Young Legbar cross hen withair under her skin.. looked more like a waddling duck

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3xchestnuts

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Hello all, have not seen this site before, but had a wee problem in the hen house this morning, and googled it when I got home this afternoon.
A young hen, oh about 14 wks old presented like a waddling duck, every part of her was inflated with air under her skin, she seemed dopey and we were understandably alarmed; the skin was so distended between the feather shafts that she really looked like a balloon.... I went to the stables feed shed and found an un used hypodermic needle hoping that if I "popped" her, she would find some kind of relief from this distressing situation. I pierced the skin twice on each of the air pockets, [even on top of her head] and deflated her manually... Wow, she started immediately to scratch and forage around the feed room  and seems totally fine!!!!
Saw a similar incidence reported by "Cactus" when I googled my hen`s dilemma and was pleased that my actions seemed to be correct. Have to say that at no time did the escaping air have a bad smell and the hen seems totally recovered; are there any up to date theories as to why this might happen?

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Foxy

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Yes, basically poultry have a complex respiratory system made up of "air sacs" around the body, as apposed to a pair of lungs in humans. Occasionally due to injury or infection these can rupture and air can leak into the gaps around the organs and under the skin layer. It is quite rare, and worth checking your chook for any signs of injury, has she been fighting for example? Another name used is "wind puff" which sums up the condition quite well.
The treatment you gave was fine, keep a close eye and maybe a visit to a vet for a checkup, (one with poultry experience) I would be inclined to go for a course of Baytril in case of an internal infection which could have caused the windpuff. Saying that though, if she is comfortable, and pecking around it sounds like it probably was minor and hopefully will not reoccur.

Well done you for your quick actions, not many would be that brave!!! :D

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Aunt Sally

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Welcome 3xchestnuts, and well done you  :D
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3xchestnuts

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Hello all, and thanks for the kind replies to my post. Young hen did puff up again and once more I deflated her and this morning the process was repeated, but only for a minimal reoccurance; am pleased to say she is absolutely happy and eating everything put down for her!!
Although we do have quite a number of hens, this particular one is from one of the clutches we incubated and hatched in the kitchen at home and have had the pleasure of rearing from scratch, so it is sad to see unexplained discomfort in such a creature, but happily the situation seems to have been resolved and order has returned to the hen house [if only till the next niggle!]



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