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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 23781
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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I have a 2 year old chicken, who has been laying really

Customer Question

JA: Hi. What is your issue regarding?
Customer: I have a 2 year old chicken, who has been laying really well. About 6 weeks ago started moulting and stopped laying. She has now finished that and on Friday laid her first egg for 6 weeks. But over the last few days she has had poo stuck to her bottom. Yesterday I noticed she is all puffed up, standing still and beak open appears to be panting. I gave her a warm bath and tried massaging her belly and bottom which were rock hard. I thought an egg was stuck and blocking her back passage, causing poo to build up.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Veterinarian will know how to help the bird. What is the bird's name?
Customer: what do you think is going on? She is still lethargic and appears to want to sleep standing up most of the day.
JA: I'll do all I can to help. Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about the bird?
Customer: Her name is ***** ***** her head is much darker than her body.
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Bird
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
she has not laid any eggs since Friday
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 month ago.

You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 month ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. We don't have many avian vets on this site. You're correct to consider egg binding in this hen considering her change in droppings, posture, "feel" to her "belly", and cessation of laying when previously so regular in doing so. Are you comfortable feeling for an egg with well-lubricated and gloved fingers placed into her vent? You can feel the egg in the great majority of egg-bound hens. Less commonly, I have to X-ray them to see the egg.

Please review this excellent synopsis of egg-binding in hens: I'm concerned, however, that her panting and being puffed up indicates a very stressed hen in a life-threatening condition who will need the attention of an avian vet at your earliest convenience. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I took her to my local vet who said he doesnt know much about birds, but did feel inside her for an egg and said he couldn't feel an egg.
He gave her antibiotics. She has now had her fourth dose. She is no longer panting, but still puffed up and lethargic. Is there anything else I can do to help her?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 month ago.

Thank you for the update, Erika. Please bring her inside as shown here: so you'll be able to watch her carefully, she can be kept warm, and she'll have her food and water always close by. Which antibiotic and dose are you administering, please? Do you know how much Chock-top weighs?

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 month ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?


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