Hen keeps braking soft shelled eggs inside of her UPDATE POST #5

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Blesser, May 25, 2012.

  1. Blesser

    Blesser In the Brooder

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    I have this hen named "Angel" who keeps braking soft shelled eggs inside her. This is maybe the 4th or 5th time that this has happened within this month, never happened before. The first time she broke an egg I injected Penicillin into her breast muscles for 5 days to ward off any infections (she had a lot of egg in her poo). That was about 2 weeks ago, I really don't want to inject in her muscle again because afraid of the bacteria building up a resistance to the penicillin. The last few days she has not been her usual self and lost her place in the pecking order. She won't even come up to her favorite treats anymore or if she does takes a few bites and wanders off. She is my favorite hen and even the thought of losing her is making me break into tears. Should I inject penicillin into her again and let it do it's wonders or let her fight it off herself and have her possibly die from this infection? But even if I give it to her she is still laying these soft shelled eggs and the cycle continues and I can't give her penicillin every time one breaks. She has access to oyster shell but never see her eating any so today I gave her two egg shells that I washed and then cooked in the microwave, which I then mixed in one egg which I scrambled. She ate most of it after forcing her to eat which is very unusual for her since she normally gobbles everything down and even steals food from other hens mouths while they eat.

    What should I do? I want to stop the cause of this but I don't know how, I know the shell is made primarily of calcium carbonate, that is why I am feeding the shells to her but is there anything better to give? I gave her a fish oil capsule today, it is a good source of vitamin D which helps calcium absorb better but maybe cod liver oil is better? I not sure on how much cod liver oil to give though, any suggestions? I also give her organic ACV which also helps calcium absorb better. Last question, is there another antibiotic that I could give her because she currently has an infection now? Something given orally ( syringe not in the water) or injectable (IM) besides Penicillin so I can help stop bacteria resistance. Thanks so much in advance and will be awaiting advice and answers. And if you could respond asap because I need to do something fast.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2012
  2. fried green eggs

    fried green eggs Songster

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    Hi, . You didn't say how old she is. Sorry I'm not sure on meds. What about giving her plain yogurt. Hope she gets straightened out.
     
  3. Erica

    Erica Songster

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    Dec 5, 2010
    Hi Blesser,

    unfortunately it sounds like she may well have an internal infection already. You're right to worry about germ resistance. If you do try antibiotics again (I'm not sure which ones as I cull rather than treat these sorts of things) it would be best to consult a vet to get the right one for that particular germ. But treatment for peritonitis (EYP) is rarely successful, I'm sorry to say. It can be terribly expensive without any guarantee of success. [​IMG]

    I had one hen survive EYP on her own, and she became a permanent non-layer, but was very healthy. The infection ruined her ovary and she became more like a rooster. However it's rare that a bird would pull through a serious infection like that.

    All I can suggest is do what you're doing with cod liver oil (probably a bit higher in D than fish oil, though I'm not well read on all that), or put her in some sunshine for 10 minutes a day, and keep up the calcium. Don't give her yoghurt or anything like meat meal, meat-and-bone meal, or dolomitic limestone (which has minerals that compete with calcium and stop it being absorbed). Those things, in high enough amounts, can easily stop a hen making eggshells.

    I would force her into a moult, to stop her laying a.s.a.p. To do this, take her off all protein supplements or high protein feed, keep her quiet and in the dark for most of the day (though in general this is a bad idea as it stops vitamin D from sunlight helping the calcium to be absorbed, but in this case I feel she needs to stop laying right now) and only feed wheat or rolled oats or something like that for a week. She should stop laying internally pretty quickly, and then she may have a chance to heal.

    Sometimes certain types of virus can cause soft eggshells, but more common issues that cause it are mineral imbalance (i.e. not calcium shortage but too much of the competing minerals like phosphorus), worms, or other digestive problem (which interferes with nutrient absorption including calcium). Vitamin D deficiency as you've noticed is also a possible cause.

    A rest from laying is her only chance right now, I feel.

    Good luck,
    Erica
     
  4. Blesser

    Blesser In the Brooder

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    Thank you so much for responding. I actually tried to force her into a moult last week but didn't mention it because it was unsuccessful, I gave her 4 hours of sunlight everyday and kept her in a dark room for the rest of the day for 6 days total. I feed her mostly fruits and veggies and very little layer feed. Like I said it didn't work so maybe too much sunlight or layer feed? I guess I could try the forced molt again. You know what I will try the penicillin again because that is what worked last time and it is what I have on hand and then I will try forcing her into a molt again. I will call around for other types of antibiotic for next time though. Some of the vets here will give advice on the phone but very hard to get in touch with. I will leave her be today because my helper is not here today but will be back tomorrow evening so I will give the injection then (my helper holds her while I inject) and then I will start her on the forced molt. What can I feed her while forcing this molt besides wheat and rolled oats? And what can't I feed her? I will still feed her kefir though it is a probiotic which is great after antibiotics, I just started feeding my whole flock kefir everyday for good overall health, 1TBS each once a day to help establish beneficial microflora in the intestines. Thanks.
     
  5. Blesser

    Blesser In the Brooder

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    I thought I would update this in case anyone was wondering how Angel is doing. The penicillin did get rid of her infection, thank the lord for that. Her ravenous appetite came back for a few days but now she doesn't eat much. She used to eat the most in the entire flock, would gobble up anything without complaint but now I worry she is not eating enough. I didn't force a molt on her because I noticed she was losing feather follicles and was growing new feathers, her feathers were damaged by northern fowl mites a while back. Instead I upped her protein to help her grow her feathers. I did keep her in the dark though so her body could repair itself, I kept her inside for 2 weeks in a completely dark room and gave her 4-6 hours of light each day by letting her out. By letting her outside it also helped the others from picking on her as I noticed a few picks once in a while but not anything to worry about and that was only for a few days if that. Since letting her out of the dark room she has laid two eggs, the first egg I wasn't sure if it broke inside her while laying or if it broke after she laid it as she was doing some sort of dance on top of it. So I did a vinegar flush with white vinegar mixed with water and a syringe and flushed her vent several times with the vinegar solution to help prevent infection. 2nd egg was perfect, was thrilled to see it intact, she laid it yesterday. So I thought her body went back to the normal rhythm but today she went to the nest box twice for very long periods of time and no egg. I felt beneath her but there was no bulge that indicated there was an egg there so I forced her to eat some of vitamin/calcium supplement (which I have been giving for about a week to help her lay normal eggs, it is made by Manna Pro and it has calcium and vitamin d3, etc for her eggs). Hopefully tomorrow she will lay a normal egg. I would rather have her lay eggs even if it causes a small amount of discomfort than have her not lay eggs, not for my benefit though. I don't want her to become an internal layer which then leads to EYP. That is sooo much worse and right now she is happy and loves to walk around with the others and loves to take dust baths. I'm thinking about hormone implants for her but would have to do almost everyone in my flock then, can't just do one:( And that would be too expensive, it is just a temporary fix(angel is the only one that lays intermittently, the others I think are all internal layers since they don't lay anymore). My whole flock will be turning 3 soon, I hope to have them for at least a few more years and hopefully much longer. And that's the update sorry if it is too long. I'm crossing my fingers Angel will lay a perfect egg tomorrow, wish her luck:) [​IMG]
     
  6. Blesser

    Blesser In the Brooder

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    Update again- well angel didn't lay any perfect eggs since my last update. She went downhill pretty fast and wasn't eating much for several days. I decided to give her another round of penicillin and it worked she is doing much better now but for how long? a few more days or a few weeks if I'm lucky. I asked the family and they agreed that they would pay for my chicken to have a hysterectomy, my brother is going to give me his first paycheck towards her surgery. We are tight on money and really don't have any extra but since my brother just got a job I can get the surgery done yaay! I'll be calling around later to get some price quotes and doing more research online. My brother just started work so his first paycheck is not for 2 weeks so hopefully Angel can hold on for a few weeks. [​IMG] I try to update again after surgery but that won't be for a while, I probably update next month. Wish us luck.
     

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