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 Post subject: Egg Bound??
PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2006 12:02 pm 
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Champion Bird
Champion Bird

Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2005 10:33 am
Posts: 951
Location: Australia
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From: squidgy
To: looloo
Posted: Sat Jul 01, 2006 11:10 pm
Subject: Egg bound???
Hi Looloo

Hoping you might be able to help me out with a situation that appears to be recurring in the hen house. My husband and I have quite a few chooks we inherited with our house and are struggling to keep them alive. The last one (they are all bantams) was about 12 weeks old and I found her stockstill and unable to move one afternoon. Her crop was distended and badly swollen and when I turned her over her lower abdomen was HUGE!!! Figured it was not egg bound because she was so very small and young (may have been even 8 weeks old). Anyway, her breathing got severley laboured that night and she passed away (I took her into the house to give her warmth and to isolate her from the other chooks). Anyway, there has been another hen that keeps going to its nest and never seems to leave the henhouse. I checked on her today and she got out of the nest without too much trouble, can walk, breathing is okay - except she was making an 'eeeeeeeee' low pitched noise all the time if that makes sense. I checked her crop and it was badly swollen and so is her abdomen also. I gave her some sulpher stuff (thinking it could be something else) but nothing. Her crop is red and stiff and she is eating well. Tonight I came home and she was up on the highest roost so I got her and brought her into the second bedroom (we have yet to establish a seperate housing shelter for sick birds). She jumped straight onto the bed so can fly and was very alert and has been ever since. I gave her some olive oil as the lady down the road had an eggbound chook and gave it 5 drops of oil and 2 hours later 5 eggs popped out held together with this 'thing' she said. Anyway, within 5 minutes of the oil she pooed and it was nice and hard and olive green with white white covering bit on top like they normally have. She has had two more poos since then and both were the same. Her bum has faeces on it though which indicates that previously she had diarroeah. I am unsure what else to do?? She is not listless, no longer makes the 'eeeeeee' noise and is quiete alert and is eating. Oh, one more thing, when I gave her a few more drops of oil later (only about 3) she went to the other side of the bed and it looked like she was straining. She was in the same position and still but looking at her back area you could see the feathers of the backside going up and down gently - maybe they do it all the time, I don't know. Hope you can help me looloo - I enjoy reading your responses, you seem very knowledgable. Finally, while I have you, am looking for a poultry book that has about housing, hygiene, diseases, husbandry, food, and other poultry info. All the books I have looked at are useless. Can you suggest one maybe????

Thanks

Joanne (aka squidgy)


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2006 12:38 pm 
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Champion Bird
Champion Bird

Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2005 10:33 am
Posts: 951
Location: Australia
Hi Joanne I don't like the sound of this at all...So you have already lost one bird that had areas that were distended?You said that this bird was young approximately 8 weeks old...at this age a hen would not be laying..so definately not egg bound...The swelling could have been tumors..
Now this current hen could you tell me how old she would be?Has she been laying previously?

If this hen is older then the behaviour you seen at the nest could indicate your hen is slightly clucky..thus the low pitched noises she was making..the reluctance to leave the nest.By moving her into the spare bedroom you hopefully have broken the cycle..thus no more noises...hope that makes sense..
So you are saying her food crop is hard and swollen and red also the lower abdomen is swollen also..Is the crop hot to the touch?

You mentioned she seems to be straining...this could very well indicate being egg bound...there is some information following to help with this..


Now for the crop.........
You need to remove all food overnight from your hen and feel her food pouch or crop first thing in the morning...if the crop is hard and swollen then you most definately have a problem with it...The crop should feel soft and flat first thing in the morning as it digest the food in it over night..
Please let me know how it feels...


Egg bound hens
A hen is said to be egg bound when she fails to lay her egg
This is a common condition, and may result from inflammation of the oviduct, malformed or double yolker egg, or a too large egg in a young pullet

The bird seems very restless
She will drink little and eat little
She will tend to stand all hunched up
She visits the nest regularly in an attempt to lay her egg
Hew oviduct may end up protrude due to excessive pushing by her to eject the egg; internal haemorrhage or exhaustion may occur and the fowl may die
She may smell badly
Her vent will look quite red and protrude
She may have faecal matter that has built up behind the egg, if you see white liquid that will be her urates trying to pass (urine in chickens)

Sit her in a tub of warm soapy water
Make sure the vent is submerged for about 30 minutes, this may seem like a long time, but you have to relax the vent area and make is subtle for the egg to pass through, it really does help the hen, 85% of the time this will be all that you will need to do for her and the egg will pass out with a little push from her
You can rub some lubricant around the vent area if you think that may help too, KY jelly, petroleum jelly, Vaseline or Olive Oil all work fine.
Make sure you isolate her from the other hens, or they will peck at her vent causing more damage

Put her into an isolation cage, put plenty of news paper down first and then put heated towels down they will act like a heat pad for her, no drafts when she is wet or she will catch a chill
You can heat up towels in your microwave, works a treat
If you have a heat pad that would be even better, put plenty of towels over it or it will get messy
Leave her for a little while to see if she passes the egg, if not, repeat the warm water and soap again

Some people just use the heating pads, this sometimes seems to relax the muscles and allow the egg to slip out

If this doesn’t work, you may have to resort to removing the egg manually, not a nice task, and she will complain about what you are doing bitterly, you will need two people to do this task

Using KY jelly, Petroleum jelly or Vaseline, insert your finger in the vent
With your other hand you can press gently on her abdomen moving the egg down the oviduct towards the cloaca
Once you can see the egg, if it won’t pass, then rupture the egg and gently remove all the shell
Some have suggested you use a sharp instrument, I would not recommend this at all it could result in causing the hen internal injuries
The shell of the egg will be very sharp when broken and could also damage the chicken internally
Once you have broken the shell, make sure you remove every particle carefully

VERY IMPORTANT
The cloaca should then be washed with a weak warm water/salt solution, this is to make sure all the egg contents and shell has been removed from inside the hen, if it isn’t it could cause bacteria to start growing inside her, and then you’ve got an even bigger problem to solve

Once the egg has ejected you will want to keep an eye on her for a while
There may be another egg backed up in her oviduct system, especially if she lays an egg every day or every other day.

Sometimes they absorb the egg, but this is very unlikely and very unusual
If you can’t find the egg and it has gone from the hen, more than likely she has eaten it shell and all

If it has ruptured inside her, you should look for small pieces of shell, or evidence of any cuts around the vent area.
Just remember while your looking and sticking your finger in places she would prefer you didn’t, the egg shells can be quite sharp and may cut you and her.
If you do find any cuts around her cloaca, rinse with hydrogen peroxide
Watch her for listlessness, dull eyes, and signs of fever
Infection can come on pretty quick.

Keep a close eye on her, this could happen again to her and she will need immediate action to fix the problem.

How to help prevent the hen from laying any more eggs
If there is any small prolapse gently push it back into the chicken with your fingers.
The chicken should then be put on a maintenance diet of wheat and water.
However, it is important to restrict the chickens diet to maintenance only for possibly a couple of months. This does work!! Alternative to maintenance diet is feeding the chicken enough to keep it alive, moving and keeping warm plus enough extra feed for it to produce eggs.

You may find that by reducing the feed it brings on a forced molt

By reducing feed intake so that the bird has just enough feed to keep it alive, moving and keeping warm you are feeding for maintenance only. The chicken will not lay eggs and so give it the best chance of recovery.
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Re: Egg Bound

It can also be caused by a hen laying a soft shelled egg

In a humans endeavor to help the hen, they tend to stick their finger inside the hen to feel if she does in fact have an egg stuck up inside her ......... if it is a soft shelled egg this invariably breaks the thin membrane covering the egg and spills the contents of the egg inside the hen

Causing a problem that could have more than likely fixed itself had the hen been put into isolation and some warmth applied to the muscles... ore just left alone to relax the muscles so she could lay the soft shelled egg..............but with interference it will turn into a very large problem.................. the egg may well turning septic inside her and unless she is throughly cleaned out she may well die from poisoning.
So... please.. don't stick your finger inside to check if there is an egg stuck inside the hen
Look at her outwards appearance to come to your conclusion
http://happyhenhouse.proboards43


Egg bound

This happens when an egg is formed in the hen's uterus, but she is unable to lay it.

The straining with unsuccessful attempts to lay can cause the oviduct to partly protrude.

Other fowls cannibalise the affected hen and she may die.

The condition can result from a large egg, growths or tumours in the oviduct, diseases affecting the nerves or mucus secretion in the oviduct.

An experienced person can help remove the egg by lubricating the oviduct and breaking the egg, but humane culling is usually the best course.


The excellent information that follows is taken from a Vetafarm new letter.

The general approach is:

· Get the bird in a warm environment - about
28 - 30 0C

· Raise the humidity to greater than 80% relative humidity

· Crop needle the bird with a dose of Poly Aid
Plus with some Calcivet added

· Keep Spark Electrovet in the drinking water.

· Monitor the bird for 24 hours. If there is no improvement then get help.

When we have the egg out we must then think about what else could be happening in those birds. Often they have a severe uterine infection.

Proving this in the live bird is difficult, so you should treat them all as if they have an infection. Give them either injectable antibiotics (Psittavet) or twice daily doses of Amtyl for three days. Eliminating uterine infections will improve the birds chance of laying normally.

The other medical problem these birds suffer is acute, severe inflammation of the uterus or shell gland. This may lead to scar or adhesion formation.

I always give a large dose of potent anti inflammatory (Avigesic) when treating these birds. Prevention is always more economical than treatment. Be prepared to change things in your aviary (or for individual hens) if you have a recurrent problem.

1 - over fat hens will bind more frequently than fit hens.

2 - birds that lack adequate calcium or Vitamin D3 will bind because their muscles are not strong enough to expel the egg. A bird that binds with a soft shelled egg generally has a calcium/D3 deficiency. Breeders should be on a Calcium /Vit D3 supplement (Calcivet) during the egg laying period.

3 - a multitude of diet factors can cause egg laying problems. Reassess your diet with someone who has knowledge of avian nutritional needs.

4 - recurrent infections (misshapen, malformed eggs are often due to uterine infections) - you need veterinary advice. Just as “oils ain’t oils”, antibiotics ain’t antibiotics, some are better at penetrating into the uterus than others.

5 - if a hen egg binds in two successive seasons, she should be culled from your breeding programme.



Complications After Egg Binding
(From Issue 4 VetaClub Newsletter)
VETAFARM
Office Address 3 Bye Street Wagga Wagga NSW, 2650 AUSTRALIA
Postal Address PO BOX 5244 Wagga Wagga NSW 2650 AUSTRALIA
Tel: (02)69 256 222 Fax: (02)69 256 333
Email: vetafarm@vetafarm.com.au
www.vetafarm.com.au


I need to ask you what you feed your chooks?
By the way droppings should not look olive green...this indicates infection.
Droppings should be brown with white urates...
Is your hen drinking a lot of water..is she constantly at the water dish??
Do wild birds have access to their water dishes??I will wait for your answers to all these questions before I go any further..
Cheers
Looloo :)


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 Post subject: egg bound
PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2006 4:27 pm 
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Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Mon May 08, 2006 7:56 pm
Posts: 217
Location: Mackay, QLD
Ok,

I soaked her in a bath of warm water last night for 45 minutes which she seemed to love as I read about it in the forum before logging off. No luck though. Gave her a TIDGE bit more oil. No luck and am not inclined to giver her any more. She is not as alert this morning and her crop is swollen. She had access to a little greens but did not touch any overnight but still had the swollen crop. Last night when I was giving her the bath I checked her vent and she is DEFINATELY straining. No doubt on that one (unless they do it all the time). I could see it going in and out but am not inclined to burst the egg as she will surely die from infection and I don't like the chance of taking a second risk on a bird that is already stressed somewhat. She is not making any noises except a few loan 'clucks' here and there. Is eating and drinking but neither excessively. Her crop is not red or hot and her vent is neither but it is definately looking like she has something stuck up there. Oh, her poos are brown not olive green - was the lighting in the room - I went and double checked them. She did a WHOPPER this morning too which was hard. And I mean a WHOPPER!! Oh, she STINKS!!!!!! I am going to pay for having her in the bedroom! Age was - she is about 4/5 months, possibly a bit more. Has she ever laid - no idea. We have about 8 females and have no idea who lays that one lone egg we get each day (if that).

Now, second problem. Went out this morning and have another girlie about the same age who is wheezing badly and also has the swollen crop and distended abdomen. When taking a breath she noticeably has to raise her neck to allow air and their is this raspy noise she emits. Can walk and fly and keeps visiting her nest too. Eating is OK, not really chasing anything and have not seen her have any water.

As for feeding them - we give them course grain mix daily, fresh shell grit, some bread but not much, greens and general scraps. On top of that they are in a pen which is approximately 260sqm NO JOKE so they have ample digging and foraging places. Get wormed every 3 months.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2006 11:15 am 
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Champion Bird
Champion Bird

Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2005 10:33 am
Posts: 951
Location: Australia
Ok Joanne...first and for most stop the grain...they obviously have impacted crops..Only give them sloppy baby food until they get over this and the crop is flat and fully emptied..Afterwards only give mash made from pellets and hot water...stop the bread it is blocking up them up further...Give them plenty of fresh water and make sure they are drinking it..I add red cordial to water this encourages them to drink..they are attracted to the colour red..
By feeding a grain diet you are asking for trouble...Layer or grower pellets are the best sources of food for chooks as they contain protein vits and minerals which they must have..you will have to start them on this as their regular diet after or if they get over this ordeal.
The crop problems have no doubt started from an infected water supply...this happens when wild birds drink from their water dishes and they transmit a trichimonide organism into the water...This causes a canker which is a lesion inside the birds crop from the organism burrowing into the flesh..this in turn becomes swollen and infected...thus blocking the food from passing through the crop into the gullet/stomach..The bird literally starves to death slowly..

To rid the crop of the canker you will need to administer Flagyl S suspension also Nilstat oral drops for any fungal infections that often occur with canker..you can buy the Nilstat drops over the counter at the chemist and you usually need a script for the Flagyl S suspension..but ask for it anyway.
If you cannot get the Flagyl at the pharmacy you can get Flagyl tablets from the Knox Bird Veterinary Clinic..10 tabs for $2.75 plus postage..they also have a liquid form of Emtril-DMZ that is more expensive..but do ask for the correct dosage for your bird..
Here is their phone no..1300 132 0389for the cast of a local call) or fax:03 98005944.They are in Vic.....11 Henry Rd Wantirna South, Victoria 3152.

It would be ideal to be able to keep their food/water dishes out of the reach of wild birds but of course this cannot always be achieved.

Now the distended abdomens..that has me puzzled...Lymphoid Leukosis causes tumors to form in areas of the abdomen...there is no cure for this and it is better to put them down humanly than to have them suffer.The tumors can grow quite big...perhaps this is what is happening with them.It is strange that there is more than one bird with these same symptoms...surely they all can't be egg bound...

It is not good news I'm afraid...you will have to determine if you want to go ahead and treat them for the canker or put them down because of the possible Leukosis...Not an easy decision..I am sorry.

Also the one that is wheezing needs an antibiotic ASAP..I prefer to use Tylan 200 injectible as this is the fastest acting antibiotic around..You must purchase this from the vet...She will need 0.25ml injected into the breast muscle for three days..Seperate her from the others and keep her warm and out of any drafts...Oh dear you have inherited a whole lot of problems here Joanne..I really feel for you..

I think if it was me I would have the ill birds put down.They have a lot of problems. After that I would definately change the diet and throughly clean out the run/pen and disinfect it...Burn the bedding and any nest material ..I would rake out the dirt/grass area of their run and sprinkle powdered lime onto the soil and rake it in...making sure not to leave any lumps of lime as they will eat it and it will burn their insides..Lime kills a lot of germs that are in the soil.


So to recap....for those that have no swollen abdomens....sloppy food only immediately and lots of water with red cordial...ring the Knox clinic and order the meds...
Change your feeding regime...pellets only and go from there..

I hope this helps you...I know how hard it can be when you first start out with chooks...I have learnt so much from others and forums like this one are very educational....there are not enough avian vets around to help.

Cheers
Looloo :)


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2006 2:54 pm 
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Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Mon May 08, 2006 7:56 pm
Posts: 217
Location: Mackay, QLD
Thanks so much for the info. Unfortunately by mid afternoon yesterday the one that was wheezing was way too ill and the other was going into shock. I felt it was the most humane thing to have them 'put down' so had that done. Have since printed out the info you sent me and will stock up on baby food so if this happens I can be prepared. My husband and I need a 'medicine chest' for just these reasons. I cleaned out their run but did not disinfect it as their house is actually a kids cubby house and the wood would take AGES to dry and it is winter at the moment so figured they could die of a chill. Damned if I do and damned if I don't. Thankyou for all of your advice. Am still after a great book for starters though so if you have any suggestions....................


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2006 2:11 pm 
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Champion Bird
Champion Bird

Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2005 10:33 am
Posts: 951
Location: Australia
Hi Joanne...so sorry about your birds..I think you definately did the right thing..I will put a new post in the general section about the best book to have on hand...
Cheers
Looloo :)


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2006 2:39 pm 
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Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Mon May 08, 2006 7:56 pm
Posts: 217
Location: Mackay, QLD
Well, I thought so too but found our my husband was right, chooks don't lay until they are at least 12 months so it could not have been egg bound. Now I am heartbroken about killing a chook that may have been OK!!! Anyway, as I said, learning curve - will wait for your book info!

Jo and thanks again Looloo


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