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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 21242
Experience:  As a veterinarian, I have been educated to treat all animals, big and small.
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I have a question about a chicken

Customer Question

i have a question about a chicken
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Large Animal Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Hello, I am afraid that the expert you have requested is not currently available. Still I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.
How long has Blondie had these signs?
What are you feeding?
When was she last wormed?
Could she have eaten anything non-edible that could be stuck?
Have you palpated her vent/rectum to check for a blockage?
Have you felt for an egg (she is young, but you didn't list her breed, so I cannot rule this out for her)?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
She is a Broiler. She started this yesterday about this time. I switched them to grower feed about 2 weeks ago from the starter/grower medicated food. I did check to see if there was an egg or blockage but did not feel anything.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
It is possible she ate something she shouldn't have. She is still eating some and drinking some. Occasionally she now has clear fluid coming from her mouth.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you,
Based on the signs you have noted, they are highly suspicious of a blockage (even if it was not palpable from the vent as it could be higher up). Still if she is a 16wk broiler, then an egg being the blockage in particular is less likely. And assuming you have felt no fluid or an enlarged liver in the abdomen that could compress the gut (both usually will give them pot bellied appearances), our main concerns would be a GI foreign body, fecaliths, or heavy worm burdens occluding the gut.
In this case, we can try her with some supportive care. To start, if she is not up to date with worming, it is advisable to do so now. Furthermore, to help push any blockage through you can consider offering her high fiber foods. Examples of these include cooked/tinned pumpkin, brown rice, cous cous, or a bit of oatmeal. These will help to push feces through the GI and aid in clearing any mild blockages.
As well, you can also try giving her a small dose of cat hair ball treatment (otc at pet stores and vets). This can be helpful since it is poorly digestible and therefore acts to lubricate the gut. And if we have a stubborn fecalith or blockage, it can help facilitate it slipping through the GI. Finally, if she doesn't respond to the above, you can try a gentle enema (using soapy water with KY jelly mixed in). This can be gently flushed up the vent to try and break down or loosen anything caught.
Overall, based on her signs, these would be our top concerns for Blondie. Therefore, we can use the above to encourage passage of this blockage and can hopefully get her passing normal feces, more comfortable, and back to herself.
I hope this information is helpful.
If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!
All the best,
Dr. B.
If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need as this is how I am credited for assisting you today. Thank you! : )
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Any concerns with the clear fluids coming from her mouth?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Also - the oatmeal, should it be cooked?
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Hi again,
My apologies, I hadn't seen your reply noting that as I was typing mine.
How often are you seeing this?
Is it after drinking?
Does he crop look swollen?
Any wheezing, breathing changes, or paling of her gums?
And yes, oatmeal should always be cooked before offered.
Dr. B.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
She just started it and it is after eating. Only weird breathing is when she is sleeping, she is snoring a bit. Crop as been slightly enlarged after she eats.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you,
I suspect that it is interrelated with the other signs. Any time we have pressure on the digestive system, we can see reflux of this nature. So, I would monitor this but would expect it to settle as we address the other side of her GI. Of course, if she didn't settle with our supportive care, then we'd need to think about whether you'd want her local vet to examine +/- xray her to see what is causing this failure to pass normal feces despite straining.
All the best for wee Blondie,
Dr. B.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you. I haven't had to take her to a vet yet. What is the best way to find one that cares for chickens in my area?
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
You are very welcome,
Well, I would always say that the best way is local word of mouth. Still, if you don't happen to have a local chicken group with insider knowledge, then you can check these wee databases:
Avian web:
All the best,
Dr. B.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Good morning, still no change yet. I was going to try the enema. What type of soap is best to use? Also, should i feed her a few drops of olive oil to help flush from the front?
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Good morning,
There is no preferred soap, but I tend to generally use Dawn liquid dish soap for everything since it is quite good at breaking down blockages. Otherwise, olive oil would be similar to using cat hair ball treatment. But it is more risky to give directly (so add it to bread or something she will eat) and is easier to digest (so it will only help in the upper gut as opposed to the whole GI). So, it can be used but its not as effective.
All the best with the enema,
Dr. B.
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