pop it as of yet, though I did go out to buy sterile needles, just in case it does start looking listless or anything. Yesterday evening I picked the hick up and it felt just the same as the day before, but this evening the chick has deflated . . . not anywhere near all the way, but it feels as though some air has definitely escaped, so I'm hoping this will resolve itself on its own. I would love to avoid poking holes if it is not necessary, but I am prepared to do so in case she inflates again.

    I just decided to update a bit on what's going on, in case anyone else ever has this problem. Thanks, jimd, for the link. Until you came along, I was having a heck of a time finding anything that seemed remotely to be what was going on with my chick.
     
  9. fowltemptress

    fowltemptress Frugal Fan Club President

    1,796
    42
    181
    Jan 20, 2008
    Well, the chick is completely back to normal without me having done anything at all! It's so weird to have had an animal that was blown up like a balloon, and yet nothing bad seemed to have come from it. I think I'll take this bit of good luck and run with it . . . looks like she is my only hen in the bunch, so thank goodness she's fine.

    If anyone else ever has this happen to a chick, I'd love to hear about it.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by