Eggbound White Pekin question

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by WriterofWords, Dec 25, 2007.

  1. WriterofWords

    WriterofWords Has Fainting Chickens

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    Dec 25, 2007
    Chaparral, New Mexico
    Hello, I've had some trouble with my White Pekin hen becoming egg-bound. A local breeder told me it is because she is obese. She is almost 6 months old and has been laying for 3 months. When she gets bound she stretches her back legs behind her and can't walk or get up. I have to wrap her in a warm blanket and dry until she can move again.
    I'd like to know how I can prevent this from happening to her, it happens about every 3 weeks and when she does lay she lays a multiple yolk egg. In between onset she lays just fine.
    Kate
     
  2. pollysmum

    pollysmum Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 24, 2007
    Canada
    Egg bound hens

    A hen is said to be egg bound when she fails to lay her egg

    This is a common condition, and may result from inflammation of the oviduct, malformed or double yolker egg, or a too large egg in a young pullet


    She will sit like a penguin
    She will bawk bawk bawk
    The bird seems very restless
    She will drink little and eat little
    She will tend to stand all hunched up
    She visits the nest regularly in an attempt to lay her egg
    Hew oviduct may end up protrude due to excessive pushing by her to eject the egg; internal haemorrhage or exhaustion may occur and the fowl may die
    She may smell badly
    Her vent will look quite red and protrude
    She may have faecal matter that has built up behind the egg, if you see white liquid that will be her urates trying to pass (urine in chickens)

    Sit her in a tub of warm soapy water
    Make sure the vent is submerged for about 30 minutes, this may seem like a long time, but you have to relax the vent area and make is subtle for the egg to pass through, it really does help the hen, 85% of the time this will be all that you will need to do for her and the egg will pass out with a little push from her

    You can rub some lubricant around the vent area if you think that may help too, usually it doesn’t help the bird, but for some reason it helps the owners feel better that they are doing something , KY jelly, petroleum jelly, Vaseline or Olive Oil all work fine. But seeing as the egg is stuck further up this will probably help you feel better and do nothing for the hen

    DO NOT STICK YOUR FINGER INTO THE VENT TO FEEL FOR THE EGG... not a good idea.. you can do damage to the hen and also break the egg, especially if it is a soft shell egg.. then you will have even more trouble .

    Make sure you isolate her from the other hens, or they will peck at her vent causing more damage

    Put her into an isolation cage, put plenty of news paper down first and then put heated towels down they will act like a heat pad for her, no drafts when she is wet or she will catch a chill

    You can heat up towels in your microwave, works a treat
    If you have a heat pad that would be even better, put plenty of towels over it or it will get messy
    Leave her for a little while to see if she passes the egg, if not, repeat the warm water and soap again

    Some people just use the heating pads, this sometimes seems to relax the muscles and allow the egg to slip out

    Last resort
    If this doesn’t work, you may have to resort to removing the egg manually, not a nice task, and she will complain about what you are doing bitterly, you will need two people to do this task

    Using KY jelly, Petroleum jelly or Vaseline, insert your finger in the vent
    With your other hand you can press gently on her abdomen moving the egg down the oviduct towards the cloaca

    Once you can see the egg, if it won’t pass, then rupture the egg and gently remove all the shell

    Some have suggested you use a sharp instrument, I would not recommend this at all it could result in causing the hen internal injuries

    The shell of the egg will be very sharp when broken and could also damage the chicken internally

    Once you have broken the shell, make sure you remove every particle carefully

    The cloaca should then be washed with a weak warm water/salt solution, this is to make sure all the egg contents and shell has been removed from inside the hen, if it isn’t it could cause bacteria to start growing inside her, and then you’ve got an even bigger problem to solve

    Once the egg has ejected you will want to keep an eye on her for a while

    There may be another egg backed up in her oviduct system, especially if she lays an egg every day or every other day

    Sometimes they absorb the egg, but this is very unlikely and very unusual

    If you can’t find the egg and it has gone from the hen, more than likely she has eaten it shell and all

    If it has ruptured inside her, you should look for small pieces of shell, or evidence of any cuts around the vent area

    Just remember while your looking and sticking your finger in places she would prefer you didn’t, the egg shells can be quite sharp and may cut you and her

    If you do find any cuts around her cloaca, rinse with a weak solution of hydrogen peroxide and water

    Watch her for listlessness, dull eyes, and signs of fever
    Infection can come on pretty quick

    Keep a close eye on her, this could happen again to her and she will need immediate action to fix the problem
     
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    If you can, put her on a diet. No corn and just duck rations. Being too fat is one of the main reason pet chickens end up egg bound. She is also a meat breed of duck if I remember right, so that's one thing against her.
     
  4. WriterofWords

    WriterofWords Has Fainting Chickens

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    Dec 25, 2007
    Chaparral, New Mexico
    Thank you both, I appreciate the time you took to answer me and Whitey does to! Usually when she is having this problem I put her in the rabbit pen (1 white rabbit in there) for a couple of days afterwards and I see her lay. The last time this happened she laid a 4 yolk egg, it looked like a small toilet paper tube. She will lay just fine for a few days after but then has issues again.
    This may be a silly question but is there anyway to "fix" her? I mean by making her "egg free" in some way? I'm hoping as she matures this might stop, otherwise I'm very worried about her longevity and health.
    Kate
     
  5. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    If you have the money to spend on it, I've heard of people getting a hysterectomy on their chickens. I can imagine it being a pretty penny though.
     
  6. rosyposyosy

    rosyposyosy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 11, 2007
    Quote:WHAT?! [​IMG]
     
  7. WriterofWords

    WriterofWords Has Fainting Chickens

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    Dec 25, 2007
    Chaparral, New Mexico
    I'm not joking at all, she was hatched in May and started laying the end of August.
     
  8. Dodgegal79

    Dodgegal79 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Princeton BC Canada
    I just wanted to leave a note about hydrogen Peroxide. It should not be used on animals. It will actually kill health flesh, better to use something like Dettol or other anitbacterial.
     
  9. WriterofWords

    WriterofWords Has Fainting Chickens

    13,212
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    Dec 25, 2007
    Chaparral, New Mexico
    Peroxide shouldn't be used on humans either or on any damaged flesh. Thank you very much for adding that, a lot of people think it is a cure all and considering how widely used it has been for decades it's a hard habit to break.
    K
     
  10. pollysmum

    pollysmum Out Of The Brooder

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    Canada
    Hydrogen peroxide used neat will kill the flesh... but used as a weak watered down solution is ok

    Its a good cleaning agent... but NEVER use it neat on any flesh.. as the others say it will kill newly developing flesh

    You can use a weak solution of Betadine (iodine) if you prefer, but please not Dettol... its too strong and tends to burn

    WriterofWords = You may need to push the bird into a forced molt

    Force Molting

    My personal recommendation to push a bird into a forced molt is:
    1. Decrease lighting to less than 6 hours a day, no artificial light in the coop
    2. Stop feeding layer pellets, and table scraps and any other feed your giving apart from ‘Wheat’
    3. Supply only half the amount of feed your normally feed the birds and it must only be in wheat and only wheat
    4. They must have as much clean fresh water as they require
    5. Once they start to molt, put them back onto their normal diet and increase the protein level in the diet to build them up and help them to re feather more quickly and better quality feathers
    6. If you can get ‘Food Grade Kelp”, this is excellent for birds in molt, it helps feather quality and if you intend to hatch chicks you will also get healthier chicks. Mix the Kelp at 2% of dry feed ratio
    7. Once they start to molt they can then resume getting the normal light during the day but don’t add any extra lighting in the coop
    8. By adding the extra protein to their diet they will re feather and start laying much quicker than normal, and the egg quality will be heavier – not larger

    The forced molt ideas works, other ideas are to starve the bird, I find this barbaric so do not recommend it.

    They may take a little bit longer but I never have any deaths due to starvation
     

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