IT WAS WORMS! 1+ year old chicken layed shelless egg this morning

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by roz, Jun 19, 2011.

  1. roz

    roz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is my second sick chicken within a few weeks now. We are down to 9 chickens right now. The last one died after laying 3 paper eggs (she had been laying for several months at that point just fine). This one I noticed was lethargic this morning, so I checked the coop and there was a shelless egg. I noticed some of the soft shell coming out of her vent, so I went to get tweezers and when I came back it was gone. I did find another piece of soft shell in her vent and pulled it out. She had enough spunk to grab it from me and eat it. She is our feistiest chicken. She isnt pooping normal. She has squirted out clear liquid about 5 times since this morning. We have her inside monitoring her. Her comb is nice and red. She's a golden comet. Her crop feels full and a bit mushy, almost like a hacky sack though. I tried olive oil soaked bread, she eventually was choosing to have some on her own. I have given her some water with acv in it and after prompting, she has drank from a medicine cup for us on a couple of occasions. I also bought some flavorless pediatlyte for her and she drank about half a medicine cup full of that. I'd say all in all she's had about 1 full medicine cup of water today. She is sleepy. I felt in between her back legs and didnt feel any egg. We had a bout with lice on mother's day, and I dusted with with pyrmethrin. Lice seem to be gone. I noticed a vole running on top of their wire enclosed run last night...seems there is a vole nest between the roof of their run and the mesh. Their coop is fully roofed inside the run. I don't know what to do. I dont know if she has an impacted crop, or if all of this is related to the shelless egg this morning? I dont want to keep losing chickens. They are our pets. Is there something I can do with molasses?
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2011
  2. Erica

    Erica Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi Roz,

    laying a soft shelled egg really takes it out of them, they can be quite exhausted. This is because the muscles whose job it is to push the egg along to the exit can't push properly when the eggshell is soft. To lay the egg is almost impossible.

    However the other thing that can happen fairly quickly if an egg breaks inside the hen is infection. Basically egg yolk is a very rich breeding ground for bacteria. There may not be an infection inside the bird but if there is it's serious. This is called EYP, egg yolk peritonitis, and it causes lethargy and other symptoms.

    The first thing to do if you don't want a vet (who could diagnose possible infection) is isolate her somewhere dark to try to stop her from laying again. This will give her insides a rest they need. Secondly you would want to be increasing her calcium intake. However without vitamin D (normally from sunlight) she'll need a vitamin tonic as well, or some cod liver oil (for vitamin D) to enable the calcium to be made use of. If she keeps laying soft shelled eggs she doesn't have much of a chance. Thirdly she needs a low protein feed for a while to help her to stop laying. Once she stops laying she'll be able to heal and then you can reassess things.

    A vet visit may help because firstly they could say if she's infected or not, secondly they could put her on antibiotics which may help alongside the other methods above. I've left a hen in this situation to her own devices and she recovered on her own, but she never laid again. A couple of other birds I had who developed EYP had to be put down. If the soft shelled laying stops then there's a much better chance that (once infection is cleared) a bird can lay properly.

    For all birds affected by this there can be many causes. One is feeding high calcium (layer) feed too young, because it can damage the calcium uptake system. Another is mineral imbalance (too much phosphorus from bone meal or from other sources will decrease calcium absorption). Low vitamin D (sunlight, cod liver oil or supplement) does the same thing effectively. Incidentally some birds of mine got EYP because of dolomitic limestone which is high in managanese. It's so easy to get things out of balance!

    I hope your hen recovers, though I'm sorry to say, the high-volume commercial layers are prone to this sort of thing. But good luck and I'm sure you'll get a range of good advice.

    Best wishes,
    Erica
     
  3. roz

    roz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So I wanted to post what happened to me just in case it might help someone else. I had a hen die a couple of weeks ago...she had laid paper eggs 3 days in a row (she was about a 1 year old Phoenix and had been laying fine before this). I had no idea what happened. This last Sunday, another one of our girls got sick. A very spunky golden comet of ours. She laid a shelless egg in the morning, and I noticed some shell sticking out so I pulled it out...not much of a piece, but I was hoping some of the rest might come out as well. I ended up having to bring her in because she was pooping clear fluid and just standing around, not being herself. I started giving her water with ACV, pedialyte for electrolytes, and water with molasses to hopefully flush out any blockage. I thought she was blocked and that was the only problem. She drank everything I gave her thankfully, we gave her a warm bath that evening, but nothing came out. She was very lethargic, not eating, but had a full mushy crop. She managed to make it through the night, but this morning didnt want any of my drinks, so I decided to put her in a warm bath again with some mild soap, and finally she passed what I thought was long grass. I took her back to her crate, and out popped a rubber egg. I went back to check out the bath water, and saw a clump of floating egg shell and realized the tall grass was worms. She expelled such a huge clump of worms. I had no idea worms were the problem. On mother's day I had noticed my flock had lice (she and one other had it the worst) so I dusted them and the coop with pyrmethrin. It seemed to take care of everything. Some of them had warm bloated bellies, so I posted here but didnt get a response. They were all laying eggs although production seemed to slow a bit, and it wasnt until today that I found out it was worms. I'm guessing now that our other girl died from worms. Maybe I totally missed something here, but their behavior has really been fine until the last minute of the two I'm talking about. I check their poops religiously and never were there any worms present. They all looked like healthy poops too, and aside from a bit of a fowl odor (maybe that should have been a giveaway?) they had nice big green poops with white dollops on top. I will post a picture of what came out as soon as I can remember how to do that.
     
  4. roz

    roz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    here is the picture of the worms from inside as well as the shell and rubber egg. There were more worms...I am holding a baggy of them that I took to the feed store, but there were still quite a few in the bath water. Our hen is pooping "normal" looking poops now with the exception of them having more worms in them. She has drank the water with the dewormer so hopefully she is finishing up flushing the worms out.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    She is infested with large roundworms. Your other chickens are probably infested as well. What is the name of the wormer you're using?
     
  6. roz

    roz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm using piperazine on the recommendation from the guy at the feed store. He showed me a bottle of wazine as well as the piperazine (which he said he uses) and it was the same strength. He told me to put 1 fluid oz per gallon of water. I bought a plastic waterer and mixed the piperazine with the water and a little acv because he said they wouldnt like the taste and the acv would help. I am betting that my ameracauna is infested as well, and like you said, I'm sure the other ones are too.
     
  7. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Quote:Just for your information, wazine and piperazine are the same thing. Leave it out for them to drink for 24 hours, then discard the medicated water per instructions. Replace it with regular fresh drinking water. I recommend that you follow up in 10 days with a second wormer such as valbazen cattle/sheep wormer or safeguard liquid goat wormer. Chickens can get many types of worms. Wazine/piperazine only gets rid of large roundworms. Valbazen gets rid of all known worms that chickens can get including tapeworms. Safeguard liquid goat wormer gets rid of most worms as well, except tapeworms.
    Dosage for valbazen is given orally, use a syringe without a needle; 1/2cc for standard size chickens, 1/4cc for smaller chickens.
    Dosage for safeguard is given orally, use a syringe; 1cc for giants, 3/4cc for large fowl, 1/2cc for standard size amnd 1/4cc for smaller chickens.
    There's a grand total of 24 days withdrawal.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2011

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