rapid weight gain in one chicken

robyn youlten

In the Brooder
6 Years
Feb 18, 2013
One of my 4 Rhodies has gained an enormous amount of weight over the past month.I have even monitored her food intake and the weight keeps coming. She is not interested in grazing when in the backyard.Today,I found her on the floor of the coop unable to move.She keeps shutting her eyes and feels slightly cold.The coop is rodent proof,but we have had rodents outside...we live in the bush. I am thinking she has had or is in heart failure. The weather here is currently very mild.WE thought she might have been bullying the other chickens out of their food,but she has been watched and still gaining weight.When I handle her,she feels "lumpy" under the breast area,but we thought it was excess fat. We are about to take her to a vet who knows NOTHING about chickens....we have no idea how old she is as we inherited her when the previous owners sold us the house 2 years ago. I personally think she has a hormone problem - do chickens have thyroid glands? - and the weight has been too much for her heart. Can someone please advise?
Sorry about your girl. Chickens can be hypothyroid. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3792055 With an older hen I would also consider internal laying and peritonitis, they often get really big abdomens from internal laying. http://www.merckmanuals.com/vet/pou...uctive_system/egg_peritonitis_in_poultry.html it is fairly common in commercial egg laying breeds. Chickens can also get heart failure, this is about meat birds but it can happen in any breed. http://www.millerhatcheries.com/Inf...nfo/Ascites (waterbelly)_in_Meat_Chickens.htm
Thank you very kind person and I apologise for the delay in reply.
WE took my chicken to the vet - they know very little about chickens.
She was X-Rayed which revealed that about 65% of her was TUMOUR.

After doing much research,I have discovered that she probably had
LYMPHOID LEUKOSIS. Birds are all born with this but it is unusal for
it to manifest.If it does,it's usually in older birds.
We "inherited" our girls from someone else.
The vet says there is a "vaccination" for this - we didn't know and besides,
we have no way of knowing how old our birds are.WE have had them for approx.
2-3years now.
This girl was still happy to eat right up until the last day - that's why we thought
she was either egg-bound or just a bully!!
WE are heartbroken...but we now know about this condition.Hard way to learn.
We hope that this may help some other people - and indeed chickens. Thank you for your
help and we will keep those links for our chicken journal.
Peace. Robyn and Chris :) Australia.

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