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My poor hen. Im doing the same treatment suggested by the vet last time. St John's Wort homeopathic daily, calcium daily and the 25 minute steam treatment in the bathroom the last two mornings. Still she is not walking far and seems uncomfortable.
I have felt all I can under her stomach carefully. I cannot feel an egg. Im not privy on palpating chickens. Is it possible the egg is deep and I cannot feel it?
She is also pulling feathers out of her back side. Or they are falling out. When I touch her rear the feathers just fall out. Every where she lays is a pile of soft downy feathers. Dang! I wish I had an exray machine.
You will need to feel inside of her, up toward the spine. Pointing downward will take you to the digestive tract. Lube up with plenty of K-Y or olive oil and carefully insert an index finger into her cloaca. Use the opposite hand to hold her abdomen. I posted an anatomy diagram below.
It may be that she's not absorbing the calcium in her diet well. Adding some raw, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar, such as Bragg's, to the drinking water helps chickens absorb calcium. Do you happen to have any liquid calcium on hand?
Large eggs, rough-shelled eggs are hard to pass and that's a factor in egg binding for some hens.
I know you were concerned about botulism being responsible for feather loss, but I think it's possible that she's pulling vent fluff on purpose because she's so uncomfortable. The botulism toxin will cause feathers all over the body to be loose.
Thanks so much. I will pull her in and do just that. And yes. She has had some rough texture eggs. She ate some greek yogurt tonight and some seeds. I will let you know what I find. And no I do not have braggs. I think I have some applecider vinegar. Gotta check that too. It's getting dark. I will be back as soon as I put the other birds away,
Last edited by barredrocmom (01-10-2012 04:58:58)
I went into the second nuckle and could not feel any egg. Im not sure how far to go in.
Last edited by barredrocmom (01-10-2012 05:15:24)
I was able to use a worming syringe, the kind with no needle attached - like what you would give liquids to cats or dogs after a pill & I attached about a 2.5" length of very soft flexible tubing & insert warm KY into one of my hens who was having difficulty.
She passed the egg in around two or three days & seems to lay normally now, I think for her it was her first egg or so.
I knew it was risky, but I used extreme caution plus she was very calm & cooperative.
Well I went as far as my finger would go and she did not seem uncomfortable at all. She has not been pushing either but she did seem more active. Must has been the exam.
She also ate on her own tonight. And Im sure as heck that she IS molting. She is the only hen this year who did not molt and kept laying eggs. Her upper back feathers are coming out in little clumps. Also on her sides and a couple of natty tail feathers. It looks exactly like the other hens when they were molting. Poor thing.
I have been giving the liquid calcium twice a day. Actually it is calcium tablets cut in half and ground up and added to just enough water to make one cc. She is so good. I dribble it on the top of her beak and it runs into her mouth and she swallows it. Something I learned when giving liquids to little wild birds. It is much less stressful and you never have to worry about getting it in the lungs. It is a slow process but I have lots of time.
I will fill you all in tomorrow on how she is doing.
What other symptoms did Monique exhibit earlier?
At least you discovered she's in active molt. Likely a hard molt at that. That alone will make them uncomfortable and it's a stressful thing for them. Mine tend to move less and hide more because they're cold and vulnerable. Is this something you noticed about Monique? It's possible for her to continue to lay during her molt, though the molting process will drag on longer. My guess is that she doesn't have an egg to expel.
Do keep us posted.
Each year chickens molt, or lose the older feathers, and grow new ones. Most hens stop producing eggs until after the molt is completed. The rate of lay for some hens may not be affected, but their molting time is longer. Hens referred to as "late molters" will lay for 12 to 14 months before molting, while others, referred to as "early molters," may begin to molt after only a few months in production. Late molters are generally the better laying hens and will have a more ragged and tattered covering of feathers. The early molters are generally poorer layers and have a smoother, better-groomed appearance.
Early molters drop only a few feathers at a time and may take as long as 4 to 6 months to complete the molt. Early molters are usually poor producers in a flock. Late molting hens will produce longer before molting and will shed the feathers quicker (2 to 3 months). The advantage of late molters is that the loss of feathers and their replacement takes place at the same time. This enables the hen to return to full production sooner.
I am glad to hear she is doing a little better.
sending prayers your way
I really loved the diagram of the chicken anatomy. I printed it. I have so much going on. Little things. The dog for 10 days, having to do everything for her and then the hen. Im beat but things are looking up for the dog. She is now out of the danger zone.
The last time Monique limped and acted aloof was when she was egg bound. She expelled one rubber egg and one rough egg coming down the ramp from the coop. It looks like she fell. I took her to the vet and we could not find any other reason for her limping but egg paralysis. Vet said this is common in good egg layers and layers of large eggs. Remember my post a few days ago about the large egg? I have no idea if that was from Monique or the first egg laid from my lead hen who was in a hard molt.
The vet said to give Monique the homeopathic St. John's wort and calcium in liquid form for 5 to 7 days, depending on how she was doing. She improved in 5 days but continued to limp for a month or so. Then she completely recovered. Sorry this is long. Im trying to remember everything that happened.
A few days ago I found she was limping again. I assumed she was egg bound again. She looks in great health. Eyes bright, eating any food I offer but turning her nose up to the chicken feed. Now she is eating the feed again.
A couple of days ago, she started dropping little butt feathers. Now she is dropping in hunks. She is active, flapping her wings and her feces are normal. She is also drinking water on her own.
I did take the advice and added the apple cider vinegar to their daily water. I keep one in the run and one up the hill by the deck.
A couple of weeks ago, at your advice, we changed their roost to a flat 4x4 to make it easier on their feet at night. Now I'm wondering if Monique missed the roost and fell on the floor and hurt her leg. It can get slippery with the straw on top of a vinyl floor. I keep the straw piled high to give them traction.
Now maybe today I can get some of my stuff done. I also have a sweet neighbor who lost her husband a couple of weeks ago to sit with. She is 74 and so nice. It was a sudden shock. She wants me to tell anyone who will listen that if your spouse or loved one complains of being tired, is thirsty suddenly or sleeps too much to get them to the doctor. Her husband refused and would fight with her and she is very timid, every time she wanted him to get tested. He hated doctors. Well it turned out, he had diabetes and went into insulin shock and by the time he got to the hospital, his kidneys had failed and he could not be revived. They were married only 14 years and what a couple they were. So in love. Now she is alone. I'm glad she has her kids. I fill in when they have to work. She is so much fun to be with, it is good for me too.
So thanks so much for all your help.
Last edited by barredrocmom (01-11-2012 11:58:51)