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Did I kill my Leghorn? Nope...Internal egg layer

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Sarevan, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. Sarevan

    Sarevan Songster

    Sep 30, 2013
    White Swan, WA
    A week ago I decided to worm our 9 mo old chickens(13 of them) with Valbazen, thought it would be a good time to do it as egg production is down and wouldn't be tossing so many eggs. 3 days later she come down with vent gleet most horrible thing I have ever smelled, white runny fluid draining out of her vent, vent is red and swollen with yellowish stuff stuck to vent.

    I researched on here pictures and descriptions matched vent gleet descriptions. So I got some miconazole and put on her vent and just inside of it. There is ACV in water and gave her some probiotics, with yogurt. She started to make these foul smelling chicken farts in the coop [​IMG], didn't move around much, didn't want to eat or drink much. This is unusual as she is a BULLY, would harass others whenever she felt like it and she wasn't doing that. She continued to be lethargic, felt her crop would be nearly empty with just a small amount inside it, poo was runny green with alot of white (figure it was miconizole being pushed out too). There were dead round worms in her poo not moving so Valbazen was doing its thing.

    Today when I went out to fill up feeder and check water she looked worse, wouldn't even run when I came near her just sat there giving me the stink eye [​IMG]. I picked her up she didn't fuss much her crop nearly empty and was warm under the feathers no sign of mites or anything else other then the drainage from her vent, though this had slowed down and wasn't as bad as it had been. I had to go to town to get more feed and was able to talk to the Chicken Man at Coastal for advice. He advised to force feed her as she wasn't eating and had lost weight over the last 2 days. I got the lamb catheter and syringe 14g was under 3 bucks. He suggested getting crumbles and liquifying them down with some probiotics and vitamins. Also the food for baby birds at the petstore.

    I came home set to making the mess for the chicken, went back out filled up feeder was almost empty, She was sitting but had moved from earlier though not far. Her comb was tinged blue and flopped over, breathing kinda labored. Picked her up and abdomen felt squishy, warm under feathers but cooler then others. I managed to give her some of the liquid through the tube, she did protest the feeding tube. About a 1/2 hour later I go back to check and she is on her side legs out and breathing even more labored. As I picked her up she died.

    Curious to know if the worming killed her or not or something else I may have done like tube feeding her killed her I did a quick necropsy. She would have died anyway! There was no fluid in her trachea so I didn't get any fluid in there. There were dead worms in her intestine but she hadn't voided them may have been reason for her being gassy. There was small amount of fluid in her abdomen along with 3 egg yolks. One had been there awhile and had sort of solidified and broken, the 2 other yolks were still intact but not where they should have been and kind of solid. She had an egg in the chamber to get an eggshell and was still leathery with no shell. The abdomen smelled foul from the egg yolks and fluid in her abdomen. She showed no signs of swelling on the outside of her abdomen.

    I came to the conclusion that she died of Internal egg laying. She did not smell the way a chicken should during processing and the evidence of the yolks and fluid in her abdomen were proof. I couldn't take pictures I was only one home and hands covered in goo. I guess an internal layer doesn't need to have an extended abdomen to die from it. Just information I thought would be helpful.

  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Free Ranging Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    So sorry for your loss. It's good that you did the necropsy since you found the reason for her death. With internal laying they get egg yolk peritonitis; sometimes it is sterile peritonitis, and sometimes they get it fro E.coli contamination when their plumbing first gets damaged from laying too large of an egg or having a prolapse. It's probaly just as well that she died since she would have suffered a lot of pain and probably would have developed ascites or water belly. Thanks for sharing your story.
  3. Sarevan

    Sarevan Songster

    Sep 30, 2013
    White Swan, WA
    Thanks Eggcessive, many of the posts I read had your input on how I was treating our chicken. I was so worried that it was something that I had done I HAD to see if I could identify the problem. from the way her abdomen smelled I am sure that there was a major contamination, they just aren't supposed to smell that way.

    I can concentrate on our other girls now, none of them are having any problems, mite & worm free.
  4. mandymae1984

    mandymae1984 Chirping

    Dec 9, 2013
    So sorry for your loss! I never knew about internal egg laying! Good info to know!
  5. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

    Jun 24, 2012
    My Coop
    Sorry for your loss...

    Very helpful and thanks for sharing and doing everthing possible to save you hen! And you're right, they can die from internal laying and/or EYP and not have swollen bellies.

    At the point you decided to tube her she was already dying, so that had nothing to do with her death, that I am 100% sure of.

    Now here's the rub... I've read that a parasite load *can* contribute to internal laying and/or othe repro problems, so probably a good idea to have all poultry on a good worming program.

  6. Sarevan

    Sarevan Songster

    Sep 30, 2013
    White Swan, WA
    Thanks Kathy. I thought she was near her last too with the way she was breathing. The fluid would only at that point warm her. From reading through the forums I agree that parasites can be a cause for internal laying, as it messes with the internal function of a chickens digestive and reptoduction organs.

    Of our chickens I thought our Welsummer head hen would be the internal layer because of size. I may be wrong but she is fluffy so far no swelling.

    When my Niece came home and I told her what happened she was surprised. We are both learning there is a lot to know about chickens. She is using the chickens for her Senior year Community Service time. She finds families that need a bit of help and we deliver them some eggs to help out. So far she has helped 5 families that need the help between paydays or need the extra help at the end of the month. An elder thanked her so much it hurt to see someone so happy to get a dozen eggs. She told her later reminded her of her own chickens and fresh eggs.

    After we don't have to keep the eggs back from worming She will start her deliveries again.

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