Originally Posted by SouthernBYChickens
I actually got her as well as 17 others from Welp Hatchery back in November. They hatched out the 16th and they were in my possession on the 18th. So, they were 3 days old when they got to me. They are in an outdoor pen and have a very safe coop. Plenty to eat and fresh water. One guy at a local feed store told me of the possibility of her being "egg-bound". He showed me how to feel her behind area to see if I could feel an egg, but I just couldn't feel one. Anyone know much about hens that are "egg-bound" ??
Welp Hatchery offers Marek's vaccine for less than 20 cents a bird (I ordered a batch of birds from there last year and they've done well)- but you have to pay extra for Marek's disease vaccination. Did you have your chicks vaccinated when you bought them? If not, I'm really sorry but that sounds just like Marek's disease, is the right age frame to be displaying symptoms, and if not, I'm so sad to say that if you have one confirmed case (there is a test for it) that you should cull your entire flock because 1) it is extremely contagious (actually a form of Herpes) 2) causes paralysis and 3)causes tumors that either reduces their laying or stops their laying. Better to start over with vaccinated chicks if there's Marek's on your yard then too. I really hope you vaccinated, as you can rule this out!
I would not think a 4 month pullet to be egg-bound... most pullets just coming into laying lay small "pullet" eggs, that are often mis-shapen and/or smaller than they will lay in a few months. Egg binding usually happens in a hen who has been laying hard all season and is tired/wore-out (often shortly before moulting) or on older hens, who lay eggs less frequently, but often larger than when they were younger. An easy way to tell if a pullet is laying yet is by holding her on her back (like a baby LOL) take your fingers on your free hand and hold them out straight and together- you should be able to wedge 2 or 3 fingers between her pubic bones (you can feel them down low between her legs) and the bones should have some "flex" in them if she is laying yet. If not, you will only be able to fit 1, maybe 2 fingers in and her pubic bones will be stiff & firm. Also, a hen who is laying will have a large, moist vent/cloaeca where your pullets who are not will have a much smaller, dry vent.
Hope this helps!
Jen P & the Pack learning about chicken math...