Egg squeezed out of Easter Egger by "Hen Saver" chicken saddle?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by barba, Feb 2, 2017.

  1. barba

    barba Just Hatched

    12
    0
    14
    May 20, 2016
    My EE hen is around 8 months old and a good layer. Our Australorp hen (yes, hen) has been aggressively mounting her for quite some time; the feather damage progressed to a point that there was no doubt that a hen saddle would be a good solution for both of them.

    My mother had trouble getting the saddle on her correctly, so tonight - maybe an hour ago - I put it on her. The saddle is double-strapped; the straps criss-cross over the chest and each strap has an end to go over the wing and one to go under. Let me know if you would like pictures. The brand is the "Hen Saver" chicken saddle with shoulder protection.

    I put the strap on correctly but tucked it under the crop, thinking it would be more comfortable for her. The straps are a little tight, but the size is large and so i wrote it off. About twenty minutes ago I went out to check on them and she was sitting on the ground of the coop (not the perch), looking dazed and with a cracked thin-shelled egg underneath her.

    I was pretty shocked; I moved the straps up on her chest so that they sit above the crop, and I hope that will resolve the issue, but i was quite startled by the malformed egg. My best guess is that the straps were too tight and in close proximity to her oviduct so that the egg was squeezed out prematurely; is that a plausible explanation? If so, will moving the straps up be a good idea? Or should we ditch this hen saddle entirely? She is getting quite torn up.
     
  2. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Chicken Obsessed

    5,601
    5,177
    421
    Mar 9, 2014
    Northern Colorado
    They have a really good instructional video on their website. Make sure you have it on her as the video shows.

    How many hens do you have? Any rooster at all?

    If you can I would rwcommend putting the overly dominant BA hen in a crate in the coop for a few days to give your poor girl a break and maybe break the cycle for the BA.

    What is going on with your BA is kind of normal dominance displays. Even if a bit disturbing it does happen.

    If you only have a few hens perhaps getting a few more will upset the pecking order enough. If you cannot break her I would recommend finding her a different home.

    I had this issue when we only had a few hens. Adding more did fix mine that was being va butt. I know it is unlikely to fix ALL hens that do this but it may fix her.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. barba

    barba Just Hatched

    12
    0
    14
    May 20, 2016
    Thank you so much for your response -

    4 hens, used to have roosters but they have since been rehomed (they were my buddies since we raised them from day-old chicks, but they were wreaking havoc on what was then only two hens). The two EEs are 8 months, and the two older hens are about a year and a half. The BA is mounting both of the EEs, but one EE is definitely taking more of a beating. Obviously we interrupt the behavior when we see it and I "punish" her by holding her in my lap and hugging her gently - I'm a strict disciplinarian. [​IMG] We just aren't around enough to break the habit ourselves I suppose.

    You're right about it being disturbing, or at the very least odd-looking - we recognized the mounting from when we had the roosters, and I did the biggest double-take ever.

    I watched the video and it helped a lot. They appear to place the straps above the crop as well.

    One problem with quarantining her in the coop is that our coop is quite small and she lays eggs just about daily. Will that be an issue? I also love being able to let them out to graze, but I'd rather deprive her of that temporarily than have my poor EE tortured for the rest of her life.
     
  4. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Chicken Obsessed

    5,601
    5,177
    421
    Mar 9, 2014
    Northern Colorado
    With just 4 hens I think your EE will continue to be a target. That is a huge bummer for her. Being younger and in that small of a flock she seems to be a super submissive one. I would rehome the BA if I intend the EE to have a decent life.

    Last summer I put my obnoxious hens in the freezer. Not something I would have been as willing to do if I had so few.
     
  5. rebrascora

    rebrascora Overrun With Chickens

    3,216
    1,568
    283
    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK
    Hi

    I cannot see the saddle squeezing an egg out of her prematurely. It is more likely that she freaked out trying to get the saddle off and the egg came out in the tussle or that the other hens had a go at her because she looked different. Young layers also lay odd eggs occasionally, so it may just be coincidence.

    I don't envy you, your problem. As 21hens says, in a small flock like that, it is going to be very difficult to change the flock dynamic. Perhaps investing in a second small coop for the EEs might be the best option if you don't wish to part with any of them.

    Regards

    Barbara
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by