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Walks like she is egg bound, but she just finished molting and isn't laying...

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by MamaJillian, Dec 22, 2014.

  1. MamaJillian

    MamaJillian Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 30, 2012
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    Hi,
    My 2.5 year old New Hampshire Red is just coming out of a molt. Her comb is still a dull pink, not the vibrant red is normally is when she's laying. There is something obviously wrong with her because she is walking funny. Her bottom hangs down, kind of like a penguin. She is out and about, eats and poops (it's watery), hangs out with the other chickens, but she is hunched up and obviously uncomfortable.

    A few months ago she was acting similar (without the penguin stance), so I wormed her and gave her a lot of grit. Whatever it was cleared up and she was back to being fine before she molted.

    I picked her up today and her crop was a normal size, but I could feel her breastbone, or whatever the horizontal bone in the front is, and she spread her legs wide apart and did not want me to pick her up! I put her down immediately. Today her feathers on her rear end are dirty.

    Any ideas? Thank you!
     
  2. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    I would certainly examine her for an impacted egg. Use a lubricant. If there's a stuck egg there, you may have to unstick it, or maybe try warm water bath.
     
  3. windwalkingwolf

    windwalkingwolf Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 13, 2011
    Eastern Ontario, Canada
    It sounds like she may have vent gleet, which is analogous to a yeast infection in humans. If it's widespread, e.g. in her intestines, it will not only be very uncomfortable for her, but also threaten her life since she won't feel like eating, and can't properly absorb food. You're going to have to thoroughly wash her behind and have a good look.
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    I would do some reading on internal laying, egg yolk peritonitis, and salpingitis, which are reproductive disorders that may cause the penguin walk, weight loss, and diarrhea. You may notice droppings that can vary, but some may look like cooked egg.
     
  5. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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  6. MamaJillian

    MamaJillian Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 30, 2012
    New York
    Thank you so much for the replies. This morning I went out with the intention of giving her some water with electrolytes, some calcium mixed into yogurt and I was going to check her vent for an egg. I found her looking worse than ever. She wasn't interested in the food and water and couldn't even open her eyes. She had at least moved out of the coop in the morning, so I knew she had been mobile this morning, but she looked bad. I took her inside for a warm water bath. She sat in it happily and soon I discovered that she was infested with northern fowl mites. They were crawling everywhere and were all over the two of us!

    I was surprised about the mites because I had them a few years ago and at that time ALL my chickens got them and they were in the coop and nest boxes. I do spot checks for them these days and haven't seen any. Ruby is my only chicken that has them right now. I am guessing she got them because of something else that's wrong with her and she is more susceptible to them?

    Anyway, the mites were so bad that I had to deal with that situation before I could do anything else. They were crawling up my arms. I dusted her with permethrin and put her in a crate on my enclosed porch. She has been there all day and she's not looking good.

    I will give an update tomorrow.
    I am also deep cleaning my coop tomorrow! A fun way to spend Christmas Eve :)
     
  7. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    Also check her lower abdomen, like from between the legs on back...see if she feels bloated or swollen in that area. Ascites can be caused by the things Eggcessive noted and other problems as well but can cause them to walk as you described.
     
  8. MamaJillian

    MamaJillian Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 30, 2012
    New York
    Hi, I just want to post an update on Ruby. She died during the night. I did not do a necropsy, but I did do a physical exam. With my limited knowledge of internal laying (I have read a lot about it but have never seen it), I would say that was what had happened to her. She didn't have a lot of fat/muscle on her breast, but her abdomen was full and even palpable when she was in rigor.

    If I had realized it sooner, I would have increased her calcium and taken some other action. I have much keener eyes now!

    I am still so puzzled about how she was infested with mites, and my 14 other chickens are not. I checked them all tonight while they slept and they don't have any. I am still going to clean and disinfect the coop as a preventative measure, but the fact that Ruby had so many while the others have none is really puzzling.

    Thank you for your help!
     
  9. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    So sorry for your loss. Chickens can help themselves avoiding lice and mites by dust bathing. It's just a thought, but maybe she wasn't dust-bathing, and the mites overwhelmed her.
     
  10. MamaJillian

    MamaJillian Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 30, 2012
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    Good thinking Eggcessive. Thanks for your help in figuring this out.
     

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