Neef help...hen has a squishy chest and when she exhales she cackles!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Tmatthews, Nov 6, 2013.

  1. Tmatthews

    Tmatthews Out Of The Brooder

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    This morning I noticed my one hen was lethargic. I picked her up and noticed she had a swishy feeling to her chest. I thought maybe is was sour crop. But there is no odor coming from her mouth and I did the crop massaging procedure but she didn't expel anything.

    When she stands she jerks back like she's trying to cough. She's an older hen and its no surprise her health is declining. I was just wondering if anyone had any ideas as to what it could be other than a crop problem.

    Right now she is in a nesting box. She lets out a small cackle when she exhales.

    My other hens are acting completely normal.

    Thanks!!
     
  2. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    Sounds like an impacted crop. Sometimes the problem is beyond the crop, meaning it could be a problem in the gizzard or the intestinal tract. If the bird is drinking on its own, you'll need to withhold feed for 24 hours. Go to the drug store and get 50mg Colace capsules. This contains docusate sodium, the same ingredient in what are commonly called crop bound capsules. Give 2 capsules morning and evening with water available at all times during the day. It is important that your bird is drinking enough water on its own. If the bird isn't drinking on her own, you'll need to syringe feed/tube feed 10cc of water down the throat after administering capsules, being careful not to aspirate the hen. This should soften the organic material in the crop and get it moving. Sometimes crop bound problems are due to enteritis.

    Are the stools normal or watery? What color are they?
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2013
  3. Tmatthews

    Tmatthews Out Of The Brooder

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    I haven't seen her poop and all the poop in the coop looks normal. The weird thing is her chest isn't swollen. Its just when you pick her up it feels a little squishy. What is enteritis?
     
  4. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    Here's some info on enteritis: http://www.thepoultrysite.com/diseaseinfo/101/necrotic-enteritis
    Often impacted crops are a result of something else like I stated. When you say "squishy chest" I think of food or material stuck in the crop. You'll know if the hen is defecating if you remove her from the rest of the flock, in a comfortable area free of drafts.

    I'm debating on whether you should treat for coccidiosis, worms, or enteritis. The reason I say this is because you stated the hen is older. Has the hen lost weight? Is her comb pale or darkened? Does the bird stay in one spot, hunched up, or is she actively walking around?
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2013
  5. Tmatthews

    Tmatthews Out Of The Brooder

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    Today I let the hens free range and she followed the rest of them. She flew up into a nesting box towards evening. Her comb is as red as can be. She feels light when I pick her up but just to look at her she looks completely normal.
     
  6. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    Check the crop tonight, and check it again in the morning before she gets off the roost to eat. Also, check the bird over by parting the feathers along the skin to make sure there are no mites or lice. The crop should be empty in the morning. If that happens, I'm going to tell you what I would do.

    Let's try something like this. Get some Valbazen suspension, a 3mm syringe, vitamins-electrolyte powder, Probios dispersible powder, and Corid 9.6% liquid at the feed store. Sometimes you can find a water dispersible vitamin powder with probiotics already added. One brand consisting of both is called Vitamins Electrolytes "Plus".

    You will give .5 cc oral dosage to the bird with the syringe without a needle. Do it at night when the bird is roosting. The next 3 days, provide vitamin-electrolyte and Probios mixed in water. Then for 5 days, put only Corid 9.6% at 2 tsp per gallon of water. Then, for 2 days, give vitamins-electrolytes & Probios in the water. You will now be at day 10 since the first worming with Valbazen, and you will worm again with .5 cc of Valbazen. Post what you observe in regard to the hen's behavior during this course of treatment every couple days.

    It is important for the hen to eat and drink well during this course of treatment. Moistening crumbles/pellets will often encourage the bird to eat. What does the bird eat regularly?
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2013
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  7. Tmatthews

    Tmatthews Out Of The Brooder

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    OK...thanks so much! I'll check her and see what I can get at the feed store tomorrow. She eats laying mesh.
     
  8. Tmatthews

    Tmatthews Out Of The Brooder

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    I checked on the hen this morning and she seems to be doing better. She's walking around and eating and drinking. I'm wondering if perhaps she may have hurt herself flying off the roost yesterday. She doesn't have any discharge anywhere, no diarhhea, and her comb and eyes are bright and healthy looking. She's still jerking back a little (like when a rooster throws his head back and sticks out his chest before he crows). But other than that she seems OK.
     
  9. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    Glad to hear that. There is a sternum bone running along the center of the breast called a keel bone. Run your finger along it and see how the bird reacts in addition to how it feels. It should be convex (curved outward. Part the feathers and look for sores along the breast. Then check down the bird's throat with a flashlight and tell me if you see any raised yellow buttons, any plaque looking substance in the mouth, or any other obstructions.
     
  10. OrlandoFLACoop

    OrlandoFLACoop Out Of The Brooder

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    Great to hear she's feeling better! A sick bird doesn't lay, so the sooner she gets healthy the better! :)
     

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