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soft shells and watery poop

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by coldinnh, Dec 26, 2010.

  1. coldinnh

    coldinnh Songster

    May 13, 2010
    ) What type of bird , age and weight. Leghorn female about 6 mos
    2) What is the behavior, exactly. gets lethargic, puffy and 'depressed' while pushing at something - won't use nest box or lay down, and winds up passing a soft shell egg
    3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms? noted a couple wks ago for a couple days (not sure same girl have 6 leghorn) then this one past couple days
    4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms? no
    5) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma. no - felt around belly looking for hard mss (eggbound) no luck felt crop squishy and gritty, she 'burped' a couple times while I massaged it until 'empty' on Xmas eve- was up and running about the past two days
    6) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation.
    7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all. yes, to eating - had melon today
    8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc. WATERY!!
    9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far? avc in water with electrolytes and vitamins, massage of crop and belly (she liked the belly rub too)
    10 ) 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? would like to treat at home before taking to vet
    11) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help. no pics
    12) Describe the housing/bedding- has access during day to run, bedding in roost and 'house' are mixture of leaves and shavings, did free range a couple days ago ,

    they do get treats of left overs veg (limit to meats) and cooked eggs. SHe seems fine a short while after passing a soft shell egg. Up and running about, pecking looking for food today

    Does she has a light blockage somewhere, just one of those things?

  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    Have her eggs always been soft-shelled? Soft-shelled eggs are very difficult to expel from the body because the body has no hard surface to push against, so the egg sticks and is hard on a bird to push out. These eggs are usually just a glitch in the plumbing, but sometimes they are as a result of a defective egg gland. If she is laying just soft-shelled eggs then it is likely a problem that cannot be resolved. If she is laying both hard and soft eggs then I would be looking at her nutrition. Offering free choice oyster shell is a good way for birds to get enough calcium in their diet to build strong egg shells.

    Veggies and scraps from your kitchen are a great treat, but in too large quantities they can result in health problems. Poultry food formulas are specially created to give your birds the exact nutrition that they require. Scraps can be treats, but they should be just that- treats. Something to look forward to on special occasions. Not an every day thing. Feeding scraps everyday leads to birds not eating their regular feed, which can lead to GI disturbances (diarrhea, liver disease) and poor nutrition. I'd be cutting out the vegetables for a while until the watery poops stop. Keep up with the ACV and maybe add a bit of yogurt to their regimen to build up some healthful GI bugs. Make sure the birds have access to grit this time of year because with the snow they may not be getting as much as they need. Oyster shells do not qualify as grit (too soft).

    Hope this helps. Good luck.
  3. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    I had a brahma hen about the same age that seemed to be having her share of soft shelled eggs also, I just made sure she had plenty of oyster shell for the extra calcium she needed and she finally got it worked out. She lays beautiful large eggs now.
  4. Judy

    Judy Crowing Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    There is also a calcium supplement you can add to water for a calcium boost, more than the oyster shell.. Afraid that's all I know about it.
  5. elizabethbinary

    elizabethbinary Songster

    Mar 22, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    If it's not calcium, please watch out. I had a hen who would lay funny eggs all the time and it turned out she had this weird illness that resulted in her eggs getting infected and impacted. I forgot what the illness was called but antibiotics wouldn't hurt right now.
  6. coldinnh

    coldinnh Songster

    May 13, 2010
    I do want to treat with antibiotics unless I have to- my girls are all natural and free ranged on organic pastures. Hard to know if she also lays hard shells as she is almost identical to a couple others - but think that she has passes a LARGE egg then a soft shell from what I have found in nest boxes and 'catching her' after a lay.
    But the soft squishy crop may not be related or I am be overly cautious?
    I give vegg as the grass is snowed on - forgot about the grit in the winter - was asking hubby to pick up sand as the grpund is frozen and they can't dustbathe.

    Thanks and I will try and solve a couple questions by watching her laying - I offer oyster shells ad lib, and am giving grower feed as I read on here soemwhere that the chooks might need higher protein in the winter. Been darn cold - just getting first taste of snow now.
  7. Melora

    Melora Hatching

    Dec 26, 2010
    One of mine sounds exactly like this, well, *past tense.* It's been a while since she did it, but I'm interested in the advice you get.
    She's a really normal sized Rhode Island Red (as far as I know at least; she was the "mystery chick" *shrigs*) Right around 6 months she laid a soft shelled egg, that was really like a flat see-through lizard/snake egg. She also had watery poops. The first time she did it, I didn't worry much, just noted it, because she seemed otherwise very healthy and with a great appetite. Then a few weeks later (2-3?) she did it again. Right around the second time (I can't remember if it was just before or just after) she laid a giant egg. It looked like a goose egg. It wouldn't even fit in a carton. She alternated between huge eggs and goo eggs for a short time. I upped her calcium and grit (Because they were the same product. I hand fed her so I knew she'd get what she wanted, she's kind of timid when it came to eating around the others) and I just haven't seen the problem again. Once I changed her layer's feed to organic, she stopped laying the giant eggs too. (Also, winter started to hit at about the same time, and the days were getting really short. That could have also been it.) I've also noticed that she's always drinking. Maybe twice as much as the other girls. (I only have 3, so it's easy to observe them) Also, only a day or two before the first goo egg, I was still feeding her growers. I also gave them super worms for the extra protein. (Not meal worms, those things are like feeding your pet cardboard. I have lizards, so it's the same stop for me. Crickets are a great lean protein. Super worms are a little fatty in comparison. If you have a bunch, it could get expensive to do that though)

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