hen hernia

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by DelmayBarnie, Sep 23, 2011.

  1. DelmayBarnie

    DelmayBarnie New Egg

    Sep 23, 2011
    Belle is 16 months old and hasn't laid in a couple of months. She has been droopy, but eating last several weeks. Now she has a lemon-sized abdominal lump just up from her vent. She still eats, but is uncomfortable walking. She enjoys being held with my hand supporting her under the lump. What can I do for her besides a girdle?
  2. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 31, 2008
    West Michigan
    My Coop
    Poor Belle. I'm guessing that since she has been dealing with this for a couple of months that she is not egg bound. I am inclined to think that she is having problems with internal laying. This occurs when a developing egg leaves the ovary but misses the opening of the oviduct. The egg material ends up in the belly and some of it manages to be reabsorbed by the body. My Cochin has had this problem for over a year and her belly is very distended, but she still manages to waddle around and she still loves to sand bathe and eat greens as a treat. Some chickens will get an infection due to the internal laying. Upon research, I have found there is little that can be done for the reproductive problem short of a risky surgery. Limiting access to light some could cut down on egg production, I suppose. To learn more on this sight you could search terms like egg peritonitis and internal laying.
  3. Uniontown Poultry

    Uniontown Poultry Chillin' With My Peeps

    Is the lump is above the vent or below it? Maybe it is not a distended belly but a tumor or an abscess?

    My 7-year old Delaware got a big lump below her vent. I noticed it when I picked her up & saw this big ugly red lump a few inches below her vent. As GreedyGuts is my oldest and dearest hen, I rushed her to the vet, afraid it was an abscess or worse. The vet examined GG, stuck a needle in the tumor & drew out some oily liquid. Cytology showed it to be a fatty tumor & nothing to be worried about. If it got real big, I could have the vet remove it, but if it didn't impair GG's movement or life, then it could just be left as-is. Hers was the size of a golf ball, though, and you could feel it was a big growth just in the skin & it didn't involve the muscle below. Removal, had I wanted it, would be a relatively simple surgery with a great chance for full recovery. So not all lumps are that bad...

    Abscesses are infections within the layers of the skin. They can appear suddenly and are usually painful. Once diagnosed though, they can be relatively simple to treat: usually they are lanced and the bird takes a course of antibiotics and the abscess goes away.

    About Belle's lump:
    When you touch the lump, does it feel substantial? Rock-hard? Liquidy?
    Does touching it appear to cause her pain?
    Is it hot to the touch, or red, or purple?
    Does it appear to have a center, or is it uniform in surface texture?
    How long has she had the lump? Did it appear suddenly, or swell up over time?
    Does it stink?
    Does it feel confined to the skin (can you slide it a little over the muscle below) or does it feel one with the underlying muscle?
    Is there a vet near you who will see Belle?
  4. DelmayBarnie

    DelmayBarnie New Egg

    Sep 23, 2011
    Belle has had the lump maybe 10 days. It is hard and doesn't seem to move and I don't feel a center soft spot. It does feel warm, but I attributed that to a chicken's normal temperature being higher than 98.6. The lump doesn't seem to be painful, but does cause her to waddle at times. There is a vet a couple of towns away who does treat chickens. Thank you both for your helpful advice!

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