Swollen rear end on a 6 year old hen

Jessimom

Cats Rule Dogs Drool
11 Years
Aug 21, 2009
3,797
1,198
441
Southern California
Hi,

My RIR hen is almost 6 years old and has slowed WAY down in egg production. A year or so ago she had a stuck egg that we got out. She's been fine since. About 2 weeks ago, she started retaining fluid in her back end. Now both sides of her back half are swollen. There doesn't appear to be a stuck egg. She is eating, but can't jump on the roost at night, and won't jump off the roost if we put her up. What else could cause this?

 

oldhenlikesdogs

Grateful
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 16, 2015
45,543
79,507
1,462
Wisconsin
She could be internally laying, does she stand like a penguin, the best thing for it is to try to bring her out of lay by limiting daylight to 10 hours and to perhaps get her to lose some weight by cutting out extras.
 

Jessimom

Cats Rule Dogs Drool
11 Years
Aug 21, 2009
3,797
1,198
441
Southern California
She could be internally laying, does she stand like a penguin, the best thing for it is to try to bring her out of lay by limiting daylight to 10 hours and to perhaps get her to lose some weight by cutting out extras.
Thanks for the response. I'm not sure what laying internally is, I'll have to google that!

She walking normal - that area sways a little back and forth. She just can't jump. I have 14 hens, and she is the oldest, but is the only one like this. The area feels like it's full of fluid. I have cut back on their extras because of the shorter days. They are mostly in the shade - only because it gets SO hot here. So, their daylight hours are pretty short. We've tried the baths like which worked with the stuck egg she had - she loves baths.

I live in the middle of a city. I'm not sure there are any vets that handle livestock around here. Again, Google will become my friend!!

Thanks again for the advice!
 

cafarmgirl

Crowing
10 Years
Mar 24, 2009
5,521
610
327
California, central valley
At her age there are a variety of things that can cause ascites, or fluid retention in the lower body. She may well have started laying internally as mentioned, or she may have developed tumors/cancers of the reproductive tract or other organs, problems/diseases of the heart, lungs, liver/kidneys, all can cause ascites. Unfortunately none of these things generally ever has a good outcome. You can make her more comfortable by draining the fluid, or having a vet do it. If she develops peritonitis antibiotics can help, but these are very temporary fixes since they don't cure the underlying cause. How much time you can buy her depends on the cause as well.
 

Jessimom

Cats Rule Dogs Drool
11 Years
Aug 21, 2009
3,797
1,198
441
Southern California
At her age there are a variety of things that can cause ascites, or fluid retention in the lower body. She may well have started laying internally as mentioned, or she may have developed tumors/cancers of the reproductive tract or other organs, problems/diseases of the heart, lungs, liver/kidneys, all can cause ascites. Unfortunately none of these things generally ever has a good outcome. You can make her more comfortable by draining the fluid, or having a vet do it. If she develops peritonitis antibiotics can help, but these are very temporary fixes since they don't cure the underlying cause. How much time you can buy her depends on the cause as well.
Thank you so much for the info. I have never had to cull any chickens, so I'm not sure if I'm up to putting her down. She doesn't seem to be uncomfortable, so I'll just wait and see. Most likely try to drain the fluid ourselves.

Thanks again!!
Happy New Year!!!!
 

cafarmgirl

Crowing
10 Years
Mar 24, 2009
5,521
610
327
California, central valley
Thank you so much for the info. I have never had to cull any chickens, so I'm not sure if I'm up to putting her down. She doesn't seem to be uncomfortable, so I'll just wait and see. Most likely try to drain the fluid ourselves.

Thanks again!!
Happy New Year!!!!

Casportpony here has some good how-to on draining if your up for giving it a shot. I've never done one myself since I have a severe needle phobia lol. Otherwise I just keep an eye on them and as long as they are out and about, eating and drinking I let them be. When I have one I'm not up to culling I have my vet or a friend do it.

Best wishes, Happy New Year to you to.
 

AGRV8TD

In the Brooder
Jan 1, 2016
11
0
22
DARWIN Australia
This sounds exactly what one of my girls is like. I have no idea how old any of them are I just inherited them with our new home. She seems fine. Just waddles around behind everyone else. She has a very broad stance.
 

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