Saturday, April 21, 2012

Let's talk about worming chickens and eggbound hens.

I have a problem with one of my chickens. 

Here's the story - This is Nutmeg, Nutty for short. She's a sweet bantam hen who's stop laying, and her butt is all swelled.  She stands around looking like this, with her butt down, tail down, looking miserable.  However, if I put treats out in the pen, she's runs and fights with the other hens to get her fair share.  At first I assumed she was eggbound. 

Last weekend I gave her too many warm, 20 minute baths in the sink to even count.  I blow-dried her and massaged her bum to help her to relax.  Nutmeg spent the weekend in my bathroom.  She pooped a few times, but no eggs.  She loves to eat and has a healthy appetite, she loves her treats.  I didn't think eggbound hens would eat so well.  And a week later, she still looks the same, but she's still alive.  I didn't think an eggbound bird would live over a week without passing the egg. 
And so, next I thought, maybe she has worms?



But she's the only bird with the symptoms.  Could only one bird get worms?  And that makes me think she's eggbound.  Regardless, I'll get some garlic for the birds today. 
What do you think?
I'll continue spa treatments for Nutty this weekend. 

I'll show you some photos I took this morning of some of my other chickens.

Here's Leggy, one of the roosters.  I love this big boy.  His big, beautiful, and stupid.  If he were a person he'd be a male model.



Muffin is the lead rooster.  He's smart and super fast.  A lean mean fighting machine.  His mind is sharp as a whip and he can be dangerous.



This is my favorite bird, Lucy, a bantam hen.  All she wants is to be taken away from all those other crazy chickens.  She doesn't realize that she's a chicken, she thinks she's human and should hang with me.  I wish she could, she's a darling.


Charlotte has always been our best mama hen.  We call her Mama Charlotte, even though she has no babies now.  We believe Nutty is her and Muffin's daughter.




Oh, Poor Nutty.  Nobody else looks sick like Nutty.


Luna is a big girl with a fluffy butt.


Zoner is in the nest box.


Dotty is named after my Aunt Dorothy.  Dotty's very fiesty and is always the first to race in for treats.  She is Muffin's granddaughter, she's interited his speed, but she's still very friendly.

Have a nice weekend!
If anyone has any recommendations about Nutmeg, let me know! 
I'll keep you posted on her condition.

15 comments:

Farm Girl said...

I wish I had and idea about what to tell you, but I have never solved the problem you are having.
I asked my vet if he would look at my chickens. He said he would but I might know as much as he did. So I muddle along trying my home remedy's.
I read once that pumpkin seed is a excellent wormer. My hens of course knew I was up to something and just looked at me and the pumpkin and left it alone.
I have very picky hens.
I hope someone who reads your blog has some tips. My books all say, " off with their heads. "
I have some really harsh books. :)

Carolyn Renee said...

I'm no chicken expert, but I had what I thought was an egg bound hen. And she lived for several months. I soaked her bum in warm water, even did some "exploratory" non-surgery (think latex gloves and KY jelly), but it didn't really do much. She seemed happy to eat and stretch in the sun, she even kept her pretty-high rank in the pecking order. She was mopey most of the time, with the saggy bum and all, but still seemed to have the will to live so I didn't put her down. Just found her dead one day. Here's a post I did on it last year if you want to take a look at a picture of her:
http://krazoacres.blogspot.com/2011/05/guess-what-chicken-butt.html

Good luck!

Razzberry Corner said...

Farm Girl - Pumpkin seed? I'll have to give it a try. I am not against normal store-bought wormers for my chickens if it cures them and may go to the feed store later today to see what they offer. I've researched them online already. I've never wormed my chickens, have you? But everywhere I read says garlic is good for worms and whatever else ails birds. Maybe I'll mix up a batch of carrot water for them tomorrow. But I really don't think it's worms since just Nutmeg is affected.

CR - Your bird looks like she was eggbound. But when I compared her and Nutmeg, they both look egg bound. But several months??? Strange. I did the exploratory thing with Nutty, too, didn't find anything odd up there. Nutty wasn't too happy with me at the time. Nutty also has the will to live, and I'm not going to put her down unless I know she's in terrible pain. Every now and then these weird things happen and we loose a bird, and we really don't know why. Guess like you said, it's the circle of life...

~Lynn

Farm Girl said...

Hi Lynn, I did get some wormer at the feed store, It worked pretty good I think. I was thinking about your hen, Do you think a egg broke inside and she needs to be on antibiotic? I had that with a hen of mine, I was giving oyster shell and everything, I started to give her that and she got better for a little while but she still died. My daughter always called it the wasting away disease. Just something that would happen.
Okay, tag free means you know those awards you get where some person gives you an award then you have to tell stuff about yourself and then tag about 7 or 8 other people? Well, I kept getting tagged and I just didn't have the time to do all of the stuff you had to do, and I felt terrible about it but it was just more time on the computer. :)
So that is what it means.

Chai Chai said...

Garlic for worming, thanks for the reminder!

Dog Trot Farm said...

I am sorry that I cannot be of any help. All 5 of my three year old girls have taken a respite from laying. If anyone might possibly have an answer to Nutmeg's issue it would be Terry, of HenBlog, she is a wealth of information.Check her out. Good luck, keep us posted.

LindaG said...

Pumpkin seeds and nasturtiums are both considered natural wormers.
Check this blog here. If you don't already read it, I love Lisa's blog.

Apple cider vinegar added to the water helps with worms, too, if that's what it is. 1 T/gallon of water for hens.

Make sure to check for bug problems like mites or ticks.

I wasn't able to find any other information, sorry. Good luck!
*hugs* ♥

LindaG said...

Now something else I read that I forgot about was to feed the hen calcium. Either oyster shell or crushed and washed egg shell.
If a hen is egg bound, that is supposed to help her pass it.
I hope she bounces back soon. ♥

Razzberry Corner said...

Update ~ I talked to Randy last night, he fills their big waterers. He said he routinely puts garlic and apple cider vinegar in their water. both of those are supposed to be natural wormers.

Farm Girl, We started all the chickens on antibiotics today, Randy gave them new water. So now we can't eat any eggs for weeks. :(

Yes, I know about those tagging games, I usually don't do them but have done some. Like you said, it takes too much time. And I usually don't divulge too much personal about myself online. If you knew me in real life you wouldn't recognize me here at Razzberry Corner! :)

Chai Chai - Your lambs are precious!!! I just keep watching your videos! I love the knitted sweaters!

Julie - I'm positive that Nutty is eggbound. I found out Randy routinely give all the chickens garlic and apple cider vinegar in their water, which gets rid of worms. If it was worms it would affect more than one bird. And Nutty is way worse now. I don't think she's going to get better... :(

LindaG - Thanks for all the info!!! You are awesome! We do give the birds garlic and apple cider vinegar in their water. Randy does the waterers, they are like 50 gallon things, way too heavy for me to carry. I talked to him about all this last night. He said he knew apple cider venegar and garlic took care of worms and were good for the birds. I think Nutmeg is eggbound. :( Very badly eggbound.
We had read online about the calcium - we give the birds oyster shell calcium mixed with their food. It keeps their eggs hard. I don't think her prognosis is very good. I'm gonna make another post about her today if I have time. We have 2 more 20 min warm baths yesterday, and I attempted to put some vaseline up her. Nothing worked. She's all swelled up. She's under a heat lamp now and on pain meds. Poor Nutmeg.

~Lynn

Country Girl said...

How is Nutty? Hope she passed those eggs! I like your new pictures on the blog header. Looks great. -- Hope you figured out Nutmeg. Its a mystery. You need to keep notes for your book!

Lisa said...

Hi I have never commented before but I so love to read your blog and have followed it now for at least a year or so. I am going by what I have gone through with a couple of hens of my own. I do not think she Nutty is eggbound but rather internal laying. This means she is not laying the egg outside of her body but it is dropping inside of her abdomen and she seems and looks like she has been doing it for a little while. I took one of my Delaware hens to the vet and they preformed surgery on her and they removed 2 pounds of egg yoke mass that looked like boiled egg yoke. It also had 2 eggs inside, one with a complete shell the other the shell had not fully developed completely. But I am most certain if you feel her abdomen it will be full and maybe even firm to the touch but defintitely full and heavy. This is why she is feeling bad, another thing is she probably has infection in there and that is called Egg Peritonitis (sp), this is caused by all the eggs just sititng in the abdomen and unless removed she will not survive.

Lisa said...

It sounds to me like it is internal laying, which means that instead of laying the egg like she normally would it is dropping down into her abdomen. I have had a hen that had this and I took her to the vet and she had surgery and they removed a 2-4lb mass of what looked like cooked egg yoke, with 2 fully formed eggs in there,one with the full shell. She also sounds like she has infection from all the mess inside her belly which is called Peritonitis (sp), antibiotic will help with this but it will not get rid of the mass of egg inside of her. If you are able to operate yourself that is cheaper than taking her to the vet. If not if you have a vet that will see chickens then that would be great, but make them do a hysterectomy on her because unfortunately this is only the start and she will do it again. You could also try to use a syringe and remove teh liquid inside of her abdomen that will relieve of the pressure and reduce how big she is.

I hope this helps and she can get better, but without human intervention she will not recover from this without surgery.

Knatolee said...

Love your chickens.

We use Flubenvet 1% Poultry dewormer. You can still eat the eggs while you use it. We ordered it from the UK but it seems easy to get online.

Anonymous said...

Our hen was egg bound. She was still eating well and was fairly happy, she lost the feathers on her underneath and it swelled up a lot, we took her to the vet and they said the only thing they could do was to operate. being our favourite pet, we took the risk and shes survived! The operation was only yesterday and shes already looking better in herself. She is eating, drinking and passing. The eggs were malformed and were loose in the abdomen so where still just yolks. Also further down there was a huge yolk type thing inside which the vet cut open and you could see the layers of different eggs. Hopefully with some tlc she should be better in a week. The vets found it very interesting and now know for the future that this is a possible solution! Hope this helps! :)

Anonymous said...

Our hen was egg bound. She was still eating well and was fairly happy, she lost the feathers on her underneath and it swelled up a lot, we took her to the vet and they said the only thing they could do was to operate. being our favourite pet, we took the risk and shes survived! The operation was only yesterday and shes already looking better in herself. She is eating, drinking and passing. The eggs were malformed and were loose in the abdomen so where still just yolks. Also further down there was a huge yolk type thing inside which the vet cut open and you could see the layers of different eggs. Hopefully with some tlc she should be better in a week. The vets found it very interesting and now know for the future that this is a possible solution! Hope this helps! :)