thought egg bound, not sure - could she be contagious?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by 8littlechickens, Mar 9, 2011.

  1. 8littlechickens

    8littlechickens In the Brooder

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    Apr 20, 2010
    I have an almost 2 year old Buckeye hen who's got something going on with her, not sure what - this is my first sick hen. I thought at first she might be egg bound, not sure now. I had separated her, but since she's been acting better yesterday and today, I'd like to let her get back to the coop (I only have a pretty small box to keep her in separated), but I'm concerned about if she could be contagious. So, here is what happened/what I've noticed and what I've done. Any help would be much appreciated!!

    Monday morning when I went out to feed/collect eggs she was walking really funny - like a duck, her butt all low down and it was obviously very hard for her and just overall she did not look well. I had noticed one of the Buckeyes (we have two) looking a little off, off and on for maybe the week before - nothing really obvious so I wasn't sure - just sort of standing around more than the others. Anyway, so I brought her in, looked up on here and it seemed like egg bound was a good bet. So I let her soak a couple times Monday and kept her separated. She was eating some, but not a lot, and pooping some. Tuesday she was doing better. 2 more soaks (sort of, she wouldn't get down in the water), and she was standing normally and walking around a bit - looking overall a bit better. Today the same. She still pooping (though it looks pretty watery) and eating some. Monday when I took her out of the bath, I tried to get a look at her belly and it was red (from the warm water?) and felt kind of squishy, but that's the first time I think I really felt a hen's belly... Didn't feel any egg, but not confident I'd know it. Yesterday when she was preening after a bath, I noticed a fleshy growth on her back just above the tail feathers that she was picking at. She hasn't laid since she's been separated, and I have no way of knowing how long it's been since she has, since we have another Buckeye & other light brown egg layers... Thoughts? Thanks!
     
  2. LizD360

    LizD360 In the Brooder

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    Jun 15, 2010
    Sanford, FL
    I think the "fleshy growth above her tail feathers" is her oil gland. They rub their beaks on it to condition the feathers as they preen.
    I'm not sure about her other symptoms- I'm still a newbie myself.

    Hope she's better soon!
     
  3. Terri O

    Terri O Crowing

    At that age sometimes I have found they become "internal layers." I have also had some with ascites (fluid build up in the abdomen) that I have had to drain off. With the warm soaks you may have made her feel more comfortable. If she is getting around I would get her back with the flock ASAP. This wouldnt be a contagious thing unless she is sneezing and has a runny nose too. Keep an eye on her though....good luck! Terri O
     
  4. 8littlechickens

    8littlechickens In the Brooder

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    Apr 20, 2010
    Thanks for the replies!

    Is there any way to tell for sure if she's laying internally? If she is, is there anything we can do for her, or is it just a matter of time?

    For ascites, is there any way to tell for sure that's what it is without taking her to a vet?

    I don't mean to sound heartless about this, but she's part of a laying flock - we're a small farm and don't know that we can afford vet bills for a layer who's nearing the end of her productive life anyway. I want to care for her as best I can, though, if there is anything I could be doing for her here. Or to know at what point it might be kinder to put her down if it's something which can't be healed.
     
  5. Terri O

    Terri O Crowing

    As far as I know there is not a way to "heal" it if they have it. My ascites hen I drained a few times and she melted into the rest of the flock when she lost her twist-tie band! I did have one that was dead one morning--it could have been her. As for internal laying they just seem to get sicker and sicker and need to be culled. They are not productive any more. If it is eggbound they can be good again for a little while until it happens all over again.
    Sorry to be so dismal...I totally understand about the vet bills. THere are those on here that can afford to have a hen "spayed" unfortunately I cannot! I would just try to keep an eye on her (it's always the favorite!) and then do what you have to do! [​IMG]
    T
     

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