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
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
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)
Office Address 3 Bye Street Wagga Wagga NSW, 2650 AUSTRALIA
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Tel: (02)69 256 222 Fax: (02)69 256 333
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..