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Help Now... PLEASE!

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I have a hen that has been laying shell-less eggs for several weeks. At first it was soft shells, now we only find a wet goopy spot in the boxes - I assume that they're being eaten.  I have been giving her a steady dose of calcium glutonate (sp?) - approx 1cc per day - and vitamin D but there has been little change. Until today her demeanor and apparent health otherwise has been typical - mischievous as always.  


Yesterday I was reading a thread that advised against giving calcium supplements daily, so we skipped it last night.  (She did get a treat of salmon, however)  THis morning she is puffed up, tail down, on the roost.  She won't come out of the coop.  I've been expecting this, frankly, as the shell-less eggs can't be good for her body.


We had a round of what I think was IB a little over a month ago, and one other chicken is SOMETIMES laying odd eggs, but this one is the only one with what looks like long-term effects.  This particular hen is a favorite, and so although I knew this might be the end result, I can't quit fighting for her.  I am heading out to do a oral dose of the Calcium G right now and hope it help with something.


WHAT TO DO NOW?  What am I possibly missing???

post #2 of 13

She may be ill or weak from parasites (internal/external - lice, mites, worms), or possibly has a deficiency in her diet.  What protein mix is she getting as or in her feed?

On vaccinating v/s Marek's Disease - ( here & here )
On vaccinating v/s Marek's Disease - ( here & here )
post #3 of 13

What layer ration is she currently on?

post #4 of 13

What is the concentration of the calcium and Vit D, and how are they currently administered?

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much for responding. 

Calcium Gluconate - 23% Solution - 1cc orally (dripped in her mouth with a small syringe today but usually I just soak a small piece of stale bread in the stuff)

Vitamin D3 - liquid drops I picked up at the health food store - 2000 IU, 1 drop per day, mixed in with the calcium (treat or straight-up today)

post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

She is on an organic layer feed, 17% protein, 4% calcium

post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 

I don't think it's parasites - we are diligent about that (worming 2X per year - spring and fall) and they finished their last worming round on March 26.  No signs of any lice/mites/etc.

post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 

Since my first post I have gone out twice. The first time she had made her way off the roost and into the nesting box and was "laying" a shell-less egg - not even a membrane.  3 of her comrades were lined up behind her digging in - like they've been trained these last few weeks to gather round for treats because Henrietta's "laying" again.  :pop  I pulled her out and gave her the liquid calcium supplement and just held her for a while. She took the calcium without a fuss (but she always does) and just rested on my lap.  I put her back into the nesting boxes, thinking she'd be most comfortable there.


When I just went out to give her some water by dropper she was in the run, standing still with her tail still (mostly) down and a little poofed up but looking better than earlier.  She came (slowly) to me when I came to get her and then took her water without complaint.  Although she's looking better than this morning, she's still nowhere near her normal self.

post #9 of 13

Humm... Typically I dose Calcium gluconate, 5 - 10 mg/kg as an injectable in the muscle or under the skin. Vitamin D3 is administered at 200 IU daily for 3 days per week. I would discontinue the calcium as it has been several weeks without improvement. Calcium supplementation can result in hypercalcemia - or too much of a good thing.  Hypercalcemia  may result in increased drinking/water consumption, lethargy, inappetence, and generally non-specific malaise. It sounds like it is time to be seen by a vet for a vet to check Henrietta's serum calcium level. They will likely also recommend taking abdominal radiographs (x-rays) to get a better idea of what's going on.

post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
That does make sense, except that she only started acting sick when I withdrew the calcium, and then perked up after I gave it again.In fact, she's acting ALMOST normally now.

There is no doubt that she's not absorbing what I give her though, is there?
Edited by MichelleT - 4/23/16 at 5:33pm
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