Hens weight and heartbeat uneven


6 Years
Sep 21, 2013
My hen has gained weight recently, though it seems like it's only her backside. She is super skinny up front and has nothing in her crop but it seems really fat on the opposite side. She doesn't seem to be egg bound. Her comb is bright red and she doesnt show signs of straining. However she has been less active and unwilling to jump and she likes to lay down more. There is also a weird tapping noise that could possibly be her heartbeat. It seems to be coming from that area. The tapping is emitting in patterns of 1-3 randomly.

Anyone have a clue what could be wrong?
Swelling on the backside is generally ascites. Does her bottom feel watery? Generally it's a sign of organ failure unfortunately.
@casportpony is a good person to contact about how to drain a chicken with ascites. I believe she uses a 16 gauge needle which will drain more quickly. She has a few threads with pictures on draining. I have had several hens recently who died, and were found to have ascites. It may be caused either by heart failure, or liver failure secondary to reproductive problems. Draining will only help relieve pressure and pain, but will not end the disease.
Draining them can buy them some time if done correctly, but usually not more than a few months. :(
I'm going on a week long vacation this week and unfortunately I will not be able to drain her. But I do have milk thistle I can give her today. I can also instruct the chicken sitter to give her some if it needs to be daily. It's in a 250 mg capsule form. Do you know how much I should give her?

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