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DucktorWho

What on earth did she lay?! (pictures of lash)

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Elsie, my 2.5yr old Meadowsweet Ranger is been under the weather since yesterday afternoon. She was on the nest box when I opened the run door yesterday to let them into the garden, but she came out then was walking around slowly, all hunched. She's usually quite vocal but she wasn't saying much yesterday. Eventually she went back to stand in the nest box.

 

I was really worried about her last night so I brought her into a box in the conservatory and left th heating on for her. I didn't see her poo much at all yesterday but this morning when I've been in to talk to her she's done a couple of white liquid poos with a tiny bit of solid matter in it, and one almost normal, but very small poo. She is slightly more vocal this morning, but still hunched and looking sorry for herself. Her back end is a little messy and smelly and I think her vent may be swollen and pink.

 

Could she be egg bound if she is still managing to poo a tiny bit? I think I'm going to attempt a warm bath for her this morning, but I'm not sure she'll stand for it :? I have an emergency number for the vets as they aren't open today - will they see a chicken as an emergency? *IS* it an emergency? I'm so worried and I want to do everything I can, I'd be most grateful for any advice anyone can give.

Edited by Guest

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Have you wormed her recently?

 

The hunched attitude and grotty botty could point to worms.

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No I haven't wormed them for a while, but I do have a pot of flubenvet. She just passed a soft-ish scrumpled up egg shell. I'm hoping she might improve a bit now.

 

She doesn't seem keen on drinking today, or eating chicken food but has had some warm porridge and is going mad for raisins.

 

If she has worms will I be able to see them in what she passes?

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If she has worms you might be able to see them, but most are not visible to the naked eye. Although some look like bean sprouts. :vom:

 

As she has passed a crumpled egg shell, she will probably pass the rest of the egg today. Keep her warm and comfortable, maybe put a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel under her. She should pass it on her own.

 

Try feeding her grapes/cucumber just to keep her hydrated.

 

Hope she is better soon.

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If she has worms will I be able to see them in what she passes?

 

Not necessarily.

 

Some are very obvious, bit others are microscopic.

 

If she is laying soft shelled eggs, she might need extra calcium.

 

Not only does it form the shells, but is also vital for the muscle contractions involved in pushing the egg out.

 

Mixed poultry grit is vital in her diet and finely crushed baked eggshells are a useful addition.

 

A few of us on the forum have had a lot of success with Limestone Flour.....which is powdered calcium carbonate, which is available at equestrian suppliers.

 

A tablespoonful stirred into a biggish pot of pellets will work wonders.

 

Takes a week or so to kick in.

 

Good luck.

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I do hope Elsie improves as the day progresses :pray:

 

I have read that ground up cuttlefish is a good source of calcium too, you can also get a form of liquid calcium which you can add to the chooks water - Davinova C is one that you can get from the Domestic Fowl Trust or a product called Shellstim works well too.

 

I would try and keep her as hydrated as possible as Christian has suggested :D

 

Do keep us posted on how she is doing

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Oh! Oh! I've just let Betty (the other one) out of the run to roam around the garden and I was feeding her raisins at the back door when Elsie squished around my legs and out of the door like a bullet for the raisins and then wouldn't come back in but trotted off out into the rain quite merrily.

 

I guess she's feeling better! I'd rather she'd stayed in the warm a little longer but it seems like that's what she wants to do so I'll just keep an eye on her. Her tail seems to be back in the upright position now anyway so fingers crossed.

 

Thanks SO much for the advice everyone! They do get grit every day but they've not had any eggshell. I'm going to look into the calcium supplements. They're getting on a bit now so anything I can do to keep them healthy and with us as long as poss I will do. They are the best pets I've ever had and I love them dearly :)

 

I'm also going to break out the Flubenvet, just in case.

 

Just had a look out and she's now at the bottom of the garden, kicking leaves everywhere :D

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Guest

Good news! I hope she's all right. No-one else seems to have picked up on it, but reading your original post I would be inclined to agree with your idea of being Egg-bound. Standing in the nesting box indicates this to me. :? See how she is tomorrow then? :?

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Thanks Ginette, I did over look that!

 

Try giving her some olive oil to help lubricate her and, again, warmth does help.

 

Hope she is back to her old self soon.

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Guest

A warm hair-dryer near her vent can help as can steam - you just have to be careful not to scald/burn/scorch her! :lol:

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I have good news! Looking at Elsie running around today you wouldn't have known anything was ever wrong with her! I am most relieved :) I'm slightly nervous for the next egg in case it happens again but at least I know she got through it once! The liquid calcium supplement should be on it's way soon.

 

One detail I forgot to include (because I forgot it had happened until I re-read what I'd written on my livejournal earlier in the day!) was that the morning of the day she fell ill I found the contents of an egg in the droppings tray, but no shell. I didn't know who it belonged to at the time, or even when it had happened as it was mostly hidden by the bars and I only saw it when I cleaned the tray. Could it be she 'laid' the middle first and then the shell developed badly on its own?

 

Thanks Ginette, I did over look that!

 

Try giving her some olive oil to help lubricate her and, again, warmth does help.

 

Hope she is back to her old self soon.

 

Is that giving her it orally or is it more of an....um...application deal? :?

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:lol:

 

Yes orally. Either a glug of olive oil down the beak, try using a syringe without a needle or mixing it with a few pellets/mash. It will lubricate her system.

 

If the shell was not fully formed inside her, her body would just get the whole lot out. I have had this a few times with Laverne. Egg part and the crumpled shell a while later. She is hunched up and withdrawn until she 'lays' the shell. Olive oil always does the trick.

 

Glad she is better now. :D

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Thanks for the tip! Rather relieved to hear it's orally tbh ;) We always have olive oil in the house so it's good to know that can be used. I still have a little syringe from when the budgie was on antibiotics just before Christmas so I'll be able to give that a good old clean and keep it just in case. That sounds like the easiest way to make sure she gets it into her.

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Me again :?

 

For the last few days poor little Elsie has been leaving a trail of feathers everywhere she goes. I opened the egg port yesterday in windy weather and ended up - quite literally - spitting feathers.

 

Is this an extreme moult brought on by the trauma of her New Year troubles? They both must have had moults before but you couldn't ever really tell apart from a few feathers sticking out here and there and some feathers in the run etc but today she's starting to look oven ready!

 

poorelsie.jpg

 

Is this what a moult looks like? I'm off to get some cat food as I read elsewhere on this forum that it's good for moulting chickens.

 

Personality wise she seems fine and happy, although she can't be too warm - she's chosen a really cold snap to go for the Britney look! I hope she isn't going to need a little chicken jumper :?

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Bless her!

 

All chickens moult differently. Laverne looked a little like in Elsie's picture, Shirley just looks scruffy and the others aren't moulting yet!

 

Is she being picked on by the Betty?? Any evidence of feather pulling?

 

The feathers at the base of her tail do look like they are ready to moult. If you pick her up can you see any small quills poking through? They are white with a small feather sticking out of the end. These are the new feathers growing through.

 

Cat food/tuna is good and she will be fully feathered in a few weeks. They always pick the worst time of year to moult!

:roll::roll:

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I did wonder a bit about feather plucking but they've always been fine with each other. I watched them together while they were inside for the photos and Betty didn't seem to really be noticing it - whereas if it's raining and they come in they do tend to notice the other one is a bit damp and then they peck the rain off each other's feathers. I'll keep an eye out though just in case Betty makes things any worse.

 

I'm relieved to hear that one of yours looked this bad too! I had a close look while she was in and near the tail there are some quills I think but further up it just looks goosebumpy.

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Oh Bless, she is going to look oven ready in a day or so.

It looks like a mega moult to me - they often are out of sorts & lay a soft'un or 2 before a big moult.

 

I am sure that once she has pulled herself back together she will be fine :D

 

Like Christian says,as good lot of protein can help them during this time,as can a dollop of chicken spice in their feed. I bought a hight protein 'mealworm crumble' wild bird food for my hens this week, & they seem to love it.it has all sorts of goodies in it - insects,mealworms & crushed peanuts - YUM!

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Hallo again :)

 

Happy to report that Elsie is looking feathery and healthy again:

 

Elsie.jpg

 

However...she hasn't laid an egg since her trouble at New Year and the other week I found a mini egg (literally the size of a cadbury mini egg) in the droppings tray and took it to be her gearing up to lay again because her feathers were nearly finished growing. There has been nothing since, but I just opened the back door to give them some treats and they both came running over, but Elsie was hopping along hunkered down like she wanted to poo. I told her she wasn't allowed in the conservatory if there was imminent poo-ing and gave them the treats in the back yard. She ate them, then squatted, ejected something and Betty promptly ran off with it!

 

I got it back from Betty and had a look and it was a sort of lump of rubbery stuff - almost like chewing gum, around 2inches in length. Not very pleasant. I took a photo of it, but I've put it under a link because as I say, it's not pretty!

 

Front

 

Back

 

I remember someone posting on here a year or two back with something similar but I've searched and I can't seem to find the post. Does anyone know what it is and if it can be safely ignored? They have Davinova C in their water daily, plus grit. Elsie seems happy enough in herself.

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