Wide stance, puffed up hen

AGRV8TD

In the Brooder
Jan 1, 2016
11
0
22
DARWIN Australia
Hi all. I have 9hens and 2 Roosters. One of my girls has been acting a bit strange. I have only inherited these birds a few weeks ago. And I'm very new to all this. So, the hen in question has a very broad stance. So much I fact that she seems to have trouble walking. It's been like this for a week... That we have noticed. She eats and drinks fairly normal. But is always the last one to get anywhere. The chickens are free range in our yard. About 1.5 Acres. When I put some seed out. All the others come running like crazy. She just waddles along. Sometimes she trips over herself. I always save a bit of seed for her. Which she eats. I have tried to check for egg bound. But really don't know what I'm doing. But I can't feel any lumps in her abdomen. I think I have noticed is that her abdomen seems to "pulse". Kind of weird. I have not noticed this with the other chickens. She does seems to be swelled up like a ballon. As if she is very full of water. I wormed them all today with Kilverm. Not sure if you guys have that over there. But in Australia it's what the Feed Store recommended for worming. Here are a couple of pics of her in the yard. Any advice will be gratefully received.

Cheers Mark and Debbie

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AGRV8TD

In the Brooder
Jan 1, 2016
11
0
22
DARWIN Australia
It would seem that she has a bit of poop on her feathers. I think this may be because she can't get up on the roost and the others are pooping on her at night.
 

cafarmgirl

Crowing
10 Years
Mar 24, 2009
5,521
610
327
California, central valley
If she is bloated in her lower abdomen it sounds like she has ascites, fluid build-up in the body cavities. This can be caused by a few different things, none of them fixable. It can be caused by internal laying with or without peritonitis, tumors/cancers of the reproductive tract, diseases of the liver/kidneys, heart problems, all can cause ascites. These hens can be made vastly more comfortable by having a vet, or yourself if you know what your doing, drain off the excess fluid. This also helps them breath easier. This is a temporary fix however since it doesn't cure the underlying cause. Medications can help with inflammation, infection and with retained water but again, these are temporary fixes that just prolong the inevitable. Survival time also depends on the underlying cause.
 

AGRV8TD

In the Brooder
Jan 1, 2016
11
0
22
DARWIN Australia
Ok. Well I took care of that hen today. Once she was dispatched I figured I may as well get some practice in plucking. I've never done it before and although I had no intention of eating this bird I figured it would be good to try it. Popped it in some hot water and job was done in a few minutes. I did open the stomach cavity and I think there must have been 500 ml(1 pint) of fluid that came gushing out. Seemed like a lot. And it seemed to be under a bit of pressure. The bird was very anemic. Very little breast meat and the legs are skin and bone. I don't think she would have survived much longer. As I siad we were not going to eat this bird so she received a burial with full honors courtesy of my wife. The rest of the flock appear healthy. We are getting about 4/5 eggs a day from them.
Cheers Mark and Debbie
 

cafarmgirl

Crowing
10 Years
Mar 24, 2009
5,521
610
327
California, central valley
Ok. Well I took care of that hen today. Once she was dispatched I figured I may as well get some practice in plucking. I've never done it before and although I had no intention of eating this bird I figured it would be good to try it. Popped it in some hot water and job was done in a few minutes. I did open the stomach cavity and I think there must have been 500 ml(1 pint) of fluid that came gushing out. Seemed like a lot. And it seemed to be under a bit of pressure. The bird was very anemic. Very little breast meat and the legs are skin and bone. I don't think she would have survived much longer. As I siad we were not going to eat this bird so she received a burial with full honors courtesy of my wife. The rest of the flock appear healthy. We are getting about 4/5 eggs a day from them.
Cheers Mark and Debbie

You did the right thing, it can't be a comfortable thing for these birds and they seem to linger sometimes. We've had several with this due to various reasons over the years and I prefer not to let it go on too long.

On a side note, if you are planning on getting another hen, get two, or even three if you can. Will be easier then integrating a single new bird.
 

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