First time dealing with a chicken illness...any ideas?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by molly d, Sep 30, 2012.

  1. molly d

    molly d Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 28, 2010
    lawrence, ks
    My little lady Gertie is a 2.5 year old red sex link, who is normally my best layer and most friendly hen. I noticed her laying down in the corner of the run yesterday, which is a little out of character for her - she's normally very social and energetic. I picked her up and noticed she had a very messy back end. I also noticed some swelling in her abdomen. Thinking she may have had an egg stuck, I let her soak in a warm bath for about 20 minutes, then wrapped her in a towel and held her on my lap until she dried out enough to go back outside. She seemed okay for the rest of the day, but never did lay an egg. This morning she was no better - her bum is messy again, and she's not eating or moving around very much. However, her comb and wattles are a nice bright red and she's alert. She's not puffed up or anything either, and seems to be pooping normally except for the mess factor. I brought her inside with the intention of giving her another soak, but is there anything else I should be doing for her? I've read through a few threads on egg bound hens, but I'm not 100% sure if that's what the problem is. We do have a vet in town that treats chickens, so if she's not better tomorrow I will probably bring her in. However, I would rather treat her at home if I can. Any suggestions?? Thanks all, I appreciate the help!!
     
  2. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    Does her bottom that is swollen feel like a water balloon? If so she could be retaining fluid in the tissues from reproductive problems or infection.
     
  3. Bellurd

    Bellurd Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 17, 2012
    Woodland Hills, Ca
    Google "Ascites."

    One of mine just had the same problem. Took me forever to find out what it was! You can actually drain her yourself if you feel comfortable with that. There are a few articles that tell you how to do it on google. 1.25$ for a syringe from the feed store was way better than what the vet would have charged and it was surprisingly easy.
     
  4. molly d

    molly d Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 28, 2010
    lawrence, ks
    Yes, it does feel similar to a water balloon. After looking up ascites, it sounds like this might be the problem. I'm going to pick up a syringe tomorrow and see if we can drain any of the fluid. The poor little thing is obviously uncomfortable, so hopefully that will bring her some relief. Thank you all for your replies! Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to report back with some good news!
     
  5. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    Just find a very big but very short needle, like a 16 gauge but only like 1/2 inch if you can and a big syringe...it can be an amazing amount of fluid in there. Aim towards the lower widest part.... Best wishes
     
  6. molly d

    molly d Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 28, 2010
    lawrence, ks
    Thanks for the tip! Hopefully things will go smoothly with Gertie today. She is still not feeling well this morning. Her back end is covered in green poo, and she wasn't interested in breakfast. I'm going to check on her over lunch today and clean her up a bit, and hopefully get her to eat something. Poor girl [​IMG]
     

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