Is it always Peritonitis?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ClareScifi, Jul 19, 2011.

  1. ClareScifi

    ClareScifi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2011
    Can a 16-month old hen get an egg stuck in her oviduct which she eventually passes, whole & unbroken, without having the traditional symptoms of egg-binding, and not develop egg yolk peritonitis? What percentage of hens could have this happen without getting the fatal peritonitis from it?

    Or, once the first egg gets stuck, even if it is passed intact, is it pretty much a death sentence for the hen, who will then go on to get egg yolk peritonitis, or already have it egg yolk peritonitis, unbeknownst to the owner?

    Can a stuck egg get passed and the hen not develop any kind of infection from it? What are the chances of that? And would it make a difference whether the temporarily stuck egg was somewhat chalky/sandpaperish?

    Thanks for your help,

  2. GoldenSparrow

    GoldenSparrow Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 11, 2011
    I would like to know too?
  3. edselpdx

    edselpdx Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 10, 2008
    Portland, OR
    As long as the egg passes, the hen does not have peritonitis, from my understanding. Yolk peritonitis is caused by "internal laying" where the yolks are released from the ovary, but never make it into the oviduct to get egg white and shell added; the yolks (the part released from the ovary) never get to the point of egg-binding. You end up with a hen who lays intermittently, rarely, or never with internal laying. With difficulty passing the egg and shell from the oviduct, that is not directly indicative of internal laying, but more of a physical issue of egg size/proportions to the hen. Try some lube like KY and a (gloved) finger to help pass the egg or a warm bath.

    I have not dealt with either of these issues (knock on wood), but if I'm wrong, someone will correct me From an anatomy and physiology perspective, this is true.

    Good Luck!
  4. RhodeIslandRedFan

    RhodeIslandRedFan Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 10, 2009
    Central PA
    I agree with edselpdx, although I too have never dealt with either of these conditions in my flock. Egg peritonitis is when the yolk falls into the abdominal cavity, where it usually becomes infected. The chicken's abdomen becomes inflamed and distended with egg material, the internal organs may become involved, and the hen may die. Inability of the hen to lay an egg is a separate issue and can be due to several reasons, including a too large egg, too rough shell that does not have enough lubrication, the shell is thin and breaks internally before it is layed, and disease of the vent. I cannot answer all of your questions about odds of your different scenarios happening, but I have seen many posts on this site where an egg is stuck, and the egg is then passed without complications.

    Is there a particular problem you are having with your flock?
  5. GoldenSparrow

    GoldenSparrow Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 11, 2011
    If your hen had this, is there a way to fix it?
  6. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Egg binding is a mechanical malfunction and if you get the egg out, it's fixed. Sometimes, it's just that the one egg was extra large or extra round or whatever. The only way egg binding would lead to egg yolk peritonitis is if the egg breaks inside and an ecoli infection sets up in there.

    Internal laying is a chronic condition and is incurable except through a vet doing a hysterectomy on the hen; most die during surgery or afterward, though, it seems.

    These threads may be helpful to you.
  7. GoldenSparrow

    GoldenSparrow Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 11, 2011
    Thanks and very sorry your hen has it [​IMG]
  8. Echobabe

    Echobabe Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 30, 2007
    They can also slough off parts of the reproductive system, and sometimes things inside just come loose. If this is all not expelled properly it can go septic as well.

    I had this happen to one recently. The flies knew before I did something was wrong. It was another 3-4 days before her abdomen got so swollen and tight, and a strange effluent was coming out, like old blood and tissue. She was so swollen she couldn't lay her egg, and the maggots (you get the point). She didn't feel bad yet, but I knew it wasn't going to get better so we put her down.

    I also had an internal layer. She felt like concrete with so many eggs inside her, and looked miserable. The vet confirmed egg peritonitis. When the rest of the girls started grooming her, we knew it was time.

    If you suspect you have an internal layer, some have had good luck with plunging that bird into darkness 24/7 in order to stop her egg cycle for the year. This won't clear up peritonitis (which would take a course of antibiotics and I'd talk with a vet first), but could help the bird recover for now until next year, when her laying cycle starts again.

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