Help! Red Star hen choking??

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by 77horses, Dec 21, 2009.

  1. 77horses

    77horses ◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊

    Aug 19, 2008
    [CONFIDENTIAL]
    I'm not sure if she's choking or it's something else, but one of our Red Star hens, Abby, keeps stretching out her neck and acting like she's trying really hard to swallow something. She's acting like she's going to throw up and is trying to hold it back. What's wrong with her? She just ate (layer pellets) and her crop is really full, maybe a bit too full than it needs to be. It's not red or swollen, it's just really hard and full of food because she just ate.

    Any thoughts? She's roosting right now with the rest of her flock. She isn't acting lethargic or anything. Her eyes are bright and normal, they aren't tired-looking. She looks fine except for how she's gulping, like she's going to vomit.
    Oh and she just recently started doing it a little while ago today, after she ate. Maybe did she eat too much?
    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2009
  2. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

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    Do you use hay or straw as bedding material?
    Another possibility is gapeworm.
     
  3. crystalchik

    crystalchik Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 15, 2008
    Central Florida
    It sounds like she might just have eaten too much. Sometimes, esp if they are really hungry, they will over eat and it backs up into their throat. Open her beak and look down her throat and make sure that there is no food covering up her trachea, it is a small slit towards the base of the tongue. If it is, gently scrape out some of the food so she can breath. If you dont see anything, just leave her, if she is still doing that after about an hour or so, something else may be wrong. But this happens to my chickens often. She should be fine. Oh, another thing, run your fingers up and down her throat, if you feel a large lump or two, this is probably the problem...see if you can gently massage the food down. But she should be able to swallow it herself.
    Make sure she is not gasping or weezing, or she may have something stuck in her throat.
    Good luck!
     
  4. 77horses

    77horses ◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊

    Aug 19, 2008
    [CONFIDENTIAL]
    Quote:That's what I was thinking. She's not gasping or wheezing. Also, some of the other hens started doing it too. They don't have worms, I guess they were just really hungry. They can be such pigs sometimes LOL [​IMG] Even when they get a full breakfast, when I feed them in the afternoon/evening, they act like they are starving. Again, they don't have worms. They did have roundworms a while ago, but we treated them for it.

    I will go see if I can see anything down their throat.
    Also, when I first noticed Abby doing it, when I touched her throat in her certain spot, she seemed to act like she was going to vomit and was trying to swallow really hard. It looked normal. I will go see if they are OK now
    Oh and dlhunicorn: we use only pine shavings. No straw or sawdust.
    Thanks!
     
  5. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

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    Jan 11, 2007
    fendbendazole is what you need to treat gapeworm... (the meds for the other types of worms wont deal with gapeworm).
    Lets hope it is not that. Do look in their beak and see if they have any yellowish or whitish placques ... might have a vit A deficiency.
     
  6. 77horses

    77horses ◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊

    Aug 19, 2008
    [CONFIDENTIAL]
    I looked into Abby's beak...I couldn't find anything. All of them except for one, my hen Cinnamon, are fine now. Abby was the only one who would let me look into her mouth; whenever I touched any of the other's beaks, they would move their head away or move their beak around so I couldn't hold it open enough to see anything. But they are all fine except for Cinnamon. She looks fine but her crop is HUGE (bigger than a baseball), it's really hard, and she moves her neck back and forth. Her throat literally bends from side to side. She does this every once and a while, then stops and acts normal, then does it again. I felt along her throat but couldn't find any lumps. She doesn't like me opening her beak but I tried my best and the time that I even had a chance to look into her mouth, I saw nothing. All of their mouths look clear, clean, and normal...Their breath smells kinda like their layer pellet food! LOL [​IMG]

    but anyway, Cinnamon is the only one doing it right now. She's also the one with the largest crop, so that's probably why.
    I will check on her later to see if anything changes.

    Also, I read somewhere about impacted crops that dripping a few drops of mineral oil down a chicken's throat and massaging it a little will soften the undigested food and help it pass. Should I do this if in about an hour or so if Cinnamon's crop hasn't shrunken and she's still bending her neck?
    Thanks!
     
  7. the Old Rebel

    the Old Rebel Rest in Peace -2011

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    Hendersonville NC
    Absolutely put some oil down her throat and massage if she is still doing it. Is her crop really as big as a baseball?? What kind of chicken is she?? That's REALLY big!! Definitely check her first thing in the morning to see if her crop is empty. Otherwise, she may have an impacted crop. Please keep us posted on how she is doing. Thanks.
     
  8. purpletree23

    purpletree23 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do they have access to food and water 24/7?

    If not then they are eating too fast when food if provided. Everyone has their own way of raising animals but I prefer (respectfully giving my opinion) to keep food available for the chickens at all times. They know when to stop unlike other animals.
     
  9. 77horses

    77horses ◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊

    Aug 19, 2008
    [CONFIDENTIAL]
    Quote:Yes they have water all the time available to them. I feed them in the morning, afternoon, and before bed. We leave the light on in their coop all night so they can have a snack if they want and so their water doesn't freeze.
     
  10. 77horses

    77horses ◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊

    Aug 19, 2008
    [CONFIDENTIAL]
    Quote:Note: Abby, the hen I posted about in the first place, is OK now. I'm talking about another Red Star hen, Cinnamon.

    I will see if I can put mineral oil down her throat and massage her crop.
     

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