5 m/o hen stopped laying, lethargic

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Goyo's Girl, Aug 31, 2010.

  1. Goyo's Girl

    Goyo's Girl Out Of The Brooder

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    May 6, 2010
    Walla Walla, Washington
    My 5 m/o WL has been laying about an egg a day steadily since first week of August. 4 days ago she seemed lethargic, slower to eat/drink and staying away from the flock; resting with her eyelids closed. She has not laid an egg since. Also, (don't know if this is just coincidence) her comb flopped to the side at the same time. It was straight up before. I have checked her vent, it is clean, although there appears to be some sticky stuff and small amount of dried pooh on the feathers below it. I wonder if she is eggbound. I have no experience with this. I've checked her abdomen and think I feel an egg shape in there. What do I do? Should I try to get it out with my fingers? I'm scared to make it worse but I'm scared to just ignore it. Please help!
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2010
  2. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    Often putting them in a warm bath of water and inserting mineral oil into the vent area, and massaging were you feel the egg, softly can help dislodge. If it does not loosen after a few tries and a day or 2 go buy with no passing of the egg, it will have to be broken inside her, she will need to be put on a good antibiotic and vent lubed to help pass the broken egg... it is risky so it is a last resort.
     
  3. Goyo's Girl

    Goyo's Girl Out Of The Brooder

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    May 6, 2010
    Walla Walla, Washington
    Thanks for the suggestion. I brought her in last night adn gave her a warm bath. She seemed to really like it alot. She's my most flighty, nervous chicken, but she just relaxed and laid there. I massaged her abdomen but couldn't find any bumps that feel like eggs. Only her pelvic bones. I didn't have any mineral oil but used olive oil to lubricate while I checked her vent. I was nervous and maybe being too careful so didn't know how far in to explore. Only went in to second knuckle on my index finger. Nothing inside that I could tell. I dried her good and she spent the night in a box with shavings in a warm room. This morning I could see she had pooped several times and it appears normal enough. Should I keep her separated or put her back with the others. We've had a big weather change..from super hot to cold and rainy in the last week. I was getting 4 eggs a day from my new layers and yesterday only 2. Does the weather have something to do with this? Also, her comb flopped over this week, Is that normal?
     
  4. Goyo's Girl

    Goyo's Girl Out Of The Brooder

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    May 6, 2010
    Walla Walla, Washington
    I think I figured out what's wrong with my chicken. The day after I gave her the warm bath she expelled a soft shelled egg. I purchased ground oyster shells and put it out in a bowl for the flock. I have found softshelled eggs from her daily for the last 3 days and today there was another one from a different hen. Not only were they lacking calcium, I think, but I also discovered on Friday that my husband had filled their feeder last week in the dark and inadvertantly put scratch in it instead of their regular feed! Poor things were not getting a balanced diet. All seem to be hearty and well, but the egg laying is way down. Hopefully it will pick up soon. Anyone know how long it takes before the oyster shells in their diet start working?
     
  5. CathyRN

    CathyRN Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 17, 2010
    Sevier County, TN
    I'm a first timer as well and read your threat thinking these are the exact symptoms I'm having with my flock, and today we lost our first chicken. It was aweful. So glad the warm bath worked and she passed the soft shell. We only put oyster shell in the feed sometimes, but we buy co op feed and that so far has worked to make the shells really hard with out the supplementation. We had alot of soft shells in the beginning when they were first laying, but after a couple weeks they were gone. Good Luck ![​IMG]
     
  6. Goyo's Girl

    Goyo's Girl Out Of The Brooder

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    May 6, 2010
    Walla Walla, Washington
    Quote:So sorry to hear you lost one. I know it's inevitable, but I'm dreading the day! The weird thing about these soft shells is that these hens have been laying for a month and we've never had soft shells til now. A few oddly shaped ones, but always hard. Very strange. Hope it resolves with the proper diet!
     

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