soft eggs for a month, internal laying/peritonitis? please assist

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by GoldenSilverLaced, Nov 24, 2009.

  1. GoldenSilverLaced

    GoldenSilverLaced Songster

    May 1, 2009
    East Central IL
    1) What type of bird , age and weight. Golden Buff (I think this is another name for a red sex link), 17 mo old, female, named Dunch
    2) What is the behavior, exactly. Dunch has been laying soft eggs for about a month now. She used to lay extra large eggs every day up until then, very regular and hard shelled. The girls have access to grit and oyster shell mixed into their feed (layer feed), as they ignore both when placed in separate cups. We upped the amount of oyster shell since she has been doing this, and gave them yogurt more often (several times a week), but it hasn't seemed to helped. Dunch acts lethargic sometimes and I noticed her waddling recently. After she lays the soft egg, she is fine and perky again. Today she laid two soft eggs, which worries me (the soft eggs before now were every few days). She did lay a single "hard" egg about 2 weeks ago. The soft eggs always appear "complete", not broken open when laid but just missing the shell.
    3) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma. No bleeding or other signs of trauma.
    4) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation. Dunch does not appear to be molting, although she's the right age for it. The weather is turning cooler here but it has been unseasonably warm for Nov. in IL (it was 60 again this weekend). She could be stressed, but I can't think of anything new that could have caused it.
    5) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all. She has been eating and drinking like normal. Foods include grit, oyster shell, layer feed, scratch (very minimal, just a small handful every other day), other misc treats (oatmeal, bread).
    6) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc. Poop looks normal.
    7) What has been the treatment you have administered so far? Just extra calcium/oyster shell
    8 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet? Whatever it takes to keep her happy and healthy and with us for a long time.
    10) Describe the housing/bedding in use The girls have a small coop with wood shavings on the bottom and a small outdoor run attached with shaving and leaves on the ground. They are transferred most days to a "travel cage" where they have access to grass. We change the position of the cage every day. They are let out to free range many days for 1-2 hours.

    I searched on the forums and I read of feeding a mash to the affected chicken, consisting of milk, layer crumbles, yogurt, probiotic, and crushed calcium pills. I also read that ACV in the water may help, or antibiotics. I'm just not sure what is wrong, if this is just a "phase", or internal laying or peritonitis , especially since the extra calcium doesn't appear to help and considering that she appears "better" after laying. Dunch doesn't appear to have the other symptoms for either of these illnesses, does anyone think otherwise?

    I also don't want her to injure her muscles trying to lay soft eggs. Could this problem also be due to other vitamin deficiencies like D3 and E? Should I supplement vitamins by droplet or in the water? If so, what kind?

    Unfortunately we are leaving town tomorrow and returning on Monday. The pet sitter was informed about the soft eggs but since she laid 2 today I am concerned...I certainly don't want anything to happen to her while we are gone.

    Any advice or info would be greatly appreciated. I want to do whatever I can to make her better.

  2. CityClucks

    CityClucks The Center of a 50 Mile Radius

    Jan 31, 2009
    Tulsa, OK
    I don't have any advice except to do a search on this subject in the handy BYC Search box up there on the right. You did a fantastic job of describing the problem, so this post will hopefully give you a bump and someone with more knowledge will help you. Good luck!
  3. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Songster

    Sep 9, 2009
    Olympia, WA
    Not much help here either. Tums can be a good source of calcium for her if she's not interested in the oyster shell. Good luck, hope somebody who knows more comes along soon.
  4. lngrid

    lngrid Songster

    I hardly know anything about chickens, but I wonder if this might help you . I could be all wrong here, and I'm only posting on the off chance it might help. I hope everything turns out okay. You obviously are a caring bird owner.
  5. GoldenSilverLaced

    GoldenSilverLaced Songster

    May 1, 2009
    East Central IL
    EDS sounds more plausible, symptom-wise, but how did she get it? I only have the two girls, and this is our first-ever flock. Canadian geese do live in town, but I have never ever seen any by us or in our yard (or anyone's yard for that matter). Andwhy now? It was a very sudden onset with the eggs going from perfect to soft without any intermediates.

    Thank you all for your support and kind words, it is appreciated [​IMG]

    I did some more reading last night, and it seems to me that neither peritonitis or internal laying is the problem, based on Dunch's symptoms. I did find some vitamin D/calcium/magnesium vitamins (my own) that I will crush up and try in yogurt. Do chickens require vitamin D for proper calcium utilization in their bodies, like humans do? I would think so.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2009
  6. theFox

    theFox Songster

    Sep 21, 2009
    Standish, Maine
    Hens are also known for producing soft eggs when they are just starting to lay or are in the process of stopping production (rare, but it does occur), at 17 months given the season, it is possible that your hen has started her molt and or has been molting for a bit. During molt hens sometimes stop production (breed and hen dependent).

    You might try increasing both calcium (crushed unflavored Tums or equivalent) and protein. The protein increase is to help her through the molt (if she is molting).
  7. AmyBella

    AmyBella Songster

    May 26, 2009
    Western MA
    Yes, the problem could be caused by other deficiencies... I know that vitamin D is really important for calcium utilisation in people and chickens too! Vitamin K2 could also be a factor.

    One of my girls laid soft shelled eggs for awhile. She got bound up with them a couple of times. I would give her a tums, she would pass the egg and there would be some improvement, but the next week we would be back at square one with her looking bound and uncomfortable. This continued until I started giving her a special mash treat (much like yours, but with 4 drops of poly-vi-sol iron-free kid's vitamins added) every day. The shells gradually got harder and I tapered off the special mash and she has been fine. My girl was quite a bit younger than yours though.

    I'm sure that she will be OK! Enjoy your trip - you are doing all the right things to help her as far as I can tell!

  8. GoldenSilverLaced

    GoldenSilverLaced Songster

    May 1, 2009
    East Central IL
    I have seen Dunch lay a broken soft egg 2 days ago; her problem is still persisting despite all of our efforts (see below and on other's posted replies). Of course, I am leaving town again and am worried about her (why does this stuff always happen whenever I'm leaving town? They're fine the rest of the time...). Anyway, I saw her lay the broken soft egg; the white was leaking out first for a few minutes, then the yolk and soft membrane came out together. She is still acting fine and eating and running around, so she's not ill as far as I can tell. We have noticed that she shuns calcium now; refuses to eat oyster shell or yogurt. Has anyone else had this experience? We're going to grind up into a fine powder calcium/vit D/magnesium pills and sprinkle it all over their food and get some liquid calcium, but is there anything else I can do? I have searched the forums, but it seems that I have done/tried most of the suggestions.

    Thanks in advance.

  9. lizzie201296

    lizzie201296 In the Brooder

    May 16, 2010
    Hi, I was just searching for what could be wrong with my chicken - one is (we think) and internal layer, but is trooping on, but the other was laying fine, but then began laying soft shelled eggs, thinly shelled eggs or no eggs at all! We give them a liquid calcium supplement, yoghurt, and grit+oyster shell, but no improvement. She's molting at the moment, but this started quite a while before the molting. Could you tell me what happened to your hen? Did you find a 'cure'?

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