Chicken having problems with laying eggs + 10cm sac attached to vent

LizzzyBird

In the Brooder
Nov 15, 2018
19
24
34
New Zealand
A few weeks ago our chicken, Bob, a 9 month Orpington x, was having trouble with laying eggs. For the first little while she was only laying yolk, and a little bit of the shell (which was very soft), so we started giving her less treats and instead gave her more layers feed. She then went back to laying eggs.

But within the last week she stopped laying all together, except those small amounts of soft shells. We gave her Oyster shell grit, which I have seen her eating, and of course her normal layers feed. Then an hour ago I went outside to check up on her and the other chicken (separated from her because the other chicken has a chick), and Bob has a 15cm (ish) long, white sac that looks yolk filled attached to her vent. She still ate the small amount of seeds I gave her, and still seems to be acting normal- except a little stressed because her and the mother chicken have been separated. She still scratches around, and runs up to say hello when we approach her area. As far as I can tell her poo is normal, maybe slightly bigger than normal.

Any help would be amazing, because despite getting the chickens mainly for the eggs, they have become apart of our family.
47396738_798701630471993_8392535803426766848_n.jpg



Update: We ended up removing it, which was really easy. Basically it was a really stretched out soft egg filled with yolk. I don't understand why she isn't producing proper eggs, because I think she is getting enough calcium. While we were out there she ate some more Oyster shell. Unless it is stress from being separated from out other chicken?
 
Last edited:

Wyorp Rock

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Can you gather her up and take a closer look at that?
A better photo would be good too.

You need to determine if that is a long piece of egg shell or what coming from her vent.
If it is and doesn't easily pull away, then give her a soaking in a warm epsom salts bath for about 15mins. Lubricate the vent inside about 1" - you can use mineral oil, personal lubricant, preparation H, coconut oil.
Gently see if that will come out IF it is egg shell.

Take some photos of what you pull out.
 

LizzzyBird

In the Brooder
Nov 15, 2018
19
24
34
New Zealand
Can you gather her up and take a closer look at that?
A better photo would be good too.

You need to determine if that is a long piece of egg shell or what coming from her vent.
If it is and doesn't easily pull away, then give her a soaking in a warm epsom salts bath for about 15mins. Lubricate the vent inside about 1" - you can use mineral oil, personal lubricant, preparation H, coconut oil.
Gently see if that will come out IF it is egg shell.

Take some photos of what you pull out.

It easily came out, it was basically an elongated egg (but soft) filled with yolk. She didn't flinch or making any distressed noises when we removed it. And is already back at foraging around the place. We also offered her some more oyster shell grit, which she ate a small amount of. Sorry, I didn't see your post before so didn't get any extra photos.
 

Wyorp Rock

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It easily came out, it was basically an elongated egg (but soft) filled with yolk. She didn't flinch or making any distressed noises when we removed it. And is already back at foraging around the place. We also offered her some more oyster shell grit, which she ate a small amount of. Sorry, I didn't see your post before so didn't get any extra photos.
That's o.k.!
I'm glad it came out. The "shell" was still intact and none of the contents had spilled? If so that's good!

Since she is having trouble, I would also give her 1/2 tablet of calcium (like Caltrate) daily for 2 weeks max. See if that makes a difference.

Soft shell eggs can be from a number of things - vitamin/calcium deficiency, disturbances/stress, history of respiratory disease (Mycoplasma/Infectious Bronchitis), defective shell gland, internal parasites (worms) and external parasites (lice/mites).

It's always a good idea to evaluate your hen that is having problems to see if she is overly stressed, look her over for lice/mites and if the problem continues, then think about getting a fecal float to see if she may have worms or just deworm her.
 

LizzzyBird

In the Brooder
Nov 15, 2018
19
24
34
New Zealand
That's o.k.!
I'm glad it came out. The "shell" was still intact and none of the contents had spilled? If so that's good!

Since she is having trouble, I would also give her 1/2 tablet of calcium (like Caltrate) daily for 2 weeks max. See if that makes a difference.

Soft shell eggs can be from a number of things - vitamin/calcium deficiency, disturbances/stress, history of respiratory disease (Mycoplasma/Infectious Bronchitis), defective shell gland, internal parasites (worms) and external parasites (lice/mites).

It's always a good idea to evaluate your hen that is having problems to see if she is overly stressed, look her over for lice/mites and if the problem continues, then think about getting a fecal float to see if she may have worms or just deworm her.

The shell did look to be mostly intact, the end which was dragging on the ground for a short while did have a hole that was leaking yolk. But the end that was still attached to her looked to be fine.
Bob doesn't like to eat 'new' things, shes a little scaredy cat. So to give her the tablet how would I go about doing that? Is it kinda like a cat, where you put it in the mouth until they swallow?
I think what we will end up doing (along with the tablet) is seeing how she is after we put our other chicken in with her, which will hopefully be happening within the next week. Hopefully her stress levels go down.
Thank you so much for all the information!
 

Cragg Klefor

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Apr 14, 2017
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You can crush the tablets and mix with her chicken food. I find it help to moisten the feed then mix the crushed tablet(half), that way she can't just eat her feed and leave the calcium in the bottom. it can also work to hide pieces of the pill in egg yolk (hard boiled) which they'll normally love.
Sometimes you can be lucky and they'll take the pills directly out of curiosity and swallow it.
Best of luck!
 

LizzzyBird

In the Brooder
Nov 15, 2018
19
24
34
New Zealand
You can crush the tablets and mix with her chicken food. I find it help to moisten the feed then mix the crushed tablet(half), that way she can't just eat her feed and leave the calcium in the bottom. it can also work to hide pieces of the pill in egg yolk (hard boiled) which they'll normally love.
Sometimes you can be lucky and they'll take the pills directly out of curiosity and swallow it.
Best of luck!

Thank you!! I'll give these a try when I find the tablets :)
 

Wyorp Rock

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Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Sep 20, 2015
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Southern N.C. Mountains
The shell did look to be mostly intact, the end which was dragging on the ground for a short while did have a hole that was leaking yolk. But the end that was still attached to her looked to be fine.
Bob doesn't like to eat 'new' things, shes a little scaredy cat. So to give her the tablet how would I go about doing that? Is it kinda like a cat, where you put it in the mouth until they swallow?
I think what we will end up doing (along with the tablet) is seeing how she is after we put our other chicken in with her, which will hopefully be happening within the next week. Hopefully her stress levels go down.
Thank you so much for all the information!
@Cragg Klefor gave you a good suggestion for getting the calcium into her.
If she has a favorite treat like scrambled eggs, you can add the crushed tablet to those too:)
 

EggWalrus

Free Ranging
Aug 14, 2017
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she still ate the small amount of seeds I gave her, and still seems to be acting normal- except a little stressed because her and the mother chicken have been separated. She still scratches around, and runs up to say hello when we approach her area. As far as I can tell her poo is normal, maybe slightly bigger than normal.

Any help would be amazing, because despite getting the chickens mainly for the eggs, they have become apart of our family.
View attachment 1607886


Update: We ended up removing it, which was really easy. Basically it was a really stretched out soft egg filled with yolk. I don't understand why she isn't producing proper eggs, because I think she is getting enough calcium. While we were out there she ate some more Oyster shell. Unless it is stress from being separated from out other chicken?
What kind of seeds do you give her? And how much? There is a possibility the seeds could be one part of it. The calcium sounds like a good idea for those soft eggs. Hope she gets well soon.
 

rebrascora

Free Ranging
5 Years
Feb 14, 2014
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Consett Co.Durham. UK
I agree that diet needs further consideration here. You said that you cut back on treats when she started having problems but then you say that you were feeding her a small amount of seeds today.... these are also treats. Heavier birds like Orpingtons are at greater risk of obesity and associated reproductive problems due to dietary imbalance. Layer feed is formulated to be a complete feed and provide all the nutrients hens need to be healthy and lay eggs. Anything else you give is considered a treat and will reduce the amount of layer feed they eat. Treats that are higher in carbohydrates and fats than their layer feed can cause them to develop fatty deposits in their abdomen and around their organs as well reducing the amount of calcium they ingest. I appreciate that you say that you have cut back, but you really need to cut out any carbohydrate rich treats (grains and seeds), especially since you have been over treating her prior to this in order to try to redress any damage to her system that has already occurred. It really is possible to kill hens with kindness by being overly generous with treats. Try making a warm mash by soaking her layer pellets in water as a treat rather than giving other less healthy things.
 

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