Sunday, August 1, 2010

CHICKEN KEEPERS-HELP!

My girl Lu-Lu is ill. Her symptom's began two weeks ago when the temperature here reached 90 plus degrees accompanied with high humidity. The first time I knew something was "off" was when I collected eggs. Lu-Lu jumped out of the nesting box leaving behind a "jello-like" egg. Initially my first thought was it was heat related or stress induced. Lu-Lu appeared fine, but later in the week another "jello-like" egg and finally, I witnessed her dropping a perfect round yoke however, no shell. Be still my heart! I have read through my chicken library and visited various Internet sites and realize this is not a good situation, especially if the shell is broken inside her cavity. Lu-Lu had appeared fine- doing what chickens do, that is until this afternoon.
This morning she laid a perfect egg, hopped out of the nest and went happily into the hen yard with her sisters. Later in the afternoon, I let all the girls out for a romp and Lu-Lu (with tail feathers down) slowly wandered out, stopped and just stood still and closed her eye's. I picked her up and sat her in my lap and it was then that I noticed the white part of the egg on my jean's. I carried Lu-Lu back into the hen yard, placed her on the ground and the yoke "plopped" out. Good Lord, I feel like such an unfit chicken keeper. I offered Lu-Lu plain yogurt with blueberries and added unfiltered vinegar to her water. Lu-Lu "slurped" it right up and "presto" her tail feather's stood erect. I am not sure what else to do- carrot tonic? antibiotic? By evening she appeared to recover, back to her old self. So please, all you good and kind chicken keepers out there Lu-Lu and I need your help- we welcome any and all advice, thank you!


15 comments:

Gail said...

I haven't a clue but do know extra calcium helps with bones so why not egg shells.

Farm Girl said...

Is she the chicken in the picture? I have a hen that does the same thing, like you I have tried everything I can think of but the only thing I found is that something happened to the mother when the chick was a egg and it causes the shell to not develop. Only sometimes now does she lay a egg with a shell but I never get it into the house, I always break it because it is so thin.
My hen looks healthy, I suppose if I was a person who could kill a hen for food, my hen would become a stewing hen, but alas, I am not so I just let her be, I have looked and looked in all of my chicken books too, I do hope someone has a cure.
Maybe yours has started because of the heat. My hen has always laid shell less eggs until this year. She is 3 years old.

~Tonia said...

Sounds like she needs calcium. I feed left over milk from the goats to the chickens. It wouldnt hurt for the rest of them to have some too..

Pondside said...

I'm so sorry to read this, but have nothing to add to what you already must know from the internet etc. Good luck, and I hope your girl gets back to normal!

Kathy in KY said...

Julie - I'm sorry to hear about LuLu. I know so little about chickens, having raised some, but that was back in the 80's. Now if you had hogs that would be different since I do know some about them having worked on a hog farm for 9 years. I think that it is a good sign she has an appetite. Obviously it has something to do with her calcium level I would think, and you did give her yogurt. I just don't know what to say, I'm sorry I can't be of more help. I hope someone on here has some ideas for you. I follow a blog called Boulderneigh and Michelle is the blogger, her husband Rick is a vet - maybe send her a holler? Good luck with Miss LuLu, and keep us posted. Take care from KY.

Chasity said...

I have only had chickens for about 1 year and 2 months now but I do have a RIR chicken named Big Red who lays jelly eggs.

She has actually been egg bond a couple times but alot of the time she lays jelly eggs. Everyone tells me it not enough calcium...but her food has calcium plus we give them free supply of shell. So it shouldn't be that.

I had her to the vet the first time she was egg bond. You could tell she was walking with her tail down and would stop ever so often and becoming more often to try to lay her bond egg. To the point I was afraid she was going to have her rectum prolaps. We tried to find the egg pieces but couldn't so we took her to the vet who went right in and took it out without any problems. Then gave her a shot of antibitics since the egg looked so aewful. She has only been bond once or twice since then. and we have been able to take care of it. But she always has the same syptoms. She walks slowly, uncomfortably, and tries to lay the egg over and over again, and she blinks her eyes open and closed funny when she is trying to lay. She will also lay in her nest w/o laying.

But for the most part she lays jelly eggs. Most of the time I don't even know when she does it any more because either her and or the other chickens will eat it. Sometimes she will get a little down if she is haveing a harder time laying a jelly egg. Or if it bustes inside her and she has to lay the pieces slowly. Sometimes I will have to pull out the unhardened shell. But most of the time she gets it all out even after it busts. But she does get down every once in a while.

Knock on wood in the last past month or so she really hasn't had any problems. I started giving them black oil sunflower seeds and since then she has either been laying normal eggs or just not having a problem getting the soft eggs out.

Most of the people I have talked to about it say some chickens just do that and they normally cull them when they do that. Of course everyone has told me to eat her... And I am not going to do that. She is living out her life with our other eleven chicken like she should.

I know I don't have any def answers for you but I hope this helps a little. I do right about Big Reds eggs ever so often on my blog so come check it out. One of her jelly eggs even looked like it had an umbelical cord one time...

But good luck with your chickens and I hope everything works out well.

sorry for all the typos....oops

Eve said...

Sending well wishes Lu Lu! I'm sure there is help out there Julie!

Razzberry Corner said...

Juie, we are all having bird problems!! That doesn't make you a bad chicken mama! I've gotten a couple jello eggs recently, too, from the chickens. I figured it was the heat. But since I've given my birds tons of oyster shells and the temps have gotten a little better, the jello eggs have stopped. Except one pullet, Zoner, laid a jello egg last night and broke it and got it all over her (she always sleeps on the nest boxes, on a flat surface). I just figured it's because Zoner is just starting to lay again after raising chicks, and these are her first eggs.

I have never heard of the egg breaking inside the bird, that sounds bad. I recommend calcium if you are not giving it to them already, and maybe some garlic in the bird water. The carrot tonic wont hurt, either. We were just talking about doing a carrot tonic for our birds again, it's been a few weeks. But I am by no means a chicken expert, I just have learned as I went, so we'll see what everyone else says! Keep us posted on Lu-Lu's progress! Good luck!!

~Lynn

Dog Trot Farm said...

Thanks to everyone for the kind tips and suggestions. My girl's do have excess daily to calcium (offered in a dish) and also in the form of yogurt. This morning Lu-Lu appeared normal, tail feathers erect.I will keep you all informed of her well being, once again thank you. ( the stew pot is not an option)

Jenny said...

Hi Julie, I'm afraid I have no idea how to help, but I am sending over positive vibes across the puddle to you and Lu Lu. Have you tried e-mailing Danni? I think Evie has her address....

Dog Trot Farm said...

Thanks Jenny, Lu-Lu and I need all the good vibes we can get!

Rural Rambler said...

Good Evening Julie! I just came by to send get well vibes to Lu-Lu :) Calming vibes to you! And well yeah no doubt about it, no stew pot!!!

Ali said...

How is LuLu today? I hope she is feeling better.

DayPhoto said...

Well, sad to say this is normal in some chickens. Oyster shell is the recommended solution, but it doesn't always work.

I do have a trick or two which helps....garlic juice in thier water. Leave it in for several days (at least 4) then change out for fresh clean water.

Garlic juice gets rid of parsites and worms in chickens which can be the cause.

Let me know how it goes.

Linda
http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com

Sharlene Washington said...

My girls aren't even laying yet--expecting them to start around October, but I found a great resource in a very comprehensive book, Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens by Gail Damerow. According to the book, Stress, fright or excitement may be cause or nutritional deficiency--especially Vitamin D or calcium. Calcium supplement offered free choice and vitamin AD&E powder added to drinking water three times a week are suggested. Persistent soft or missing shells could be a sign of a serious viral disease. I'm worried about my own personal ability to deal with the negative aspects of raising chickens--when things don't run smoothly. Wishing Lulu good health!