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Hen laid 4 eggs in one day *UPDATE*: she's back from the vet!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by caralouise1974, Apr 29, 2009.

  1. Hi everyone, I really need some advice if any of you can give it...

    I've been having some problems with my young bluebelle (commercial Marans-based laying hybrid) ever since she started laying back in February. She always had a clear white liquid running from her vent when I picked her up, and seemed to make a terrible mess with poop everywhere when laying. She went on to lay a mixture of soft shelled eggs and normal ones (but has never yet missed a single day since her first egg), and then about three weeks ago got one stuck, which burst inside her and that ended up taking us off to the vets. That day she laid three eggs in total - all soft shelled. We assumed that they had somehow got backed-up inside her and that it was a one off incident.

    The vet put her on calcium supplements and diagnosed Infectious Bronchitis but since then she has been fine and her egg laying has been normal (even a couple of double yolkers).

    Then, on Saturday evening she was looking very sorry for herself and had egg yolk coming out of her vent. She had laid a normal egg that morning. She strained and pushed and it seemed she got most of the broken egg out once we brought her indoors in the warm. She clearly still had another soft shell egg stuck though, as the next morning (Sunday) we checked on her, and she hadn't managed to do any poop overnight and a soft shelled egg was in the bottom of the coop, surrounded by lots of runny poop that had clearly been backed up behind it.

    Anyway, Monday and Tuesday were fine, with another double yolker on Tuesday morning, until hubbie came home from work at 6pm and found another soft shelled egg in the run. So, together with the double yolker from the morning, that's essentially three eggs she laid yesterday. Then, an hour later, I find her hunched up, straining for all she is worth, her insides turned almost inside-out (not a very pleasant sight) and she lays yet another soft shelled egg on the grass. So that's FOUR eggs yesterday. And a very near prolapse to boot (luckily, after some odd convulsing and swallowing, it all went back inside her cleanly, about ten seconds after the egg came out).

    We spoke to the on-call vet, and he is at a loss to explain how one hen can release four yolks from an ovary in one day. He suspects a cystic ovary or some other weird pathology but has no suggestions whatsoever for us, in terms of slowing down her egg production and thereby easing her suffering. Luckily, she has not laid an egg today (the final one last night must've been destined to be today's), and her vent is looking prettty much back to normal, so that's given her a short break, but I am dreading tomorrow...

    Does anyone have a clue what's making her over-produce like this? It's only a matter of time before she prolapses or dies of heart failure on the nest, in my opinion. Similarly, if she's leeching all this calcium from her bones to make all those extra egg shells, she's going to be osteoporotic before long. It's heartbreaking to watch her suffer so much.
    Last edited: May 6, 2009

  2. greenfamilyfarms

    greenfamilyfarms Big Pippin'

    Feb 27, 2008
    Elizabethtown, NC
    I know that this is heartbreaking. If you have taken her to a vet, I don't know of what else you can do besides put her out of her misery. I know that it sounds bad, but if she is miserable, I think it would be for the best.
  3. Quote:Thing is, I think I'm more miserable than she is actually! She's a very active and vigorous hen inbetween egg laying, full of spirit and very chatty and inquisitive. It's the fear of what's going to happen next which is breaking my heart.

    She's perfectly okay when she isn't laying an egg. It seems such a waste to put her to sleep when she's so young and active in all other respects.

    Besides, we really love her. [​IMG]
  4. Southernbelle

    Southernbelle Gone Broody

    Mar 17, 2008
    Could it be internal laying? I've never had one with it, but leaking egg matter from the vent is supposed to be a sign of it. It's common in production hybrids that are bred to lay like crazy. Infectious Bronchitis also affects their reproductive system terribly.

    Long term solution is to cull her or have the vet remove her oviduct to stop this misery. I read a thread on here once where someone removed the oviduct on an injured/sick hen and she lived on as a wonderful (non-laying) pet. I think they did the surgery themselves because the vet wouldn't work on a chicken.

    [​IMG] Good luck to you!
  5. jjthink

    jjthink Crowing

    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    This also happened to my sweet hen Betty. 4 in one day. She had a variety of egg-related problems off and on, including soft shells, despite calcium supplementation.

    Despite x-rays mistakenly showing no eggs inside, it later was revealed during a hysterectomy (she and my roo BJ were so beautifully bonded and he was devastated that she was ill and so I didn't want to lose her as much for his sake as hers) that she was an internal layer with festering eggs inside. Antibiotics and antiinflammatories had worked for awhile but then stopped working. Unfortunately she was too compromised going into surgery and she died soon afterward. Hens that go in stronger do well and then one never has to worry about these sorts of problems again. I wish I had had the hysterectomy done on her sooner and that the misleading x-rays and her over-the-top fear of the vet hadn't caused me to try everything else under the sun first.

    Last edited: Apr 29, 2009
  6. Oh JJ, I thought you might be coming along to advise me. I'm of course already aware of your poor Betty's illness (it reduced me to tears the first time I read about it) and my fears about Bella suffering the same fate are being realised.

    The vet is very reluctant to do an oviduct/oophrectomy on Bella, but to my mind it's the only real solution for her. He says that birds are very poor at coping with anaesthetics and the chance of infection afterwards is too great. He says if she prolapses it might leave him with no choice but to remove the ovary if it is already hanging out of her, but is not keen to operate until that happens. Charming eh?
  7. jjthink

    jjthink Crowing

    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    Cara, I didn't even realize I was replying to you!!!! I read the post without reading who it was from, detouring for a moment from work! Had I looked to see that it was you, I would have known right away that Bella was the dear girl being written about [​IMG] and that you already know about Betty.

    I'm so sorry Bella is still having troubles but do know that a number of BYC folks have had hens with similar problems who prospered after hysterectomies. Never a guarantee of course but given Bella's still-healthy-in-other-ways self, maybe she too would do very well. Betty was weak and pale-combed by the time she went into surgery. The U of Pa had her on an antibiotic they thought would work but it did not work - and indeed several BYCers doubted they would be correct, and BYC was right.

    My thoughts are with you and Bella - please stay in touch. Hoping for a very happy future for both of you. [​IMG]

  8. chickeepoo

    chickeepoo Songster

    Mar 10, 2008
    Orlando, FL
    I'm so sorry to hear of Bella's problem; I hope you'll be able to determine the best treatment and that she'll be OK soon:hugs Let us know what you do next and how she is- we're hoping the best for both of you.
  9. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Songster

    Mar 31, 2009
    SouthEast Texas
    Wow! I had no idea that was even possible. Best wishes to you. I very much hope that you are able to take action quickly to save her.
  10. Quote:I really do hope so JJ. Thanks so much for your good wishes, and indeed to everyone else who has sent their thoughts and hopes for a positive outcome.

    I have found a poultry-friendly vet about 20 miles away who I'm going to telephone tomorrow and get a second opinion. I really think Bella needs this surgery, and soon.

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