Large mass on hens' breast : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

One of my hens has a very large and predominant mass covering much of her breast. Upon examination, it feels like a huge fluid-filled sack which sways when she walks. I know, this sounds absolutely horrible for her, I agree! We don't quite know what caused this or, more importantly, what to do about it. She otherwise appears healthy. Could this be breast blisters? My husband wants to play doctor and try to "drain" the fluid out of her breast but I'm not so sure. Anyone have any ideas about what this may be or why it happened?

-- Lisa (, May 16, 2000


I am not sure if you are a rookie chicken owner or not. If you are, you could be mistaking a medical condition for a full crop. My hens can pack a lot of good bugs and grain and apple chunks in there -- making them look very strange and awkward. It will sway back and forth as they run around and generally behave like you described.

It is actually located in front of their breast at the base of their neck and hanging below their neck. It can also lose feathers (or get so distended that the feathers part and skin shows) , appearing bare so that it could be considered a boil or blister, or whatever.

If it is her crop, it is completely normal. Draining it with homespun surgery would be detrimental to its immediate well-being and may be permanently detrimental if the mistake is not remedied quickly.

-- Mike O (, May 17, 2000.

Hello, If her crop is normal. Sometimes though rare, if a chicken has a trama done on the breast,Say like flying into something when scared, it can cause the breat(s) to swell with fluid. The impact separtes the beast muscle from the skin, and now empty space fill up with fluid. Most of the time it will go away by itself.If it seems not to bother her, it would be best just to leave it alone. But is does ruin the meat,, so I would not ever eat her.

-- Bergere (, May 17, 2000.

One way to tell if it is a full crop would be to feed her some whole corn then feel the mass. If it is just the crop you can actually feel the corn pieces in there. If it still feels just like a fluid sac then if could be due to an injury. Give it time and see if it hardens and shrinks. If it were an abcess she would probably be acting sickly. I would consider isolating her anyway so you can monitor her so that you know she is eating, drinking, having normal manure etc. Sometines it is hard to identify a single sick bird in a flock until it is too late.

-- teresa (, May 17, 2000.

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