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Hen standing like penguin and very swollen vent area...is she constipated??? Please advise!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by WTFlockFarm, Dec 16, 2015.

  1. WTFlockFarm

    WTFlockFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Just over a week ago I noticed my two hens starting to show signs of illness such as not getting up on their roost at night, not going into the coop at night, and seeming lethargic. Four days ago hen#1 decided to camp out on my patio so I brought her in to rest by the fire and it quickly became clear she had a sour crop. The following morning I found hen#2 propped up against a wall in the coop so I brought her in as well.

    Both were previously healthy, they are 3-5 years old and haven't been laying for many months. They have free run of the property to eat bugs, grass etc.... We have ducks as well so we alternate between layer pellets and duck/goose pellets.

    We made hen#1 vomit up the contents of her sour crop and have been feeding her a light diet of fruit blended with coconut oil to help break apart the hard lump that is still in her crop. She also gets cooked egg. Her condition has improved and we will keep working to resolve her impacted crop.

    Hen#2 is not doing so good. She stands like a penguin and sleeps a lot. Her lower belly and bum are very extended. She does eat (same diet as hen#1) and drinks lots of water. She is pooping a little which is normal in color. Her comb looks good. She isn't getting better but doesn't seem to be getting worse either. Based on the information I've read I think some thing could be ruled out...
    -Skin is not yellow as descried with liver issues
    -I don't think its a tumor because of the quick on set
    -She doesn't lay anymore so egg issues seem unlikely
    -No fluid is excreted when you squeeze her as described with some abdominal fluid build up
    -Comb is normal in color, not blue-ish typical to heart issues
    -Poop is normal color, not the yellow/green like with infections


    Could she just be extremely constipated???

    I think its odd that both got sick at the same time. Although with different symptoms, is there a good chance that both are related to dietary changes that come with winter weather?

    I don't have the means to seek veterinary treatment for her (the only farm animal vet around is an expensive house call) and I don't want to cull her for something that can be treated. I am uncomfortable with doing anything too invasive to her based on my general lack of experience but I for sure do not want her to suffer!

    Any suggestions on what could be happening with hen#2, how to determine what's wrong or a possible solution would be greatly appreciated!!!

    PLEASE HELP
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2015
  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Sorry not one has helped you. I don't know much, but let's give it a shot.
    First let's look at the "penguin stance". I am sure you have researched this but here are some articles/information that you may find helpful.
    http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/p..._oviducts_in_poultry.html?qt=egg bound&alt=sh
    http://hencam.com/faq/egg-bound-hens/
    http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/p...s_of_poultry/ascites_syndrome_in_poultry.html
    http://hencam.com/henblog/2014/10/ascites-in-hens/

    You mention sour crop, if you haven't done so visit the BYC learning center/search for articles and threads about treatment and suggestions.

    You also mention "dietary changes" for winter - what recent changes have you made? New feed, brand, different treats/environment etc. I see that you alternate feed between chicken and duck pellets. You may want to research to see if there is a feed that is designed for mixed type flocks, such as an all flock or flock raiser feed and add oyster shell free choice for your layers.
     
  3. etammy

    etammy Out Of The Brooder

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    I believe, standing like a penguin can be a sign of an impacted egg. My hens are 6.5 years old and still lay every now and then, so not 100% sure you can rule that out at this time. A warm bath can help if there was an egg that is stuck and most hens seem to like it. She may need several warm baths, I have heard to apply some Vaseline to the vent to help move the egg. Going in after it can cause the egg to break inside of her, not a good thing to do. Good luck, hens do seem to just get sick around 3 years of age.
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC. I'm not much help about the crop issue, but the penguin stance, not having layed eggs in awhile and bloated lower abdomen sound very much like internal laying/egg yolk peritonitis, and ascites or fluid collecting in the belly can be an added acompanying illness. If her abdomen is very large and tight, you can try to drain fluid occasionally with an 18 gauge needle inserted just under her skin to ease pain and make breathing easier. Here is some info about those things:
    http://www.chickenvet.co.uk/health-and-common-diseases/egg-laying-issues/index.aspx
    http://scoopfromthecoop.nutrenaworld.com/tag/laying-issues/
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/853726/ascites-in-desperate-need-of-some-help-and-guidance
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  5. WTFlockFarm

    WTFlockFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 15, 2015

    Thank You!
    The dietary changes I was referring to are what naturally comes with the seasons. In the Summer and Fall they eat a lot of apples, grapes, berries, tomatoes, squash, cucumbers etc... anything I attempt to grown in the garden really. Now that it is cold out they don't get the buffet they have been. I will look for a feed that is meant for mixed flocks instead of alternating between the duck and chicken food. We have always used the same brand, nothing new has been introduce.

    Little miss source crop has been inside for almost a week now and is still pooping what looks like grass bits and grain feed so I'm hoping that the lump in her crop is breaking down with the oil and messages I have been giving her. She seems ok but I don't want to put her back out until I'm sure that the crop is cleared and working as it should.

    Looks like the best course of action for penguin hen is some warm baths and Vaseline. Her condition still seems at a stand still so I really hope you are right about the egg and it has not caused an infection yet. I will give has a few baths today and let you know how it goes.

    Thank You Both !
     
  6. WTFlockFarm

    WTFlockFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank You... I am very nervous about doing anything that invasive but I will have a look. Thanks for the info
     
  7. casportpony

    casportpony Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC! I hate to be the voice of doom and gloom, but a huge belly and penguin stance usually means a very poor prognosis. :(

    -Kathy
     
  8. casportpony

    casportpony Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    Can you post a picture of her?

    -Kathy
     
  9. WTFlockFarm

    WTFlockFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    I know Kathy :-( I understand from what I've read that a positive outcome is unlikely. I don't have much experience with these types of issues and wanted to make sure I don't make the choice to cull her prematurely. She is trying so I will too :)
     
  10. WTFlockFarm

    WTFlockFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Yes I can do that when I get home.
     

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