Hen with possible Ascites / Water Belly

Betty : Good Morning. I do have an issue.  I believe I may have an eggbound hen.  She is standing with her legs in an awkward position and she doesn’t look good at all. I am looking at pics of egg bound hens but not seeing anything like this.  How do I know for sure if she is bound?  She was two this summer. Hasn’t been laying many eggs and for that breed they should be laying every day. 

Sad update about 1 hour later : Well, I went down to check on her and was going to put her in some warm water, however, she passed away in my arms. She was struggling to breath and her bottom and belly was huge and very feverish. I lifted up a feather and some poo (diarrhea) stuff came out (before she passed). I am not sure what has happened.  She went out and was drinking and eating with the others just 5 hours ago.  She didn’t suffer and I was holding her when she died.

My Reply : I am so sorry to hear you lost her. It must have been horrible for you, but a comfort to her I am sure to have you with her when it happened. As her belly was huge it may have been something like internal egg laying / egg peritonitis and/or perhaps ascites (water belly) but it really is impossible to say without a vet necropsy.

Betty : I had my husband and son go out and cut her open to see if she was egg bound.  There was no egg but he said her intestines were so huge and as soon as he started to cut her a yellow pee like substance started pouring out. He thought her intestines just stopped working.  Would that be water belly?

My Reply : It does sound like it could be that. I think ascites fluid generally is yellowish (for example you can see a video below of tapping Ascites fluid from an Egg Peritonitis hen where they drain away some fluid at around 4.45 ish and it does look a bit like urine).


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