What is the difference?
Egg binding on rare occasions can be the only problem. But I stress that it is, rare.
- Strange walk – waddling upright like a duck (Posture is very noticeable)
- Enlarged behind often with some feather loss – appears distinctly red and swollen
- Tail lowered
- Not laying
- Difficult or reluctant to roam around her yard
- Lack of interest in foraging
- Frequently sitting
- Lacking usual interest in food
Let’s start with a hen suspected of being Egg Bound
The diet must be balanced with grains, protein, greens and calcium grit. Ensure that the water supply is always clean.
Egg shell quality diminishes with age, so often it is the older hens that become Egg Bound. The more fragile the egg shells become, the harder it is for the hen to expel the egg successfully.
- Sit her in luke-warm water with a little Epsom salts in the sink or large bucket to help her relax for 5 minutes or so.
- On removing her from the water, towel dry gently and use a hair dryer to dry her off.
- In some cases, this may be enough for some hens to lay her egg.
- Follow up with a visit to your vet the next day. MUST
- Provide shellgrit and a liquid calcium supplement to their water supply to ensure all of your poultry have an adequate level of calcium as prevention
A hen that is Egg Bound is merely a SYMPTOM of something more that should be investigated.
Peritonitis follows reverse movement of albumen and Escherichia coli bacteria from the oviduct into the abdomen. If the incidence is high, culture should be done to differentiate between Pasteurella (fowl cholera) or Salmonella infection. Antibiotic treatment of peritonitis caused by E coli infections is usually ineffective. Management of body weight and uniformity, reproductive development (ovary follicle growth and maturation), and drinking water sanitation are the best preventive strategies.
When hens have too many large ovarian follicles, a problem described as erratic oviposition and defective egg syndrome (EODES) is seen in broiler breeders. This condition is accompanied by a high incidence of double-yolked eggs, prolapses of the oviduct, internal ovulation, and/or internal laying that often results in egg peritonitis and mortality. EODES is prevented by avoiding light stimulation of underweight pullets too early and by following guidelines for body weight and uniformity, and lighting recommendations for each breeder strain. Overweight hens may also have a higher incidence of erratic ovulations and mortality associated with egg peritonitis.
MSD Manual - The Veterinary Manual
How will the vet diagnose Egg Peritonitis?
This may be followed with fluid being drawn from the coelom for samples.
If she is egg bound, the vet is then likely to insert fingers into the hen’s rear to extract the egg. A course of antibiotics might be offered.
EYP is diagnosed by your vet during a post mortem.
Are some chickens more prone to this disease?
Hens who are frequent double-yolk layers are also considered at higher risk.
Over weight hens are also in the high risk category.
Can Egg Yolk Peritonitis be treated?
Often a visit to the vet can result in the choice of a peaceful passing away instead of suffering.
It is very hard for a bird to show that they are in pain. They are more likely to hide their illness or injury and display more sleepiness and lack of interest in their day to day activities.
Always take time with your poultry each day to get to know what is normal or abnormal so that you can pick up on any early stages of ill health.