eggbound/internal , please help!

oldred

Hatching
9 Years
Feb 25, 2010
2
0
7
Hello-
This is my first post here but I've gleaned tons of information from these forums--thanks to you all!

So I have 3 hens that I bought as adults about a month ago..they are finally starting to lay (we were going through a cold snap) but one of them keeps going up into the nesting box, sitting there for a long time and then coming out w/o laying. Shes done this several times now, the first time it happened I noticed her acting very sick and lethargic the next day, drinking tons of water. I thought she may be egg bound, and tried to gently feel her abdomen for an egg. As I was doing this, she started leaking out what looked like egg white and a little yolk.
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The next day we found what looked like a smashed soft shelled egg on the ground in the coop. Her butt was really red and infected looking so we gave her a good washing and trimmed some of the dirty feathers around her vent.
The day after that she was acting normal again, and the skin around her vent was looking much better. I saw her go up into the nest again looking very purposeful, but again nothing.. later on I noticed she had the insides of the egg hanging off its butt feathers, but no shells or any remnants to be found in the box.

I'm very worried for her that she may have internal laying..is this possible even though shes kind of excreting the egg? This chicken has had dirty butt syndrome pretty bad since we got her..I thought it may just be how she rolls but maybe this has to do with some infection of her vent? She's also always had a weird pupil in one eye, which is now starting to cloud over and the eye is closed most of the time (I hear this may be oracular mareks, not life threatening?)
She has always seemed very healthy and lively until this week. What should I do peeps?
Thanks for the help
-Nick
 
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chicmom

Dances with Chickens
10 Years
Feb 24, 2009
8,696
288
316
Strasburg Ohio
Do you know the ages of your hens? If they are pullets that have just begun laying, this does happen. If they're more mature hens, then it could be they need some more calcium in their diet, like crushed oyster shells. Also, are you feeding them 16% protein layer mix? This is nutritionally complete for a laying hen.

Diet is really important. If you are giving them alot of scratch grains, that's not healthy for a laying hen. This can cause them to have a fatty liver. Fat chickens will have problems laying.

One thing you can do for her is soak her bum in some warm water and wash her off. You could add some electrolites to her water if you think she seems sickly...this will give her a little boost.

Good luck to you! I hope she gets better. I'm always rooting for the underdog....

Sharon
 

oldred

Hatching
9 Years
Feb 25, 2010
2
0
7
We don't have oyster shells but we are feeding "layena" laying feed, along with plenty of fresh greens and some multi-grain scratch..I didn't realize that it isn't good for laying hens..thank you Sharon! I don't really know the ages of the chickens..the woman I bought them from said they're around 6 months old. I don't know how to tell, she seemed honest but the hen in question is VERY large (I keep mistakenly calling her a "he" because she has very broad 'shoulders', like a football player). I hope she pulls through, she is definitely the sweetest of the bunch.
 
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chookchick

Songster
11 Years
Aug 18, 2008
1,921
78
216
Olympia WA
I like to give them oyster shell in a separate dish, even if they are on a layer ration. That way, if they need a little extra calcium it is available, and they won't eat it unless they need it. I would go ahead and mash up a 1/2 tums in some plain yogurt to give her a calcium boost. Keep her butt cleaned off as well as you can. Keep an eye out for lethargy, droopy tail, pale/bluish comb, which could indicate egg yolk peritonitis (egg yolk inside her has become infected). If this is the case you should bring her inside to a dark room to stop the laying cycle and treat with Pen-G. From my understanding, she is not a true internal layer, but for some reason (calcium deficiency?) eggs are not hard shelled enough for her to push them out. Hopefully she outgrows this...
 

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