Egg binding in Welsh Harlequins

Michael P

Nov 20, 2017
Dallas, Texas
Over the past few months my one year old Welsh Harlequins have produced an occasional soft-shelled egg. Last week one died after being in distress for several days, despite the usual supportive treatment. I am concerned that this was egg peritonitis.

My birds eat a standard 16% layer pellet free choice and have oyster shell available at all times. They free range in my large back yard every day, and forage for insects and other goodies. The yard is heavily planted with native plants and has a deep mulch, so there is a fair amount and variety of fresh duck food.

What am I doing wrong? Thanks for any advice!
Sorry for your loss. :(

It sounds genetic to me... I can't tell anything that you are doing wrong.

EYP isn't quite the same thing as binding. In the case of binding no feces can pass and the whole system will shut down. Where as EYP, the egg are being laid essentially inside the stomach cavity (abdomen) until they build an infection. Both in my opinion are not related to what you are doing MOST of the time.

Sometimes diet can be impacting (if you have fat hens) or if you supplement light.

Do you think it was more than one gal laying softy eggs?
Yes, I think that more than one was laying soft eggs. All the birds came from the same breeder, and may be closely related. The ducks do not seem fat to me, but I am new to ducks. I've never used artificial light.

And thanks for explaining the difference between binding and peritonitis.
If genetic then there wasn't a thing you could have done. Some females just have defective laying organs. Whether from genetics or this just happened I do not know, but Your caring for them sounds great.
Sometimes we just lose one. I have and it's heart breaking.

If you keep seeing soft shell try adding calcium citrate or gluconate to their diet for a week or so. To see if it makes a difference.
Very sorry for your loss.

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