Young Rooster's Chest Blown Up Like a Balloon!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Chick-herdess, Dec 2, 2011.

  1. Chick-herdess

    Chick-herdess New Egg

    Dec 2, 2011
    I hatched four Sebright eggs under a broody hen. One died the day of, and another died three weeks later of a weird respiratory disease. Now my sole little rooster is blown up like a balloon! His whole chest is filled with air, all the way up into his neck. I didn't know what to do, so I stuck a clean pin into him and he deflated. But I've had to do that seven more times and he just keeps filling up with air! The last time I deflated him I thought I felt a little lump in his crop. I've never heard of such a thing and I'm not sure if I'm helping or hurting the little guy. His sister is a perky little chick who has none of these problems. He is 18 weeks old and is still perky too, eating and drinking and otherwise acting normal. What should I do?
  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    He has a ruptured air sac. You can keep draining him in hope that the air sac will eventually heal and start holding air. I wouldn't hold out a lot of hope for his survival, though.

    The only air sac/lung puncture I have personally dealt with did not end well. They don't heal quickly and the bird needs to be kept very quiet and still during the healing process to allow for complete healing. I was not able to keep my injured bird still enough and she re-injured herself causing her lung to collapse. She didn't make it.

    If you can keep him contained in a small space, alone for several weeks you may be able to save him, but then it becomes a quality of life issue. Isolation is the worst form of torture for a flock animal, but that is what is going to be necessary for him to live. You need to decide if that is what you want for him.

    Good luck.
  3. Chick-herdess

    Chick-herdess New Egg

    Dec 2, 2011
    Thanks for the advice! I put him in a rabbit cage that I keep on hand for sick chickens and went out a couple times a day to 'pop' him and gave him vitamins to give his system a boost. It is one week today that I have not had to pop him at all! He has a little bit of air in him still, that has not increased, but it's hard to get it out since there isn't as much pressure. I am debating how long to continue to keep him in isolation. I don't want to put him back out too soon and have him re-injure himself. Would two weeks be enough, or longer? I have a larger cage in which I could keep him for a while that is in the chicken coop, to give him a little more room and to get re-introduced to the rest of the flock. Any advice?
  4. tdespres

    tdespres Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 1, 2011
    Western Colorado
    My Coop
    Any more updates on this chicken? I'm dealing with the same issue. Any help would be appreciated.
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Flock Master Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    It sounds like a leaking air sac, subcutaneous emphysema, or wind puff. It can be a result of an injury to the chest or neck rupturing one of the many air sacs. It can be deflated with a needle, as small as 22 gauge in a chick or 18 gauge in an older chick. Clenase the area and use a sterile needle. This may need to be repeated. Hold pressure over the needle site for 10 minutes to help it seal. Here is some reading:

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