A newbee and my hen died....so I have questions-

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by juleeque, Oct 13, 2014.

  1. juleeque

    juleeque Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 14, 2014
    I have only been a chickee mom since April,(of 7 hens) and I have read many posts on this site. Several weeks ago, I was waiting for my last hen to start laying, but being as she was last to lay (but still WNL), I wondered if she was shy and was laying somewhere other than the nest boxes. Then she started laying, but I only got 7 eggs once. I thought "well maybe the others are alternating and I'm still getting just 6" -or- "there has got to be one of my hens laying somewhere else". Which led to an egg hunt- never found any. I never saw anything odd about any of them, they were eating, drinking, laying, pooping like normal, except I was only getting 6 eggs a day. Then one morning my buff was sitting in the corner panting. I knew that was odd and when i pulled her to me she was lethergic. I put her in the top with some fresh straw, but I didn't have the straw level and she just laid there kinda tipped. I then knew that was a problem and got a box with fresh straw and put her in a warm place in the house. An hour or so later, she was dead. RIP-- my BB!
    So I need to know for future, do y'all think she was egg bound? It would make sense, being as i had only gotten 7 eggs once over maybe a 3 week period. I do inspect my girls (to the best of my limited knowledge) to make sure they don't have like the spongy crop, and all and I did check her belly, which not really knowing what I'm feeling for, it didn't feel hard....
    As of now, all my hens are laying...
    So if this happens again, what should i look for or notice? If this happens again, others have said to use a lubricated glove and ...inspect???
    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.....thx
     
  2. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm sorry for your loss. [​IMG] Hens can die unexpectedly for many reasons, and without a necropsy, it is hard to tell what killed them. However, if I had to guess, I would say that your hen was egg bound, based on her symptoms.

    If you notice a hen acting strange like that again, immediately isolate her. Lubricate a gloved finger and insert it into her vent. If she is egg bound, you should be able to feel a hard object. If you do, soak the hen's lower half in warm (90-95 degree F) water for at least 15 minutes. The warm water relaxes the muscles, often allowing the egg to be passed.

    After you soak her (assuming she still hasn't passed the egg), dry her off the best you can and put her in a darkened room. Give the bird a calcium supplement, either in the form of oystershell, eggshell, a Tums, etc. Calcium strengthens the muscles of the oviduct, making it easier for eggs to be laid.

    The soaking and the calcium usually cause a hen to expel the egg within 24 hours. If the bird doesn't, though, then its chances of living are somewhat small.

    Best wishes to you and your flock. Hopefully, you don't have to deal with egg binding or any other ailment for a long time.
     
  3. juleeque

    juleeque Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you so much for the info, so should my hens be getting a calcium supplement on a regular basis? The eggs are pretty hard shelled- normal shelled. I looked at the posts about soft shells and odd eggs. I have some ppl who buy my organic eggs who are vegetarian and don't want eggs that come from hens who consumed oyster shell.....can i just feed them the egg shells?
     
  4. juleeque

    juleeque Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 14, 2014
    oh and another question....my other buff has a poopie butt. would that be a precursor to being egg bound??? is a poopie butt ok, or should i wash her? If it gets cold out and they get poopie butt, do you just let them go till it's warm???
     
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Yes they need a calcium supplement to eat as they need it, in addition to their layer feed. That's the first time I have heard that about vegetarians not wanting to eat eggs from a hen who ate oystershell. The egg shells fed back are fine, as well as giving them layer feed that contains 4% calcium. Its kind of funny, but I wonder if the chicken feed contains ground oystershell for the calcium carbonate, since it's not specified on my feed bag. Egg binding can be caused by a deficiency of calcium and vitamin D3, but also may be a result of laying too large an egg, or due to too low of protein in the diet. The messy vent area can be washed in warmer weather, but in cold weather, I prefer to trim off the messy feathers and extra fluff that can catch droppings, and you can break off any solid pieces when they are dry. II wouldn't bath the vent in cold weather unless you are going to bring them inside to dry fully, or to blow dry feathers..
     
  6. juleeque

    juleeque Out Of The Brooder

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    that is excellent information. Thank you! I don't know about the feed!...they are organic fed.
     

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