Help - Older hen laying broken eggs

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by yasmin817, Mar 17, 2017.

  1. yasmin817

    yasmin817 Out Of The Brooder

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    Need advice and have not found a thread with a similar story. My red sexlink who is at least 5 has been laying broken eggs for over a month now. I realize she is near the end of her productivity but I'm concerned about her long term health. Within the past year, two of her flock mates that were around the same age had to be euthanized because they stopped laying and developed debilitating ascites build up and became really ill. I don't want this to happen to my Daisy Chicken. :(

    The first time it happened, she was clearly in distress and I discovered that the shell had broken inside of her and it was hanging out so I pulled it out, lubed her up with KY, and fed her my miracle cure for a few days. (yogurt, olive oil, and honey). She returned to normal, but within a week, it happened again so I repeated the same treatment. Since then, I found two lash eggs, one mini and one full size and she is laying a broken egg every 2-3 days. The shell is slightly soft but not rubbery.

    I have a mixed flock so I can keep track of laying health; Daisy (5yr+ red sexlink), Little Miss Muffit (5yr+ Blue Andalusian bantam), Lacey (1yr Silver laced wyandotte), Tippy (1yr new hampshire red), Roxy (1yr. barred rock), and Butterscotch and Ginger (4mo. easter eggers). Everyone else is laying (or not laying) as expected.

    Since the first incident, I have added free choice oyster shell in addition to their purina layena pellets but now my younger girls are getting too much calcium evident from the extra calcium deposits on their shells since I added it. They also get kitchen scraps once a day which are mostly produce cuttings, especially kale and spinach, and other random veggie and grain foods from the kitchen (no meat and minimal dairy). As a treat, they also get black oil sunflower seeds, scratch and the occasional meal worm.

    Thank you for reading and taking the time to reply :)
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    You can switch your whole flock to an All Flock ration to avoid feeding too much calcium. Oyster shells in a separate bowl will take care of the extra calcium needs.

    I can't really offer any advice about your hen. It could be that her egg laying system is starting to shut down and that's why she's laying off eggs. It may stop after a while.

    At 5 years she's at a good average age of a chicken. The few sex links I've owned didn't live long nor laid that long in their lives. I don't think you can really do anything for her unfortunately.
     
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  3. ibarrett

    ibarrett Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi, sorry to hear about your issue.

    I haven't had much experience with hens laying lash eggs myself but from experience the cause of it is inflammation of the oviduct. Maybe it's best if you contact a veterinarian, if you are truly worried about her. They might be able to prescribe medicine to help out your hen.

    A sign of salpingitis (which is the damaged oviduct) is a damaged vent. Have you looked at her bum? Does she look healthy down there?

    Keep me updated,
    Isabelle
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2017
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  4. yasmin817

    yasmin817 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 19, 2015
    Thank you Isabelle, last time I checked her vent was when I had to help her get the broken shell out. I checked her everyday after that and within a few days, it looked healthy and pink so I stopped checking. Her feathers look great all around her bum and she looks healthy, nice red comb, active, etc. I will take another peek tomorrow when I have some daylight and report back :)
     
  5. yasmin817

    yasmin817 Out Of The Brooder

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    Your probably right but I can't help but to wonder that if I'm catching it early enough, there might be something I can do to prevent what I think might be coming next (ascites and illness).

    I thought the purina layena IS a whole flock feed. The younger girls eggs were flawless up until I put out the extra dish of of oyster shell out. Feeling puzzled.
     
  6. ibarrett

    ibarrett Out Of The Brooder

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    Alright. that sounds like a good sign. definitely consider a trip to a veterinarian, and keep me posted. I hope your chicken makes a full recovery [​IMG]
     
  7. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Layer is a bit different from an All Flock ration. Layer is higher in calcium, about 4 %, and lower in protein, about 16%. All Flock is generally 18-22% protein and about 1.5% calcium.

    Layer is formulated to be fed as the sole ration to hens who are laying. An All Flock is designed to be fed to multiple species and ages of birds and is a good all around ration, especially if your flock contains more than actively laying hens or you are feeding extras to your hens which will dilute the overall daily protein intake. A laying hen requires 16% a day not to become deficient.
     
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  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC...sorry you're having troubles.

    First want to reiterate....don't add/mix OS into feed, put it in a separate dish for those who might need it.

    Curious about the full size lash egg, did you dissect and and take pics?

    Unfortunately sexlinks are prone to reproductive issues...broken eggs inside is bad news, as are lashes both point to infection within.
    Anti-biotics might stay the course, but I wouldn't count on it.
    Were the ascites suffers also RSL's, did you do a necrospy to find the cause of the ascites?
     
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  9. yasmin817

    yasmin817 Out Of The Brooder

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    Learn something new everyday! I will look into this further, thank you!
     
  10. yasmin817

    yasmin817 Out Of The Brooder

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    I did not dissect the lash egg. It looked just like the one I got from my first ill hen last year. When I dissected that one, it ruined ham and cheese sandwiches forever [​IMG]

    The hen I put down last year was a new hampshire red ("Butterfly"). I had her euthanized and they did a necropsy. She was sick for a very long time, months. Towards the end, I tried to nurse her back to health while she lived in my bathroom for a few weeks. I even used a needle and syringe to drain the ascites fluid a few times. Everything I did made her feel better for 6-12 hours, but then she was really ill again. The necropsy revealed that all of her organs were a mess. Dark hard heart, spots on the lungs, green liver, and her intestines were packed with food; she wasn't digesting anything which explains why she was so skinny even though she was eating.

    The hen I put down at the end of January was a RSL ("Dandelion"). She was starting to show all the same signs as "Butterfly" which progressively got worse over a few months. I finally decided that the most humane thing I could do after watching what Butterfly went through was to send her to chicken heaven. So, I built my own homemade CO2 chamber and then buried her in the backyard. No necropsy.

    I got Daisy, Dandelion, Butterfly, and Little Miss Muffit together as a "hand me down" starter flock to see if I liked owning chickens.(Obviously I fell in love!) They came from Craigslist and were all already a few years old so I really don't know their background or where they were hatched. A family had them in their backyard and decided they no longer wanted to hear the neighbors complaints and chose to no longer be chicken owners.
     

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