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Hen with distended soft belly

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by earthfriendlyfarm, Jan 25, 2012.

  1. earthfriendlyfarm

    earthfriendlyfarm In the Brooder

    Apr 20, 2009
    My EE about 2 years old is listless, not drinking and sitting to roost on the floor for two days in a row. So took her inside and found she has a soft lower belly, as if full of fluid. She is not drinking, just got her to eat some porridge made of cat food, yogurt, collloidal silver and arnica and rescue remedy. So that is good. As far as I know she has not laid an egg in 2 days. She just lays around with little interest.

    Yesterday when I found her, thought she may have had an egg break inside her, so gave her a chicken enema with some water saline and colloidal silver. she squirted it out with some normal looking fecal material. And I have seen her produce several normal looking although smaller poops.

    Any ideas or suggestions? I am considering taking a needle and syringe and taking out some of the fluid. K

  2. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Crowing

    Oct 31, 2008
    West Michigan
    My Coop
    Try doing a search on ascites and see if the symptoms match what you see. I have not dealt with it personally, but I have read about people draining the extra fluid from the belly. Another possible cause of a big belly is egg yolk peritonitis (internal laying), but the belly tends not to feel quite as "mushy" in this case.

    I hope she improves
  3. Judy

    Judy Crowing Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2012
  4. Margot

    Margot In the Brooder

    Jun 23, 2009
    Paw Paw, MI
    I had a hen with the exact same thing a year or two ago. I found resources out here in the forum. You should drain the fluid off. Someone said that they did and the hen rebounded, although they would be succeptable to it again. Mine rebounded wonderfully, although she did "bloat" back up again in a couple of months. Happened a couple of times. The last time she died in my arms. The fluld was in her lungs.

    I was told to soak my hen in a warm bath - she actual liked it very much and would coo and just float as I held her. I put her in deep enough to cover up to her back - not near her head. Be careful as chickens don't ususally like water and some might fight and possibly drownd. Mine was poorly enough that it just felt so good and she trusted me.

    Then I took her out, dried her off and wrapped her in a towel. With a sharp needle and syringe I drew off the fluid from an area under her. Use a sharp needle (new) and pick an area in the center of the bulge under neath her. Swap the area with alcohol. It is much easier if someone holds her up while you drain the fluid. I found out that if I just inserted the needle alone the fluid would drain out thru the needle and I did not have to draw it off until the last couple of times. I left the needle in while I was drawing off the fluid to avoid having to poke her so many times. Make sense?. The needles I used are needle with a silver "cap" that would hook on the syringe. Once the needle is inserted you just draw the fluid, disconnect form the needle (leaving it in her) and express fluid into a bucket or bowl. Repeat and repeat.

    I was amazed at how much fluid I got. I kept her in for a day or so. She would rebound nicely and go back to normal and a month or so later...build up again. On the 3rd time, I was alone and no one to hold her. She was so tame, that I laid her on her side so I could work on her. She was content to lay there but then she started choaking...and died. I think the fluld was in her lungs or something, because when I tried to revive her by clearing her wind pipe, alot of fluid came out of her mouth/lungs. That is why I would say keep them upright if you're going to try and do this.

    The big key is keep things as steril as possible.


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