Acting lethargic - egg problems

sphinxface

Songster
5 Years
Apr 7, 2015
515
40
141
Renton, Washington
I feel so helpless ;(

My buff orpington has been having egg problems for a while now and I don't know what's wrong, it's very upsetting. She's being very lethargic today, and the fiance says she's like that a lot and that she will get over it but I know something has to be wrong... I'm just not sure what to do ;(

Here she is all slouched and standing with her foot out not moving much.. She's also not eating...
700


One weird thing I hadn't noticed before is her comb is kinda darker, but it hasn't been super cold out so idk why that would be ;(
 
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KayTee

Songster
8 Years
Sep 21, 2012
941
256
211
South West France
When you say "having egg problems for a while", what do you mean exactly? A bit more information would help.

1. What sort of problems - not laying / laying deformed or shelless eggs / laying 'scrambled egg' / being eggbound?
2. How long - a week or two / three or four months / since before Christmas?
3. Does her belly / rear end seem swollen, red or feel hot?
4. Has she lost or gained weight (if you weigh your birds regularly it's easy to check, if not, does she feel heavier or lighter than usual when you pick her up?)
5. Is her poop normal or not? If not, what is different with it? (colour, consistency, smell...)
6. How long has she been off her food? Is she eating anything at all, and is she drinking?

The more we know, the more we can come up with reasonable suggestions as to the possible problem.
 
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sphinxface

Songster
5 Years
Apr 7, 2015
515
40
141
Renton, Washington
She's only about 2 years old.
Laying thin and/or shell-less eggs that I noticed was bloody one time.
700

I think the problems started about 2 months ago, the EE had soft eggs too but that got better after worming them all.
They all had poopy butts for a while, I'm not sure if it's red or warm, I'll try to see. We haven't weighed them, the fiance doesn't think they are loosing weight but it does seem like it to me just based on looking at the shape of their bodies.
I haven't seen her poop today, I will go out and try to watch for it later..
She was drinking earlier today but not eating. It started this morning, although I think I've seen her act like this before when trying to lay an egg in these 2 or so months..
 

sphinxface

Songster
5 Years
Apr 7, 2015
515
40
141
Renton, Washington
Just pooped, looks like the consistency of egg whites actually. It's very small. Also her crop is mostly empty..
I think the egg might have broke inside her ;(
700
 

sphinxface

Songster
5 Years
Apr 7, 2015
515
40
141
Renton, Washington
Fed her some turkey, scrambled eggs, and sausage... That's all she seems like eating..

The purpling of her comb worries me the most... The fact that she's been like this all day... I'm really worried what tomorrow will be like ;(
 

KayTee

Songster
8 Years
Sep 21, 2012
941
256
211
South West France
It could be an internal laying problem - if she has laid an egg internally and it has become infected that's called egg yolk peritonitis (EYP). If it's fluid building up in the abdomen that's called ascites. Do you have a local vet that sees chickens? That would be the ideal thing, as it is so difficult to diagnose things like this at a distance.
If you can't get her to a vet you could try checking inside her vent yourself. Use a latex glove and a well lubricated finger. You could feel for any stuck egg or broken shell. You can also feel if she is swollen inside - if it is very difficult to get your finger in ( after the initial natural resistance that she will give you) or to move it inside then she probably has an internal blockage or swelling.
A darkening comb is a sign of lack of oxygen - internal swelling puts pressure on the air sacs, making it hard for the chicken to breathe.
Keep us updated on what happens. All the best for your girl.
 

sphinxface

Songster
5 Years
Apr 7, 2015
515
40
141
Renton, Washington
Little to no improvement, this is day 3 now..

She's eating a little, I've been giving her fruit so at least I know she's getting some water from that. She lost her interest in meat. I tried to give her an Epsom salt bath but she wasn't interested. I'm gonna try lubing her when I get home but it's daunting, I've never stuck my finger in there before (maybe there is a video or a diagram?)..... Can't afford a vet visit, but I was curious how much spaying her would cost, at least if she survives? A lot I imagine...

I haven't separated her yet, I had my big bird cage taken away, but I could use a box I suppose? I'd be worried about keeping her in the dark though? Ack! I suck at this ;(
 

KayTee

Songster
8 Years
Sep 21, 2012
941
256
211
South West France
I wouldn't imagine that an internal exam of a chicken is anyone's idea of a good time, but I agree - the first time is never easy! It's really just a case of sliding your finger in and gently moving it around. There will be initial resistance from the sphincter muscle (the same as anyone would do given the same situation!), but keep your finger in place, with very gentle pressure, and it should give and let you get in further. All you are feeling for is space, lack of space, or a very hard egg-like object. It isn't easy, especially when you don't really know what you are looking for, but you will be able to feel if there is space to move your finger around or not, and therefore if there is any swelling, stuck egg or not.

Here is a picture of the anatomy of a chicken - to give you an idea of where you are putting your finger and what you should be feeling!



url


With regard to keeping her separated, a large box is ideal, but you don't have to keep her in the dark in it. Fill it with her usual bedding / nesting material, and then place it with the opening either facing outwards or upwards, with something in front of it or over it to stop her walking or flying out. I have used old bits of wire fence or even a folding clothes airer - anything that reduces the space so that she can't get out. That way she still gets plenty of light, but stays where you want her.

I have no idea about vet costs for spaying, but I would imagine that it would be megabucks - assuming that you can find a vet who treats chickens.

Best of luck for you and your girl - keep us updated.
 

sphinxface

Songster
5 Years
Apr 7, 2015
515
40
141
Renton, Washington
She finally passed the egg!
My fiancé did the bath thing again today, and even though she didn't wanna sit down he kept her in there and massaged her rear a bit with the warm water. I will have to wait till I get home to see what is funky about it but apparently it looks weird and is bloody? Should I give her some antibiotics? All I have right now is the oxytetraxycline?

Also thanks for all the help!
 
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