Hen with extremely bloated abdomen

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by lifthiminsong, Jan 9, 2015.

  1. lifthiminsong

    lifthiminsong Songster

    Aug 9, 2012
    Yesterday I noticed one of my RIRs was moving slowly, walking like a penguin with her tail down. She wasn't eating much, but hadn't completely left the rest of the flock to "hide".
    As I usually do when one of my girls are acting strange, I brought her into the house to give her a quiet resting time/place.
    I bathed her today with Epsom salts and Frankincense essential oil and massaged her abdomen to feel for bound eggs. I felt no eggs, but did feel an area that felt a little "crunchy" an thicker on her left side just above and inside her leg.

    I've researched a few different issues online and am concerned that eggs are going into her abdomen. Must I kill her? I do NOT want to. I've "nursed" many hens back to health, even when there were broken eggs and infection, but this seems somehow different.
    If I do kill her, is it safe to eat her?

    Any suggestions on how I can help her?
  2. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Crossing the Road

    Apr 6, 2014
    Melrose Park Illinois
    I would avoid eating sick birds. I REALLY DO FEEL SORROW WITH YOU. [​IMG] Maybe she will recover on her own. Let nature take its course. Life is not always fair.
  3. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Crowing

    Oct 31, 2008
    West Michigan
    My Coop
    I'm sorry your RIR hen is ailing. The most common problem is egg binding, and an internal exam of the vent is usually recommendation. Here is a helpful link on egg binding:https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/egg-binding-symptoms-treatment-and-prevention

    When you refer to "eggs going into her abdomen," it sounds like you have read about egg yolk peritonitis(EYP). I had a hen with EYP and her abdomen increased in size gradually. Her large belly felt solid rather than mushy. She continued eating, but had difficulty getting around and roosting. A more mushy feeling belly may indicate swelling due to infection triggered by EYP. Another possibility is that she has Ascites, which is mushy feeling and is fluid collecting in the abdomen possibly due to a circulatory problem. EYP or ascites are complicated because it is tough to address the cause of the problem.
    1 person likes this.
  4. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress

    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    You can do an internal exam with oiled finger. If they are laying internally, they may have a bigger abdomen, compare by feeling someone else's . If it gets hard and large, You will feel that. Is the crop entering and filling every day? With the penguin walk, it does sound like a stuck egg, and you can work it out by taking a jelled finger and gently try to unstick the wall all the say round the egg. This may take a while and breaks.
  5. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General

    If she is standing like a penguin, you should do a cloacal exam... Get some gloves, KY Jelly and gently check inside her cloaca (vent) for an egg.


    2 people like this.
  6. lifthiminsong

    lifthiminsong Songster

    Aug 9, 2012
    I've had my girl in the house, giving her specialized attention. She began to act some better, even warbling and eating a bit more. I was excited when I began to see her tail come up and her fuss at one of my dogs when it walked by.
    So, today I put her outside with her sisters for a bit. She was beyond thrilled to be out there again! But, I just now had to bring her back in. She's gotten to where she can hardly walk.
    Her feet are turned inwards to support her body weight.
    Her abdomen is still large, but not as hard.

    One thing I've DEFINITELY noticed that that she is NOT pooping the way she should. Does that mean anything? If so, what?

    I don't know of a local vet for chickens, and I'm not entirely sure my husband would be happy for me to take her due to the expense.

    I hate to lose her, so any suggestions are welcome.

    Thanks much!
  7. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General

    Does her belly feel like a water ballon or does it feel like there is a mass in there?

  8. lifthiminsong

    lifthiminsong Songster

    Aug 9, 2012
    It feels more like a very full water balloon.
  9. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General

    You could try draining it, but only if you're 100% sure it's just fluid. It won't cure her, but it might buy her more time. Google asites in poultry.

  10. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Crowing

    Feb 28, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    I honestly don't know what is wrong, but...........

    My Buckwheat had a similar or the same things. Stomach so swollen she waddled, couldn't roost, belly bald and dragging.

    I separated her and began trying anything. I didn't have any idea what was wrong. Research said there was little or no cure. All the things that "could" be wrong left me thinking It was the end. So this is what I did.

    I gave her water with Sulmet. Maybe it helped maybe it didn't but I figured since she was going to die anyhow what did I have to lose. Then one time I gave her some water with Duramycin in it. I also dumped a lot of Gran i Grit in her feed bowl. It had some crushed up egg shells in it too. I just dump my egg shells in the grit and crush them up. Of course she had feed too.

    Then I noticed a "skin" from an egg in her pen. Then there were thin shelled eggs and some eggs looked like she was eating them but such is life. Her stomach went down. I also stuck Frenchy in with her. Buckwheats mother. I can't say what happened or what the problem was but her stomach went down and she began to lay again. This is here and one of her eggs. Frenchy the red hen is over 6, born in Feb of '08. She too began to lay again. I know Buckwheats eggs since there half maran and much smoother and of course smaller. I've hatched both of their eggs under broody hens and have to their kids now.

    Buckwheat went back to the coop and her stomach did swell up again. She is now with her daughter separated and her stomach has some down some. She isn't laying but considering she's over 4 or 5 I'm not concerned. Frenchy is the only Frizzle in with my Dels. She seems to hold her own and hasn't laid in a long time since but I don't care.

    Well that's my story. What should you do? The best you can. Sometimes it's all we can do.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    1 person likes this.

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