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Egg-bound or what?

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Good afternoon, our Light Sussex bantam pullet was looking peaky on Friday and was crouched down under a hedge with her companion chicken.  Most noticeable was her large comb was shrunken and dark in colour.  We managed to catch her and brought her indoors.  She seemed to show signs of being egg-bound with her vent opening and shutting.  For the first day she did not eat or drink so we administered electrolytes with a dropper and put her in a basin of warm water and Epsom salts.  The following day she was still lethargic with a shrunken comb and some tail-pumping we repeated the warm water treatment.  Yesterday we used some lubricant which was inserted a little way inside and more warm water and she started to eat (added calcium to water and feed).  This morning she was much perkier and eating and pooping so we have let her free-range again.  While she is much better there is still some tail action from time-to-time and she isn’t walking as freely as before but her comb is looking better.  Unfortunately her time away has meant a bit more bullying from the established flock of three bantams but her companion is very pleased to have her back.  Her comb was pecked a few weeks ago and bled somewhat but dried up on its own.

As a bit of background, the Light Sussex and a Cuckoo Maran joined an older flock of three bantams and have, even after four months, not been totally accepted.  After some painful tries at going to bed with the original gang the two newbies roost in the WIR on a perch on their own; thankfully, it hasn’t been very cold.  The Light Sussex started to lay after about two months (under a tree) and then went broody.  After picking her up every time she sat outside, sometimes soaked, and putting her in the nest box she started to lay again, this time in the correct place.  She went broody again about ten days’ ago but seemed to have stopped with no eggs since.

Advice would be welcome.  Do we continue to bring her indoors and administer baths and electrolytes/calcium or leave her outside and keep an eye on her?  I couldn’t feel an egg and, without inserting my finger more than necessary, could not feel an egg inside.  Her crop was undetectable.  Is it vet time?  What would a vet do that we can’t?

Thank you. (Apologies for the length of the post.)             

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It's possible she has exhausted herself trying to lay a soft egg, or a very thin shelled egg which has broken in transit and irritated her vent internally. I'd leave her outside and just keep an eye on her. As you said, taking her away from the flock brings other problems with integration. Like you, I doubt a vet can do anything for her. The important thing is to make sure she drinks and eats, so double up on the feeder and drinker in case she is being bullied off them, which is likely given the integration problems you are having.

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