Hen like a balloon! What can this be?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Momturtle, Nov 23, 2008.

  1. Momturtle

    Momturtle New Egg

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    Nov 23, 2008
    Went to feed the hens and one of my little Sebrites, Peeper Lou, was puffed up like a balloon on one side of her body. Her leg, wing and chest wall looked and felt like a balloon. There was no sign of injury and she was hopping around and scratching with the rest of them except her leg and wing stuck out toward the side because of the air. This is a 7 year old hen who is eating and drinking just fine. I have never seen anything like this in 40 years of keeping chickens. I was afraid it was gas gangrene but there is no sign of injury and no odor at all. I very carefully made a small cut in the skin of her chest wall and all the air went out. Just like a little chicken balloon. Still no bad smell and she was still acts just like she always has. She isn't wheezing, no discharge from her nose or eyes. -- it appears to be confined to just under the skin on only one side of her body.


    She is a very tame hen and not at all as flustered as I was. We did bring her into the house (she is used to it since she was raised inside and comes in of her own accord all the time) since I want to keep an eye on her. And I was't sure if it was something contageous.

    Anyone ever heard or seen anything like this? This is the only place I could think of that has enough chicken people that there may be an answer. I will keep posting if there are any changes, or if she stays just fine (which we are hoping).
     
  2. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    Chickens are birds, and birds have air sacs all over their body- they are part of their breathing system. Their (birds in general) lungs are actually very small, but they have an extensive air sac system connecting their lungs, hollow bones, sinuses, ect.

    Likely your bird had some trauma to an air sac or sacs- and air is leaking out under the skin. If the hole is small and seals, the body can slowly absorb air from where it is not supposed to be. Inspect carefully for wounds- it may be a small but deep puncture. Check around where the leg joins the body- on the side she is blown up on. Between the leg and her abdomen/belly is an area where there is a portion of air sac right under the skin and abdomen wall.

    Could she have been shot with a BB? Do you have any kids around the neighborhood that might do this?
     
  3. Momturtle

    Momturtle New Egg

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    Nov 23, 2008
    Not much chance of a bb injury. No kids around. If she has an injury I sure can't find it. She will lay in your arms and let you riffle through her feathers all day. Almost the tamest chicken we have ever had. Might just be a tiny puncture that has healed but not before she blew up. We shall wait and see.
     

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