Hen lethargic, shell-less eggs, puffed feathers, hot comb and more. I'm stumped and need help diagno

CarolynF

Crowing
11 Years
May 11, 2011
2,312
172
276
Puget Sound
My Coop
My Coop
The first time this showed up was a month ago, the second was one week ago, the third time was today. She did not lay an egg between #2 and #3, until today.

She is a Black Sex Link about 2 years old.

The day before each "incident" she seems normal in every way. Then when she appears sick here's what I see...

Feathers are all puffed out (it's chilly but other birds aren't bothered)

She's lethargic, walks around slowly, doesn't lay down much except today when all the girls were laying in the sun.

Her comb is quite warm. The other hens comb feels neither hot nor cold.

She sits in the nest box for about 3 hours (not her norm) and lays a shell-less egg.
Today after leaving the box she went into the run and deposited a good sized puddle of green and white slime that had a sulfur smell. It was on the dirt so I'm not sure if the color green was affected by the dirt. This was after leaving a good sized wet deposit in the nest box.

No interest in treats such as BOSS or scratch until after she lays the shell-less egg.

Within a few hours she is more normal, she eats and drinks. But it takes longer for her to regain any signs of her usual energy.

No injuries I can find.
Eyes and nose look fine.
No bumble foot.
I dosed her with 0.5ml of Eprinex last week, nothing else.

I feed normal layer pellets and provide shell free choice.
They spend time in their pen as well as a dirt area that's adjacent. Sometimes they roam the yard while I'm cleaning their coop and pen.
I use a nipple waterer and keep it very clean.
I scoop poop from their coop and pen every morning. I use sand in both areas.


Please help me figure out what it is and how to treat her. She's my favorite hen and best layer, too.

ETA: No blood seen in any poop.
 
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CarolynF

Crowing
11 Years
May 11, 2011
2,312
172
276
Puget Sound
My Coop
My Coop
I'm still trying to help this hen. After I wrote the original post I gave her Corid for 6 days, ending yesterday. The same day she laid another shell less egg in the nest box. All I see is a lot of wet nesting material, no shell or membrane. Early in the morning she was again puffed up, lethargic. And just like before, after she passes the shell less egg she goes back to being relatively normal, although less energetic that usual. By the next day she's fine again.

The day after I started the Corid she molted for 3 days then stopped. Although she's 2 years old she had never molted before. I was hoping this was the answer until her repeat performance yesterday.

Yesterday I added electrolytes to their water, and again today. I was planning to start antibiotics today (I have Duramycin-10) but decided to do more research first and thought an extra day of electrolytes was a good thing.

Is it possible that it could be EYP or Infectious Bronchitis? If so, how should I treat her?

Do you think it's something else? I'd really like to resolve this for her if possible; a vet is not available. I would really appreciate input from those with more experience than I have!

Thank you
 
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realsis

Crazy for Silkies
7 Years
Jan 17, 2013
3,968
379
263
California
no shell eggs could be a sign of influenza. symptoms include depression droopiness loss of appetite huddling shell less eggs fever greenish diarrhea sometimes coughing watery eyes ruffled fathers increased broodiness sometimes sudden death with no signs sometimes coughing or sneezing. treatment is antibiotic. another reason for shell less eggs is egg drop syndrome. symptoms include eggs with no shell eggs with eggs with thin shell birds do not appear ill. treatment is force molt to renew production
those were the two things I found in the chicken health book that cause shell less eggs. when she's laying these eggs is the entire egg conning out or is any remanning in her body? when you said she lays greenish do you think this could be infection caused from residual material being left inside the body after laying the shell less egg? this could also make her feel ill. she doesn't seem to have the other symptoms of influenza so my guess would be not all the egg material is coming out of her body creating an infection while she's trying to resorb the material. if this is the case I'd give her an antibiotic to help with her infection.if she does have egg drop syndrome and the residuals are being left into her body causing an infection I'd start her antibiotics soon. do you think this is a possibility?
 

CarolynF

Crowing
11 Years
May 11, 2011
2,312
172
276
Puget Sound
My Coop
My Coop
Thank you both!
I will be reading up on all of those. There is a great list of SpeckledHen's Experiences on Egg Reproduction/Production Necropsy that I've been reading, too. Apparently Egg Drop Syndrome is pretty rare in the US, as opposed to Australia, although it certainly matches her symptoms. She's been quite the perky girl today and shed her last 3 tail feathers
barnie.gif
Internal laying laying is something else that sounds all too likely. She's a sex link, she's never molted, never been broody, and she's 2 years old, combined they describe a chicken with a high probability for reproductive system problems. sighhhh If she would go broody and molt that would be great.... give her system a break for a few weeks!
 

Thefarmon41

Hatching
Jul 2, 2015
1
0
6
Hello,
About 4 months ago my Ameraucana came down with similar symptoms. She did not molt with the others, egg production begin to slow way down, then she started laying a soft shelled egg and a couple of very small eggs with hard shells (robins egg size). One day about 2 months ago her breathing sounded like a coffee percolator, she was puffed up and lethargic. I tried a few home remedies and as a last resort I gave her a 4 day shot of penicillin. I figured it would either cure her or do her in. Immediately her breathing problems and lethargic symptoms went away. In a few days she was up to being a happy health roosting hen. But she didn't lay eggs for about 3 weeks. Two weeks ago she started in again laying an occasional soft shelled egg. My guess is she had an infection, either caused by what is causing the egg production problem or the two are unrelated - I'm not sure. She is quite active and seems much better, but I would like to get her laying healthy eggs again. She is almost 2 years old and still has not molted. I've heard that you can force a hen to molt, but I don't how to or if that would do more harm than good. I'm hoping she will molt this fall with the others...her feathers are looking dingy.
 

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