Hen has nothing in her crop, breathing hard don't know whats wrong!

TerriL188

Songster
Apr 6, 2018
90
91
101
Holden, Missouri
I need the help of the community again. I have a Rhode Island Red hen, about 4 or 5 years old. She has been a little on the thin side for a month or more but she was running around and looked like she was eating. I had a chicken from the same flock die a few days ago, I don't know what she had but she was thin also. I know I should have sent her to someone to find out what she died of. So the first thing I noticed was a couple of weeks ago, she was sitting on her perch and she was breathing hard. I picked her up and noticed she had lost some weight. She has been molting forever it seems so I got online and did some research and it seemed that she might be having a hard molt. The pain could cause the hard breathing, I think I read an article on her about that and it said to get vitiamins and I don't remember what else but then the other chicken showed up thin really really thin so I got distracted which her. So now I just don't know what to think she has had nothing in her crop for several days maybe more. I give her a warm mash and chopped up eggs she picks at them but I guess she does not actually eat them. She doesn't go poop much but it is fairly watery, white mostly but not frothy. I wormed her several days ago with Valbezan and will do it again Thursday. I have been giving her VetRX internally and externally. I have no idea what else to do, a vet cost too much, I am on a fixed income. So any thoughts??????

Terri
 

Eggcessive

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Premium Feather Member
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Apr 3, 2011
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Does she have any swelling or enlargement of her lower belly when you cup your hand between her legs? Does her belly feel spongy or tight? It is possible that she might have ascites or fluid in her belly, or internal laying that might cause difficulty breathing. Sorry for your loss. Of course, if you should lose her, be sure to refrigerate the body and get a necropsy by your state vet. Here is a link for state vets:
http://www.metzerfarms.com/PoultryLabs.cfm
 

TerriL188

Songster
Apr 6, 2018
90
91
101
Holden, Missouri
Hello Eggcessive, She hasn't laid an egg in a year or two. I did not notice any fluid but in the morning I will check that out. This flock is all old girls, I checked the other 3 Chickens and they are all plump some a little overweight.
 

Eggcessive

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I have lost several hens over the last year from various reproductive disorders her age and older. They stopped laying at some point, and had various problems when a necropsy was done.
 

Cragg Klefor

Crowing
Apr 14, 2017
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Hi Terri!
I agree with Eggcessive, it sounds like reproductive disorder too unfortunately... or at least has the symptoms (recently I lost one to similar).
Is she standing around with tail down and hunched back by any chance?
Would it be possible for you to post a picture of her?
 

TerriL188

Songster
Apr 6, 2018
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Holden, Missouri
Hi, I went out early and she does not have any fluid on her belly she is flat as can be. Still hasn't eaten, I have half a notion to let her back with her buddies and let her be a chicken until she dies. I have never treated a sick chicken and had them live. I know often enough it is because I don't notice they are sick until too late. My guess is even if it is a reproductive disorder there is nothing I can do is there? Cragg I will try and get a picture. Thank you so much Terri
 

Wyorp Rock

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Sep 20, 2015
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Hi, I went out early and she does not have any fluid on her belly she is flat as can be. Still hasn't eaten, I have half a notion to let her back with her buddies and let her be a chicken until she dies. I have never treated a sick chicken and had them live. I know often enough it is because I don't notice they are sick until too late. My guess is even if it is a reproductive disorder there is nothing I can do is there? Cragg I will try and get a picture. Thank you so much Terri
Was her crop empty this morning before she ate/drank?
Can you take a fecal sample to your vet to check for worms?

I agree, it could be a reproductive problem and yes, sadly, not much can be done if this is what's going on with your girl.

I very much agree with putting her back in the flock if she is not being picked on or bullied. I leave mine with the flock until I determine that they need to be put down. I feel it's less stress on them and hopefully they are "happier".
 

TerriL188

Songster
Apr 6, 2018
90
91
101
Holden, Missouri
Thank you Wyorp Rock, they haven't show any interest in her so she should be OK to go back with them. Her crop has not had anything in it for days. She may be drinking a little but I think she is just picking at food.
 

TerriL188

Songster
Apr 6, 2018
90
91
101
Holden, Missouri
Hi Terri!
I agree with Eggcessive, it sounds like reproductive disorder too unfortunately... or at least has the symptoms (recently I lost one to similar).
Is she standing around with tail down and hunched back by any chance?
Would it be possible for you to post a picture of her?

Sorry I was not able to get a picture but yes she is standing with her tail down and her back hunched.
 

Eggcessive

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Premium Feather Member
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Apr 3, 2011
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southern Ohio
I would also let her back out to spend time with her flock. Even when they are this ill, they still feel comfort in being with the others. I kind of wonder if she might have reproductive or another kind of cancer. If she seems to be suffering, you may want to consider putting her down. Then I would consider doing a necropsy or sending her refrigerated body into the state vet for one.
 

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