Anyone know much about Egg Drop Syndrome?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by caralouise1974, Apr 3, 2009.

  1. I'm clinging on for dear life that this is what my Bella's got!

    From what I've read, it is characterised by thin and shell-less eggs, but no other outward signs of illness in the hen. (This is what distinguishes it from infectious bronchitis, salmonella, e-coli and mycoplasmas, all of which can also cause egg quality to decline but which also cause varying symptoms of acute illness in the hen too.)

    It is caused by a virus originating from waterfowl, but is commonly found in chickens, especially in Europe. It may remain latent in a chick which has been infected through the egg until that chick reaches maturity and commences laying.

    I also hear that it is only likely to last for four to ten weeks, after which the hen fully recovers and egg production gets back to normal. Although my Bella did have a problem with egg binding as a result of the soft shells, and has a constantly wet vent from all the straining and watery poop that accompanies a soft shelled egg, she's otherwise been completely healthy throughout. She also goes through phases of laying 'good' eggs - varying from a ratio of three good then three soft, to one good then six soft.

    Can anyone add anything to this for me? Anyone experienced it in their chickens and had a positive outcome?

  2. mandolinmama

    mandolinmama Songster

    Apr 13, 2007
    Urbana Missouri
    Just sounds like a rubber egg to me. [​IMG]
    Is she getting enough oyster shell or other calcuim source?
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Egg Drop Syndrome is rare in the U.S. I'm told. I doubt that's it. Many egg issues are brought about by the stress of molting or even a bout with Infectious Bronchitis.
  4. Quote:I'm in the UK, where EDS was originally identified back in the 70s, and it is apparently not all that rare over here.

    Indeed, the fact that I've never seen her have even a day's illness, not even a sniffle, even when two out of our other three hens had mycoplasma, makes me doubtful it is due to IB. And it's been going on for way too long to be IB, surely? Five weeks or so now and getting worse... and still she has no other apparent symptoms of any causatory illness.

    And she's only six months old, and hasn't molted yet that I can see - could she be about to moult, perhaps?

    Any more options I could investigate? I'm running out of ideas! Thanks to you all for your thoughts and suggestions - keep em coming! xxx
  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Well, I just realized who I was talking to, LOL. Sorry! One main symptom of EDS is watery whites, but that can also be infectious bronchitis or molting. IB can go through a flock and may not show any real symptoms if the birds are really healthy. Wish I could be more help!
  6. Quote:Yup, she's been put on high dose calcium supplements from the vet, and a restricted diet of layers pellets and grass only, to rule out any dietary imbalances due to me possibly overfeeding the treats, all to no avail.

    I'm almost certain therefore that it isn't dietary. It's been going on for far too long, I've been giving her the prescribed supplements religiously for almost a week now, and our other hen has always had the same diet in any case and isn't having any problems.

    I'm definitely inclined to look elsewhere than her diet.
  7. Quote:Hey, thanks for the extra advice speckledhen. [​IMG]

    I'm absolutely certain from previous examination that her egg whites are indeed far runnier than our BO's, which does definitely suggest IB or EDS. This is something I've been pretty certain about for a while now. It's all pointing to disease rather than diet hasn't it?

    Perhaps she'd had IB as a chick/grower, before we got her, and is still suffering from the after-effects on her egg quality. If it is damage from previous IB, is there anything we can do to improve the situation for her?

    She's red-raw on her bottom, and batheing her daily simply isn't an option because of our busy lifestyles (DH works full time, and so do I, until July, when I'm due to have our first baby. I suspect that batheing chickens won't be top of my priorities list then!)

  8. And of course, the constant strain of passing soft shelled eggs is going to cause her problems in the long run. She's already almost been put to sleep once (soft shelled eggs which wouldn't pass) and it's sure to happen again.

    Hysterectomy is perhaps required in this case to improve her quality of life?
  9. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I agree that it is not dietary. Certainly, a hysterectomy would solve the problem, though it's probably very expensive.
  10. Thanks speckledhen - I knew you'd have some great advice and constructive support for me. [​IMG]

    I have written to my vet today asking if he would consider a hysterectomy - we don't care if its over £200 ($300-ish) it would be worth it for our peace of mind and her quality of life. Poor Bella.

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