Broken egg in older hen

centralcaligirl

Songster
Mar 30, 2017
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399
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Sacramento, California
My four-year old Australorp hasn't laid an egg since molting a few months ago. She was fine this morning but I just found her motionless on the side of the house crouched down by what appears to be a shell-less egg. She is lying very still and not responding to us at all. I've attached a few pictures. I think I'm going to have to have a look and see what's going on around the vent...can anyone tell me what I should be looking for? Thanks so much.
 

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azygous

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11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
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Here is an article I recently wrote so I wouldn't have to go through the entire routine each time I answer a thread. https://www.backyardchickens.com/ar...ng-from-vent-prolapse-oh-my-what-to-do.76124/

It will answer a lot of your questions and give you a playbook for treatment.

Basically, you will give your hen a calcium tablet immediately. This will get her contractions started to expel all the remains. You should also try to locate a vet that will write you a prescription for some amoxicillin 250mg. This is needed so the yolk remains don't start up a serious infection that can kill her or make her sterile if she manages to survive this.

I'll stand by after you read it in case you have question.
 

centralcaligirl

Songster
Mar 30, 2017
234
399
166
Sacramento, California
Here is an article I recently wrote so I wouldn't have to go through the entire routine each time I answer a thread. https://www.backyardchickens.com/ar...ng-from-vent-prolapse-oh-my-what-to-do.76124/

It will answer a lot of your questions and give you a playbook for treatment.

Basically, you will give your hen a calcium tablet immediately. This will get her contractions started to expel all the remains. You should also try to locate a vet that will write you a prescription for some amoxicillin 250mg. This is needed so the yolk remains don't start up a serious infection that can kill her or make her sterile if she manages to survive this.

I'll stand by after you read it in case you have question.
Thank you so much for your reply. She died before I had a chance to do anything. It’s really sad, she was one of the last of my original flock.
 

azygous

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I'm sorry we were too late. Did you read the article? It's information you should know in case another of your hens has a problem like this. The important thing is to learn to recognize the signs and treat it as soon as you can. This is always a life threatening issue, but if caught soon enough, the outcome can be very good.

A lot of the problem has to do with the common assumption that an egg bound hen has only one egg stuck when two eggs are very often in play. With the wrong assumption, people think it's over when one egg comes out. The other egg is still inside, likely collapsed and infection is beginning. Death can occur in just 24 hours.

If you gather the materials and meds needed for the next emergency and keep them on hand, the next hen will survive. And being in California where you can not get antibiotics easily, it would be a good idea to work on that little issue before your next emergency. Keeping an antibiotic on hand can save a chicken's life since many infections kill much more quickly than it takes to track down and wheedle a prescription out of some vet.
 

centralcaligirl

Songster
Mar 30, 2017
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Sacramento, California
Yes I have bookmarked the article and I'm going to read it tonight. I actually have started accumulating some first aid supplies and have some of the items mentioned in the article, but I am not sure how I will go about getting the amoxicillin now - as you have rightly stated it's hard in California.

The whole thing was breathtakingly swift. I am sure had I been watching more closely I would have seen some signs something was wrong earlier than I did.
 

azygous

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Dec 11, 2009
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You will need to be devious, inventive, resourceful, and determined. But somehow, get hold of an antibiotic. One way around it is if you have a good friend or relative living elsewhere than Calif. buy the drug and mail it to you. If you can enlist an accomplice, e-mail them this link. https://www.kvsupply.com/item/aqua-mox-250mg-capsules-100-count/P06184/ This is the best all purpose antibiotic to keep on hand. It will last for years in the fridge. You will be very glad you have it the next time you find you have a sick chicken.
 

MysteryChicken

Unique minded, open minded Chicken Lover
Premium Feather Member
May 31, 2018
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My black Copper Marans pullet had this happen to her about a week ago. She had a shell-less egg break inside her, & she had yolk all over her butt feathers. I checked her over, & she was fine. No prolapse, but just a little blood due to straining. She was in a bit of shock, but luckily snapped out of it over night. I also found the membrane of the shell-less egg to, so she was able to pass it all on her own.

I now have Calcium Citrate tablets on hand in case it happens again.

Sorry about your hen though.
 

azygous

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Dec 11, 2009
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Fish antibiotics are just the same as any other. Since the label says they're for fish, they aren't considered in the same category as livestock antibiotics and not apt to be misused as they have been in commercial food animal industries. However, these companies won't ship to Calif. (I really made the right decision to move away from Calif, when I retired.)

Those amoxy capsules are 250mg, and the dose for a chicken is 250mg per day for ten days. You give the pill directly into the beak. And do not ask me how you dose a fish.
 

centralcaligirl

Songster
Mar 30, 2017
234
399
166
Sacramento, California
Fish antibiotics are just the same as any other. Since the label says they're for fish, they aren't considered in the same category as livestock antibiotics and not apt to be misused as they have been in commercial food animal industries. However, these companies won't ship to Calif. (I really made the right decision to move away from Calif, when I retired.)

Those amoxy capsules are 250mg, and the dose for a chicken is 250mg per day for ten days. You give the pill directly into the beak. And do not ask me how you dose a fish.
Lol I have no intention of ever having fish! I just read the article and now I feel more prepared, although I certainly regret not having read it sooner. Thanks so much for your help this evening.
 

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