Twitching Chicken

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by jamiebartlett, Mar 19, 2007.

  1. jamiebartlett

    jamiebartlett Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 19, 2007
    I have a chicken who isn't looking good these days. She'll be 1 year old in April. Her head is twitching, like a person with cerebal palsey might. I am talking beyond the usual chicken twitch. She'll be calm and her head suddenly jerks like we would if we had restless knees. I noticed this last week. This weekend I noticed she looked more like a baloon. I couldn't catch her yesterday, but this morning I made sure I went out early and got her while she was roosting, checked for egg bound and found just one egg, but her chest area is really thick and fluidy. I compared to anotehr chicken her breed and they have minimal puffiness like a chicken breast feel. But her's felt like she got breast implants! When she was born her right breast stuck out a little futher than the other, but now it;s all around. I really don't know what to do. She gets up on her roost. She eats/drinks - not as much as others. When we put in treats she doesnt fight for it, she waits her turn. NOt the sweetie I know usually. Any ideas and help?
     
  2. jamiebartlett

    jamiebartlett Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 19, 2007
    Can anyone help? She's starting to look like a baloon now.. :-(
     
  3. fowlweatherfriends

    fowlweatherfriends Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The Sunny South
    I have no idea myself. I am very sorry bout your girl. Hope someone will be along very soon to help.
     
  4. Llysse

    Llysse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 11, 2007
    If it's puffy just on one side of her breast, what you may be seeing is her full crop. If it doesn't go down, and she's acting differently than usual, the crop may be impacted. Sometimes this happens if they've been eating lots of fibrous foods ... or it could happen if she's eaten something she can't digest. Basically, it's a mass that sits in her crop without passing through the digestive system.

    If it is an impacted crop, it's usually quite serious. If she is a pet, you may want to take her to an avian vet. They can tell you if it is an impacted drop, and can either flush the matter out of the crop or perform surgery to remove it. If she's not a pet, you can possibly try some oil and gently massaging her crop, hoping she'll be able to move it through her system. It would be better to take her to a vet, but that's not always possible.

    It could be sour crop, as well, which can cause a sort of "head twitch" as the bird is trying to regurgitate its food. Does she shake her head back and forth after the twitches? When a bird vomits, she'll usually make violent motions with her head, and then sort of shake food out of her mouth. Because you didn't mention anything coming up, though, that makes me think nothing was... that it's impacted. Also because you mention that the crop is engorged.

    If it's sour crop, that's treatable with a course of antibiotics. But if it's impacted crop, you should get her to a vet if you can.

    Those are my two guesses, jamiebartlett. I hope your birdie is okay--I hope it's just a sour crop, or something even less serious. Please let us know how your bird is doing.

    :aww
     
  5. jamiebartlett

    jamiebartlett Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 19, 2007
    Thanks. She does look like she's regurgigating. That is what I thought she was doing when I noticed that a week ago. My husband thought maybe she developed some nervous system problems. There's no vomit involved.

    It's not just one side, it's both breasts, it's really large, it almost looks like she's gonna tip over from the weight. [​IMG] SHe looks so uncomfortable. Its getting bigger every few hours. I guess she could be blocked somewhere.

    How do I massage and do I put the oil on the outside or down her throat?

    We really can't afford to take her to the vet. Thanks, Jamie
     
  6. Citychick

    Citychick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Maybe heart problems? She could be retaining fluids from that. Congestive heart failure? Sorry.... Wish I knew more.
     
  7. Llysse

    Llysse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay. You can try giving her olive or mineral oil in an eye dropper down her throat and massaging the crop on the outside. Give the oil a little bit to get down in there, and then massage the swollen crop area to see if you can get things moving, sort of untangle the mass. If she seems better the next day, you may try it again: a little more oil and another massage.

    Some people recommend using epsom salts and water to try to flush out her crop, but that can be very dangerous because she might aspirate some of the liquid... in other words, it could go down the wrong pipe and drown her.

    Some people will actually perform surgery themselves. I don't know if I could ever do that. And I want you to understand that I have no idea HOW to do it other than what I've read. i have no surgical experience, and I'm not a vet. But if nothing else is working, there are places on the internet that could tell you how to try surgery on the bird yourself.

    I found http://www.poultryhelp.com/impactedcrop.html and http://humboldthens.blogspot.com/2006/02/sour-crop-impacted-crop-nothing-at-all.html but they are not very detailed. You may be able to find a better site, or get some good advice from people here who are experienced with this. The surgery should be a last resort--try the massage and oil, first. Hopefully that will work for you. I

    Also, if you have an experienced farmer nearby, you might ask him or her for help. It may be that the farmer can verify that this is impacted crop, or even that he could try the surgery for you because s/he may have done it before with his/her birds.

    Best of luck.
     
  8. jamiebartlett

    jamiebartlett Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 19, 2007
    Thanks. IM not sure I can hiold her down, to do this she doesnt like to be held, but if shes not feeling good mabe she'll cooperate more. I will wait til hubby gets home to help.
     
  9. Llysse

    Llysse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I hope your hen gets better--and I hope someone else more experienced will reply to this thread, too! I'm just guessing, but the symptoms all sound right, unfortunately. [​IMG]
     

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