My partridge rock pullet, Misty, is dying - Update 6/30

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by sharol, May 14, 2011.

  1. sharol

    sharol Chillin' With My Peeps

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    edited for date

    Misty has always had laying problems. She lays 2 softshelled eggs from the roost followed by a huge double yolker about every 2 weeks. I don't think she has ever laid a normal egg.

    Over the last few days, she has become more and more lethargic. She is the bottom chicken in the pecking order, but no one actually picks on her. When they are out in the yard, she usually is with the group (out on the fringes), but now she goes over to the fence and sits there in one spot with her beak pointed away from the yard. I just found her on the lower roost in the coop (no one ever uses that one to sleep) while the rest of the flock was in the run. She even let me pet her (very unusual for her). I've been giving her separate treats the last couple of days, and she is eating the cottage cheese and tomatoes I have given her. She seems to be eating and drinking, but is very low energy.

    I suspect she has been laying internally. There doesn't seem to be anything blocking the vent, nor are there any hard spots in her abdomen or immediately below the vent, but her abdominal cavity looks bloated. I have known for some time she wouldn't probably live very long, but it is still hard to accept. She doesn't seem to be in any pain, but how do you tell? I haven't been able to catch her pooping, so I don't know if her droppings are normal.

    I just had to share my sadness with people who would understand. She is one of my first 7 chickens, and I will hate to lose her.

    [​IMG]
    Misty, the Partridge Rock -- Picture taken in December, she is now 10 months old
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2011
  2. 4-H chicken mom

    4-H chicken mom Overrun With Chickens

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    Try putting some vitamins and electrolytes in the water. It may give her a little pick me up. You could also put her in a cage with her food and water and cover in so that she is in total darkness for the majority of the day. It will stop her from laying eggs. Maybe she could use a break from developing eggs and help her heal internally. That's all I can think of at this point. Good luck with Misty
     
  3. Miyashi

    Miyashi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]
    Good luck!
    I hope everything turns out okay. [​IMG]
     
  4. sharol

    sharol Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Update: this morning she seems to have an egg moving into position. There is a hard lump below and forward (toward her chest) from the vent. She is quite lethargic. I may be mistaken about the internal laying. There was no poop under the roost where she went to sleep last night nor on the floor where I found her this morning.

    What I have done: I gave her electrolytes and a scrambled egg. I put her in a large dog carrier with a heating pad under one end of the carrier. She has access to electrolyte water (unflavored pedialyte) and food, but she isn't interested in either. The dog carrier has 1/2" feet, so the heating pad is not tight against the bottom, but it seems to be radiating some heat. I covered all but the door of the carrier and darkened the part of the room (mudroom) that she is in. I have babies at the other end of the room in a brooder, so it can't be completely dark. I"ll cover the door with a towel when we leave, I just don't want her to get too hot.

    She is chirping quietly -- almost a moan -- occasionally.

    I have to be gone for 6-8 hours today, so I don't know what I will find when I get home. I am hopeful that she will pass that egg. She lays HUGE double yolkers every so often, so I'm sure that is what is in there. If it can't pass, is there anything I can do to help her? She isn't particularly friendly, but this morning when I picked her up to bring her in, she didn't struggle at all and seemed to relax in my arms. Not a good sign at all, I suspect.
     
  5. Chickenaddict

    Chickenaddict Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aww poor girl [​IMG] I have lost my fair share of hens to internal laying. Your hen sounds like she may be eggbound.You could try to soak her in a warm bath and gently massage her belly to try and work the egg out of there if she hasn't already laid it. Thats about the only thing I can tell you to try to comfort her a bit more. My little ee bantam hen has internal laying issues and as we speak her belly is sooo swollen she can hardly walk. I Tried everything for my little hen with no luck. I hope your girl pulls thru for you [​IMG]
     
  6. sharol

    sharol Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Update Monday, 5/16 Misty is still hanging on. There is clearly an egg blocking the ovaduct just ahead of the vent. She is pooping small amounts of bright green (starving). I've coaxed her to eat some scrambled egg and a bit of soaked crumble, but she isn't doing well. I gave her a warm soak this afternoon and tried to lubricate her vent with a bit of olive oil, but all that accomplished was getting her wet and oily. She was too weak to struggle when I used the dryer on her. She is in a large dog carrier with a heating pad under the area where she is sitting -- she seems too weak to stand for very long. She had egg and water and wet crumble, but she isn't interested in any of it. I gave her electrolyte water, but as far as I can tell, she hasn't drunk any of it at all.

    I wish there was a painless, kind way to euthanize her. I can't bring myself to behead her, and I don't have any other quick methods available. I feel so bad for her - just wasting away.
     
  7. poultrycrazy

    poultrycrazy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    :)
    Im so sorry, i would look up how to help an eggbound hen
     
  8. sharol

    sharol Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Misty seems better this morning. She was standing up when I went to check on her (in the dog crate in the garage) and she wolfed down some diced tomatoes. I have her outside in the garden, and she is actually moving around and investigating her surroundings.

    On the down side, I still don't know what the real problem was/is. I expected to find her dead 2 days ago, so this turn around has me baffled.

    Fact: she lays soft shelled eggs from the roost, That is all I really know. I thought I had it figured out with the double yolkers, but it turns out they weren't hers and there is another chicken laying soft shells (so I guess I have had 2 softshell layers all along which explains why I was finding 2 of them on occasion. She hasn't laid since I brought her in on Sunday. I'm not sure she has ever laid a normal egg.

    Fact: she isn't eating well (almost no mash, but she has eaten some turkey meat and tomatoes) and some water with ACV in it. I'm giving her polyvisol.

    Fact: she is actually walking for the first time in 3 or 4 days, and she flapped her way out of my arms this morning and jumped a couple of feet to the ground landing fairly well.

    The large lump in her abdomen/chest (just ahead of the vent) has dissapeared. When I checked her with olive oil and my finger, I couldn't reach an egg.

    Of course the other chickens are outraged at the "newcomer," so if she recovers (they attacked her as a group day before yesterday when I took her out to the yard), I'll have to figure out a way to reintegrate her into the flock.
     
  9. sharol

    sharol Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I lost Misty today. She had gotten better and then worse again. The flock had accepted her back, and she seemed to be thriving, but then the lump came back.

    Today I took her to our farm vet who will look at chickens. He said she either was laying internally or (more likely) had an abdominal tumor. She was wasting away and in considerable pain when she was walking, so I had him euthanize her. He charged me almost nothing for the service and reassured me that she was dying already. I stood there bawling, holding her as she died. He was very sweet and assured me that he knew she wasn't "just a chicken" but a friend.

    Rest in peace, tough little bird.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2011
  10. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I'm very sorry for your loss. She was beautiful.
     

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