Nearly 2 year old poor buff orpington keeps telling me she is egg bound, but I can't find an egg. I have vaseline, but think a wash followed by another bath may be better, because it could be stuck far back, and they say to use water-based lubricant, instead. I have heard that salt should be added to reduce risk of infection and possibly sugar to help ease swelling by drawing out water from the walls. Does anyone know the correct ratios to add these? Can I just use a medicine dropper to squirt the wash back towards the egg? (I've never actually felt inside a chicken before, but carefully did, this time. It opens up, like an egg is back there, somewhere, maybe. I'm not sure, though, and would appreciate knowing what it is supposed to feel like. For all I know, the large intestine could open up large...)
I'm trying to keep her warm and watered with the eyedropper. How much water can a chicken take at a time, and how long between waterings? I'm trying to maximize it.
She may have been like this for a week. I kept thinking it was other things, because I felt no egg but found lice. :(
Current Symptoms: head pulled in, often laying on the floor or sometimes standing up like she's trying to lay an egg or walking funny, sometimes perching on something (but like she's going to fall off, so I keep her perches low), tired eyes (often sleeping one at a time), anemic, muscles near pelvis moving a lot (she seems comforted when I gently rub them), pulled out tail feathers, very watery diarrhea, egg-bound treatment makes her feel better.
She lost her appetite a couple days ago, so I started medicine dropping water with some honey, salt, and baking soda. I added a calcium tablet that includes Vitamin D and magnesium. I'd like some kind of iron source to help her anemia. She's been staying inside to avoid the snow, recently, and maybe she didn't have enough light through the windows after I put plastic over them to help insulate.
I don't know if the lice made her egg bound or she stopped dust bathing because she's egg bound. Warm baths and steam wash away treatments. Though baths do kill many of them, they leave some, too. I try to dust bathe her with wood ashes when she's dry, because they can be applied as often as needed, and otherwise hold her so they crawl onto my warm body onto a sheet where I can catch them. It seems to be working fairly well, if I keep it up, but I did buy brand new permethrin cis poultry dust... (I have some old dust that I think has other things, too, but it probably has lost much of its power by now.)
I call her Little Yeller because she's one of the smaller hens and squaks very loudly at me, but she's not doing that, now, which is what made me think something was seriously wrong... She has laid large eggs in the past. I think another buff may have died of egg bound last year. (I didn't know her as well, and she hid from me when this happened. Up to this point, I thought she had gotten a serious infection, but none of the others showed any similar symptoms until now.)
Any advice or suggestions would be appreciated. :)