My hen has egg bound symptoms but I can't feel an egg

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by mrsheimfarmsok, Apr 23, 2017.

  1. mrsheimfarmsok

    mrsheimfarmsok New Egg

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    Mar 11, 2017
    Covington Oklahoma
    My Amercauna hen appears egg bound. Walking like a penguin and swollen abdominal area. I've lubed up and put my pinky in her vent up to 2in and I don't feel an egg. I've massaged her abdomen and I don't feel an egg. I've soaked her in warm water with Epsom salts and put some preparation h in her vent. She did poop over night. She ate some grapes. What else can I do? I've read give her tums in a scrambled egg. I'm doing that next
     
  2. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

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    I am tagging along as I have one with similar symptoms. Eating and drinking fine but stopped laying about a week ago and has fluid in the abdomen and was a bit aloof the first few days but now is back to mingling like normal.
     
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  3. cmonkey

    cmonkey Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 13, 2015
    If you cannot feel an egg, she is not egg bound. The Shell Gland is only about 1-2 inches in, which is where the shell forms.

    When was the last egg received? Is she acting ok?

    From the sound of it (swollen abdomen), she might have egg yolk peritonitis, which has no cure unfortunately.
     
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  4. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

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    I just had a pullet die from egg yolk peritonitis a couple weeks ago. In my case, this hen does not seem to fit the symptoms, those I suppose the other did not either (no lethargy or loss of appetite, etc).
     
  5. mrsheimfarmsok

    mrsheimfarmsok New Egg

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    Mar 11, 2017
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    She's eating and drinking. Alert. Walking weird still. Like a penguin. No egg since I've separated her on Sat. Was thinking no egg because of stress? What is egg peritonitis ?
     
  6. cmonkey

    cmonkey Out Of The Brooder

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    Egg yolks go down the tube, essentially, and begin to become infected. A swollen underside, lethargy, lack of egg production are all symptoms. If your hen is eating and drinking fine and doesn't seem lethargic I would suspect something else.
     
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  7. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If she has a swollen abdomen then it is usually ascites (water belly), internal laying or a tumour. Egg binding will not produce a noticeably swollen abdomen.

    Ascites is the build up of fluid in the abdominal cavity and can be treated by draining the fluid out using a large gauge needle.... there is usually a pint or so by the time they are walking like a penguin. Draining it will give instant relief, but ascites is usually a symptom of a more serious underlying problem and will most likely reoccur and need further draining. Quality of life can be good in the interim period though.

    Internal laying is where eggs are released from the ovary but fail to travel into the oviduct and instead drop into the abdominal cavity. The eggs are relatively small at that point as there is no egg white or shell but if the hen continues to ovulate regularly, the egg yolks build up in the abdomen and partially cook with the heat of the hens body. Egg yolk peritonitis is when that mass of eggs in the abdomen becomes infected. Hens can go months (I had one recently that lasted 9 months from me discovering there was a problem to succumbing and she walked like a penguin for most of that time, although the period over winter when she stopped ovulating helped slow down the process for several of those months). There is no cure for internal laying, however if it becomes infected (egg yolk peritonitis) antibiotics will give short term relief from the more serious symptoms, but it is probably not in the best interests of the bird to prolong life when there is no hope of her getting better.

    Chickens are also quite prone to tumours and cists for which there is no effective treatment.

    The long term prognosis for your chicken with a swollen belly and penguin walk is therefore not good and you may need to make a difficult decision in the near future. Personally I don't euthanize until quality of life is not sustainable but others believe a quick death whilst the bird is in relatively good health is better than letting them deteriorate when there is ultimately no hope.

    I'm sorry not to be able to offer you much in the way of positive treatment options in this case. Good luck whatever you decide.

    Regards

    Barbara
     
  8. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

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    This is what I was afraid of, but chickens are so good at hiding their discomfort I'm not sure how to determine when to make that decision.

    I'll have to look up some tips on draining the fluid.
     
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  9. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If they are still enthusiastic about food, then I use that as my litmus test. If I know they have something terminal and they go off their food, then for me that is the time to end it for them. Sometimes they will pretend to eat though so as not to appear sick. I have seen a poorly hen peck the ground next to a grain of scratch or repeatedly pick it up and drop it, whilst the others are foraging around her, so you have to watch them quite closely.

    If you are going to drain a hen with ascites yourself, make sure to cleanse the site thoroughly with a good anti bacterial, before and after you insert the needle. The liquid will usually flow out just from the internal pressure, without having to be drawn off with a syringe. You will need to keep the site clean and check it regularly for seepage afterwards though.
     
  10. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

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    Is it better to let it seep or put something like liquid bandage on it?

    Good advice on signs of when to euthanize.
     

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