I think I killed my Chicken

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by uglyduck, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. uglyduck

    uglyduck Hatching

    Dec 11, 2010
    She was a wonderful Barred Rock (Pricilla) that we have raised and enjoyed for 6 years. A few days ago
    I saw that she was being anti social and hiding in the corner. she had green poop on her butt. I picked her up and found that her abdomen was enlarged and felt like a water balloon.... Her comb and waddles was dark red almost purple and I could tell she was not feeling well.

    I researched the web for answers and determined she had an internal infection that made her abdomen swell and because of the swelling it placed stress on her respiratory system that caused her crown and waddles to turn purple........................... I determined that the first thing to do was to relieve the abdomen swelling by pricking a small hole so that the swelling would drain and take stress off her respiratory system....

    The next morning I prepared a sanitary place to perform the procedure and sterilized a pin . But first I thought it best to wash off her butt from the green poop.. So I gently cradled her upside down and used a garden hose to water pressure off her poop.
    I then brought her in the house and gently sat her right side up..... But instead she just flopped down and I thought she was sleeping or hypnotized or something. However after a few seconds I realized that she had died.
    I figured that she had a heart attack due to her respiratory condition and that I cradled her upside down.

    I buried her with family and full ceremonies the next day.

    Today I started a health inspection on my other seven ducks and chickens. I started with my Buff Cochin (Wilma).After inspecting her for insects and diseases I found that she was very healthy, very communicative and was in a good mood. However she had some dried poop on her butt that I felt should remove again with the garden hose.... I was very gentle in picking her up . I didn't turn her upside down for fear that it would scare her. I spent about 1 min spraying her butt with medium pressure then gently sat her down. I was shocked because she just flopped forward and her comb and waddles had turned deep reddish purple... she was having a hard time breathing..... I believed she was having a panic attack or a heart attack... I just tried to calm her down by talking very soft and sweet to her.... then I put a little tray of water and a leaf of lettuce in front of her..... in a couple of minutes she was fine and walked off with her friends......

    I am thinking that the shock of the water on the butt killed my Barred Rock and almost killed my Cochin.

    Could someone give me some feedback about if my procedures killed my Barred Rock.

  2. Gold Coaster

    Gold Coaster In the Brooder

    Hello uglyduck, I am so very sorry to hear about Pricilla. Just the thought of one of my chooks passing away gives me nightmares. I don't know if I'd be able to handle it, but then again, I don't know if I would ever be prepared for one of my little ones dying.

    Rest assured though, that you had six lovely years with Priscilla! I can only pray for the same for all of mine. I adopted my flock just last year on June 22nd. So I still have a few months to go before I celebrate my one year anniversary with my flock of four.

    A couple of my chooks also develop a 'dirty bum' so to speak. I always fill up the sink in the laundry to a lukewarm temperature and ease the chook in gently. They will sometimes resist at first, but if you reassure them and hold them gently but firmly, they will slowly adjust. The water level should just reach their bottom. I then spend the next 10 minutes allowing her to soak and then I just keep teasing out her bum feathers, (wear gloves) and everything slowly falls away. Then she's lifted into a towel, bundled up and cuddled for another good 10 minutes. I always try and find a nice hot day for chook bathing, usually around midday, so that when I let the 'damp little sod' outside again, she can dry off as she runs around with the others.

    I have never tried cleaning my chicken's bottoms using the method you described, but I do know that some garden hoses can produce an extremely cold, jet of water. It can really give them a shock and that's why some people use this tactic on their broody chickens. I personally prefer using a more gentle approach to bathing my chooks and this avoids the need of holding them upside down. Some chooks can find being held upside down, for any length of time, very distressing.

    I've read in books that if the comb of your chicken is purple or blue they either have a very low body temperature resulting in the comb being cold to the touch, or they may be suffering from a heart condition resulting in poor circulation to the comb. Most other illnesses that can affect a chicken will usually produce a pale comb, not a purple/blue tint.

    I hope that some other members can offer you more feedback and may you have many more lovely years with your little ones. [​IMG]

    Gold Coaster
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2012
  3. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    Flipping birds upside down inhibits their ability to breath. The cold jet of water to the backside (although surprising) should have had no effect. What killed Pricilla is known as postural asphyxia. A few moments of being upside down should not have killed her, but obviously her health issues left her more fragile than she should have been.

    I am sorry for your loss.
  4. Gold Coaster

    Gold Coaster In the Brooder

    By the way, a swollen abdomen is a common symptom of egg yolk peritonitis. Egg yolk peritonitis is the presence of yolk material in the coelomic cavity and eventually, it will cause respiratory distress because of the pressure it puts on all the internal organs and the lungs. Was Pricilla still laying normally?

    Gold Coaster
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2012

  5. uglyduck

    uglyduck Hatching

    Dec 11, 2010
    Thanks for your reply. I will certainly try the warm bath instead of the garden hose in the future.
  6. MagicMarcy66

    MagicMarcy66 In the Brooder

    I am so sorry about your loss of Priscilla. That is very sad that she was sick, but know she is eating her way through an endless beautiful sunny pasture with many wonderful new friends. She will be eternally grateful to you for giving her a wonderful life and she will never forget you.

    My deepest regrets.

    Magic Marcy66
  7. toddreed

    toddreed In the Brooder

    Jan 12, 2010
    Oakland, CA
    My condolences as well... You shouldn't feel guilty about it. It could have been simply coincidental if not fitting that she passed in your arms. I've had a number of my chicks die from various ailments now and I'm learning not to feel too guilty about it but simply try to do things differently in the future. We are all learning.

    As for poopy butt, I find a quicker and equally affective sollution is a pair of scissors - just snip the pooy feathers off. In addition to removing the poop, the chook will be less likely to get poopy butt again with trimmed feathers in the area. They will grow back.


  8. yinzerchick

    yinzerchick Songster

    Jun 13, 2011
    [​IMG] Sorry this happened to you and your beloved chook. [​IMG]
  9. Gold Coaster

    Gold Coaster In the Brooder

    Actually, toddreed's suggestion also works well. Just make sure your flock doesn't have a rooster, because those new feathers growing back are like pins and they'll give him one nasty surprise! [​IMG]

    Gold Coaster

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