Get well soon

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4/30 Update: Despite several warm baths and one attempt, by me, to make tactile sense of what’s on the nether side of a chicken’s vent, our chicken remains the same.  If there’s no change tomorrow, we may have to take that most drastic of measures.  Thank you for all your good wishes, and for the very sound advice. 

One of our chickens is sick.

We’re almost certain that she’s egg-bound. Her vent is swollen, and she sits in the nest box, trying to pass the egg. Her comb is droopy, she’s lethargic and slow-moving. She’s not eating much.

We’ve read that the best thing to do for an egg-bound chicken is to give her a warm bath. That helps the tissue soften and the muscles relax, and helps her get the egg out of her system. Yesterday, that’s what we did.

This morning, she’s no better.

Some chicken people advise palpating the abdomen or trying to remove the egg by breaking it and taking the pieces out. Others say that’s a recipe for peritonitis.

Feeding the chicken oil is another strategy, and I’m going to make her a bowl of oatmeal with olive oil. I’ll give her another bath. If these don’t work in the next day or two, we may have to put her out of her misery.

And, as best I can tell, she is miserable. It’s hard to watch a creature in your care suffer. While I don’t relish the idea of sending her to the Cone of Silence, I’d rather see her die a quiet death at my hand than wait to let her die, in pain, of her own accord.

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Comments

  1. Sorry to hear this. Maybe try more hot baths? I did the hot bath thing once with one hen. It was funny to watch her panic slightly and then decide she liked it, and then watch her become nearly comatose with relaxation. It seemed clear to me that it was a lovely distraction for her from whatever ailed her, and she rebounded the next day. I’ve also heard of putting oil on the vent and just inside it – with closely trimmed nails and latex gloves, of course.

  2. Oh I so know what you mean. It’s hard when they (your animals) can’t tell you anything. I hope another hot bath does the trick and all will be well.

  3. Kim Graves says:

    Slaughter sooner rather than later. She’s a chicken – easily replaced. But her pain it real and here now.

  4. My thoughts are with her, and you – good luck, Tamar.

  5. Hi,

    sorry to hear that. I have to say that I think you should put her down. We had the same thing happen to one of our chickens; one that had become what we call “pet stock”. I really liked that chicken; we called her Kiwi because she had no tail. I would have taken her to the vet but our vet wouldn’t see her.

    Anyway we tried just about everything and nothing worked. She seemed to get better and we actually thought maybe she was going to make it but a few days later we found her dead. It has been my experience with sick chickens that they get better in two or three days or not at all; usually not at all.

  6. I’m sorry to hear about this – I always find it so difficult when animals in my care are ill or in pain, especially in terms of figuring out how to help them. I hope that’s she’s on the mend soon, though, and not too miserable in the meantime.

  7. Tamar, how is she doing now?

  8. brother marty says:

    soo how wuz da mud bug jus put alot of spice in that crab boil its not hot its gooood from the imortal words of the late great Justin Wilson have some I-tailian wine withe yere bugs save some from the pot for bass fishing for it makes for no no better bait down here in the biyou matter fact.