Distended abdomen, feathers missing (UPDATED/Necropsy) GRAPHIC

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by MomMommyMamma, Oct 20, 2011.

  1. MomMommyMamma

    MomMommyMamma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a Buckeye hen that is just over a year, has been in fine health but we find her today not moving around much. Upon examination, she is missing a large swath of feathers on her abdomen and her her abdomen (belly) on back to her vent seems quite firm and distended. What are we dealing with??

    10/21: I put her out of her misery as I could not figure out what was wrong with her. Poor gal. After her death, I did open her belly up to see if I could learn anything. I have butchered plenty of chickens but never a laying hen before. I did not find anything even resembling any eggs in her (she had been a good layer). The membrane around the intestines was covered in what looked like tiny little pebbles. The most noticable abnormality was the large amount of fluid in her abdomen. I am sure that over a quart of yellowish liquid (ironically it looked like chicken broth), drained out upon opening the cavity.

    I've looked up ascites. I am finding only info for meat birds and it seems related to poor ventilation. We have a flock of only about 40 birds and they have plenty of space and even free range. The coop is well ventilated (there is space between the entire roof and the walls - covered in hardware cloth of course). She was a purebred Buckeye and not at all overweight or seeming unhealthy in any other way. She seemed fine and has been a sweet bird up until about 4 days ago. This morning she could barely move and seemed to be quite uncomfortable.

    Any info is appreciated.

    Pic showing the bumps on the intestines. There is a bit of the yellowish liquid as well on the plastic bag on the lower right.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2011
  2. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

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    Poor chicken. There are a few things you may want to explore. Worms may be one possibility. You may want to do a search on this site on ascites. If she is laying irregularly you may want to explore egg yolk peritonitis or internal laying.
     
  3. MomMommyMamma

    MomMommyMamma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    scratch'n'peck :

    Poor chicken. There are a few things you may want to explore. Worms may be one possibility. You may want to do a search on this site on ascites. If she is laying irregularly you may want to explore egg yolk peritonitis or internal laying.

    Thanks for the info. Wormed them two months ago.​
     
  4. MomMommyMamma

    MomMommyMamma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Updated original post. Appreciate any info.
     
  5. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    Looks like tumors. It would have been good to see the rest. But intestines should be smooth on the outside.
     
  6. MomMommyMamma

    MomMommyMamma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:The entire intestine was like that. All other organs appeared normal. I really thought I'd see eggs in her - I thought I had read that when you butcher hens there will be eggs in different stages of development. So, maybe she had stopped laying a few weeks ago or longer.
     
  7. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    If there are other eggs in development, they would be on the "face" of the ovary. If that is the gizzard up above the intestines, it looks kinda bumpy, too. She's a little old for Marek's but you might want to look up Lymphoid Leukosis
     
  8. GoldenSparrow

    GoldenSparrow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    oh poor girl,
    you sure are brave to see what you could learn by doing that. I dont think many people could. [​IMG]
    I wonder what it could be ?
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2011
  9. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm sorry you had to put her out of her misery. I'm no expert on ascites, but from what I have read, it can be caused by a variety of things and is often associated with a poor circulation or blood flow in the chicken. It sure does look like she had some tumor formations, but I really don't know what would cause that. I suppose you could try to email the photo to an agricultural extension office and find out if they can give some feedback. Here is a link I came across if you are interested: https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=40141
     

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