Lethargic, Swollen Abdomen, Runny Vent

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by mshack, Dec 29, 2012.

  1. mshack

    mshack Hatching

    Dec 29, 2012
    Need any advice I can get. I am so new to raising chickens and one of our six hens appears to be sick. She is about 8 months old, a beautiful Barred Rock, her name is Opal. Last night when I checked on the chickens, I noticed around Opal's vent area there was blood that looked fresh and a mess of poop. She acted fine, there was no loss of feathers, and there also was a blood covered egg on the floor in the coop, not in a nesting box. I tried to research, but was unsure of what to look for. I was hoping that today would be better, perhaps she had trouble laying and today she would improve. Wrong. She seems worse. I checked her when I got home, brought all of the chickens some bread and scratch for treats, and Opal wouldn't get out of a nesting box. She was just standing in it. All of the other birds ate the food, and she wouldn't come out. Very unlike her. When they hear me coming they all have lots to "say" and gather around the door for the treats. I watched her for awhile and finally she came out and had some water, but would not touch the bread. She sort of fell asleep standing at the waterer. She looks HUGE. Her abodomen looks so swollen. She is the biggest bird, but tonight she just looks enormous. I went inside, tried to look on the internet for what could be ailing her. I continued to check on her 4 more times and every time she was standing in a nesting box. The last time, all the other chickens were roosting for the night and she was still standing in the nesting box. I decided to bring her in for the night. SHe is currently in a box in my living room. Still not eating. I was able to look closer at her vent and it looks like it could be what I read about vent gleet, but no where did I read that hens were super lethargic with that. I can't figure out why she would be standing in one of the nesting boxes for so long. And why she might look so swollen. We live in NH and currently it is snowing like crazy, I was too afraid to leave her out in the coop, with out roosting with the others, I thought she might get too cold. Anyway, I seem to be rambling, but I would so appreciate any input or advice from others who might know what is happening. Oh, she did finally lay down in the box in the house with her head facing the corner. Her tail looks like it is moving...could it be like contractions? Ugh, I am helpless!

  2. willowbranchfarm

    willowbranchfarm Chicken Boots

    Oct 3, 2011
    My Coop
    Could be an enternal layer. Or vent Gleet.
  3. my sunwolf

    my sunwolf Songster

    Apr 22, 2012
    Southwest Virginia
    My Coop
    OP said there was a blood-covered egg on the coop floor, most likely from the sick hen, so probably not an internal layer, right? It also doesn't sound much like vent gleet to me, especially with the blood involved. All chickens' vents are constantly "working," so it's fine that her tail's moving. Is there white, smelly discharge from her vent? Is her crop watery? Does she have watery eyes, any discharge, any sneezing? It's good to keep her inside. You could try, very carefully, to get a syringe (no needle) and feed her some electrolyte water. You can squirt a little under her tongue, then let her swallow on her own, then continue (this ensures you don't squirt some down her windpipe). I often use a raw garlic juice and apple cider vinegar solution, and this has worked for me. Just get her some fluids and nutrients for now.
  4. mshack

    mshack Hatching

    Dec 29, 2012
    There does seem to be white discharge, but as far as smell goes, I can't tell...not ready to go there. Looking pretty nasty, but doesn't appear to be bloody today, mostly white, and maybe some poop too. She just looks so swollen. She gets up every once in a while and turns around to face a different corner of the box. She was sort of panting. Still not drinking. Thanks for the ideas. I will try the garlic/ vinegar water. I have read some about Epsom salts. Ever tried that?
  5. VentuckyChick

    VentuckyChick Chirping

    Oct 4, 2011
    So Cal
    I've never tried Epsom salts, but I know there can be a toxicity danger in humans due to the high magnesium content of the salt. Hopefully others with experience can chime in. I have had good luck with apple cider vinegar and a vitamin/electrolyte mixture in curing minor "colds" in hens, but admittedly I've never dealt with a problem like yours. I'm no help, really, but I do wish you the best of luck. Hopefully you'll get more answers here later/tomorrow.

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