What are the symptoms of being egg bound?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by FingerLakesChick, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. FingerLakesChick

    FingerLakesChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My 20 month old hen, June, is sick. Two days ago I noticed she was acting unusual. She is normally very obnoxious and energetic, but that day she was quite lethargic - which is totally unlike her. Upon examination, I saw that her vent was very swolen and protuding out of her and it had pieces of egg shell hanging out. I did the best I could at removing each and every shell fragment and her swolen vent did go back inside of her. I figured she would be sore for a day or two so I've been keeping a close eye on her. This morning she is still quite lethargic and still shows no interest in any treats or eating. She doesn't seem to be losing any weight (yet). But she is definately not right.

    I've read about the treatment of being egg bound, but I want to be sure that's what we're dealing with before I try any of those treatments.

    Here are some other symptoms: She is sort of hunched up and there's a gape or part where her vent is. She does NOT keep visiting the nesting boxes like she feels the need to lay (as far as I can tell). Her stance is wide (not like the other hens whose legs seem close together). Her vent actually looks good and I can see some lubrication in there. I can't feel any egg shape in her abdomen, but it does seem larger than normal and is hard. Also I think she is the layer of the gigantic eggs that we get sometimes, so I'm wondering if this has become a problem for her?

    My chickens have access to oyster shell 24/7 and they're fed egg producer (extra protien). They're not free-ranging right now as they don't like the snow, but they get plently of greens everyday (spinach) and a couple apples to peck at. They also get sunflower seeds and a touch of scratch each day. Their coop is spotless and dry and they have a heater. I'm obsessive about taking care of them and they have a palace to live in, so I'm pretty sure I'm not dealing with disease.

    If anyone has any advice I would be so grateful. I'm willing to bring her in to the house and do anything to help her - I just want to make sure I'm on the right track. I just love her. [​IMG]
     
  2. FingerLakesChick

    FingerLakesChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 14, 2007
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    I'm treating her as if she is egg bound. I gave her a warm bath for about a half hour in front of our wood stove and set up a make shift hospital also in front of the wood stove. She didn't mind the bath at all and she even let me dry her with my hair dryer. She's in the basement where it's quiet and warm now. I had to get back to work but will be able to go home again shortly to check on her again. She will not eat. I gave her a little bit of shredded cheese (her favorite) and she will not touch it. I'll have to get an eye dropper from the pharmacy today to make her take a few sips of something. I'll put a little bit of pedialyte in her water. I don't know what else I can do for her? Anyone??? [​IMG]
     
  3. jforsness

    jforsness Chillin' With My Peeps

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  4. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    OH, goodness. I read your post earlier and wished I had something to say...I don't know much about this issue.

    However, I've never been able to use an eye dropper successfully. Get a syringe from the pharmacy. Mine will give them for free. It's VERY important for her to keep up her strength to be able to be strong from this. You might consider getting some baby bird handfeeding formula; you can get it in the bird section of most pet stores. It's a powder that you mix up with warm water. I would offer that to her, and if she doesn't eat any on her own, squirt small amounts into her mouth. You need to keep these feedings up several times a day to make sure she gets as much as possible. Hopefully, she'll begin to perk up and will begin eating on her own - it's SO much easier to handle an illness when they are eating and drinking!

    Edited to ask: what breed is she? I've heard that this is more common in the high-production breeds such as sex links.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2009
  5. FingerLakesChick

    FingerLakesChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 14, 2007
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    Wynette,
    I'm sorry - I should have posted what breed she is. She's a Rhode Island Red = good layer. Thanks for the info on the syringe and feeding. I will start force feeding (that sounds rough, but I will be gentle) several times a day.

    You should have seen her lay her head on my shoulder while I blew her dry - poor girl.

    Jforsness,
    She doesn't have a wound that I can see - but thank you for the link on wound care - that is good advice. Also as far as I could see noone has been picking on her. And she is inside now.
     
  6. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    How I handle force feeding is I use a 20cc syringe, and I give 2 or 3 syringe fulls (you'll quickly get a hang of how much each bird can handle in one squirt - you do not want to give too much, as they can aspirate the fluid into their lungs), and then I give a syringe full of water in between. If you are using electrolytes and vitamins in the water, that may help, as well. Search on BYC for "prolapse" and see what you can find. If part of her vent was hanging out after laying, that's called prolapse. YOu'll find lots of good info. on how to treat it. I know some folks use Preparation H to get it to go back in, but since your girl has already done so, you just need to find out what to do next to avoid this happening in the future. Poor girl - best of luck! Sounds like she's got a GOOD chicken mamma!
     
  7. FingerLakesChick

    FingerLakesChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    THANK YOU for the feeding & prolapse advice. Question for you: If I can't get that baby bird formula you mentioned do you have another suggestion on what I could make to put in a syringe to feed her? I'm no where near a pet store. But I'm not far from an Agway and grocery store. I was wondering about yogurt mixed with a bit of oatmeal and made into a watery consistency with milk perhaps? Or something with canned cat food even?
     
  8. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    If you absolutely cannot find baby bird formula, you can just use whatever her regular feed is; soak in water (if you're using the elctrolytes/vitamins in her water, use that water) and blend, blend, blend until it's VERY smooth. The probelm wiht the other food items you mentioned is that they are not syringeable (with the exception of yogurt, but you don't want to feed her just that). I'd put some dry crumble or pellets - whatever she normally gets - into your blender, add water just to moisten, throw in some yogurt if you have some, and keep adding water little by little until it's just thin enough. You don't really want it runny, because then you are not going to have it as concentrated as it needs to be for her. Good luck!!

    ETA: most syringes have TINY openings. I asked my DH to drill out the openings of a few syringes I got from the pharmacy. He used a bit just a hair larger in diameter than the hole, and carefully drilled it out to enlarge it a bit for me.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2009
  9. FingerLakesChick

    FingerLakesChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a food processor that will work fine for this type of work. Think I'll send hubby to the nearest large town tomorrow for baby bird formula. We live in rural western NY, so what we have on hand will have to work for now. Plus I don't want to leave her any longer than necessary. Thanks for everything, Wynette, you're a real blessing to me.
     
  10. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    Awe, gee...you're more than welcome. I'm just sorry you're dealing with this, but it sounds like you've got a good handle on things! Do search to find out what else (if anything) you can do for your girl for a prolapse. If for nothing else than to set your mind to ease that you're doing everything you can.

    Yep, a food processor will be great! And, I always have the baby bird handfeeding formula on hand, just in case. It's not that expensive, and when it gets close to the expiration date, I mix it up and give it as a small treat - a bit for each pen. They love it! So, it doesn't go to waste. If you can get her to eat yogurt, you can also sprinkle some of the formula on top of it, too.

    Please do keep us posted, okay? [​IMG]
     

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