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Dr. Bob
Dr. Bob, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 7938
Experience:  35 years in general practice, including avian.
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My chicken has fluffed up feathers, seems hunched, tail down,

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My chicken has fluffed up feathers, seems hunched, tail down, prefers to stand, and moves a little. she does seem to want to poop, and I saw a small amount of white poop expelled this a.m. I don't think she is eating, maybe not drinking...I picked her up to make sure her vent was not blocked ( as far as I could see) It was not, but when I put her down, she just stood very still, hunched, for awhile, before she would move again. She is mostly just standing in a corner. Financially, I am trying to avoid a trip to the vet...any help would be appreciated...
Hello, I'm Dr. Bob.
I'm sorry to read of your chicken's condition.
Has she been laying eggs regularly?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I don't know. We have 4 hens...they all lay in the same nest, and the number of eggs varies. I have seen 2 very small eggs laid in the last 3 weeks. Just not sure who is doing the laying. She is about 3 years old. I felt her abdomen, tho having never done that before, I don't know what is normal. I did not feel a hardness near her vent.
The symptoms you're seeing are obviously indicative of a problem in the digestive or reproductive tract.
It's very important to know if she is laying eggs to try to determine whether she's egg bound or whether she laying her eggs internally.
I would suggest isolating her and watching her for the next 25 hours. This is how long an egg takes to form and be laid. If nothing is produced, or if she seems to be in increasing discomfort, you may want to put an eyedropper full of olive oil in her vent while holding her upside down for ten minutes (if she'll let you without stressing out too much!).
Gently pushing down under her keel bone towards her vent while feeling for an egg in her vent with your finger, may allow you to guide an egg that has lodged there down and out.
If her condition seems to stay the same, and produces no egg, she may be retaining the eggs in her body. This is caused by one of two fatal conditions called "internal laying" or "false laying". Peritonitis sets in on the retained material and the result is always unfavorable.
These eggs lay in the hen's body like ticking time bombs and only cause problems when bacteria get involved, infecting the retained eggs, and causing a fatal infection.
If only two eggs have been produced by four hens in the past three weeks, it could well be that more than one of them is affected.
If you should have further questions, please let me know.
Dr. Bob
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