Hen recovered from ascites


5 Years
Mar 17, 2017
I wanted to share this story since most of what I read about ascites is not promising. I have a small mixed flock. Earlier this year I had a Rhode Island Red who died from ascites. It was distressing to watch her suffer and decline to the point that I had to cull her to end her suffering. Two months later, my other Rhode Island Red starts to show the same symptoms and within days could barely walk and had a swollen, hot abdomen. The rest of the flock was fine.

I segregated her into a separate area. I gave her a box for sleeping in on the ground so she didn't have to climb at all. I added a HealthyFlock tablet from a Backyard Chicken Health Kit I had gotten at TSC to her water along with a vitamin mix I had gotten with my recent chicks. I gave her grower feed instead of layer. She was not interested in eating it and I am not sure she ever ate any of that feed. I started feeding her plain rice with a little flaxseed sprinkled on it.

The first day she stood around looking across the yard at Rooster and the coop with her tail drooped looking sick. The next two days she stayed in her box and only came out to eat a little about twice a day. About day four, when she got up her tail would be up for about 10-15 minutes before going back into a droop. The abdomen felt a little less hot and swollen. The next two days, I gave her a cooked egg each morning. The second morning, she gobbled it right down. When I got home that evening she was up and looked fine. Tail up, comb good, abdomen felt normal. When I let the flock out to free range, I let her out with them. She went back to the coop with them later and went right to the feeder and ate quite a bit. She has been fine ever since. It has been eight days since she went back in the coop and no return of the swollen abdomen.

I have not seen her lay an egg. They say a hen with ascites may never lay again but she seems perfectly fine now. I just didn't want to see her die. I don't mind feeding a hen for no reason. So she is staying around even if she never lays another egg! She turned 2 this March.

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