Frequent Egg-bound Hens

sedw1165

Chirping
Mar 23, 2008
2
3
61
This morning I discovered another egg-bound hen. She was still relatively happy and I think I may have had my very first success in saving one. The one a month ago wasn't so lucky. I think I lost 3 this year. That seems like a lot in a laying flock of about 30. Is it?

I don't know what the problem is. Of course I've Googled the causes and none seem to apply. They eat a regular laying mix with the addition of ground shells as they come. They also get a scoop of scratch morning and evening. (There's also a duck and another 25 younger birds who aren't laying yet) They also have a supply of oyster shells. They're not overweight. Coop is good, clean and roomy with a variety of nesting areas. I don't keep a light on to increase laying because I like them to get a rest if they need it. Enormous yard to get plenty of exercise and entertainment. No stress. They're safe and my rooster isn't a jerk. Everyone seems healthy and then suddenly there it is, either a rapid overall droop or the penguin walk with a swollen bottom.

Today's hen was rather messy at her backside. I washed her off and then held in her a warm bucket of water for about 20 minutes. She was willing and perked up a bit more toward the end. Added a little lubricant to her vent and put her in a quiet part of the coop. I saw her later and she looked normal. Nothing seemed unusual about any of the eggs I found right after. One was kinda big and had some specks of calcium on it but that was it.

Any ideas? If it's an infection, how do I know and what do I do?
 

Shezadandy

Crowing
6 Years
Sep 26, 2015
2,508
3,324
407
Portland OR
I haven't had issues with my Leghorns, about 2 years old at this point, but it seems like a lot of the sex-link chickens - like Red Stars, Black Stars, Golden Buff, Cinnamon Queen, Novogens ... and so on - suffer from this more. I've only had one eggbound hen in 5 yrs with 100+ hens running around - it was one of my beloved mutts .... but I've stayed away from the "production reds" (known by dozens of names depending on who's selling them) and any of the sex-link black chickens completely. Not sure if those are the type of chickens you've got, but they are predisposed to this kind of thing. Anything that is bred to start laying eggs super young makes the list too.

If their abdomens are swollen, that's ascities which can be caused by organ failure and also reproductive tract infection from a yolk breaking inside the chicken (egg yolk peritonitis). We all wish there was a cure because this is how most of our hens ultimately die.
 

sedw1165

Chirping
Mar 23, 2008
2
3
61
I haven't had issues with my Leghorns, about 2 years old at this point, but it seems like a lot of the sex-link chickens - like Red Stars, Black Stars, Golden Buff, Cinnamon Queen, Novogens ... and so on - suffer from this more. I've only had one eggbound hen in 5 yrs with 100+ hens running around - it was one of my beloved mutts .... but I've stayed away from the "production reds" (known by dozens of names depending on who's selling them) and any of the sex-link black chickens completely. Not sure if those are the type of chickens you've got, but they are predisposed to this kind of thing. Anything that is bred to start laying eggs super young makes the list too.

If their abdomens are swollen, that's ascities which can be caused by organ failure and also reproductive tract infection from a yolk breaking inside the chicken (egg yolk peritonitis). We all wish there was a cure because this is how most of our hens ultimately die.


I ended up putting her down. Wanting to know what the issue was I cut her open and omg...discovered what seemed to be an enormous, solidified, egg-shaped yolk within her. It must've been 5" long. There was no way... Can you tell me what this was?
 

Shezadandy

Crowing
6 Years
Sep 26, 2015
2,508
3,324
407
Portland OR
I ended up putting her down. Wanting to know what the issue was I cut her open and omg...discovered what seemed to be an enormous, solidified, egg-shaped yolk within her. It must've been 5" long. There was no way... Can you tell me what this was?

It sounds like EYP (egg yolk peritonitis) - it starts when the yolk doesn't make it down the reproductive tract and instead ends up in the abdomen. That then causes an infection and it can basically fill their entire abdominal cavity. If it was within the reproductive tract, I guess technically you'd call it a "lash egg" which is very much the same thing- just within the reproductive tract where it backs everything up and turns it into a giant pus/yolk/bacteria "egg". I wish we had a cure for this. We just don't. Here and there really early antibiotic intervention can help, but most of the time the chickens don't let on that something is wrong. Once the normal egg making cycle is broken, it stays that way. I'm glad she's no longer suffering and that you know for absolute sure there's nothing you could have done to help.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom