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Egg peritonitis in 2 chickens only 1 left

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I'm new to both chicken keeping and this forum so please be kind!


We recently rehomed 3 hybrid hens, these are not ex battery but were on a small holding type place, free range in a large enclosure.

All seemed fine for first few weeks, then one had runny poo, I thought at first it was due to perhaps being a bit greedy, a couple of days later the poo was still runny and she seemed quiet and standing in a weird way, I took her to the vet who said she had advanced egg peritonitis. We had a chat and I made the awful decision to put her to sleep as she had really gone downhill in such a short space of time. Fast forward to yesterday and I noticed another hen was looking the exact same way so off to the vets as soon as I saw her dirty vent area, the vet also said it was egg peritonitis and again she was put to sleep.


I made my way home to a lone chicken who greated me like a dog at the gate, I lost heart and decided I didn't want anymore chickens and decided I would rehome last hen to my in laws who have 5 hens and a huge garden to live out her days in. I thought I would double check with vet to make sure this was sensible and they said although egg peritonitis isn't contagious the underlying cause may well be but they couldn't tell me without a post mortem on the other hen, I agreed to this thinking it would be peace of mind all round. 


Unfortunately it seemed that the hen had already been sent off for cremation before my approval had made it to them so I now don't have that option.


I guess my long winded message is to ask what do I do? Do I keep a chicken on her own which goes against her and my instincts? Re-home her without knowing the full story to my in laws? The only other option the vet said was to put her down too but at present she seems very happy and healthy?


Has anyone else been in this situation or can offer and guidance?


It would be much appreciated.



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Sorry your post hasn’t had a reply - I think it might’ve only just made it’s way into the forum.

I’m also sorry to hear you’ve had such a rubbish introduction to chicken keeping. It’s not unusual for aging hybrid hens to get peritonitis so I suspect you’ve just been unlucky.

However I cannot see any way in which it could be contagious, so I wouldn’t worry on that score about rehousing your hen with your in laws. Just be aware though that introducing a lone hen to an established flock can sometimes be difficult and may need a softly softly approach.

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I am so sorry - you really have had a tough time - just wondering do you have any idea how old they were ?  Also were any others rescued my anyone local - perhaps you could find out if anyone else had the same problem.

I am impressed you found a vet with chicken knowledge - none of my local ones have any idea.

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Thanks for your replies,I do have a happy update!

So my darling Gloria is off to her new home tomorrow with my in laws. 


Thankfully the vets actually did have my poor Isla there (vet doesn't normally work in the practice I went to, so looked in wrong chiller!) Post mortem has been carried out and nothing contagious found, it was just rotten heartbreaking luck that we lost 2 so close together for the same thing.


Gloria looks healthy, with no current signs of anything looming, still laying each day but looks incredibly lonely so I'm.so happy she can go to in laws tomorrow. They have great experience with integrating new lonely hens into their small hen family. 


Thanks for taking the time to reply.

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