Chicken hen health

by Sydney
(Oregon City, Or)


Chicken hen health: I have a 3 year old hen, she eats good. The problem is she all of sudden got fat in her lower body, hard for her to move.

She does move to eat and to go out side, just hard for her. Tail is downward, eyes are clear, she’s alert.

Others the same age and kind are not as she is. Just looks very over weight. I feed her egg pellets and some food scraps, I do keep their water clean and there pen clean, there is also a hen and roster with no signs. thank you for your time. Sydney

Sydney, thanks for writing. Sorry this is happening to your hen. It sounds like she may have developed “egg peritonitis”. This is not a contagious disease.

I’m actually dealing with this for the first time in a Golden Comet hen I bought last year. She just started developing symptoms.

Her belly is fat swollen, she waddles like a duck, is alert, eating well, but having trouble getting in and out of the coop.

I don’t believe she is laying. Her droppings look normal. She is a very sweet hen, was someone’s pet, and now this…

Someone wrote in recently and mentioned the problem and fortunately I’d never had to deal with it, until now.

From my studies there is nothing to be
done about it without spending a lot at the vet, and even then, there is no guarantee it won’t happen again. My hen is probably 2 years old.

I bought her with a small flock last summer. This is a production breed, designed for a short productive life. Often production bred hens have a good 2-3 year life.

After that, it’s a steady decline of health, in one way or another.

What happens with this disease is that an egg yolk escapes into the abdomen, rather than traveling through the oviduct.

Since it doesn’t belong there, the chicken’s body recognizes it as foreign material and attacks this “infection” sending fluids to isolate, attack and heal.

The fluids build, there is infection, and that is why you see the swelling. Veterinary treatment would probably include antibiotics and require draining the fluids (which may just return).

Sadly, for my hen and yours, this is life threatening. From my research, the kindest thing to do is put them down. (For my hen, I’m just waiting for her to let me know.)

If you want to treat her you will need a good avian vet; hopefully one that will be honest, not giving false hopes and charging a lot for something that won’t help in the long run.

I hope this helps, though not good news.

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by: Anonymous

Thank you, I do feel better knowing, I do feel bad about her condition and I'm also waiting for her to let us know the time, for shes a great pet as well as one of our layers. Thank you again

chicken's health
by: Sharon

I've never had this breed, Golden Comet, before, preferring Heritage breeds that are heartier and longer lived.

I have another hen of the same breed that is just a year old and I hope has better genetics. She came with another small flock I purchased last summer.

I plan to avoid this and other production bred hens in the future, but wouldn't turn one away, if she came with an unwanted flock, like my others.

My chickens have a good life with me, so I'm happy to have had her and her nice eggs for as long as I have.

I've kept chickens for about 15 years and never seen this before, hoping not to see it again. Like you, I'm glad for the much to learn about chickens.

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