Velvet Needs Help...Puzzler...Any Ideas? ***She's Dead****

speckledhen

Intentional Solitude
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Feb 3, 2007
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My Blue Orpington hen, Velvet, is just now growing some feathers back after a very hard molt. She quit laying about two or three weeks ago and that was when the feathers began coming back in earnest. Today, I noticed that she has no energy, her crop is huge, but very squishy like its filled with fluid, and it hangs down and swings back and forth when she walks, and her comb at the back is swollen like someone blew air into it. Wattles are not swollen at all.
She laid the contents of an egg from the roost, at least I assume it was her since she is obviously not feeling well. There was no membrane or shell and we cant feel one up the pipe, either. It's not been that hot in the last week or so, so I doubt heat stress plays a part here.

She has obviously lost some weight, too. What would make her retain fluid in her comb and build up fluid/air in her crop AND cause egg problems and weight loss all at the same time? I knew she wasn't as perky, but if you could see how bad her molt was, that would be normal. We dosed her with olive oil for her crop. Earlier, I gave them some crumbled cornbread, buttermilk, pumpkin seeds, hot pepper flakes and chopped fresh garlic and a pinch of AviaCharge to eat and she ate just fine. She has been eating Game Bird Breeder crumble for about a month because I felt it would help with the feather growth and help their eggs hatch better, which it did. They dont get leftovers from the kitchen because I rarely have any. We're not really big on treats around here. There is no respiratory stuff involved. Her eyes and nose are clear as always.

I am so done with this year! Nothing has gone right with anything. I'm not used to having all these problems with my birds! They get the best of everything. My first thought about Velvet was fatty liver syndrome due to the swollen comb, but that may be way off base. Between her and Zane and always battling cocci with the youngsters this year, I'm weary. Any clue you might have for me would be appreciated. There may be nothing I can do, but at least I'd like a clue as to what might be going on here. Considering the timing, seems it would be related to her molt, but I'm not sure.
 
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seminolewind

Flock Mistress
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My thoughts are it might be cancer or a growth or cardiac or kidneys. Cardiac or kidneys would cause swelling, a growth or cancer could probably block some circulation somewhere.
It could very well be something with the liver. I don't know that much about circulatory system in chickens, but I trying to think of what could cause edema.
Sorry, Cyn. It's not been an easy year for you. The only way to avoid the pain of pets not doing well is to not have any at all. Not a choice for most of us.--Karen
 

Mrs MIA

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Those sound like the symptoms when my Black Australorp had sour crop, though I don't remember the comb being swollen... sounds like she has an infection going in there.



You and me both... it has been one of those years where you really have to concentrate on the positives amidst the negatives. Like new friends.
I hope someone with experience with something like this pops in... we need to fix Velvet, and quick!
 

seminolewind

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Mrs. AK-Bird-Brain :

Those sound like the symptoms when my Black Australorp had sour crop, though I don't remember the comb being swollen... sounds like she has an infection going in there.



You and me both... it has been one of those years where you really have to concentrate on the positives amidst the negatives. Like new friends.
I hope someone with experience with something like this pops in... we need to fix Velvet, and quick!

I hope it's sour crop like AK thinks.​
 

KKluckers

Time Out
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Cyn, is her crop emptying? Does she have a fowl smell from her mouth when you slightly push on her crop? If it is sour crop the olive oil should help. I hope she makes it ok
 

jjthink

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Jan 17, 2007
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ARGGGGGGGGGHHHHHH Cyn! It's just not right that you should have all of these problems. Lots of prayers and hopes are sent your way for Zane and Velvet. And for you.

The molt might have made her more susceptible to troubles that with any luck will calm as each symptom is addressed (particularly the crop issue). Right before Ellie molted (maybe her body was already spending energy getting ready to eject feathers, don't know) she got tremendously ill. Blood work showed high WBC, low RBC - inflammation and/or infection like crazy. When she had been absolutely fine just prior. Have no clue what the heck was going on but have just been treating the symptoms, hoping the problem would be self limiting and pass. Still don't know if that will be the case or not....No eggs since she first crashed on Labor Day but the one right before she stopped was a little weird. Velvet's problem egg maybe is hopefully just start up glitches after molt.

I hope very much that Velvet's problems will start to ease........ maybe a few drops of Polyvisol daily for the next week since she is weak....

Will check back - hang in there. :aww
JJ
 
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speckledhen

Intentional Solitude
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Wonder how she'd get sour crop. All the feed is super fresh, no mold problems. The PVC feeder has been great for not allowing feed to be dumped on the floor. Sour crop wouldnt explain why she's retaining fluids in her comb and in her body. Even the area in the back part of her abdomen seems fluid-filled and odd. It's so weird.
Velvet hasn't ever been the best layer. She always skipped two days a week, sometimes three. She's always cracked me up laying her egg on the floor, then getting in the nest for a half-hour; such a silly girl, she is. She's never had the egg issues some of my heavy producers have, till now.
Christina, the only thing I can smell on her breath is the garlic she ate this morning, LOL. I'll check again in a while. Her crop is huge, but very squishy, and pendulous. Hopefully, the olive oil will help whatever the crop issue is. The swollen comb and abdomen really concern me, though.

thank you for those articles, Chris. I'll read through them.
 
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