Hen With Cancer- What To Do

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ChickenPeep, Nov 21, 2014.

  1. ChickenPeep

    ChickenPeep Faith & Feathers

    May 1, 2011
    Olathe, Kansas
    Hi all,
    I have a red sex-link hen named Peach who I have had for almost 4 years. Poor Peach has what I'm almost sure is cancer. About a year ago I noticed that she seemed a little bit bigger, but I didn't think much of it. All of the sudden it has gotten worse and her abdomen is huge and swollen. It is hard to the touch which is why I think it is cancer. I'm not sure if she is suffering or not but I'm afraid that she is. She is so heavy that her feet are wide apart and I'm afraid that they're going to give out on her. She doesn't jump on the perch and hasn't for a while but sleeps in the nest box. I don't think she's laying eggs but I'm not sure because none of the girls lay much anymore and when they do they eat the eggs. I seriously doubt she does though. Lately she has seemed more sluggish than usual and she may even be having trouble breathing though I'm not sure. Sadly, I think the end is near for my pretty Peach. [​IMG] My mom says that we should just let nature take it's course and she would be more comfortable passing where she has lived her entire life with the other chickens. I agree that it would be good for her to be with the other chickens when she goes, but I'm concerned that she's suffering. I don't know how soon she would pass if we let it happen naturally and I just don't want to leave her in pain. So I was wondering, what do you think I should do? If we don't let her pass naturally, then my other option is euthanasia (I cannot and will not cull by myself). I also was wondering, if need be, what the average cost for euthanizing a chicken would be. I want to do what would be most humane as my chickens are my pets and this is a very hard decision for me. [​IMG]
    Thank you.
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Crossing the Road

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    She may have egg yolk peritonitis, internal laying, cancer, or ascites (fluid in the belly from heart or liver disease related to internal laying.) Sometimes if there is fluid, removing some of it can relieve some pressure to help with breathing. If you feel that she is suffering, I would definitely ask your mother to have her euthanized. I would try to make her as comfortable as possible. Sorry about your hen. Here are some links and threads that you can read and that may help:
  3. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Crowing

    To be honest, I'd have her euthanized. Could be any of the things Eggcessive mentioned, none are an easy way to die. Letting nature take it's course is easier for us but a "natural" death can often mean a hard, prolonged death. I've seen hens hang on for far to long, they really are tough birds. Do her a favor and give her an easier way out.

    As far as cost, it really varies greatly. You'd have to make some phone calls.
  4. ten chicks

    ten chicks Songster

    May 9, 2013
    Could be cancer or peritonitis or ascites as all these issues can have a swollen fluid filled abdomen. I have drained a hen for ascites which helps alleviate pressure around other organs. My girl is doing very well and fluid has not returned.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: