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 Post subject: Egg Yolk Peritonitis.
PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 5:35 pm 
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Showy Hen
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Within a month, I have 2 chooks which suffer the same condition, both had to be put to sleep - Egg Yolk Peritonitis.

The first was a Barnevelder, took to an avian specialist, the vet suggested multiple tests, which we agreed to do, in the end we decided to put her to sleep anyway, ended up with an enormous bill.

The second was a Faverolle, she started going downhill straight after laying an egg, last few days started to pass yolk material, became inappetent, sat down alot, laboured breathing, lethargic, each time she exhaled her breath felt really warm, took her to the vet this morning, a different vet/practice, vet thinks she has egg yolk peritonitis, said the prognosis is poor, decided to put her to sleep.

Egg yolk peritonitis seems to be common in my flock.

Anyone has the condition in their flock?
Can it be prevented?
Is there an effective treatment?
What is the prognosis once diagnosed?


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 11:23 pm 
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Wise Wyandotte
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Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2008 11:58 am
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Location: Plainland, SEQ
Egg Yolk Peritonitis is most common in commercial layer hybrids but it can happen in pure breeds as well. In my opinion, the best prevention is to provide your birds with adequate feed and clean water and maintain good husbandry.
Get the best feed that you can afford, make sure they have access to shell grit, cool, fresh, clean water and plenty of sunlight. Keep your pens clean and tidy. Infections can affect the reproductive system and can lead to inflammation, which in turn can lead to problems with the production of the shell around the egg.

Once an egg has been laid internally, the prognosis isn't good. Immediate professional help with potent prescription antibiotics can sometimes save the bird but generally, the chances aren't good, even if the bird has been put on antibiotics.
Quite often, the problem isn't recognised early enough, all help comes too late and the bird can't be saved.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2015 8:23 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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I've had peritonitis, also in a Barnevelder (Cricket). We thought we had it controlled with antibiotics for quite some time but she ended up being rushed into surgery where she had 350g of pus removed from her abdomen as well as some important egg-laying bits in an operation that lasted over an hour (by an excellent avian vet). She had an implant prior to the surgery to stop her ovulating and will have them for the rest of her life.

Another who came from the same batch as Cricket (George) was showing some signs of egg laying issues so we had her implanted, too. Cricket started off about 8 months before things came to a head laying shell-less eggs. George started laying ones with thin & broken shells.

Other than that, everything nostress said.

EDIT: Changed to (hopefully) correct ambiguity. Sick hens will stand with their tail down and hunched up. I noticed with Cricket that before she had real trouble with infection/peritonitis she would sit more than often, and in a similar way to how she sits on the nest, with her tail high and looking uncomfortable. It may have been because she had a shell-less egg/discharge stuck that was giving her discomfort. I watch my chooks like a hawk and it was something I noticed, but may not be true for everyone, and may have just been a quirk of Cricket's. Whenever I saw that I'd get her to the vet and she'd be put on antibiotic. As she became more ill, she'd stand with her tail down.


Last edited by genilou on Tue Oct 20, 2015 9:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2015 1:45 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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Location: Pomona, Sunshine Coast, Qld
Genilou could you please elaborate more on this thing of sitting with tail higher than usual?
This has peaked my interest because 3 of mine sit on the nest with tail way up against the corner of the box.
They are all preferring the one nest box that is taller than the others & I see the way they sit in there.
They are all ex commercial layers & I now realize I am in for a rough trot in the not too distant future having to cull them before their health suffers too much.
I have sort of fixed one bird temporarily by locking her up in a dark cage for a week but I think she is ailing again.
She wants to lay again & I can't stop the others from laying.
Is the tail up thing because they need a rest from laying to help them heal up?

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going through the process of getting organic certification for my property but horse & chook worming throwing a big spanner in the works

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2015 2:00 pm 
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Golden Robin
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Actually I raised my eyebrows at the "tail up". In my experience it is the exact opposite, with a sick bird having a tail down and hunched posture. Egg bound is even more noticeable with a real "penguin" waddle and posture.

EYP nearly always has a cloacal discharge that is creamy in consistency and usually foul smelling. A Worm burden can also give a whitish discharge but it is more of fecal discharge. It is quite different from the EYP discharge once you have seen both a coupleof times.

If you are trying to stop a hen from laying then just placing in a darkened cage then it is only half the answer. Firstly you need to do a sudden and complete diet change by giving the hen just wheat grain (or oats) and water as well as the darkened cage. The idea is to produce a moult as well as depriving the pituitary gland of light. It usually takes much longer than a week. The golden sign of success is when she starts dropping feathers everywhere rather than a fixed conviction term.

Mike

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2015 9:09 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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Mike's absolutely right, when they're sick they have their tails down. I just noticed with mine before there was any real sign anything was wrong they would sit more than usual with their tail high similar to how they do when they want to lay - this is months before any real reliable signs though. Don't cull them for doing that, they sound like they're just laying normally.
I haven't experienced egg binding.
I've edited my original post so it's hopefully more clear.
I think if you have ex-commercial hens you might be able to rehome with someone who will give them implants to stop them laying rather than culling them.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 20, 2015 11:30 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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Location: Pomona, Sunshine Coast, Qld
Ah thanks for that Genilou & Mike. I do know about the tail down looking all forlorn & penguin style.
The bird I tried to prevent from laying was having real problems of passing yolks & white separately, no shells, taking all day to pass the yolk, in obvious pain etc.
Putting her in a very much darkened cage did stop her laying & I did significantly change her diet to plain wet rolled oats & water for 10days. Since they are free range with lots of added goodies, she never stopped letting me know she was being forgotten.
She never dropped a single feather & now 2wks later has just started laying again. So far the egg is good but today I think she may have had trouble again.
OK so I won't cull them for sitting on the nest with tails high :sh
But I still may have to if they get sick from egg binding.

They do have lovely personalities, we 'chat' to each other & they are able to tell me what they need. Whether I want to fulfil that need is another matter :wink: . The big one is 'we want to get out into the vegie garden!' because they have been there before the winter crops went in. They loved it.
They have a special 'warble' to let me know they want out of the yard when I am working in the garden. I take them extra over ripe tomatoes or broccoli leaves but as to being allowed to rummage through my precious vegies? Well that is not going to happen.

They aren't used to being locked up but rehoming is something to think about.

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ClissaT

going through the process of getting organic certification for my property but horse & chook worming throwing a big spanner in the works

Favourite saying: Madness is doing the same thing over & over, but expecting a different result! -Einstein


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