Hen with bound egg symptoms but no egg

Independence

Chirping
5 Years
Apr 7, 2015
39
4
67
Hi,

We are getting ready to leave town and one of the girls is not doing well. She has a few of the bound egg symptoms. Namely, walking like a penguin, lethargic, and sits with tail down (plus hanging out in the nesting box all day). However, I performed a digital probe and could not feel an egg at all. I have short fingers but I was able to reach in 3" at least. She is drinking water mixed with NutriQuench - easily a 1/2 cup overnight. Too early to tell if she it eating as she has only been isolated overnight.

Her comb is bright, she does not seem to be straining although she arches her back on occasion.

Losing a chicken is bad enough but a dead chicken in the coop for a week whilst gone is even worse!

Any thoughts?

//Indy
 
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Wyorp Rock

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Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Sep 20, 2015
35,497
50,868
1,332
Southern N.C. Mountains
It sounds like she may have a reproductive/internal laying problem like Peritonitis, Salpingitis, cancer or tumors.

You can also offer some poultry vitamins to help give her a boost. If she is seems slow, lethargic and not feeling well, she may also benefit from extra protein - offer scrambled/hard boiled egg, tuna, mackerel or meat.

http://www.chickenvet.co.uk/health-and-common-diseases/egg-laying-issues/index.aspx
http://scoopfromthecoop.nutrenaworld.com/tag/laying-issues/
http://www.hobbyfarms.com/livestock-and-pets/6-causes-of-chicken-swollen-abdomen.aspx
 

Independence

Chirping
5 Years
Apr 7, 2015
39
4
67
Thanks Wyorp. She doesn't have a swollen abdomen nor any real concrete signs of anything. I'll try giving her extra protein and see if that helps.
 

Independence

Chirping
5 Years
Apr 7, 2015
39
4
67
Update: She is now unable or unwilling to stand up. She is pretty much laying now. Still no sign of an egg or distended abdomen.
 

Wyorp Rock

🐓 ❤ 🐛
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Sep 20, 2015
35,497
50,868
1,332
Southern N.C. Mountains
How old is she?
What does her poop look like?
Has she been wormed?
Any chance she ate anything moldy/rotten?

Have you tried giving her a soak in an epsom salts bath?

Just trying to think of possibilities here. Do you have anyone checking on your flock at all while you are gone for a week?
 

Independence

Chirping
5 Years
Apr 7, 2015
39
4
67
She is 16 months old. She is not eating now, so poop is essentially the NutriQuench vitamins and minerals. She has not been wormed. We keep an eye on that but here in the Mountain West (dry and 7500 feet) worms have not been much of an issue. She has eaten a lot of grasshoppers and japanese beetles but I am not aware of anything rotten.

Epsom salts bath is next on the list.

Yes, we have someone to watch but they are novice flocksters. I am concerned about that aspect.

Thanks for the ideas. I am stumped on this one....

//Indy
 
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ellenscoop

Songster
Feb 21, 2015
147
126
116
Indiana
Can you feel the egg stuck inside her? Sometimes if you palpate (very gently feel her) along her body you can feel whether there is an egg stuck or not. Make sure not to be too hard cuz if there is an egg, the worst thing you could possibly do is accidentally break it while it is inside of her. Also, there are other conditions that can emulate the same signs presented for hens that are egg bound. It might be a good idea to try out PoultryDVM's Chicken Symptom Checker Tool to help you rule out all the possibilities of what could be going on. Here is a link to the tool, http://www.poultrydvm.com/views/symptoms.php

Good Luck!
 

Independence

Chirping
5 Years
Apr 7, 2015
39
4
67
Many thanks Ellen. I will try the Symptom Checker. I was not aware of that resource.

Miss Hen is eating and drinking this morning but still doesn't seem to want to walk. I tried palpitating her body (gently!) last night before her bath and it agitated her. It is about the only thing that elicits a response.

I am showing my ignorance here but what is the best way to feel along her body? I am OK above and below the rib cage/keel area but the middle is pretty bony.

//Indy
 
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Independence

Chirping
5 Years
Apr 7, 2015
39
4
67
Update: The hen is very active. She is eating bugs and sweet potato. The only thing that seems to be wrong now is she cannot use her legs in a coordinated manner. She can flap her wings and she will thrash with her legs but she cannot stand on them. I am really hoping this is not Marek's since we have a lot of chickens.

//Indy
 

Eggcessive

Addict
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Apr 3, 2011
58,839
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southern Ohio
Sometimes posting a video with a link for us to watch on YouTube can help us see what you see. Mareks can happen at any time, but is more common during the first 6 months, unless a new carrier chicken has been added to the flock. Of course, wild birds can also carry it. Vitamin deficiencies can sometimes affect the legs, but the reproductive disorders that Wyorp posted are also a cause of lameness. If your hen should die while you are gone, I would have the person watching your chickens place the body in a plastic garbage bag in the refrigerator (not freezer) in case you want to have her tested for Mareks by your state vet. Hopefully, she will soon get back on her feet with vitamins and nutrition.
 

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