I can't examine her vent

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Freia, Feb 14, 2012.

  1. Freia

    Freia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 11, 2012
    I've determined that my sick hen is almost certainly eggbound. I'm trying to be sure by examining her vent to see if I can feel the egg there, and to get some olive oil in there to help things along.

    Problem is, I can't find the correct channel where the egg should be coming through. I'm going slightly in, then up - but there's no up. Going straight in, I'm in the intestine. Even this only gets me in about 1 inch. There is absolutely nothing heading upwards at all. I'm just hitting what feels like soft, squishy intestinal/abdominal wall.

    Is there a trick to finding the egg duct in there?

    If she's eggbound, this will be going on day 5 now, so it's getting kind of urgent.

    Here are her symptoms:
    Stays a bit to herself. Is with the flock, but separates herself a bit.
    Abdomen between her legs is firm and enlarged
    Can pass runny white urates, but no feces
    Occasionally stands hunched over with a droopy tail
    Does walk around and peck, but it's not the determined scratching and pecking she usually does. It's more just aimless pecking.
    Won't eat, but will drink a little.
    Vent is pulsating
    She's a 3 year old buff orpington. I sometimes get a paper-thin-shelled egg, or a thin-shelled egg in the coop, and I've been suspecting it's her.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2012
  2. terryg

    terryg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    IMHO 99% of the time that we suspect that a hen is egg bound, we're wrong. You could have a broken egg in there, an impacted, infected egg blocking things, peritonitis, even cancer. (I've seen it all.) But, the first step when a hen has the symptoms that yours show is to do the same thing regardless. I call it the "spa cure." Give her a warm, epsom salt soak. Often that relaxes things enough that she's able to push out what's in there. Also, give about a tablespoon of olive oil (use a dropper, do slowly so you don't get it into the lungs.) This loosens the stool and makes it easier to pass if it's being pressed on by other issues. You could also start antibiotics.
    I have a video on youtube on how to give a soak (don't use the soap, put epsom salts in instead.)

    you might also want to read this FAQ about what to do when you suspect your hen is sick:
    http://www.hencam.com/henblog/diagnosing-a-sick-chicken/
    and I have a lot of other related information on my site at www.HenCam.com
     
  3. Freia

    Freia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for the ideas. I would think that if she were eggbound, I'd be able to feel something at least egg-like in there even if I can only get in an inch or so. I would also think that if she were egg-bound, she should be dead by now. I did give her a soak last night, which she seemed to enjoy immensly. I'll give her another this morning, along with the olive oil. Her comb is red and perky, and she's quite alert, so at least I seem to have a little time to try to fix her up.

    Like you, I have a small flock of 11 that gives me breakfast as well as stress-relief and entertainment. They're pets as well as livestock, but taking a $3 chicken to the vet for a $200 visit is not my thing. Last time I had the dog to the vet, I asked her a chicken-question. She deflected it and suggested that there are always lots of enthusiastic chicken owners around who are usually willing to help out, which I interpreted as: "I don't do chickens".
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2012
  4. Freia

    Freia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 11, 2012
    Can worms cause these same symptoms?
     
  5. terryg

    terryg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No, I don't think it's worms.
     

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