Friday afternoon, I picked up 25 beautiful young laying hens.
I’ve decided to get back into farm fresh egg sales. These hens will be grazing outside during the day, rather than cooped up in a building.
Saturday morning I went to check and see how they were adjusting to their new quarters, I noticed one of the girls wasn’t moving, and hadn’t move for several hours. The words “egg bound” popped into my head. Not sure where that came from, but growing up on a farm, I thought of first calf heifers. In the back of your mind, you were sort of holding your breath until their first calf was successfully delivered…(so in my mind, I had a similar train of thought..these hens are just starting to lay..I wonder if she’s got a large egg stuck in her birth canal???
My mind went to All God’s Creatures Great and Small, the mini series we have been watching.
(What would James Harriot do?)
I got on line and googled “egg bound.”
Sure enough, it’s a thing.
I watched a couple of YouTube videos, read a handful of articles..several of them mentioned putting the bird in a small tub of water and filling it with Epson salts. Let her soak in there for 20 minutes, then put her somewhere quiet, by herself. (You can also do more such as attempt to reach up into the bird and see if you can manually extract the “stuck” egg.) I decided, if it came to that, I was not going to do it, because that also brought with it another bunch of risks.
Didn’t have any Epson salt, so went with plan B.
The poor little hen was obviously in distress, but seemed to love soaking in that warm water bath. Took her out to the shop and put her in a pet carrier/ lots of fresh hay, food and water, and covered the carrier with a towel. The idea is to put her somewhere dark and quiet so she can relax.
If this didn’t work, she probably had 48 hours or less to live before her bowels backed up and she died from complications.
Sunday morning when I went to check on her, low and behold, she had laid an egg!
It was one of the highlights of my weekend. 🙂
She was still moving a little slowly, I noticed one of her toes was bleeding and didn’t seem to want to stop. It must have happened when we brought them home.
How to get a chicken’s toe to stop bleeding? I knew she could not go back with the rest of the hens, quite yet, because, if they saw and got a taste of blood, it would be all over for little Henny Penny. Chickens can be nasty like that..They will eat their own, just like pigs.
Pigs will do that too.
I’ve seen it happen.
Never trust a pig.
Update Tuesday morning.
Toe had stopped bleeding, I found a 2nd egg. Little hen was moving around freely in my shop, pooping here and there. Decided to mark her tail with a tab of red spray paint. That way I could keep an eye on her to make sure she was not getting bullied. 30 minutes later, I re-introduced her to the flock. She hadn’t been gone long enough for them to think she was a new bird. (When you mix older birds together, they will often fight to establish the pecking order).
The treatment had been a success.
In high school, I wanted to be a vet.
I think it would have been a good fit.