Chicken has diarrhea, lethargic, and laying eggs without shells

Britta3

Hatching
Nov 13, 2018
6
2
8
Hi All,

I have been looking through the forum but my chickens illness doesnt seem to match up..

I have four isa browns, under 3 years old. One girl is very unwell for the past 4-5 days. She laid an egg with no shell (just membrane and yolk) about 5 days ago, and then another one two days later. Since then I have noticed she has diarrhea with is green and white, very watery. She isnt wanting to eat much, but will have a peck if you put it in front of her (layer mash and vege scraps). She is drinking a fair bit of water and I'm trying to keep her hydrated.

Shes not really wanting to move much, and when she does it is very slowly. She doesnt look like she is in pain when she walks though. Her cone is also drooping.

I've put vitamin mix in their water yesterday, and worming liquid in their water today - however it had a very strong strawberry taste which the girls dont like, so not really sure if they have had much/if it has done anything....

I gave them all some yoghurt today for the prebiotics, and she is eating a small amount of grain if i saturate it in water first.

One other thing I have noticed is that she sometimes will fluff her neck and bottom up and then lay on her side (looks like she is exhausted)

Over the past 4-5 days, she hasnt gotten any better or worse... just the same symptoms everyday.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I would love to see her get back to full health again.

Thanks,
Britt
(Australia)
 

Eggcessive

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Apr 3, 2011
58,208
49,529
1,242
southern Ohio
She may be having some issues with her oviduct, such as impacted oviduct or internal laying. Laying shell-less or broken eggs can cause infection in the egg tract and she may be in pain. Can you try to get an antibiotic for her, such as amoxicillin or Baytril? I would also give her a human calcium tablet with vitamin D for several days to see if it helps her form a hard shell. Certain respiratory viruses or problems in the oviduct can affect egg shells, but providing layer feed with additional crushed oyster shell for calcium usually is enough unless they have other issues.

Soft or shell-less eggs are difficult for them to pass, and they can become egg bound. The calcium and D may help her pass them. Having an egg burst inside can lead to bacterial infection and egg yolk peritonitis. Here is some reading about this:
http://www.theveterinaryexpert.com/backyard-poultry/egg-yolk-peritonitis/
 

micstrachan

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
Apr 10, 2016
9,557
42,035
1,057
Santa Cruz Mountains, California
I’m sorry about your girl. Photos of her body language might help. She could be coming down with a laying disorder. Do they have calcium in their feed or access to oyster shell? I would give her human calcium citrate plus D if you have it for a few days for starters. If not, crush Tums or some other form of calcium and mix in plain yogurt or sprinkle it over tuna or some sort of a special treat you know she will eat. Also, I would examine her. Feel if her abdomen/fluffy butt area is bloated with fluid and feel of her breast muscle is wasting… You can tell if the keel bone is sticking out sharply. Good luck and please keep us posted.
 
Last edited:

Wyorp Rock

🐓 ❤ 🐛
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Sep 20, 2015
34,925
49,454
1,262
Southern N.C. Mountains
She may be having some issues with her oviduct, such as impacted oviduct or internal laying. Laying shell-less or broken eggs can cause infection in the egg tract and she may be in pain. Can you try to get an antibiotic for her, such as amoxicillin or Baytril? I would also give her a human calcium tablet with vitamin D for several days to see if it helps her form a hard shell. Certain respiratory viruses or problems in the oviduct can affect egg shells, but providing layer feed with additional crushed oyster shell for calcium usually is enough unless they have other issues.

Soft or shell-less eggs are difficult for them to pass, and they can become egg bound. The calcium and D may help her pass them. Having an egg burst inside can lead to bacterial infection and egg yolk peritonitis. Here is some reading about this:
http://www.theveterinaryexpert.com/backyard-poultry/egg-yolk-peritonitis/

:goodpost: I agree!
 

Britta3

Hatching
Nov 13, 2018
6
2
8
Thanks to all for your friendly welcome and advice! @LoveMyChickenBabies @Eggcessive @micstrachan @Wyorp Rock

I forgot to mention, the girls do have oyster shells available in their pen.
I will grab some calcium with vitamin D from the shop for them today, and see how that goes.

I have examined her today - once again doesn't look any worse or better than the days before. She does seem to be on the skinny side when I touch her keel, however not hugely noticeable when looking at her. Also around her fluffy bum, I didnt feel that it was unusually large or anything. I will post up some photos soon. After examining her, I let her roam in the garden and she is more than happy to move around and forage for bugs (slowly - but still wanting to move regardless!)

I gave her some yoghurt yesterday with some oyster shell in it - she liked that, but wasn't interested in it today. Also gave her some sunflower seeds. This is a treat that she loves but doesn't get often. She pecked a lot but didn't eat many.

I am hesitant to go to the vet as unfortunately it is very expensive here in Australia, and my previous experience with taking birds to the vet hasn't been positive.. I will keep monitoring her for now.
 

Britta3

Hatching
Nov 13, 2018
6
2
8
Here are some photos of my girl. Her feathers are all clean (except for the bottom which i cleaned afterwards) and she looks quiet bright still. Her cone is slumped over. As you can see from
20181114_105642.jpg
20181114_105712.jpg
20181114_110921.jpg
the photo, she has been doing very watery poops like this for 5-6 days now..
 

Britta3

Hatching
Nov 13, 2018
6
2
8
@LoveMyChickenBabies She is around 3 years old. They eat 'Barastoc Everyday Layer Grain Mash' - which says it is a complete and balanced everyday mash which is enriched with bioavailable calcium and phosphorus for strong eggshells.
They also get vege scraps almost daily, as well as oyster shell in their pen.

Also, I have looked at the additional info posted - most of her symptoms definitely match up with those stated for peritonitis.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom