question /not emergency/egg bound?

realsis

Crazy for Silkies
7 Years
Jan 17, 2013
3,968
375
263
California
yesterday morning I came in to find my pullet laying down breathing really heavy. she had her head down and her mouth open. she kept in squatting position when I went to check her. she struggled like this for about an hour then she passed an egg and was fine. why do you suppose she was having so much trouble passing the egg? is there anything I can do to help her like with feed ect? here is some history on her when I had bought her she had just came into lay for the first time. she was 6 months old and laid one egg just before I bought her from the breeder. when I took her home within the next couple of days she laid her next egg (assuming it was already in her oviduct] then she stopped laying because of being in a new place and I expected this. she was off her lay for about a month. then yesterday is when I found her like I described. is this normal for pullets to have a difficult time when they first come into lay.? the last egg before she had no trouble laying. this one really scared me.if you could have seen her all crumpled up breathing heavy head tucked down.. what do you supposed was the problem? have you seen this before? was she slightly egg bound? is there anything I can do to help? the egg looked perfect once laid. a little larger than her last. could that have been the issue? she is a silkie if that matters. after she passed the egg she was just fine.. does this sometimes just happen ? thank you for your opinions. I hope this doesn't mean she will have a tendency to get bound?
 

dawg53

Humble
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Nov 27, 2008
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Glen St Mary, Florida
Yes, she was eggbound and fortunately able to lay the egg. When birds first start out laying eggs, it takes time for their innards to get used to laying, it's new to their system and it will adjust accordingly. Most of the time there arnt problems, but sometimes there are. Give her time and she'll be laying eggs normally.
If she ever lays a softshell egg and you see yolk, the concern would be bacterial infection inside her. In that case you'd want to flush inside her vent using a white vinegar/water mixture, like a douche to prevent an infection.
 

realsis

Crazy for Silkies
7 Years
Jan 17, 2013
3,968
375
263
California
because my other birds are younger and I feed the whole flock together she is still on starter I've heard if you put the younger ones on layer too soon it will damage the kidney's
. the youngest will be 4 months this month. however I did buy her layer and try to feed her separately with oyster shell but it didn't work out too well. she wanted to be with the rest of the flock. but I do take her alone and give her oyster shell. do you think it would hurt the younger ones to switch to layer? I have a whole bag because I intended to feed her separately . should I try harder to just feed her separately or just switch everyone to layer? will it hurt the young ones? what do you think? thank you kindly for helping me!
 

realsis

Crazy for Silkies
7 Years
Jan 17, 2013
3,968
375
263
California
Yes, she was eggbound and fortunately able to lay the egg. When birds first start out laying eggs, it takes time for their innards to get used to laying, it's new to their system and it will adjust accordingly. Most of the time there arnt problems, but sometimes there are. Give her time and she'll be laying eggs normally.
If she ever lays a softshell egg and you see yolk, the concern would be bacterial infection inside her. In that case you'd want to flush inside her vent using a white vinegar/water mixture, like a douche to prevent an infection.
thank you so much for your reply! I thought she was egg bound with her heavy breathing and mouth open head down and tail bobbing...can I ask if it happens again how long should I allow her to remain in that condition without interceding? how long before I should try to help. yesterday I wanted to give her some time so I let her be for about an hour. but how long before I should step in to try and help? and would I start with a warm bath? and try to carefully feel for the egg? how do you help them pass the egg? I need to know incase it happens again. thank you so much for your help
 
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ChickensAreSweet

Heavenly Grains for Hens
9 Years
Jun 8, 2010
15,100
675
398
Pacific NW- where the Douglas Firs grow
because my other birds are younger and I feed the whole flock together she is still on starter I've heard if you put the younger ones on layer too soon it will damage the kidney's
. the youngest will be 4 months this month. however I did buy her layer and try to feed her separately with oyster shell but it didn't work out too well. she wanted to be with the rest of the flock. but I do take her alone and give her oyster shell. do you think it would hurt the younger ones to switch to layer? I have a whole bag because I intended to feed her separately . should I try harder to just feed her separately or just switch everyone to layer? will it hurt the young ones? what do you think? thank you kindly for helping me!

The higher the protein, the larger the egg. Teenage chickens (8 weeks and up to layer) should have around 17% protein to avoid reproductive problems, I have read. There are MANY people here who feed 20% protein to their layers and have no problems. However, since she is having problems I'd switch her over PRONTO to a lower protein mix. You can take her (unmedicated) chick starter and mix it with something like oats, wheat, millet, corn, or barley to bring down the protein level. The easiest thing to do is buy some scratch and mix it in. If you are starting with 20% chick starter protein and want to end up at 17% then my estimate is to take your 10% scratch and use it as follows:

2/3 of 20% protein chick starter
1/3 of scratch 10% protein

Make sure they are on green grass or have access to very short grass clippings to eat (or alfalfa or other greens) for vitamins, as you are also cutting the vitamin premix.

I feed this to my chickens!

I use organic chick starter and mix grains and seeds into it to aim for 15% protein. For the younger ones I give more chick starter. I also mix in oyster shells for the layers, but you can leave it on the side (I get soft shell eggs unless I mix it in). Grit on the ground or in the feed, too.

You can try this for awhile and see if it helps. For the long term, it is OK to be on unmedicated chick starter or Flock Raiser 20% protein, but I think it is best to cut the protein with free ranging on grass or other grains as it can be hard on the kidneys to get excess protein long-term. This is just my opinion.

So, in other words, others are doing what you are doing and don't have problems. Since your silkie is having problems passing her egg, I'd just be cautious with her protein and not go under 15% or over 17% for her.
 
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redrstr29

Songster
6 Years
Mar 19, 2013
882
33
123
I had almost the same problem, I think shell be just fine!!! Sometime over weight pullets havethis problem so switching her over to layer was a good idea, as far as the youngest ones (if i read correctly) are 4 months old, Layer feed can be started its reccommended for layer 16 weeks and older, you could do it gradually by cutting the fed 50/50 then lessen the starter and adding more layer until its all layer, I use layer crumble and grind the oyster shell in a blender and mixing it in, it works sooooo great and I haven't had any issues since.. Good luck I hope this helps and keep us posted

ALDO
 
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realsis

Crazy for Silkies
7 Years
Jan 17, 2013
3,968
375
263
California
The higher the protein, the larger the egg. Teenage chickens (8 weeks and up to layer) should have around 17% protein to avoid reproductive problems, I have read. There are MANY people here who feed 20% protein to their layers and have no problems. However, since she is having problems I'd switch her over PRONTO to a lower protein mix. You can take her (unmedicated) chick starter and mix it with something like oats, wheat, millet, corn, or barley to bring down the protein level. The easiest thing to do is buy some scratch and mix it in. If you are starting with 20% chick starter protein and want to end up at 17% then my estimate is to take your 10% scratch and use it as follows:

2/3 of 20% protein chick starter
1/3 of scratch 10% protein

Make sure they are on green grass or have access to very short grass clippings to eat (or alfalfa or other greens) for vitamins, as you are also cutting the vitamin premix. 

I feed this to my chickens!


I use organic chick starter and mix grains and seeds into it to aim for 15% protein. For the younger ones I give more chick starter. I also mix in oyster shells for the layers, but you can leave it on the side (I get soft shell eggs unless I mix it in). Grit on the ground or in the feed, too.

You can try this for awhile and see if it helps. For the long term, it is OK to be on unmedicated chick starter or Flock Raiser 20% protein, but I think it is best to cut the protein with free ranging on grass or other grains as it can be hard on the kidneys to get excess protein long-term. This is just my opinion. 

So, in other words, others are doing what you are doing and don't have problems. Since your silkie is having problems passing her egg, I'd just be cautious with her protein and not go under 15% or over 17% for her.
thank you kindly. yes that makes good since! I give them all access to a special pasture I planted called chicken omega 3 blend. it has about 12 different grasses. they mow it down so fast! I'll make sure to keep that plentiful for them too and do the change in feed. thank you so much
 
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dawg53

Humble
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Nov 27, 2008
27,709
13,984
886
Glen St Mary, Florida
Quote: It's a judgment call as when to intercede. I usually wait a couple of hours to intervene. I soak the hen in a container of warm water up to her sides and massage her underside for about 15-20 minutes. The warm water relaxes and expands her innards making the egg easier to pass through the oviduct. Massaging "helps her" move it along so to speak. This usually works. There have been a couple of times I've had to insert abit of olive oil inside the vent. The finger stretches her insides, while the olive oil makes it easier for her to lay the egg.
 
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