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Egg Bound or just fat?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by GranolaGirl, Apr 3, 2017.

  1. GranolaGirl

    GranolaGirl Out Of The Brooder

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    So I have a hen that I thought might be egg bound. She was waddling and her belly looked swollen.(Other than that, she is acting pretty normal) I used lubricant and did an internal digital exam but didn't feel an egg. Any advice?
     
  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    I don't know what egg bound looks like, but it sounds like ascites to me.
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Agrees, sounds like ascites, not a good sign.
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    They also can internally lay, which causes an upright stance.
     
  5. GranolaGirl

    GranolaGirl Out Of The Brooder

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    So if it is ascites, should I cull it?
     
  6. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It will be either ascites (water belly), internal laying or a tumour.

    Is she a pet or livestock?

    If a pet and it is ascites, then it can be drained which will give her immediate relief, however it will reoccur and need draining again and the process puts her at risk of infection, but she could go several months before needing draining again and have good quality of life in between. You could drain her yourself or get a vet to do it. Obviously, the latter will prove costly which is why, if she is livestock, the answer would be to cull.

    Internal laying and tumour are really just a question of time and quality of life and there is no treatment unless you want to go down the route of hormones to suppress ovulation for internal laying.

    I have one that has been internally laying since last summer. She has been better through the winter when she stopped ovulating but now that she has started again, the problem is getting worse and I will have to cull in the next few days. She is still managing to roost and is eating but she is so heavy and swollen that she can't go on much longer.

    For your information, with internal laying, the eggs released from the ovary fail to travel into the oviduct and drop into the abdominal cavity. They are usually the size of a small egg yolk, not a whole egg with white and shell etc, so it can go on for quite some time before it becomes obvious that there is a problem, whereas egg binding is where the complete egg gets stuck as the hen is trying to lay it. At that point it blocks the oviduct and the bowel and the hen will die within a few days because her system gets backed up. Those are the ones that you will usually feel whilst doing an internal exam, provided that they have a shell, although shell less eggs are more likely to get stuck. They do not normally cause significant abdominal swelling.

    Good luck making the right decision about what to do with your hen.

    Regards

    Barbara
     
  7. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    It's up to you to cull or not. Ascites isn't painful, though water buildup can cause discomfort, and a chicken can live a long time with it, but it won't get better. It's a symptom, not a cause. Usually there's more serious things going on, such as tumors on the organs that are causing liver failure.

    If you do decide to cull, it would be in your best interests to know what the underlying disease is. I recommend a necropsy so you will know if this is going to be something that will keep cropping up in your flock and you should know so you can manage it.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Exactly.....can be caused by heart or other organ failure/disease issues, as well as tumors/diseases.
    Won't know until you open her up...still might not know exactly unless you have a lab do histology testing-which is free in some states.

    I've had a couple with ascites, the first I isolated and monitored for several days, but she wasn't eating and drinking lots of water which went right thru her.
    Euthanized using broomstick CD and found her intestines jammed with tumors.
    The second one was dealt with more promptly as I knew I couldn't do anything to save her, she also had tumors and rotten egg yolks inside.

    The roughest, but almost unavoidable, part of chickeneering.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2017
    1 person likes this.

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