Choking Hen! Help!

HannahL

Chirping
Jan 11, 2018
60
52
88
Hi all, I just had a massive scare. My 1.5 year old Barred Plymouth Rock hen, Tilly, just started choking. I was bringing them in from their pen and I left her in the coop to go bring in two of her sisters. I come back and she has her beak wide open, trying to gasp. I pick her up and stick my fingers down her throat but I don’t feel anything, so I put her back down to see if maybe she can drink or move around or something to work it out. All of a sudden, she turns blue, closes her eyes, and collapses. I grab her and run inside. She momentarily wakes up, flaps her wings in panic and then passes out again. I brought her inside and flipped her on her back and started doing CPR by pressing on her chest with two fingers. She was totally limp at this point. She looked dead. She ended up waking up, thank god, and regained a bit of color. But she was still choking and I was scared to stop the CPR. My brother ran and grabbed a warm rag which we put across her throat/crop area and I began massaging the area. Eventually, she started breathing more normally and her color returned to normal. She’s sitting with me now. She’s conscious, can stand on her own, and she’s making little sounds every now and again. She drank some warm water. But I notice that she’s got a spot of blood on her face and when she was choking, there was blood coming from her eye. Not a large amount, but it was noticeable. I was just wondering what this possibly meant? I thought maybe it was just because she was straining or something but I wanted to make sure. Also, any suggestions when it comes to aftercare for her are appreciated. I’m gonna bring her back to the coop in a bit but take the feeder out. She’s a fast eater so I’m assuming that that’s what happened. Any ideas on how to prevent something like this again or aftercare are greatly appreciated. Thanks so much!
 

Duck Hill

Songster
Jun 17, 2015
373
445
162
South Carolina
How scary! The air hole is right in back of the tongue. If a bird is choking on a large enough object, it should be easily reachable. Since that did not help with yours, I'm guessing there was something that actually went down the wrong hole. Yaiks!

For the future: I have noticed my ducks (ok not chickens, but similar) have trouble if the food has fine particles in it. They also sometimes have trouble when the food is dry. So... mine do better with pelleted food rather than mash or crumbles (which end up with a lot of fine particles on the bottom).

And... they have trouble when they eat too quickly. So I have two different foods for my ducks. One - they love! The other - not so much. I mix both in their bowl. Of course they pick out their favorite, but this slows them down, which prevents them eating too quickly. Also, if they get really hungry, they will eat the second one. So they are always eager to have me mix in the favorite food, but they are never desperately hungry. This mix of foods seems to work well for them.

Best of luck to Tilly! I hope this never happens to her again.
 

casportpony

Enlightened
Project manager
Premium member
7 Years
Jun 24, 2012
88,004
166,294
1,912
How scary! The air hole is right in back of the tongue. If a bird is choking on a large enough object, it should be easily reachable.
:goodpost: I was just going to suggest this. :bow
@HannahL, look inside your bird's mouth and make sure the hole beind the tongue is clear. This is what it should look like:
pea_2.jpg
 

HannahL

Chirping
Jan 11, 2018
60
52
88
How scary! The air hole is right in back of the tongue. If a bird is choking on a large enough object, it should be easily reachable. Since that did not help with yours, I'm guessing there was something that actually went down the wrong hole. Yaiks!

For the future: I have noticed my ducks (ok not chickens, but similar) have trouble if the food has fine particles in it. They also sometimes have trouble when the food is dry. So... mine do better with pelleted food rather than mash or crumbles (which end up with a lot of fine particles on the bottom).

And... they have trouble when they eat too quickly. So I have two different foods for my ducks. One - they love! The other - not so much. I mix both in their bowl. Of course they pick out their favorite, but this slows them down, which prevents them eating too quickly. Also, if they get really hungry, they will eat the second one. So they are always eager to have me mix in the favorite food, but they are never desperately hungry. This mix of foods seems to work well for them.

Best of luck to Tilly! I hope this never happens to her again.
That’s a great idea! She always eats like a maniac so I’ll try adding something to slow her down. I kept her inside overnight just to keep an eye on her but she seems alright now, which is great.
 
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