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How can I STOP my hen from laying?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chickbliss7, Jan 22, 2011.

  1. chickbliss7

    chickbliss7 In the Brooder

    Oct 2, 2008
    I have a 2.5 year old Buff Orpington that has developed Egg Yolk Peritonitis. She has been drained a few times and is on antibiotics. She was a normal egg layer for the first year, but then she began laying internally and has had a number of shell-less eggs. The eggs began to back up until she had difficulty walking. I want her to stop laying eggs so she can recover. Is there any way to do this? Why does this happen? I've heard that it may have something to do with how much light they receive as chicks.

    She is my best girl, so affectionate and friendly to everybody, and I really don't want to lose her. She sleeps under the nest boxes at night, but goes out with the others in the day. She eats, but not very well, and walks with difficulty. Would it be a kindness to let her go? Can anything be done? I'm seeing the vet again on Monday, and will have to decide if there's any chance she can be cured. Any feedback?

  2. feathersnuggles

    feathersnuggles Songster

    Sep 4, 2009
    That poor girl.

    Your Vet may be able to administer a Lupron injection that will temporarily stop her ovulation for, say, 6 weeks or more. You can check this thread for more info (or do a search on BYC for more posts on Lupron).

    Some people have had their vet perform a hysterectomy for their hen. Good luck. [​IMG]
  3. chickbliss7

    chickbliss7 In the Brooder

    Oct 2, 2008
    Thanks for the info on Lupron, which I'll look for online. What is it, birth control? Is egg yolk peritonitis always fatal? Do the eggs inside her solidify, or is it inflammation that makes her abdomen feel so hard? If anyone out there has a chicken that lived through this, I'd like to know what you did to save her life!!
  4. The Kibble Goddess

    The Kibble Goddess Songster

    May 24, 2009
    Sylvania, Ga
    I got my injured EE to stop laying by keeping her in the dark. She does have a red heat lamp, but no daylight or artificial light. She does eat and drink, but is not near as active as she is when I have the lights on for an hour while I'm cleaning.
  5. elizabethbinary

    elizabethbinary Songster

    Mar 22, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Quote:Oh I'm SO sorry - I lost my best hen to this. Loved her so much. If you search on here, I believe someone actually performed surgery on one of her hens so it wouldn't lay anymore. It wasn't ultra complicated but it can be done!
  6. chickbliss7

    chickbliss7 In the Brooder

    Oct 2, 2008
    Thanks for your empathy, everyone. This is my only outlet to express my sorrow when things go wrong in the coop--my husband just thinks I've gone off the deep end with my chickens! Always, it's "they're just CHICKENS!"

    I looked up Lupron (sp?). It's for humans, specifically men with prostate cancer. My guess is that it's a hormonal medication. The vet says he thinks chickens don't do well during surgery, and I'm inclined to agree, given her weakened condition. She seems a little better today; up on her feet a lot more. I let them outside because I was working around the coop. Normally, I can't do that because of predators. They were happily scratching and pecking in the compost piles and the fresh green weeds from all the rain we've had. I'm hoping, with regular draining, she'll get better. Now I just need to find a way to keep her from releasing her eggs...
  7. liz_s

    liz_s Songster

    May 16, 2010
    Washington State
    I have seen Lupron used on ferrets with adrenal tumors and disease, and on men as a post-treatment for prostate cancer. However, I learned from a coworker that it can be used in women. She had extremely bad endometriosis, and was given monthly Lupron injections for 3 months. It stopped her cycle from happening- I think because it halted ovulation. Once the injections stopped, she started back up! I'm sure she would murder me for sharing this story, but I think it might be a good solution for your girl's problem, depending on a vet's advice. Also, I know there's a drug you can give to dogs that will delay their heat cycles... Good luck!

  8. chickbliss7

    chickbliss7 In the Brooder

    Oct 2, 2008
    Thanks, Liz_s. I see the vet tomorrow, and I'll ask him about Lupron. If Priscilla recovers, I hope she'll continue to sit in my lap and nuzzle her head under my arm. I think my Buff Orpingtons and Barred Rocks make some of the best chickens in terms of personality--friendly, affectionate, curious, adventurous, tolerant and funny, as well as good looking! What other kinds of hens have these traits? Any suggestions? The next time around, I hope I can get pullets, instead of 3-day old chicks. I'd love to get some Buff Polish--anyone out there who can recommend them?
  9. NYRIR

    NYRIR Songster

    May 13, 2010
    "they're just CHICKENS!"

    [​IMG] I HATE when people say that!
    Good luck with your hen... [​IMG] Hope she makes it for you!
  10. AinaWGSD

    AinaWGSD Songster

    Apr 2, 2010
    Sullivan, IL
    I worked for a board certified avian vet for 8 years (he just recently moved to UofI so I no longer work directly with him, but still work with his associate) and while we use leupron (leuprolide acetate) primarily for ferrets with adrenal disease, I have seen it used in parrots to suppress egg laying. The other thing that works (which we tend to try first, or in addition to leupron) is to reduce the amount of food to just what they will finish in a day (because most birds will breed based on a surplus of food that will allow them to raise chicks...although it may not be as effective for chickens) and reducing the amount of light. Also reducing contact that stimulates sexual behavior (cuddling, mutual grooming type stuff...basically not "molesting" your bird) although, again, I'm not sure that's a particularly strong trigger for chickens to lay eggs. A word of warning, leupron is expensive! A 0.5cc injection at our clinic costs about $52. Most of the birds we've used it in we've only used 0.1cc (or less for very small birds like cockatiels) so it's not quite as bad as for ferrets, but it's still not particularly cheap. Mostly because it's a human drug and there is no veterinary equivilant.

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