Hattie The Hen!

Well it has been a bit of an emotional weekend for the Whimsical Wife..... needless to say it was all over a chook!!! I must be getting soft in my old age (of 26) :-) The story of this poor chook started about Wednesday last week.....


It all started with little hattie....

 
FAT HEN?
I was rounding the brood up into the pen for the night after their afternoon scratch. This particular hen (now named Hattie) was not so interested in returning to the pen as the others were...... they were eager for there feed! So i had to chase her and pick her up to deposit her into the pen. I noticed at this point how "fat" she felt in the belly...... I thought we must be too generous with feeding them and now they were fat little hen's! I checked the other's but they weren't as fat as poor hattie. I then noticed little hattie was off her food and water and was "nesting" a lot.


The chooks LOVE there food!


INITIAL DIAGNOSIS.....
So now i had to do some "animal husbandry" research on what was wrong with poor little hattie.... i am no vet... and never want to be but this weekend i became an apprentice! My first conclusion was that she was egg bound... the egg was stuck in her ovary duct.... or so i thought? Well this called for some serious "personal" contact with the poor chook. It involved a warm bath, a finger, lubrication & a latex glove! After a few grimaces on my behalf and i am sure on Hatties as well i found nothing. So i let her rest ( and me to get myself together after that ordeal) and see if she would pass an egg in the next 3 hours.

SECOND DIAGNOSIS.....
Let's just say by the this time i was getting a litte distraught... and feeling quite helpless! I did more research... Thank GOD for GOOGLE! I then stumbled across another condition closely related to a hen being egg bound. It is called Egg Yolk Peritonitis...


LESSON 101 in EYP...
Normally a yolk is ovulated (the yolk contains the egg cell) from the ovary and is captured by the infundibulum at the top of the oviduct. The infundibulum slowly moves the yolk into the oviduct where it begins its journey and eventually gets covered in a shell and is laid by the hen. Sometimes, though, the peristaltic movement of the oviduct (the normal muscle contractions that move the egg along towards the cloaca) reverse and the yolk is pushed out of the oviduct and falls into the abdomen. As well, the infundibulum is sometimes pushed one way or the other due to injury and the yolk misses it and falls into the abdomen when it's released from the ovary. Once a hen becomes an internal layer, they rarely lay again but will continue to ovulate. All those yolks build up inside them and can cause inflammation and/or infection. This leads to EYP. If the EYP is sterile and the hen isn't bothered too much by the fluid build-up, they can live for years this way. However, if the EYP becomes infected (again, various reasons for this), then the hen becomes listless and sick and rarely survives.

THE END
So dear hattie had EYP and i believe it had become "septic". We let her go through the night to see if she would improve but from what i read not a lot could really be done and death was the end result! After a blubber (on my behalf) we decided the best thing to do is put her out of her misery! I truly hate seeing animals in pain but i guess i know we did all we could!

Now she is in chook heaven.......

Picture From HERE





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