Hi all. While I'm awaiting my appt with the avian vet on Wednesday, thought I'd show you what's been happening to my 3 year old hen, a GL Wyandotte, housed with 3 other birds, free ranging in 1/2-acre enclosure.
On the holiday, she was puny. I thought egg-bound? Soaked her in warm water, was just going to get some Ca Gluconate from where I work and she dumped out this:
I felt her abdomen and it was very large, filling my hand with the swelling. And I didn't feel an egg, at least not a shelled one. Cloacal exam seemed clear. She's been making shell-less eggs since I acquired her in Sept 2013, making a shelled egg about twice a week; and I have to withhold ALL supplemental food to get a good egg from her. She'll lay a double yolk, shelled egg occas, too. The other three are laying reliably and predictably. (calcium is free fed in their coop; I'm feeding Layena mixed with Omega Egg Maker (2 oz) to 1 cup of Feather Fixer and 5 cups of Layena)
She awoke Tuesday morning chipper and nearly 100%, but I still took her in to work and took xrays of her abdomen, which were inconclusive with non-chicken veterinarians looking at them, even with BYC and VIN, so I researched an avian vet and had an appt today. Hen continued to be well all week, abdominal swelling reducing daily, eating, interested, dusting, preening, no eggs, and still a slight swelling but perky and nearly 98% normal.
Then she laid a membrane egg overnight last night.
She had laid a pile of foamy stool Friday, but her stools are pretty normal otherwise. (I had fecals run in June, clear)
The bird vet had a family emergency in Detroit (we're in the Co mtns) last night and wasn't there when I showed up, having missed the call they placed after I'd left this morning. We are rescheduled for Wed 4:30.
Hen shared my egg sandwich (just the egg :) ) on the way home, happily clucking in the container next to me.
A few minutes ago, she popped out of the coop run and laid these side by side....Any Ideas?
I'm so afraid she's got that Egg yolk peritonitis with her history of wonky eggs and that huge abdominal swelling last Monday and her age. I did start her on antibiotics yesterday after doing much more reading and research on the 'net, figured it really can't hurt. She's eating well, so the pill went down easy with strawberry around it!
Then I thought HERNIA? She insists on dropping down from the top roost without using the rungs, so I've put a strawbale under the roost which forces her to use the rails or at least jump to the floor from the strawbale, less than a foot...do herniated hens' swellings come and go? I'm so confused by the resolve of her swelling, it's barely the size of my small-hand palm now.
I used to have a board next to their roost for poop catching, but they kept sleeping on the board and their vents got all gucky from the poop/urine rolling out to a flat surface, meaning I had to clean their butts all the time. I removed that board and now their vents are clean, but I wonder if all those months of poop accumulation back there allowed e-coli in through the vent and up to the area where they get infected.
Thank you everyone!