Help! Hen swollen and lethargic....

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by jedchops2003, Sep 19, 2011.

  1. jedchops2003

    jedchops2003 New Egg

    8
    0
    7
    Sep 15, 2011
    Hi,

    Complete novice so please excuse my lack of technical knowledge and also chicken parts..... I have 14 hens, ex free range farm. Yesterday one of the hens seemed tired and lacked interest in food. This morning she didn't run to the feeding pot. She is drinking and I've been in and fed her some meal worms which she had no trouble with.

    On the downside she seems bloated and puffed out....here's were my lack of knowledge really kicks in. Just below her neck there is a large ball which the other chickens have too but hers seems larger. It is fairly soft to touch.

    I have tried checking around her bottom area to see if she is egg bound but not really sure what I'm feeling for although I definately couldn't feel an egg (again not sure if checking in exactly right place!)

    Her crest is pale and fairly small but this hasn't changed.

    We've only had them for just over a week so at this stage I've no idea whether she's ever laid an egg (we don't get 14 per day) but she has no loss of feathers.

    The rest of the hens are lively and well so am worried about this one.

    Sorry for waffling.......anyone any thoughts/advice?
     
  2. Animalian

    Animalian Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2011
    Australia
    If there an egg there it will be very obvious. I worked out one of my quail had an egg stuck before I even knew what being eggbound was! (I was 12)

    Maybe she has a blockage in her crop? That could make it larger than the other girls'. Not sure how to treat it though, someone here will know!

    Put some vitamins in her water because at least that will get through and keep her energy up. Also keep her warm.
     
  3. jedchops2003

    jedchops2003 New Egg

    8
    0
    7
    Sep 15, 2011
    By her crop does this mean the neck or the puffy ball thing on the chest? (must sound like a total numbski!!)
     
  4. Animalian

    Animalian Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2011
    Australia
    Oh sorry. Bird stuff is second language to me, the crop is just below the neck, it's where the food goes before it moves on through the birds gizzard (version of a stomach). In the morning the crop will be empty and through the day you may or may not notice a bulge grow on the hens chest which is her crop filling up as she eats. Sometimes it can feel like a ball if your hen is thin or just a breed that doesn't hold much weight. If there is a blockage it will not empty and just get more and more full and can sometimes rupture.

    Just check her in the morning and see if the bulge is gone or smaller, if it is her crop is ok and it's something else.

    These may help you in the future
    outside bits: https://www.backyardchickens.com/LC-anatomy.html
    disgestive
    system: http://www.raising-chickens.org/images/js_phchickendigestivetract.jpg <= see how the crop is kinda on the chest.
     
  5. jedchops2003

    jedchops2003 New Egg

    8
    0
    7
    Sep 15, 2011
    Just an update.....Henny still under the weather, checked her crop this morning and it is still swollen and is soft and squishy as opposed to the other girls whose seem more 'golf ball' like. Anybody know what this indicates? She is still eating a little and drinking but is slow and generally 'puffed up' (although she was big at the outset). She was pulling at her feathers yesterday and also seems very interested in pecking at the mud. Have checked for mites but nothing seen.
     
  6. Animalian

    Animalian Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2011
    Australia
    could be a cyst? I've also heard of chickens developing air pockets under the skin.

    What does her skin look like where the lump is?

    *bump*
     
  7. dandydoodle

    dandydoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 21, 2010
    georgia
    Is the ball larger then the other girls??? I have heard people talk on here about giving oil to a bird with an obstruction. I don't know what kind or how much. I mean if you research on here and find out how much and what kind I am sure giving her a little just in case that is what it is couldn't hurt. I would research on here about obstructed crop and sour crop that way you can look at the symptoms and all and see if that is what you think your bird has. If it is then follow their instructions and see if it helps. I would also check for lice and mites and all that good stuff. Since you just got these birds you might want to quarentine her till she is doing better just in case she has something contagious. I am definitely not an expert but, thought maybe one of these things might help. Do a research on how to check for mites and lice. My suggestion would be do a process of elimination on things it possibly could be. Sorry for the rambling I am good at that. [​IMG]

    Good luck,
    Michelle

    Quote:
     
  8. Spinster_Sister

    Spinster_Sister Chillin' With My Peeps

    332
    0
    119
    Nov 9, 2009
    Hawthorne, CA
    search for Sour Crop and Impacted Crop above in the search box. there are remedies, were your hens dewormed/and de-mited/liced? ivermectin is a good one as it takes care of lice/mites and MOST worms....a great start for all of them.

    try Greek yogurt (non flavored) mixed in with mushed up mealworms (dried are easier), a little mash. Now would be a great time to buy some poultry vitamins that you put into their water, or apple cider vineager WITH THE MOTHER in it, also add it to their water (but not together, vits/acv).......
     
  9. remuda1

    remuda1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    471
    3
    101
    Jun 12, 2011
    Granbury, Texas
    It does sound like sour crop to me. You can check to see if her breath is stinky. There are many good sources on these forums and also on the internet for treatment. Massaging the crop helps as well. If it were my bird, I would isolate her with NO bedding and fast her (you sure don't want her to start eating hay, straw, or shavings when she gets to feeling a little better). I use old paper feed sacks on the bottom of my brooder. Massage the crop as many times a day and for as long as you can bear [​IMG] . Many people, including myself, will encourage the bird to vomit. However, there are risks with this in that it may aspirate liquid into it's lungs, and could result in death. If you do decide to do this, do NOT allow the bird to vomit for more than a few (2-3) seconds. Then let the bird rest and even wait to do it again (if necessary) until later in the day. You can find the techniques here or on the internet. Oh, and using the feed sack paper for lining the floor of the brooder makes monitoring her output (poop) very easy and is also easy to just replace with fresh paper daily.

    The object of treating sour crop is to COMPLETELY empty the crop. THEN you can start the chicken back on small amounts of soft foods. I have one now in isolation and she's doing well. She is on her second day of 3 small meals of soft food. What I started out yesterday feeding her was mushed up scrambled eggs, a small amount of the MINCED canned cat food, apple cider vinegar, and a good dollop of olive oil. I did this three times and checked her crop this morning and it was empty. So this morning, I added a small amount of crumbles mixed in with the other ingredients along with some water to soften the crumbles.

    The unfortunate thing that I have found is that once the crop stays distended for a while, the muscles that support it and help it to contract become damaged. So I expect I will continue to have this problem with this hen periodically. I (perhaps wistfully) believe that the massage will also aid in rehabbing the crop muscles [​IMG] to some extent. I found that when the temps are really hot here, they drink so much that the crops become like a full water balloon. All the others bounce back and have empty crops the next morning except for this one hen. This is her second bout with it. And naturally, since I have spent some time taking close care of her, I've become attached so...... it looks like she and I will be spending more "quality time" together [​IMG] I may have to try some kind of cooling system for them next summer.

    Good luck with it and I hope you'll keep us all posted as to how she is doing.

    Editted to add: Search for Pendulous Crop as well as I believe that this can be a direct result from sour crop
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2011
  10. jedchops2003

    jedchops2003 New Egg

    8
    0
    7
    Sep 15, 2011
    HI,

    Thanks for all your replies. As suggested I have given her some oil and have been massaging her. She has vomitted and has brought up a big lump of what I assume is mushed up grass. It is very smelly but her crop is now a more normal size. I cannot hear any liquidy sounds but it is still soft (supposedly because no food in it?). She is looking quite sorry for herself now but I'm just hoping she perks up. May bring her inside for the night...will let you know how it goes!
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2011

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by