Soft shelled egg and crop not emptying? Stress?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by RumneyRoost, May 20, 2019.

  1. RumneyRoost

    RumneyRoost Chirping

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    My one year old cream legbar has been my best layer this spring. She has rarely, if ever missed a day in the last couple months. No supplemental light, they get a 16% grower with oyster shell on the side since I've also got some young chicks/pullets.
    Her shells aren't quite as hard as the others, but they've never been brittle.

    Last week I found a shell-less egg on the poop board where she roosts, she never missed laying a regular egg though so I wasn't convinced it was actually her.

    This morning she wouldn't come out of the coop, but everyone was acting weird. A few minutes later coyotes started up right behind us, loud and close, so I locked the dog back up and went out with a shovel and yelled at them. They went on for about 20 minutes, I'm guessing they must have a den close by. Wondering if the coyotes were around all night disturbing the girls.

    Anyway, the legbar also had a full squishy crop, feels like a balloon, it didn't appear to empty much overnight. It doesn't smell...yet. I decided to separate her to keep her from eating and when I picked her up a soft shelled egg fell out of her. I put her in the garage in a dark, quiet spot. It feels like there's another egg when I palpate her abdomen, but it doesn't feel hard. I gave her a calcium + D3 but her crop still isn't emptying. She hasn't gone poo in about 4 hours now.

    Any suggestions? At this point I feel that my options are to wait for her to pass what I think is an egg, or attempt to treat the crop issue. I'm hesitant to try a warm bath as she typically doesn't like to be handled, so it's obvious that she isn't feeling well right now.
     
  2. RumneyRoost

    RumneyRoost Chirping

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    I just checked on her and she had two small poops, a mix of liquid and solid, normal brown colour. My wifi is too slow to upload a picture right now. It smelled pretty bad. I did notice that she's been eating a lot of tiny little snails though.

    I can still palpate what I think is an egg. She's standing up though so I'm wondering if it's soft and she doesn't feel like she needs to lay it.

    Crop is still full of liquid, I keep massaging it, hopefully since she went poo things will start moving again.
     
  3. BugStalker

    BugStalker Songster

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  4. BugStalker

    BugStalker Songster

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    Internal parasites can sometimes cause things like this, by interfering with digestion.

    It sounds like an organ problem (liver, heart, reproductive, possibly a growth) could be the cause, but they typically have fluid buildup, or "bloat" with these. There are some treatments, with widely varying success and cost.
     
  5. BugStalker

    BugStalker Songster

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    I had a hen with similar calcium problems. She had calcium deposits inside, along her intestines, instead of using it for egg shells. Vitamin C seemed to help that a bit, but I didn't try it long enough to really know for sure.
     
  6. RumneyRoost

    RumneyRoost Chirping

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    What’s the theory behind the Vit C and magnesium?

    Her abdomen itself feels fine in the sense that there isn’t ascites. I can just feel an egg shaped mass, it just doesn’t feel like it has a shell. I can cup it with my hand between her back legs.

    There’s no impaction in her crop itself, but obviously I can’t rule out an impaction further down the GI tract. Something is wonky though since her crop isn’t emptying. It’s been 6 hours since I found her this morning.
     
  7. BugStalker

    BugStalker Songster

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    The magnesium helps provide energy to the digestive system, as well as the egg-laying system. (Calcium can possibly slow digestion.) I like to use a complex, Epsom salt can be on the harsh side. I'm not sure what Vitamin C is supposed to do, exactly, but I'd use it again for a hen that was having calcium problems.

    Stress can cause problems. It could be she got stressed out and released a yolk internally, for instance (Reverse peristalsis) which isn't usually a big problem if it doesn't continue, but can make them sick until the yolk dissolves.

    I'm not sure if the mass is an egg or impaction or something else. If it is under the vent, it isn't usually an egg, unless it was released internally.
     
  8. BugStalker

    BugStalker Songster

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    @Wyorp Rock would know more about internal laying, in case that's what this is.
     
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  9. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

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    I would just give calcium with the vitamin D3. A human calcium tablet, Tums, finely crushed eggs shell plus a little cooked egg yolk are good sources to give for 3-5 days to see if the shells harden. Hens can have shell gland problems for various reasons, such as respiratory viruses, injuries, stress, and infection. Hopefully, this is just something temporary. If a shell-less egg breaks inside, there can be a good medium for infection to spread upward to the oviduct.

    I would not worry much about the puffy crop, since many hens who are having this problem can experience a slow to empty crop. She may be more stressed away from her flock, so if it is possible, you could keep her with the other chickens.
     
  10. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

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    upload_2019-5-20_12-57-30.jpeg
    Here is a good diagram of the reproductive and other organs.
     
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