Lethargic, diarrhea then shell-less egg

Sunshade82

Songster
Sep 10, 2020
109
129
106
SW Utah
How did her crop feel before dark?

This is what I do when a bird is acting 'off':
I isolate bird in a wire cage within the coop for a day or two....so I can closely monitor:
- their intake of food and water,
-crop function(checking at night and in morning before providing more feed),
-and their poops.
Feel their abdomen, from below vent to between legs, for squishy or hard swelling. Check for external parasites or any other abnormalities.

Best to put crate right in coop or run so bird is still 'with' the flock.
I like to use a fold-able wire dog crate (24"L x 18"W x 21"H) with smaller mesh(1x2) on bottom of crate under tray.
Then you can put tray underneath crate to better observe droppings without it being stepped in. If smaller mesh is carefully installed, tray can still be used inside crate.
I didn’t feel her crop last night but I remember seeing it was full. This morning it isnt big but when I feel it, there is some food in it. (Every time I checked on her last night she was finding little morsels to eat that she had kicked out so I can’t tell if it emptied all the way.) I checked her abdomen yesterday...more for feeling for egg bound so I didn’t notice if it was squishy. I’ll check next time I go in. I also didn’t see anything around her vent...is there other places to check for parasites? (I checked their roost at night last week looking for mites.)
i didn’t want to separate her from the flock because it was abnormally hot yesterday and I didn’t know if that was contributing to her not feeling well. Plus she wasn’t drinking water. Temps should be going back down now. If she does ok today should I wait and put her with the others at night? I’ve heard that works well for new flock members.
this is my first sick chicken so I really appreciate the help. The one that died last week went quickly (and dramatically too 😢)
 

BDutch

Natural
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May 19, 2015
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I kept her inside overnight and she survived! She was still standing with a droopy tail and not moving much and she’s a bit more alert now. Also she was refusing water. This morning some of her poops are watery again but she drank some water so that’s good
Sorry, I thought she was acting better again. But if she’s in a bad condition its better to keep her separated and warm,
 

Sunshade82

Songster
Sep 10, 2020
109
129
106
SW Utah
Sorry, I thought she was acting better again. But if she’s in a bad condition its better to keep her separated and warm,
It’s weird she acts better and then all of a sudden wants to sleep. I want to see if she lays another soft shelled egg. Maybe that is zapping her energy?
 

BDutch

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Sorry I’m no expert for sick chickens at all. Just know a few basic by reading about it. Only once I had a sick chicken with diarrhoea which was not from too many grapes. 🍇
Maybe Aart can tell you more if you tell her more about eating / crop or perhaps 🤔 @Eggcessive ?
 

Eggcessive

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Apr 3, 2011
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With her tail down position, laying a shell-less egg, and at times not drinking and feeling listless, I would,guess that she has something going on it her oviduct. That could be a shell gland issue, an infection or salpingitis, or other issue. The egg with the shell looks like it was laid as the shell-less egg was still in the egg tract, and that is why there is a circle on the shell. See article below.

The problem with a crop slowing down or not emptying may be associated. I would get some calcium citrate with vitamin D 3 tablets, and give her a tablet daily for a few days. They can swallow the tablet when placed in back of the throat. If no other pullets are having egg shell problems, that also can point to a reproductive infection, and rule out a calcium or vitamin D deficiency. The extra calcium for a few days may or may not help. When they are passing shell-less eggs, they do experience weakness and feeling lousy. They may perk up once they pass the egg. Here is a good article about egg shell problems and possible causes:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/common-egg-quality-problems.65923/

This is a good a diagram of the reproductive tract of a hen:
https://the-chicken-chick.com/wp-co...ctive-tract-of-hen-University-of-Kentucky.jpg
 

Maynard7669

In the Brooder
Sep 18, 2020
2
4
10
The sudden warmth might cause stress. 🤷🏻‍♀️
I do hope this is just a temporary issue. :hugs

But don’t stop giving fresh water. Provide shade and a very airy coop when its warm. Mine like to take a foot-bath when its warm 🥵.
Keep oyster shell avail all the time for your flock. They'll consume what they need when they need it. Adding apple cider vinegar (1tbsp to 1gal water) in a glass or plastic waterer helps keep internal parasites at bay, but won't treat an infestation. Also, your vet can do a fecal test for coccidia & worms for around $20?-$60 😉 My girls were raised with medicated feed but still ended up with coccidia. Easily treated if caught in time. Good luck!
 

Sunshade82

Songster
Sep 10, 2020
109
129
106
SW Utah
She just laid another shell less egg...at least this one has a thick membrane holding it together unlike the last one. She is also pigging out and drinking in between naps. Her bum is messy but all her poops since this morning are well formed. Do you think we are out of the woods? Can I replace her with the flock tonight or should i wait for her to pass a normal egg?
4D787F33-D0EA-472F-B410-31D53C532433.jpeg
 

Kiki

🙄🤚Do More!
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Keep oyster shell avail all the time for your flock. They'll consume what they need when they need it. Adding apple cider vinegar (1tbsp to 1gal water) in a glass or plastic waterer helps keep internal parasites at bay, but won't treat an infestation. Also, your vet can do a fecal test for coccidia & worms for around $20?-$60 😉 My girls were raised with medicated feed but still ended up with coccidia. Easily treated if caught in time. Good luck!
I'm sorry but this is not true. not only does apple cider vinegar not keep parasites at bay it also can inhibit the absorption of calcium.
 

Kiki

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She just laid another shell less egg...at least this one has a thick membrane holding it together unlike the last one. She is also pigging out and drinking in between naps. Her bum is messy but all her poops since this morning are well formed. Do you think we are out of the woods? Can I replace her with the flock tonight or should i wait for her to pass a normal egg? View attachment 2600777
No you are not out of the woods...
there is a reason she's laying these type eggs and there may not be anything you can do about it but there may be something you can do.
The easiest thing to change immediately is to make sure she gets a complete diet.
 

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