A chicken conundrum - bad moult, thin/mishapen eggs, mucous/bloody poo!


8 Years
May 4, 2011
I have been using the forums for 2 years, but more as an observer than a participant. Two years ago I was in a pickle and got some great help. I have just looked at my post from back then, a difficult time when I couldn't get back on the net to see the answers and have just seen later comments that these guys should have been culled back then. Maybe me not being able to get to that info and not culling them has led to this?

I have an Australorp X New Hampshire called "Snap" who I call my 'special needs' chicken. I got her at 4/5 weeks old and within a day she'd sucumbed to a respiratory infection. Somehow we got through it and she and sis have been giving me fantastic eggs for the last 18 months. Lately its all gone south.

She is going through her 18 month moult, we're at about week 16 now. However she didn't go 'head first and down' like they usually, do, just in bits and peices. She is missing pretty much all her bottom fluff, over her crop (right side under neck at top of chest?) and dandruffy skin. The little feathers on her head grew back, but now have moulted off again. Maybe she had a moult, didn't get through it, and moulted again? I have dusted all of the chickies with pyrethrum, then tried maldison and even spot-on Ivermectin having convinced myself it was lice/mites, but to no avail. Feather shafts and lost feathers of all chickens quite healthy, except "Snap" who looks like she's been through the mincer! She was eating feathers, but this stopped as soon as I went to a higher protein layer feed.

Now my special needs hen is laying very obscure eggs for the last week - paper like shell which is sometimes looking normal but thin or smaller end funny, sometimes all twisted and mishapen and some not even a complete eggshell, like someone knocked the top off a boiled egg! Last night I got really scared as she did one big poo with blood stained mucous and went and sat in the nesting box, which she never does at night. I put her in a crate with a heat lamp and overnight she produced a lot of mucous, but without blood, and eventually produced the tiny most shrivelled thing of an egg about as big as your thumbnail followed sometime later by one her normal sized but very thin and top-missing eggs. She is still eating, drinking and telling me how disgusted she is with all this, not weak at all, except she doesn't tuck her wings in tight like she used to and isn't first to the gate anymore, a tiny bit slower.

I spoke to my vet and he said one bloody poo wasn't to worry about and to feed her cooked pumpkin? I'm not so convinced, but I'll take what I can get right now.

She has a sister from the same parents who doesn't have any of these problems except being the Queen of Broody. My other two chickies, 1 year old Hylines are moulting too, but the pin feathers are coming through nicely, albiet slowly. As the other chickies aren't affected, I'm doubtful this could be nutritional/environmental, unless "Snap" is simply the underling and never had as much immunity and vigour than the others.

They have heaps of shell grit and are on very high quality layer pellets. Vegie and occasional cooked meat scraps. Apple cider vinegar in the water and wormed every 3-6 months. Free range, coop and yard cleaned thoroughly each week, little tidies daily.

I'm stumped! What concerns me most is if she's in pain and needs to go to heaven, or if I can rehab her through this? I lost my leghorn to internal laying could this be it too? I'm really worried for her, I must be doing something wrong. Maybe I should have culled them back then? Are my others, especially the Hylines at risk?
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Oh I am so sorry no one helped out!! how is it going???

All I can do is give you the links I have saved and wish the best!!

Egg shell quality is primarily dependent upon the proper amounts of vitamins and minerals in the diet. Calcium and vitamin D3 are the crucial nutrients involved in egg shell formation. Calcium functions in the actual egg shell formation. Egg shells are comprised of 95% calcium carbonate. Vitamin D3 is critical for the absorption of calcium by the hen. Poultry can synthesize a portion of vitamin D3 through exposure to sunlight but additional vitamin D3 is necessary in the diet. An excess of any of these major nutrients involved in shell formation can result in weak or soft eggs shells and reduced egg production. Purina


Here are links I have saved in regards to eggs.....





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