Did I save the eggbound? Did I do rightly?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by jmc, Sep 20, 2009.

  1. jmc

    jmc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2008
    South Central MA
    Campbell hen acting strangely--at least for a little while.

    Went apart by herself--limping--settled down in the grass, closed her eyes, breathed heavily--sometimes even emitting a soft 'grunt'. I've not seen any other of our hens act thus. I was concerned as I watched this go on and on.

    So I thought I didn't want to risk losing her if she was eggbound (very heavy in the abdomen, btw.). At one point, as she sat there, breathing heavily with eyes closed, I saw her gear up at the butt end. I thought, aha, maybe she'll lay the egg and relieve herself. All she did was poop. This sort of added to my concern about her being egg-bound. If she was that distressed, and obviously had at least one egg in her, AND ALL SHE COULD DO WAS POOP.........!!!!

    So I caught her--never even a quack out of the poor girl. I gently rubbed her abdomen and belly for a few minutes, then let her go.

    Within a minute she went into the big cage with a bunch of other Campbell hens, and promptly let out a large THIN SHELLED egg. By her jestures, she seemed happy. Then a minute or so later, all the girls came out of the cage, and she joined them in running about and chasing bugs!

    I picked up, then went inside, came back out for something, and there was another small THIN SHELLED egg, this time outside. Still real warm.

    I think it was the same girl who laid this one, also.


    1. Maybe I should have just let her be and not coaxed the egg along???
    (But she seemed in genuine distress, unlike anything I have yet seen in our layers). Maybe she would have passed it tonight? (Or maybe she would have died???)

    2. I wonder if the shell would have been thicker if I had just let her be and not possibly 'induced' labor by rubbing her abdomen. What I mean is: If the egg could have stayed inside a bit longer, maybe more calcium would have gone around the egg???????????? (But I tend to doubt this.......)

    BTW, they do have calcium free choice, and I 've started putting some into their food. They don't seem to take it out of the calcium chip bowl I put out for them............

    So maybe I've saved her life, or maybe I 'wasted' some time; but I did what I thought best.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 20, 2009
  2. streemers

    streemers Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 13, 2008
    port orchard,WA
    well i dont think you did any harm by rubbing her. i would have if i was worried about one of my girls. i really dont think that the shell would have gotten harder by staying. it sounds to me like it was going to come out soon anyway.
  3. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    I'm no expert, but that's what I would have done. Women's lives have been saved by timely positioning & massage from a midwife. I'm sure hen's lives can be saved that way too.

    I hope it was a fluke and she won't have any problems after this. Keep us updated.
  4. Duck Keeper

    Duck Keeper Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 18, 2009
    Out in the Boonies
    If the egg(s) had stayed inside of your hen longer, they most probably would have calcified and become impossible to pass. They would have gotten infected and then she could have gone septic and died.

    That's what happened to my goose. [​IMG]

    Don't worry about those egg(s) she just passed being thin-shelled. It could have saved her life. But now that that episode is done with, you should be sure that they get adequate calcium from now on to prevent this from occurring again.
  5. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

    Oct 2, 2008
    If she is new to laying, the thin shells are not usual. I think you did the right thing. I am getting "jello eggs" right now. Not sure which one of the Harlequin girls is doing it, but I am sure they will figure things out eventually [​IMG]
  6. horsejody

    horsejody Squeaky Wheel

    Feb 11, 2008
    Waterloo, Nebraska
    Quote:I'm glad to hear that thin shelled eggs for newly laying ducks is normal. Chester Louise just started laying, and her shells look a bit thin.

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