Eggbound Evil.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Jenufa, Aug 27, 2013.

  1. Jenufa

    Jenufa Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 24, 2013
    Hi,
    I'm jenufa and I'm very new to Backyard Chickens but I'm feeling so miserable


    about my darling chooks that I feel I must tell someone who cares.

    All 9 of our small flock were, except for one, exbattery hens and though a

    sad little bunch when they first came they quickly adjusted to a semi-free range life in our large garden

    I say semi-free range because,due to the threat of a resident fox, I have to be in the vicinity to keep an eye

    on things. Luckily,I'm a very keen gardener and I find their company immensely relaxing-so much so

    that I call my gardening/chook sessions my 'Chook Therapy'..

    Our first encounter with the condition 'eggbound' was in March when Starboard began to emit a milky

    liquid and began to withdraw from the others. We had no idea what was wrong so took her to our vet, who

    seemed as clueless as we were but gave our sad little girl a calcium injection followed by another a couple of

    days later. Meanwhile, we were searching the net trying to find clues about treatment and prevention

    of the condition. Then about 6 weeks ago Crook (she had a crooked beak) died almost before we had time

    to realise anything was wrong and we only knew she had been eggbound because of the milky discharge.

    Then just over a week ago Larboard began to exhibit the same symptoms. This time we were better

    prepared and as well as calcium injections our little chook had a warm bath and massage for 30minutes

    four times a day,

    Well,all we seemed to have achieved was to prolong her life by 2-3 days as she died during Sunday night.

    They would've been 3-4 years old. We'd had them just over 2 years.

    We have since learned that this eggbound evil is considered to be fairly commonplace in exbattery hens

    due to the factory production of eggs during the first year or so of their lives.

    I am now watching anxiously to see if my remaining chooks begin to show any symptoms and we find

    ourselves faced with the following dilemma.

    Should we give a loving home to another batch of exbatteries knowing that their life expectancy is so

    short? Grow to love them and all their different little ways and it's so easy to love them as they are

    very affectionate and like being close by all the time.

    Or should we make the most of their short lives and just steel ourselves for what is to come?[​IMG]

    Larboard seems to be ok with the spa treatment! This pic was taken the day before she died.[​IMG]

    Not long after the girls came home. They'd never been used
    to human contact and 2yrs later are still very clingy!
     
  2. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 4, 2013
    I am sorry for your loss, it is never easy.

    You are literally saving them from overcrowded slavery. If you can handle a shorter lifetime you should do it. I would if there were any near me. Have you ever considered fermented feed? It has many health benefits including reducing internal laying. If you have any questions on fermented feed to improve the health of your girls go here:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/644300/fermenting-feed-for-meat-birds/7300#post_11908329

    It is not just for meat birds and we have a few really great people on there that can teach you.
     
  3. Jenufa

    Jenufa Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 24, 2013
    Hi,
    this is my third attempt at writing you a thank-you email--well,no,there's no problem


    with the writing bit,it's when it comes to the 'send' bit that things begin to unravel!

    First a lead on my laptop came loose and the second time I know not what went wrong.

    I wanted to attach a pic of our only non-exbattery,namely Vanilla Ice aka Vill.

    We think she's an Aracauna and we've had her almost 6 years.She's

    terribly elegant and somewhat aloof in spite of the tuft of feathers on her head!

    The article about feeding fermented mash was extremely interesting and both

    my husband,Don,and myself can hardly wait to start drilling holes in a bucket!

    Many thanks again for answering my post and sharing your experience.

    Best wishes,

    Jenufa
     
  4. KalisCoop

    KalisCoop Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 28, 2013
    Central Missouri
    This is very sad, but you seem to be blessed and a blessing to these ladies at the same time. I know it must be heart breaking to lose them after you have grown to love them. Yet- it seems like they need you, even shortly, so that they may have a happy rest of their lives however long that it may be. I give you kudos for taking in these girls and hope that your next batch may have longer lives [​IMG]
     
  5. Jenufa

    Jenufa Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 24, 2013
    Thank you for your kind words.

    I have been in touch with The British Hen Welfare ( with whom we

    adopted our last two families) and they've just had an intake of 50,000 birds!

    So we'll take a drive and pick up another 6-8 new members!

    We're having an egg per day from the remaining 3 exbatteries, so no worries about the

    'eggbound evil' there!

    We've had Vanilla Ice aka Ville,for 6 years. We've been told she's an Aracauna (spelling!)

    A guy wanted to get rid of her because he wanted something more fancy! She was

    fully grown when we adopted her and has only stopped laying the most beautiful pale greeny-blue eggs

    2-3 of which I loved having boiled for breakfast or lunch.

    Thank you again for your kind thoughts.[​IMG]
    Vanilla Ice-dig those curves!
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 4, 2013
    Awww Such a proud girl! you know they are happy when they are proud. I am so glad you are willing to help rescue some more girls.
     
  7. bucky52

    bucky52 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 26, 2011
    I have lost two of my red star sex link to internal laying.in the last 6 months.they were 31/2 years old.they were not ex battery hens.they were very pampered well cared for girls.i got them when they were 20 weeks old.i have since found out the sex links are prone to internal egg laying.Its hard when you lose them.I admire you for what you are doing.at least those poor girls will have some kindness shown in their short life span.


    Whoops! three years and six months old.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2013
  8. bucky52

    bucky52 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 26, 2011
    sorry they were over three years old.
     
  9. Jenufa

    Jenufa Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 24, 2013
    So sorry to hear that you lost 2 of your girls.

    This eggbound condition and internal laying

    are an absolute curse for the suffering chooks and for their owners.

    I felt almost overwhelmed by feelings of helplessness as we tried

    every piece of advice from our vet and other knowledgeable people

    and found that nothing worked

    We're beginning to think that,if another of our chooks

    becomes eggbound, we'll take her directly to our vet. and,if the

    condition is verified, have the poor wee soul put to sleep.

    Drastic measure,I know, but surely better than prolonged suffering.

    Do you think the internal laying in your girls might have a

    genetic element?

    Thank you for your kind thoughts and,again,I'm so sorry for the loss of your girls.
     
  10. Jenufa

    Jenufa Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 24, 2013
    [​IMG]

    I simply have to pass on my little bit of news.Little it may be but the event has given

    me a few hours of pleasure!

    After almost a year Ville has laid 2 eggs! Not on the same day but we hadn't checked her nestbox

    the previous day as the last thing we expected to see was an egg!

    She's on her own in a fairly large house at the moment because Bertha,one of our three remaining

    exbatteries, bullies her quite badly.

    We have been asked to rehome a pair of Bantams who were no longer wanted.

    We're not unused to the little ones as 2 elderlies came with Ville six years ago.

    What we're hoping is that Ville will take to these newbies and not feel lonely though she seems quite happy in herself.

    Her behaviour,after Crook died, was/is interesting though quite sad.

    Perhaps someone might be interested in the telling of Ville's behaviour as a result of losing Crook

    whom she'd shared her house with.[​IMG]


    This pic is of Ville,EbonE & EbonF. Both the Ebons have long passed-from old age.
     

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