Daisy had an egg break inside her and it has made her sick. It is hard to know what exactly caused this. Something has gone wrong with her “egg-making machine”. She was always a good layer. She was the first of our flock to begin laying eggs at 5 months.
Last week I found her with her head drooping down facing the corner. She didn’t eat or drink but was able to join the others on the roost inside in the evening. This went on for another day. On the second day we turned her upside down. A piece of what looked liked plastic was sticking out of her vent. I pulled on it gently but it caused her discomfort. I took a picture of it (yes, folks, I did) and posted a question on the Backyard Chicken Forum, “First Emergency: What is this sticking out of my hen, and what do I do about it?” You can see the post with all the graphic pictures by going the Backyard Chickens forum and search the topic. You’ll see that it is a common problem and causes much illness and death in hens.
Backyard Chickens is a website with nearly 50,000 members (including me). Members can post questions and answers. Everything I’ve learned about chickens, I learned on this site. Kind of like, “Chicken lovers helping chicken lovers”. They were quick to advise me and give me support.
Turned out that daisy had an unformed egg break inside her. What I saw was the membrane inside a broken egg that had dried and gotten stuck. We would need to soften the membrane and get it out. Daisy tolerated mineral oil being put in her vent (where the egg comes out). I’ll leave it to your imagination as to how we did that. She tolerated soaking in a laundry tub full of warm water. She tolerated have the membrane pulled from her body. She tolerated being dried with a hair dryer. And, finally, she rather enjoyed sitting in a cage in the laundry room, under a heat lamp, warming herself.
As the sun began to set, Daisy wanted to rejoin her flock. We put her in with her sisters and she went off to roost. Hopefully, she will recover. I’m hesitant to be too hopeful. When things go wrong with the “egg-maker” it is often a chronic condition. We’re keeping a close eye on her. Daisy is a sweet, sweet, hen. I would hate to lose her.