13 month old Welsummer laying rubber eggs, now acting egg bound?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by jeepgrrl, May 21, 2018.

  1. jeepgrrl

    jeepgrrl Songster

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    Feb 25, 2017
    North Central Ohio
    Hi everyone! My 13-month-old Welsummer has been laying rubber eggs for most of her laying life. I can count on one hand the number of normal eggs she has laid. She has been otherwise fine and normal acting, no obvious problems. I offer a bowl of oyster shell in addition to their layer feed, along with occasional ground up egg shells. She free ranges on over 1.5 acres every day with her 3 sisters from dawn to dusk, but she dId lose 2 of her sisters within a month of each other a couple of months ago from probable fatty liver syndrome. We also had a delayed spring this year, with winter weather and cold temps that lasted well into April. All four hens seem to get along fine, no pecking or bullying observed. As i was changing the water in their waterers this afternoon I noticed her acting oddly and i observed what appeared to be clear watery diarrhea coming out of her. She drank quite a bit of water after that and then laid down under a tree with her butt kind of up in the air. Her eyes were closed and she kind of did a head shake-type movement. When I checked on her a little later she was up and walking around with her sisters, pecking for food and preening. I went to wash their feeder and add fresh feed and she didn't seem interested. Instead she went into the coop to roost (@7:30pm, still light out) again with her butt pointed up. I was in the middle of raking grass clippings in their hen yard so I finished that and checked on her again. This time, her tail feathers were pointed down. I did my best to get a hold of her to check her vent; she never has liked to be handled. She had some dry poop below the vent and maybe a bald spot but no evidence of prolapse. So my question is could she be egg bound even though she produces rubber eggs? I'll be taking her to the vet in the morning but tonight i am seeking guidance from those who are more experienced. Could a shell-less egg break inside and cause her symptoms? I checked her crop as well, it was squishy. I am worried that a shell-less egg broke inside of her. Any insight would be most appreciated!
     
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Was a necropsy preformed to see what was what inside?

    Possible, but could be many things?
    Let us know what the vet says.

    This is what I do with a bird that seems off:
    I isolate bird in a wire cage within the coop for a day or two....so you can closely monitor her intake of food and water, crop function(checking at night and in morning before providing more feed), and her poops. Feel her abdomen, from below vent to between legs, for squishy or hard swelling.

    Best to put crate right in coop or run so bird is still 'with' the flock.
    I like to use a fold-able wire dog crate (24"L x 18"W x 21"H) with smaller mesh(1x2) on bottom of crate under tray.
    Then you can put tray underneath crate to better observe droppings without it being stepped in. If smaller mesh is carefully installed, tray can still be used inside crate.
     
  3. jeepgrrl

    jeepgrrl Songster

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    Feb 25, 2017
    North Central Ohio
    Hi aart,

    So sorry for the delayed response, this time of year we are very busy like most folks. Thanks for replying, I appreciate your advice! No, I didn't have a necropsy performed on the two hens. The first hen I found dead laying up on the roost when I went to let them out in the morning. I figured it was just one of those things because her sisters were all fine. The second hen that died about a month later was acting fine that day, was out free ranging with her sisters all day. We went out for a couple of hours and when we returned, I found the hen on the side of the shed, leaning up against it and quivering, eyes half closed. As I brought her into the house, she died in my arms. I posted here on the forum asking for advice about what could have happened and someone inquired what I had been feeding them and posted a link to an article about overfeeding and fatty liver disease. It was apparent that I had been giving my girls way too many treats and because my hen when downhill very quickly, it seemed plausible that this is what had occurred. It wasn't a disease process since the other girls are fine. I checked out both hens thoroughly looking for injuries and found nothing. Both hens had laid an egg the day they died, so I ruled out a bound egg. At that point I did cut waaaayyyy back on the treats, which isn't making them happy but this time of year there is plenty for them to scrounge up while free ranging, along with their feed, so I'm sure they will get over it.

    The day after I posted my question, Chipper seemed to be doing better; however I noticed that the ends of her tail feathers looked like one of her sisters had been pecking at them, they were a little ragged on the ends. I didn't end up taking her to our vet because the vet that examines chickens was out until Friday. I made an appointment anyway but I will probably cancel since she was more like herself yesterday and ate and drank a good amount. I did, however, take your advice about separating Chipper in a crate for the past two nights just so I could monitor her excrement and that seems to be returning to normal as well, no worms or blood or anything. There has been a bit of squabbling/pecking the past couple of evenings when the girls come in to roost, so maybe she had been picked on, hence the raggy tail feather ends. I'm not sure what has brought this on at this point in time as they have always gotten along. :idunnoChip sleeps on the lower roost by herself and the other 3 girls sleep on the upper roost, so there is plenty of room. The timing is bad as I am about to get four more day-olds here in a couple of weeks, but I am prepared to add a second coop if the older girls don't accept them. I'll just keep thinking positive thoughts and hope for the best when it comes time to fully integrate the pullets with the older girls. :fl

    Thanks again, aart, for your words of wisdom! I've seen a lot of your posts and it is obvious you know quite a bit about chickens. Maybe next time I will just message you directly for your sage advice! :)
     
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  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Nah, keep it public...I know far from everything and others can benefit from public discussions.

    Ya don't really know what killed them unless you open em up.
    Hard to do, and know what you're looking at, for folks who don't regularly slaughter tho..
    Even then unless you have pathology testing, even that won't always tell the whole tale.
    AFAIK most worms can be seen with the naked eye in the feces,
    only round worms and maybe tapes.
    Need a fecal float from a lab that will report species and numbers of worms found,
    and if numbers require treatment.
     
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