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Internal Layer?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by skullgrrrl, Apr 7, 2017.

  1. skullgrrrl

    skullgrrrl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was given an 18 month old GL Wyandotte in December. The previous owner, who had had her for 9 months, said she had only ever laid a handful of eggs. In the time I'd had her I don't know if she ever laid. She appeared healthy (beautiful feathers, red comb), ate, drank and ran around.
    Last weekend, I saw her in the nest box and when I went to check later in the day there was no egg. The next day she had the classic 'penguin stance' of an egg bound hen. I checked her internally and no egg so I wondered if she was an internal layer. If so, her prognosis wasn't good. I put her in the infirmary for a couple of days and it was clear she wasn't getting better I decided to euthanize her.
    Here are the post-mortem photos: She's the one on the right. It is clear she had ascites (fluid retention). Once punctured she was full of a dark liquid and was just skin and bones. In the bottom photo are those hard circular things unlaid eggs? Anyone else have experience with an internal layer? This is another lesson to give your birds a routine physical check up so you can spot things out of the ordinary.

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  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Speckledhen and Casportpony have done necropsies on hens with internal laying, and may be able to help identify what you are seeing. My goodness, she really was swollen, poor thing. I know that cancer can be very common in chickens as well as internal laying and egg yolk peritonitis.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2017
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Sadly, I think hatchery Wyandottes (is yours? She appears to be) are the absolute worst for internal laying, egg yolk peritonitis or cancers, though the cancers seem to be something that happens in ones slightly older. All of mine that I didn't sell died of the same stuff. Looks like peritonitis, but can't be sure from the photos. Ascites/ bloat can be from reproductive illness, heart failure or kidney failure. But, one by one I lost my SLW hens to internal laying, then later, a GLW same age as yours to peritonitis. My best advice is stay away from hatchery Wyandottes altogether. Friends have the exact same story about theirs.

    The thing is you can't prevent it and you cannot cure it. The best thing you can do is get better stock-that was the advice from a PhD I know in Poultry Science after I pulled my hair out over and over again as they dropped one by one. He was right. My breeder stock lives much, much longer with little or no issues with their reproductive organs.


    Adding, kudos to you for opening her up. It's educational for us to do that. We don't always solve the riddle, but it sure adds to the knowledge.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2017
    1 person likes this.
  4. skullgrrrl

    skullgrrrl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Platinum Poultry: I have no idea where she came from. She could easily be a hatchery bird.

    Here's some more info: The liver appeared normal, all internal organs were small, the smell wasn't great, but not horrible. The cavity was filled with a bunch of hard, pebble-like things. I can't seem to load the last photo - will try later.
     
  5. skullgrrrl

    skullgrrrl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 10, 2012
    Here's the last pic showing the pebble-like structures. Any idea what they are?

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  6. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I've never seen them quite that way in any of my own birds. @1muttsfan you may know better than I. I don't say I know something when I don't. Could be cancerous, but I'll defer to someone else on this one.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2017

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