Hen stopped laying; swelling below vent

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by library910, Apr 6, 2012.

  1. library910

    library910 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 11, 2010
    Our two-year old Sussex stopped laying 1 1/2 to 2 weeks ago. She has continued to eat and peck in the yard; poop is normal. We thought she might be egg-bound and gave her a warm bath, and per info in one of our Storey books tried to feel for an egg to gently massage it towards the vent. However, we are not feeling anything like an egg in there. She does have, however, quite a large swelling below the vent and between her legs (about the size of a small orange), which is firm but soft.. She will stand in the yard, and we can see the area around her vent contracting as if she is trying to push, but no indication that she wants to lay (no going in the nest box or squatting down). She is walking normally, but seems a bit subdued. From looking at the anatomy picture in the forum, the swelling would be in the area of the small intestine.

    Is anyone familiar with these symptoms? Any advice much appreciated! Thank you.
     
  2. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Do you have another Sussex or larger bodied bird that you could feel down there for a comparison??? I just say this because I freaked out one time thinking my orpington was all swollen in the area you're referring to, but that ended up being normal for her.
    That being said, if there's an actual large lump down there, I'd still guess either egg bound or internal laying. If her vent area is noticeably pulsing like she's trying to expel something, I'd still give a warm bath/massage another shot, although they typically walk with a waddle when egg bound.
    So maybe look up symptoms of internal laying and see if that's a possibility???
     
  3. TeamChaos

    TeamChaos Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2009
    I have a jersey giant that has come down with this same situation twice- the first time she had an abscess w/ cheesy stuff that split open, this year she just got really full w/ fluids but didn't split. I've treated her with injectable procain G. My best guess is sterile peritonitis but I've considered ascites as well. Her symptoms match your description. I wish I had more answers for you. I haven't tried draining the fluid from her abdomen, I've just provided supportive care while it's re-absorbed. Best of luck!
     
  4. friendlyfeathers

    friendlyfeathers New Egg

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    Jul 12, 2010
    hi there, I'm new to this thread. I tried posting but no luck in getting answers. I have THE SAME PROBLEM! I'm so upset and don't know what to do for my girl! She too is acting normal but she is very full down under her vent. We can't feel an egg and she hasn't laid since last Sunday. What did you give yours and where do you buy it?
    Thanks, Carolina
     
  5. mags2009

    mags2009 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 8, 2009
    Wisconsin
    I have a hen that is right now having the exact same problem also!!!!!!! PLEASE someone, what could it be? I brought my girl in today and set her in warm water for about 15-20 min and massaged her belly. I also do not feel an egg, but her belly below her vent is extremely bloated and is also RED!!! Any help is greatly appreciated!
     
  6. calvincoop

    calvincoop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 5, 2010
    Portland, Oregon
    It sounds like egg yolk peritonitis to me. That happens when the yolk doesn't make it into the oviduct and falls down into the abdomen or the yolk can perforate through the wall of the oviduct. Another thing it could possibly be is a tumor, both would cause the fluid building up. if its egg yolk peritonitis the hens body will either absorb it without any problems or it can cause an infection that will have to be treated with antibiotics. I have 2 hens right now with the same thing. you should take her into the vet if at all possible. you also should try taking their temperature if you have a digital thermometer. you will have to do it rectally of course. I rap the tip in plastic wrap first because my husband would have a fit if I didn't. A normal temperature for a hen is 102°-103°. A fever will be a sign that there is an infection. I would take her to the vet sooner than later, the earlier you treat it the better the chance she will recover, also a vet can drain some of the ascities and that will help her feel a little better right away. also, once that fluid is drained the vet may be able to feel her abdomen better to detect if its possibly a tumor. Also remember that some of that swelling in her abdomen is inflamed tissue, its not all just fluid. I hope that helps. sorry your hen is sick I know exactly how you feel.
     
  7. friendlyfeathers

    friendlyfeathers New Egg

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    Jul 12, 2010
    Hi there,
    That was very helpful. I'm praying that her body will absorb the yolk. If so, how long could this take? My hen has had this 6 days. She sure acts totally fine! My husband thinks that I need to leave her alone and quit worrying because she isn't going "down hill." So far, so good!
    Thanks, Carolina
     
  8. TeamChaos

    TeamChaos Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2009
    When my hen had this last year and split open, it took several months to heal the wound. As for her bout with it this year, I've had her separated for about 3 weeks so far- my girl is up and walking around, happy and eating, but when she's competing with her flock mates, she ends up panting and short of breath. It's not going to be a quick resolve. If she doesn't get picked on, or struggle while out with her friends- I'd go ahead and add her back and make a point of checking on her as much as possible. It's NOT going to be a quick resolve.
     
  9. calvincoop

    calvincoop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Portland, Oregon
    I would still try and check her temperature. if there is one thing I've learned from having sick chickens it is that they will hide the fact that they are sick and usually only when they start acting sick is when you realize that they've actually been sick for some time. it makes sense because other chickens would pick up on the fact that they are sick and will start picking on them.
     
  10. friendlyfeathers

    friendlyfeathers New Egg

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    Jul 12, 2010
    Thanks so much. I'm very sad about all of this. She is still acting fine but very red in the area. Will she ever lay eggs? I wish she wouldn't. I still have her separated from others but in the same yard. Any further advice is much appreciated. Looks like it will be a wait and see game.
    Thanks again,
    Carolina (ouside of San Antonio, Texas where the temps are climbing!)
     

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