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Chicken with a very firm abdomen

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Shellythig, Oct 21, 2014.

  1. Shellythig

    Shellythig New Egg

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    Oct 21, 2014
    I had back surgery at the end of August, so today was the first time I've been able to spend any real time with my small backyard flock, having left their care to my husband. I quickly noticed one of my Ameraucana hens (3 yrs old) didn't look right. On further examination, I noticed that this once beautiful example of a hen actually looked more like a duck, low abdomen, waddle, tail down. Catching her during daylight wasn't easy for me so I had my husband go get her after she went in to roost. I'm not sure if she made it up to the roost. When I checked her out, I found she had a very hard, droopy abdomen, a small amount of white poop stuck to some of her bottom feathers, not blocking her vent. She had been eating, and her vent looked normal. I put on a glove and with a little lubricant, inserted my finger about an inch to see if I could feel anything. Nothing was there so I stopped. I put her in a large box for the night. We'll be off to the vet in the morning. Any ideas or suggestions? I've had lots of small flocks in my life but never experienced this.
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Welcome to BYC. It could possibly be internal laying or egg yolk peritonitis. Ascites (fluid in the abdomen) can sometimes accompany these from liver or heart failure. Cancer is also very common in older hens. Sometimes Baytril or penicillin is given to help with infection, to prolong life, and if there is ascites, fluid can be drawn off periodically to give comfort. Here is some info to help:
    http://www.chickenvet.co.uk/health-and-common-diseases/egg-laying-issues/index.aspx
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/526089/egg-yolk-peritonitis
     

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