internal layer any one else have this problem

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by M.J, Nov 20, 2007.

  1. M.J

    M.J Songster

    Apr 15, 2007
    My little hen has a egg stuck in her which has made her a internal layer and the chicken health hand book says there's nothing to do for them and no reason of why it happens have any of you had this problem and did your hen die from it for my hen is now bleeding from the butt and im really worried that i am going to loose her.[​IMG]
  2. karri25

    karri25 Songster

    Feb 5, 2007
    I hav enever had thi shappen to me yet (crossing my fingers) but I have read much info on here. Many members suggest warm baths and massaging her vent with mineral oil and such. Just do a search for internal laying and see what you come up with. I hate it when our babies are sick.
    Good luck!
  3. arlee453

    arlee453 Songster

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    Egg bound and internal laying are two different but related things.

    All hens are susceptible to the occasional bound egg. Do a search and you'll find all sorts of great tips on that.

    A hen that has continual bound eggs, or is truly an internal layer doesn't have a good outlook. The best 'cure' is surgery to remove the ovary so the hen can't lay anymore eggs. Many cases not treated with surgery are fatal because it just recurrs over and over again.
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    As Arlee453 says, you mention several different things and it's hard to offer help without knowing exactly which one(s) are going on. I've just had all 3, sigh, so I can summarize:

    Eggbound is when a basically normall, shelled egg is stuck inside the hen. You may be able to feel it, either from the outside or (eeeuww) from the inside). Sitting the chicken down in a nice warm bath, like in a dishpan, for a while, and massaging the abdomen gently, may help. Putting the chicken in a nice *warm* comfy quiet place can also help her relax enough to pass the egg. Extra calcium in her diet, e.g. yogurt, may help her muscles gear up to pass the egg. If the egg remains stuck for days or a week or longer it may be necessary, as a last-ditch effort, to consider breaking the egg internally in hopes that the bits can come out on their own. This is not without risk, but sometimes you may get to the point where it's that or the axe (since a long-term stuck egg is going to eventually be fatal).

    Sometimes part of the reproductive tract can prolapse, i.e. turn inside out and protrude from the vent, as a hen tries to lay an egg. This can occur as a result of being eggbound or it can just occur on its own without a stuck egg. You'd see tissue hanging out of her vent, and it may be bruised or bleeding if it's been pecked at. Or there could be just some blood around the vent but no prolapse anymore if it corrected itself already. If part of a prolapsed repro tract is still hanging out of the bird, the idea is to keep it clean and encourage it back inside -- too complex to describe here but if you search this forum for "prolapse" you will find good advice.

    If a hen's eggs aren't descending the "normal" way down the reproductive tract but instead are getting "lost" in the abdominal cavity (got misdirected before getting the shell put on them), this is called being an internal layer. It needn't necessarily have anything to do with being eggbound. The hen will stop laying (of course, since instead of coming out, the shellless eggs are just piling up in her belly), will probably have a swollen potbelly, and may stand oddly and be miserable. It is possible that you may find rubbery yolk-colored 'beans' in her poo or stuck in her lower reproductive tract, as some of the internal yolk manages to escape. Unfortunately the only thing that can cure an internal layer is rather expensive surgery to, effectively, "spay" her. Putting her in a low-light short-day environment can delay the inevitable by minimizing how many eggs she internally produces, but if she goes on laying internally, basically, her days are very numbered [​IMG]

    FWIW I recently had a 9 month old sex-link named Matilda turn up first with a retracted but badly pecked-at prolapse and a stuck egg, along with signs she was laying internally (little rubbery yellow things and big belly). After 10 days or so of lotsa warm baths and massages but the hard-shelled egg still stuck inside, I got a vet to break the egg so it could come out. She then seemed pretty ok for the next month. Unfortunately I lost her a few days ago, presumably from continued internal laying.

    Sorry not to be more encouraging if yours really is an internal layer. OTOH if it is just a stuck egg, that's more fixable, and even if she's had a prolapse, many people seem to have chickens recover and do okay for a considerable while from that.

    Best of luck,

    Last edited: Nov 20, 2007

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