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😭 Hen laying shell less eggs/feathers gone on belly

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I need someone ones help! 😭😭😭 our almost 2 year old buff Orpington started laying odd shaped eggs a month or 2 ago. ( cone shaped, longer ect) She has always been the best "layer". About 2 weeks ago she stopped laying completely. I noticed her belly feathers were gone and the skin red and irritated (acting normal) shrugged it off to starting to go broody. Weeks later, not broody. I then thought Molting but it does not appear that way. She is almost 2 and has never had a molt. SOO I thought maybe live/mites or some other bug even though I could not find anything in the coop or on her. So I cleaned the entire coop/run and gave them all DE "baths" a few days ago. WELL, tonight I noticed she was in the nesting box to sleep so I pulled her out and she had egg dripping from her bottom, no shell. While I had her out she had watery diarrhea? Normal looking pooped mixed with a lot of water. I had noticed previously the past few weeks when I would clean the coop that there were "egg guts" under the roosting bars. Like an egg fell out when roosting. I don't know what is wrong with her ☹️ The other hens seem fine.
post #2 of 5

Do you offer free choice oyster shell for your birds?  If not, I would do so.  Lack of adequate calcium is one possibility.

 

Or...her egg tract could have an issue - disease or other breakdown of it.  If her egg tract has developed issues due to age or disease, then there will be no fixing it most likely.  I have a tiny bantam that laid two perfect eggs when she first began laying and has not laid a good egg since - only jello (membrane only - no shell) eggs - and she's almost 5 yrs old now. 

 

Are you sure the watery "diarrhea" wasn't runny egg white matter??? 

 

Have you actually checked your girl over really well for mites?  Or did you just treat?  I love D.E. as a drying agent and helpful preventative, but would not rely on it to address an infestation.  I like Frontline spray (preferable) or even Adams (the dog products) for external parasites myself.  I've even used two drops of the Frontline Plus dog flea/tick treatment before (ONLY two drops!!) with immediate results.  I don't know what your girl's issue is, but even if her egg tract has issues, that wouldn't account for the red skin/missing feathers - that makes me think mites!

 

Also, have your chickens been wormed anytime recently??  A severe infestation of internal parasites could also physically stress a hen enough to mess with egg production.  So you might treat her for worms too, since you don't really know what is going on.

 

I call this the "kitchen sink" approach.  If you don't know what's going on, throw everything at her...

Caretaker of a lovely mixed flock including: australorp, plymouth rocks, wyandotte, d'uccles, silkies, EEs, andalusian, and a few seramas, plus a golden retriever, great dane, and three cats.  I always swore that I wouldn't succumb to chicken math.  I lied.
 

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Caretaker of a lovely mixed flock including: australorp, plymouth rocks, wyandotte, d'uccles, silkies, EEs, andalusian, and a few seramas, plus a golden retriever, great dane, and three cats.  I always swore that I wouldn't succumb to chicken math.  I lied.
 

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post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for your response!

Yes we have a bowl of oyster shell & grit in the run, also feed them back their own shells. I keep the coop very clean with fresh water daily. They also have a large fenced area of the property that they free range in during the day.

She will be 2 on July 4. She has always been my best layer (egg almost everyday, even in the winter. No light supplement ) up until the last 6 weeks or so. Eggs started to come out deformed before she stopped laying and now the occasional shell less egg.

The diarrhea was definitely that. I had her on a table examining her when she did it so I examined it closely.

I throughly checked for mites on all my chickens and coop, I didn't see anything but I treated the coop and hens as though there was. None of the other girls show any of the symptoms she has. I didn't know I could use those products for chickens! I have never heard that! I might try that, thank you for the recommendation. A lot of the red skin is now pale and peeling.

As a loss of what to do we started the whole flock on antibiotics a few days ago and she actually seems better? Has slept on her roosting bar the last two nights and more active. After the antibiotics are done I plan on giving them de wormer. Can I mix antibiotics and deworming both in their water at the same time?
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
I forgot to mention that she has never had a molt or gone broody so she has never had a break from laying eggs. Is this normal?
post #5 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by heatherg13 View Post

I forgot to mention that she has never had a molt or gone broody so she has never had a break from laying eggs. Is this normal?


Just came back to check on your post (wish we'd get notifications when posts are added!).  How is your girl doing???

 

Many spring chicken won't molt their first year, but will molt their 2nd year (mine use to only molt in the fall, but this year I've had some spring molting).  And some molts are very noticeable - the chicken looks have skinned (hard/fast molt), while others do a slow molt, losing and replacing small amounts of feathers at a time.  With a slow molt a bird may look just a bit disheveled from time to time, but most wouldn't recognize it as molting.  With her being young, she may have been able to continue to lay while going through a slow molt.

 

Many breeds rarely go broody any more - that trait has been bred out of them for production reasons.  The majority of my hens have never gone broody (but most of the ones that have gone broody are brooding machines!).

 

By the way, occasional diarrhea (very watery w/little chunks) is very normal - especially when it's really hot - they just drink so much water to cool down and it has to be excreted.  For some reason, mine also seem to have more liquidy poops when it's been really rainy...

 

Anyhow...I hope your girl is doing okay.

Caretaker of a lovely mixed flock including: australorp, plymouth rocks, wyandotte, d'uccles, silkies, EEs, andalusian, and a few seramas, plus a golden retriever, great dane, and three cats.  I always swore that I wouldn't succumb to chicken math.  I lied.
 

Reply

Caretaker of a lovely mixed flock including: australorp, plymouth rocks, wyandotte, d'uccles, silkies, EEs, andalusian, and a few seramas, plus a golden retriever, great dane, and three cats.  I always swore that I wouldn't succumb to chicken math.  I lied.
 

Reply
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