Hen's body looks too heavy

by Judy
(Southeast Georgia)

Question

Hen's body looks too heavy: My mixed white hen has just started looking "puffy" over the last few weeks.

It seems she suddenly started gaining lots of weight throughout her body. She is not laying, but she is at least four years old.

Her wattle is purple, I see no respiratory problems, and her lower abdomen feels puffy, some watery stools.

She seems to sit back on her haunches and has difficulty walking. She was in a pen with one rooster and seven other hens (a mix of breeds).

I just moved her a month ago into another pen with a lonely rooster. She is progressively getting worse over the past few days. Will not come out of the house now. HELP!!

Answer
A purple wattle can be a beginning sign of frost bite. Combs and wattles, with no feather covering, can get very cold, lose circulation and look different when exposed to freezing and sub freezing temperatures.

Her sudden weight gain may be fluids or swelling of some internal organs. Fluids will build up, not be filtered or exit the body normally if there are heart, liver or kidney problems.

A 4 year old hen is generally past her prime, as evidenced by her failure to lay any longer. Without medical testing, I wouldn’t know for sure what this is.

Based on all you’ve said, my instinct would be to believe her problems are old age related. Testing will tell you if this is something contagious.

In her condition, I would suggest a cage for her to rest and be close to food and water till you can find out for sure what the problem is.

I doubt she is much company for a rooster in this condition and on the chance it’s something contagious, she should be alone.

If your area is not experiencing freezing temps, I would guess her heart is giving out.

That would account for the purple, lack of oxygen, color in her wattles. Possibly the kindest thing to do is make sure she doesn’t suffer.

Return to Raising Chickens Home Page

Click here to post comments

Return to Chicken Comb Questions.

Custom Search