The Chicken Chronicles
October 7, 2014
Whew, last week was a whirlwind. So much so that I never even got around to sharing the record the ladies set last week. Can you believe they jumped up to 48 eggs‽ That is nine more than their previous week! Unfortunately, they didn’t hold that kind of record again this week. Even so, they still produced 43 eggs, which is nothing to sneeze at!
The big event for the chickens this week is that I had one of the ladies who was egg bound. I am glad this happened while I was home. I first read up on it on Backyard Chickens and The Chicken Chick. My initial plan was to let it go for a bit and see if she laid the egg, but after further reading I decided the best time to act was now. SIGH.
I began by just holding her and trying to calm her down. She quickly seemed comfortable in my arms as I felt her abdomen to see if I could feel an egg, and indeed I could. I had one of my boys begin to mix some oyster shells with water, which we would then give to her with a syringe to increase her calcium. It seem this is one of the causes of a hen being egg bound, as calcium is necessary for contracting muscles.
While my oldest son was helping me with this, my youngest son was filling our bathtub with warm water to give the hen a warm bath. As crazy as this sounds it helps the hen relax, which often helps them expel the egg. As I walked toward the house to give her the bath, out popped the egg along with a second one that was not yet fully formed!
I carried her down to the hen house, and after setting her in there she seemed to need a few minutes to recooperate. Later in the evening she seemed back to normal – potential catastrophe averted.
Had the calcium and bath not worked, things would have gotten more interesting, as we would have had to put mineral oil on her vent. The problem is not just that she wasn’t laying her egg, but for chickens the vent the egg comes out of is also the vent they defecate from. In other words, this animal that normally poops every twenty minutes couldn’t go at all. Ultimately, in the absense of fixing this, she would have likely been dead in a couple of days.
I guess I can now add this to my resume. 😀
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