egg production hen sick

Jun 5, 2018
7
8
9
Vantaa, Finland
Hi again
My Hy-line hen is quite sick. She is lethargic and making a straining, whining sound ever so often. I feel there is something wrong with her bowel movements or maybe an egg stuck in her? She has been down for about a week, but seemed to do better for a while.

I washed her to get a better look. She was very dirty. Can you take a look on the picture and tell me if it looks okay?

Some background info:
- she is old for a production hen and hasnt been laying eggs regularly for about 6 months.
- her eggs have been increasingly wrinkly and sometimes with very thin shells
- we live in Finland so it is dark an increasing amount of the day and the temperature is sometimes dropping to the negative side on the Celsius scale
- She lives in a warm coop with 4 other hens and one rooster 20181117_133807.jpg
 

Wyorp Rock

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She is lethargic and making a straining, whining sound ever so often. I feel there is something wrong with her bowel movements or maybe an egg stuck in her? She has been down for about a week
old for a production hen and hasnt been laying eggs regularly for about 6 months.
- her eggs have been increasingly wrinkly and sometimes with very thin shells
When was the last time she laid an egg?

In the photo it looks like she has a fairly full abdomen - what does that feel like? Water filled, tight, swollen, etc.?
Under the vent is looks a little puffy as well.

Is she able to poop at all? What does that look like?

Since her eggs have been wrinkled and/or thin shelled she is having reproductive problems. Whether it's a combination of shell gland defect, past infection and/or internal laying, cancer, tumors, etc. it would be hard to know until she passes and an internal exam is performed.

She may have an egg stuck or one has deflated in there - soak her in a warm epsom salts bath. Insert a lubricated, gloved finger inside the vent to see if you feel an egg.
Do what you can to keep her hydrated, get some calcium into her - not sure what you have available in Finland - you can use human Calcium supplement like Caltrate 1/2tablet or 1 anti-acid like TUMS for quick calcium.

If the abdomen is filled with fluid, then sometimes that can be drained to give the hen a short period of relief. You do risk infection, so if possible administering antibiotics after a hen is drained lessens the risk.

Keep us posted on how she's doing.


upload_2018-11-17_7-49-43.png
 

Eggcessive

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I agree with Wyorp Rock that she might have a reproductive problem, and that offering some human calciuma and vitamin D3 for a few days might be helpful, in case of a temporary problem. Wrinkled eggs can be a sign of infectious bronchitis in the past or a problem in the shell- producing area of the oviduct. A soiled vent can be common with reproductive disorders. There can be weight loss in the chest area, or swelling in the lower abdomen. Also crop disorders may be more common if there is fullness and pressure in the lower abdomen. Internal laying, salpingitis, egg yolk peritonitis, cancer, and ascites are diseases that commonly affect good egg layers. Many of us do home necropsies after losing a hen, just to look at the abdominal orders for signs of what was affecting them. Here is some reading:
http://www.chickenvet.co.uk/health-and-common-diseases/egg-laying-issues/index.aspx

http://www.theveterinaryexpert.com/backyard-poultry/egg-yolk-peritonitis/
 
Jun 5, 2018
7
8
9
Vantaa, Finland
Hello and thanks for the help
I gave my old chicken a bath and that seemed to help a lot. I also gave her both calcium and vitamins. She is doing much better now.

This morning she layed and egg. It appeared to have broken inside her, it didnt have a shell, just skinn. Maybe this is what bothered her?

I will continue with the extra vitamins and my chickens always have calcium avalilable. But I will add some crushed egg shells, maybe thats easier to absorbe.

I am hoping this was just a scare and she will live without complications from now on.
 

Wyorp Rock

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5 Years
Sep 20, 2015
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Southern N.C. Mountains
Hello and thanks for the help
I gave my old chicken a bath and that seemed to help a lot. I also gave her both calcium and vitamins. She is doing much better now.

This morning she layed and egg. It appeared to have broken inside her, it didnt have a shell, just skinn. Maybe this is what bothered her?

I will continue with the extra vitamins and my chickens always have calcium avalilable. But I will add some crushed egg shells, maybe thats easier to absorbe.

I am hoping this was just a scare and she will live without complications from now on.
Glad to hear she is doing better!
A soft shell egg is very hard to pass. I hope it was a glitch as well.
Thank you for the update.
 
Jun 5, 2018
7
8
9
Vantaa, Finland
Sadly, my old hen did not make it.
Far as I can tell it was somekind of a tumour on her oviduct. It ruptured and this morning I found her bleeding and generally unwell. It was apparent that she needed help on her way.

The tumour was probably the reason for the egglaying problems. And it appeared to have been quite quick in the end. Yesterday she was scrathing around in the yard and appeared not to be in any pain.

Somedays its harder to be a chicken owner. Luckily those days are few.
 

Wyorp Rock

🐓 ❤ 🐛
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Sep 20, 2015
37,406
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Southern N.C. Mountains
Sadly, my old hen did not make it.
Far as I can tell it was somekind of a tumour on her oviduct. It ruptured and this morning I found her bleeding and generally unwell. It was apparent that she needed help on her way.

The tumour was probably the reason for the egglaying problems. And it appeared to have been quite quick in the end. Yesterday she was scrathing around in the yard and appeared not to be in any pain.

Somedays its harder to be a chicken owner. Luckily those days are few.
I'm sorry for you loss:hugs
 

Eggcessive

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So sorry that you lost your hen. Thank you for explaining what happend to her. Unfortunately, cancer and other reproductive problems can be very common reasons for illness in hens. Fatty liver hemorrhagic disease also is a common cause of bleeding and death.
 

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