soft shelled eggs, lethargic, egg yolk peritonitis?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by frannyglass, Feb 25, 2015.

  1. frannyglass

    frannyglass Out Of The Brooder

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    May 30, 2014
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    Hi. I've had my 24 week old speckled Sussex inside for the past week because she was not handling the extreme cold we've been having in Pennsylvania. She'd seemed to make a complete recovery and then yesterday morning I found what I eventually realized to be the remains of a soft shelled egg that she'd pecked at. I was not terribly worried at first because I read that this is not uncommon with first egg layers (she had never laid before) and also can happen in times of stress, and she's been sick and moved inside recently.

    Yesterday she was eating, drinking, and pooping normally.

    This morning she seemed much quieter than normal, eventually seeming almost lethargic. At first her poo was normal, but eventually she started this:

    [​IMG]


    Within half an hour of doing that a few times, she went into her makeshift nesting box and laid this:
    [​IMG]

    Since then she is still acting very lethargic and unwell (falling asleep standing up which she never does unless sick) and has had a bit to drink but will not eat. Her stomach and vent area feel normal. She has access to oyster shell at all times.

    Please, do you know if this is normal or is something wrong and what can I do?
     
  2. MrsBrooke

    MrsBrooke Chillin' With My Peeps

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    For the soft shells, you might want to treat her with some liquid calcium carbonate supplement. I believe @Eggcessive might know the dosage for that. :)

    Have you wormed your flock lately?

    MrsB
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2015
  3. frannyglass

    frannyglass Out Of The Brooder

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    central PA
    Olive was wormed in November, but not since. I haven't seen any signs of them in my flock. Do you think it could be 2 separate issues? I have wazine and ivermectin.

    I guess what is particularly worrying me as well is that the soft shells seem to be BESIDE the egg rather than still on it. do you think they are just so soft that they fall off as soon as they hit anything?

    Sorry, I've never dealt with soft shells before and she just seems so ill so fast.

    Do they have calcium carbonate supplement at the feed store?

    Thank you!
    Meagan
     
  4. MrsBrooke

    MrsBrooke Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They should have it, yes. It may not say it's for chickens, but a calcium carbonate supplement for cattle or goats can be used on chickens... Just a different dosage.

    Has she EVER laid an egg with a decent shell? Or has this been happening since day one?

    That poop picture looks to me like she could be passing egg material without a shell at all. I hope someone with more experience in this area comes along.

    Sorry I'm no more help than that. :/

    MrsB
     
  5. frannyglass

    frannyglass Out Of The Brooder

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    May 30, 2014
    central PA
    No, her very first egg was yesterday and was the same as this one, although she got to it before I realized what had happened and ate most of the yolk? I also didn't see that much shell yesterday so I'm worried about egg yolk peritonitis. I wasn't worried yesterday as she was behaving and functioning normally.
     
  6. MrsBrooke

    MrsBrooke Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I didn't want to utter the words EYP, but it's possible...

    If that's the case, there's not really a treatment for it. It's caused when E. coli goes backwards in the oviduct (if I understand correctly) and causes an infection.

    I would call your vet and let them know you're going to drop off a fecal sample. They will send it to a lab to confirm the infection. This shouldn't cost too much and absolutely should be done if you suspect EYP. It's contagious.

    Here is some information I found on here regarding E. coli infection/EYP:

    Symptoms include but are not limited to: Lethargic, not eating/drinking, listlessness, leading to the inability to stand or walk/roost, greenish/yellowish watery diarrhea. The green diarrhea is from not eating, most likely bile. The chicken's health declines further until death.

    It is SUPER important that their water stays clean and fresh... E. coli can infect your other birds through the water they all drink, so you'll need to confirm a diagnosis to know how to move forward. I'm glad this chicken was separated due to cold... PLEASE keep her separate from your flock and practice good biosecurity. Do your main flock first, and handle her last. Always wash your hands before and after being around her. I know you will, I just have to say it for my own peace of mind. :)

    I would recommend adding *unactivated* Oxine to their drinking water. It kills pretty much everything (bacteria AND viruses!), but is safe for poultry to drink and has no withdrawal period. You can get it on Amazon and have it delivered to your door. :) A gallon will last you a while, unless you have 1,000 chickens.

    Keep us updated. [​IMG]

    MrsB
     
  7. frannyglass

    frannyglass Out Of The Brooder

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    central PA
    Ahh, she got very sick that day and then I hadn't been on, sorry.

    I managed to get her in at the vet the next day (not always possible as there is only one in my area that knows anything about chickens) and she doesn't have EYP. The vet doesn't believe that her soft shelled eggs are making her sick, but that her sickness was probably making her shells soft. She has a heart murmur and is weak to infections, unfortunately. (she's been into the vets before) She's on antibiotics. Thus far she is still laying soft shelled eggs, but is acting very well. It IS possible, since she has other genetic issues, that she won't be able to lay hard shelled eggs. Obviously I am hoping that is not the case, but it hasn't been long enough to know if that what is happening and to figure out what can be done about it. She's on extra calcium that the vet recommended as well.

    I think EYP is caused by yolk being in the abdominal cavity? I was worried about it specifically because of how soft shelled her eggs were, I thought maybe the yolk hadn't exited properly? They shouldn't get it from water or contaminates, it is caused internally, if we are talking about the same thing? I think e.coli infections can act similar but are different? And it shouldn't be contagious, if it is caused by the yolk?

    But yes, I clean out the waterers frequently, and she had been removed from the flock almost two weeks before she laid a soft shelled egg and since I wasn't sure why she wasn't well I was careful about biosecurity, no worries. They're all doing well. Olive actually seems to be doing well, other than the shell issue. Just getting a bit bored and demanding of attention. [​IMG]
     
  8. MrsBrooke

    MrsBrooke Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It sounds like you're doing all the right things. :) I hope the calcium supplement helps.

    MrsB
     

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