Clear Liquid Extraction from Abdomen; Help with next steps


In the Brooder
Jul 1, 2022
My husband and I decided to try and extract fluid from our 3-4yr old Easter Egger’s belly last night. It felt like a water balloon, as many have stated it should feel when it’s Ascites or water belly.

18 gauge needle, 60cc tube, and alcohol wipes used. The fluid came out with ease but it was clear. From my research, this seems to link to just a ovarian cyst- is there any other possibility? After ~130cc removed, we stopped. While she perked up some right after the fluid extraction, it’s been 10 hours since we drained her and she’s not looking a lot better. She eats and drinks some but won’t move much, constantly in a penguin type position. Her cage floor was covered in the clear liquid, along with her droppings which have been rather runny the past few days (lots of clear/white liquid and some soft solids).

I’m at a loss as to what to do next. My questions..
1. Do I drain her again? How long should I wait between drainings? She’s a smaller bird so we only drained what we though felt like half but a lot more leaked out in the night
2. If it’s a cyst, how do I know? I get that puncturing the cyst and it draining into her system is not good, but are there any signs to indicate it’s a cyst, or is it just that she’ll continue downhill?
3. Should I cull her now so she doesn’t continue to suffer? I can’t truly tell if she is but the lack of movement sure makes it seem that way. Or at minimum, she has a lot of pressure built up in her little body.

We’ve had chickens for 1.5 years and have had some deaths, but this would be the first I have to cull. Incredibly nervous about the procedure (broomstick seems best based on comments on this site) and I just want to try and know I’ve done all I can before making that decision.


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As an update: she’s having watery clear and white liquid stool (maybe what some describe as milky?) but with no stool.
And final update: things progressed quickly. She could no longer stand and was very weak so we ensured a quick passing with the shovel method.

Adding my opinions here in case any others come across this post later: My gut was telling me we punctured a really big cyst but I was just not willing to commit to what had to be done since I didn’t definitively know- but how could I without a vet? I wish I had culled her sooner to put her out of her pain she was probably in- from my research, extracting clear liquid and not seeing an improvement in physical appearance that stays constant 12-24hrs later to me means she should be let go.

Hope this helps others ❤️
I had the same problem but, after I drained a little of the fluid the rest drained on its own and almost instantly to around 10 minutes afterwards she is doing a lot better and her abdomen has returned to normal except for the feather loss she has had. I also gave penicillin because I did not know if it was bacterial infection related or if I had accidentally introduced any bacteria through the needle. She is up moving around and eating and drinking now. Do you think she will be okay? Do you think it’s an ovarian cyst?
This is what the fluid looks like and this is the hen. She is about 2.5 years old before I drained the fluid she would not eat or drink and was not moving around. Her breathing was also very labored but has returned to normal as well. The third picture is what the abdomen looks like now, it was much larger and very squishy and warm compared to what it is now.


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