Help Sick chicken


8 Years
Jun 27, 2015
I have a 13 month old cuckoo maran. She was poorly yesterday, just standing around while others ran for scratch. Gave her some vitamins and a cool bath since it's so hot here. Her comb was a bit purple so I also put some drops of the vet treatment on her comb, gave her some vitamins and a cool bath since it's so hot here. I've been treating her for vent gleet with Betadine a new with Betadine a nu stock - that's why her bottom is bare. Today she seems worse. Her comb is a bit more purple and I noticed that her lower rear in seems to be swollen. I had a gentle feel inside and lots of watery poop came out. I'll put a picture of it but basically there's just a little bit of pasty white with a little bit of green probably from some cabbage. She's hanging out in the nest box but I cannot feel any eggs. The purple on her rear is just blue spray.
She's been wormed in the last month, no food changes. Plenty of grit. Not been laying though I think.
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Does her abdomen feel bloated and like there is water in it? One of my hens had that problem. When i researched they talked about draining her.

Here is a thread that i read and the instructions on how to drain her. Please read the whole thread to make sure you think this could be the problem. Hope this helps!


How to drain a chicken
Im fortunate in that I obtained an intracath to drain my chickens. This is a small rubber tube thats over a needle. Once I stick in the needle, I thread the tube over it, and pull the needle out. With this intracath, I dont have to worry about puncturing an organ. But I dont think they are available.
#18 gauge needle or intracath.
A 10 cc syringe
Collection cup
Cotton swab and alcohol
You must be very careful to stick the chicken in the right spot, or you could puncture an organ or a blood vessel. Actually, its good if the chicken is really full, because that helps to keep the needle from hurting anything else.
The best place to insert the needle is on the right side of the chickens abdomenright close to where the leg is attached. Its mid-way down the abdomen and off to the right side.
The first thing you do is pull out some feathers around where you will be inserting the needle.
This is really a 2 person job. The person holding the chicken should hold her like a football on their right side (the persons right side). The chickens head will be under their arm and the chickens butt will be facing you and be up a little. Make sure they hold the wings down well. You dont want the chicken taking off in the middle of this. But be careful not to squeeze the chicken so much that they cant breathe. Their breathing is already compromised from all the fluid.
When youve decided on the best spot (over to the right side of the abdomen, about even to where the leg connects), clean the area with rubbing alcohol. Use preferably an 18 gauge needle to pierce the skin, going in only about ¼-1/3 inch in (bevel up). You dont go straight down in, but more parallel. You should immediately get fluid out. In my experience, its a better sign to get clear liquid than green.
When fluid starts coming out, I use at least a 10 cc syringe to attach to the needle and begin to pull out fluid. Be very careful as you attach and detach your syringe, since you can easily accidentally move the needle around and it could puncture something important. If it accidentally comes out, put it in again.
There have been times when I pulled out hundreds of ccs of be prepared for this to take a little while. Have a container there to collect a lot of fluid in.
When it starts getting hard to withdraw any fluid, have the other person gently tilt the chicken around a little, to help trapped fluid get over to where the needle is. Fluid should come out dont pull back on the plunger too hard or you might hurt the chicken.
My hen always continued to drain fluid onto her bedding for about a day.which was a good thing. In fact, Im thinking if some people dont feel comfortable about using a syringe to withdraw fluid, maybe they could just make a needle hole or 2, and let the fluid passively flow out.
I always give my hen a 22.7mg Baytril before I drain her, and then 2 pills a day for 2 days afterwards. I dont know if this is completely necessary, but its what my vet told me to do.
We drain our chicken in our house, on a plastic covered ironing board. Put it where theres lots of light so you can see better. I think doing it in the house is a lot cleaner than in the coop.
You could possibly put triple antibiotic ointment over the needle site afterwards, but I never wanted to obstruct the outflow of anymore fluid, so I quit doing it.
There is always the chance of the hen having big problems once all this fluid is taken out, but in my experience, they actually feel sooooooo much better. My hen Nobie suddenly becomes very active and eats a ton of food. She usually doesnt poop at all when shes full of fluid, but poops constantly afterwards.
Always look for signs of infection for about a week afterwards.
If your chickens breathing is too compromised from someone holding her like this, you can figure out a way to get her up a TV tray on top of a card that she can be set up on there, with someone just stabilizing her, and you can drain her from below. This way, no one has to hold her too tightly for her to breath. When they are full of fluid, holding them seems to make it close to impossible for them to breath. But I think its easier to deal with the procedure, if someone can hold them.
Good luck!
A 22 gauge needle is pretty small. It would take forever to drain her.
What you might do is make several small pokes (only going in about 1/4") and rotate the needle around, to make the hole bigger. Then just set her down and let gravity/pressure drain the fluid.
You do have to be very careful not to puncture any organs. In my experience, its best when the hen is VERY swollen, since you'll be less likely to poke anything important.
As I said above, I always drained to the right side of the abdomen, close to where the right leg attaches. That's where my vet did it a couple times. Supposedly on the right side, there's fewer organs right there.
Good luck to you.
So sorry your hen isn't feeling well. It sounds like your taking good care of her. Is their any way to bring her to a vet? I had a hen a few years ago who was alot like yours and I tried treating myself. She just got worse and worse untill passing, and I regret not calling a vet. A vet will be able to give her the medical treatment you can't. I wish I could help more but you have already covered most the bases other than antibiotics.
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