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Silkie Hen Can't Lay Egg

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I have a young silkie hen (about 7-8 months old) who has been laying consistently for about three weeks. In the last week she has been taking increasingly longer time to lay, up to several hours, and seems to be straining a lot, even after laying.

 

Yesterday she sat all day, all last night, and is still sitting, and occasionally straining. She seems to be calm most of the time, but will "cry" a bit at times when her body is really straining.

 

I'm keeping her warm and forcing water into her. I've also started giving her just a tiny amount of castor oil.

 

Her vent appears to be just fine, and I can't detect an egg. I have not yet tried to massage her vent with oil.

 

Is there anything else I can/should be doing for her? I'm concerned about her current state, but also that she seemed to be laying just fine, but has been demonstrating increasing amounts of time just sitting and occasionally straining.

 

Thanks in advance for any advice you can give me that will help.

post #2 of 8

Give her a warm bath soaking her abdomen. Definitely lube her vent.

Sometimes with a new layer, a soft egg will be difficult to expel.

NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

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NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

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post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thank you. I'll do that right away.

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

Update and looking for more advice:


I've given her three nice long warm baths, two with epsom salts. At the end of the first bath used some olive oil and went exploring. 'Didn't find an egg (only went in about an inch or so), but cleared out a small amount very foul smelling green and white stuff, some of which was very hard (white).


She's eaten a little (chicken feed and yogurt) and I'm forcing water and electrolytes into her as often as she'll let me.


She didn't poop at all yesterday. This morning she fought me a little when I started to put her into her bath and a very tiny amount of super smelly (sort of rotten egg smell) stuff came out.

 

She was slightly perkier in her bath this morning, but afterward pretty out of it again.


Oh! Also, all of her feather on her breast are gone.


Is there anything I'm missing that I should be doing to help her out?

post #5 of 8

It sounds like she's having trouble with soft eggs breaking inside of her or something like that. Have you found any hard egg shells?

The more you can clean that stuff out the better. The bare breast could be either her crop being fuller than normal and parting the feathers, or she could have pulled them out in an attempt to go broody and make a nest.

post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

The eggs she has laid so far have been well formed with thick, hard shells. I only tried once to identify if there was any egg debris inside her tract, and at first thought I had found some shell, but I think it was just hardened white poo.

 

She's been pretty out of it all day, but has been eating yogurt and a little scratch every now and then when I wake her up to give her water. And about an hour ago she started grooming, which is more activity than I've seen from her in the last two days.

 

I wondered if the feather loss was due to her going broody. Although I'm not ruling that out, I inspected the box where she nests and didn't find any more feathers than they naturally slough while preening.

 

I'm beginning to think that she may have eaten something that upset her tummy. Maybe in an attempt to obtain a certain mineral? What are some good sources of calcium and other essential nutrients for laying hens?

post #7 of 8
The bare feathers, and remaining in her nest really point to being broody, plus that is what silkies do.Broodies have very large greenish smelly poops, and only come off the nest once or twice a day to deposit those and have a bit to eat. Place an egg near her and see if she pulls it under her. Also, if you take her out of the coop far away from her nest, watch to see if she just lies down, then gets up and clucks at everyone who comes near her as she hightails it back to her nest. I really hope she is just broody and not sick.
post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by karenjoy511 View Post
 

...

 

I'm beginning to think that she may have eaten something that upset her tummy. Maybe in an attempt to obtain a certain mineral? What are some good sources of calcium and other essential nutrients for laying hens?

Layer feed has all the nutrients a chicken laying needs. Scratch will detract from that.

Yogurt has calcium.

Most provide oyster shell in a separate container so the birds can consume it free choice.

NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

Reply

NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

Reply
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