Last week, one of our barred plymouth rock hens had to be put down. She is our first animal loss since moving to the farm.
Here is a picture of one of our two barred rock hens.
She was very sick and likely wouldn’t have lived much longer.
She was lethargic for a few days in a row. Starting around the 3rd day, she began waddling like a penguin instead of walking around with her tail up as in the above picture. After a quick internet search, waddling appeared to be a common symptom of being egg bound. Egg bound is when a developed egg gets stuck inside the hen and can cause death if not removed in time.
After some brief research, we followed the recommended treatment to give her some calcium tablets to help trigger egg laying and a warm bath to help relax her muscles so the egg could pass out more easily. After trying several warm baths, she still didn’t lay an egg and we couldn’t feel the egg inside her either.
It turns out that she likely had egg yolk peritonitis (EYP). EYP is when the egg does not form properly inside the hen and then the yolk can remain inside the hen and cause an internal infection. EYP is almost always fatal.