Heavy Bloated Hen??

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by MontanaMomma, Dec 27, 2011.

  1. MontanaMomma

    MontanaMomma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 7, 2008
    My Leghorn hen is waddling around with a big butt and bloated tummy. She feel heavy and tight when I lift her. Comb is a purple color and she is lethargic. I put her in a warm bathtub for a while and felt around... I don't feel an egg- she just feels FULL and puffy. She keeps contracting her bumhole like she's pushing, but nothing comes out. My Leghorns don't lay regularly anymore so I can't say whether her laying schedule is off or not. Does this sound like she's bound up or something else? Help!
  2. Chicken_Pauper

    Chicken_Pauper Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 8, 2011
    Southern California
    You don't say where you are? Climate? How old is the hen?

    How about putting some buttermilk (which is also a probiotic/cultured) or yogurt mixed with some water to thin it a bit, into their food... for the flock?

    The "pulsing" of the vent hole is normal.. look at the other hen's vents.. but, if she is "bearing down" and not laying, getting into the laying box/nest and not laying... staying there for long periods... keep on treating her as if she is eggbound... Search here on BYC for Eggbound and Eggbound Treatment and do the massage, warm baths for 20 minutes at a time.. OILED FINGER... stimulating and feeling inside the vent... gently.... you do not want to break any egg you feel in there. Repeat until she lays, poops, feels better... it can't hurt her it's a warm bath and a massage.

    I ask where you are -- and the climate.... the days are shorter... hens lay less.. but, stopping completely can be something else. If you have a light on in the coop, or a light on a timer to extend their days... they should still be laying, some, some of them, laying less but still laying.

    I got 10 eggs yesterday.. out of a normal max of 13 during the summer.. of course, I got 6 today... I am in Southern California where it is nice (65) during the day but frosting at night and I have a light in the coop on.
    A couple of hens stopped laying completely, one for months and didn't start again until I had completed a thorough worming regiment -- wormed the whole flock with Valbazen. She had not laid since June and started again in early December after the worming.... after all traces of worms were gone.

    Some stop laying when they are molting or sick or have worms or it's too hot or it's too cold... shorter days... but, stops (for climate or shorter days) are usually not completely stopped and not for too long.

    You can also use the Search here on BYC to search "stopped laying".. or other symptoms.. the one symptom that you really can't use to search and get good results with is "lethargy" it's too common and too general...

    And, what are they eating? Just laying food (layer pellets, mash or krackles)? Do you put some Apple Cider Vinegar in their fresh water? Could she have eaten something bad? Moldy food or ? Have you checked her crop? Massaged it, smelled her breath?

    Depending on the ages of all of your leghorns... and if you haven't... I would consider worming... (with Valbazen... search here for "worming with Valbazen", "giving oral medications", "how much Valbazen", etc...) or, probiotics mixed in the food. Maybe... give your sick girl some water soluable antibiotics as well.... Duramycin 10 / Tetracycline... one tsp, or 1 1/2 tsp. per gallon of water.

    Go to the feed store... your local feed store should have all you need -- do not ask for Chicken wormer or Chicken antibiotics.. most things we use are made for other animals and we just adjust and use off label for chickens. Others here know more than I do.. when you search for info on Worming, look for posts (more recent posts, recent years) by dawg53.... for best info on worming.

    Good luck, I hope your searches and others will help you more...
  3. oldchickenlady

    oldchickenlady Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 9, 2010
    Cabot, AR
    I have had 3 hens have the same problem...belly started to bloat, got increasingly lethargic, walked funny due to bloated belly, not eating well. The first one I treated as egg bound, tried every thing but could not give her any relief. I waited almost 2 weeks to see if she would improve and she didn't. I finally put her down (culled) and did a necropsy. Her GI tract was blocked with a large mass of something that was the same color as their layer pellets. My hens free ranged so had access to grass, rocks, etc. Later I had another one do the same thing, then a third...all Rhode Island reds. I changed their feed from pellets to crumbles...don't know if it helped but hasn't hurt anything.

    THELMA Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 2, 2009
  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

  6. MontanaMomma

    MontanaMomma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 7, 2008
    Thanks for the links although bad news. She spent the night in a basket in the house. She seems more lively but no change in her swollen bottom. I may have the honey put her down as soon as he gets back from travel. I have not had good luck with the Leghorns- It has been a rough road. I think the winters her are too cold and the summers are too hot for them. Thanks again.
  7. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I'm really sorry. I've lost 10 or 11 from that same thing, all hatchery stock except one, and she was the daughter of a hatchery hen. It's rough because there isn't a cure for it and only a temporary relief if you can drain some fluid off for her.
  8. Mattemma

    Mattemma Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    I know this is an old thread,but it was the first to show up on my search on bloating. I am on my third bloated hen.One backside,one upper chest,and one upper and lower.I have had to cull 2 so far. One bloated up and waddled like a pengiun.The other her rear bloated,burst, and got infected.

    This last one is my hawk attack victim. The bloat is still on the smaller size,but given the history of the last too I know what will come.

    Very frustrating that they are developing this issue.Sad too.

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