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Jeanne Smith
Jeanne Smith,
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 5623
Experience:  owner at Avian Health Services
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I talked to an avian vet yesterday about my hen Maple who is

Customer Question

Hello, I talked to an avian vet yesterday about my hen Maple who is laying soft eggs at night. She has now completely stopped laying and im really worried about her.
JA: Hi there. I'll do all I can to help. How has the hen's appetite been? Any changes in her stool?
Customer: Her appetite has been fine however she did have some milky diahrrea
JA: Could she have eaten something unusual?
Customer: No i dont think so.
JA: What's the hen's name and age?
Customer: Her name is ***** ***** she is about 76 weeks old. I have messaged about this yesterday.
JA: Is there anything else the Vet should know about Maple?
Customer: She hurt her wing about a month ago and we obviously had a heatwave not long after so i suspected that maybe she just lost a lot of calcium.
Submitted: 8 days ago.
Category: Bird
Expert:  Jeanne Smith replied 8 days ago.
Hi, this is Dr Jeanne Smith.  I just came on line and saw your request.  I'm sorry no one else was able to respond to you sooner.  I believe I was the veterinarian you communicated with and I suggested trying calcium for a few days to see if her shells were getting better.  If she's now stopped laying it makes it much more likely it's the other alternative I mentioned, an oviduct infection.
Expert:  Jeanne Smith replied 8 days ago.

About 99% of oviduct infections are caused by E coli from the hen's own GI tract.  You'll need to get her seen by a veterinarian familiar with birds to get appropriate prescription antibiotics.  Until you can get her to a vet you can give her fresh garlic by crushing 1 clove mixed per quart drinking water and give her one human echinacea capsule ot tablet orally 3 times daily. They are both natural antibiotics and immune stimulants.

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Thank you for responding. I will try to get her in to see a vet as soon as possible. Hopefully today or on Monday. I will put garlic in her drinking water. I am already giving them apple cider vinegar as an immunity boost so should i add the garlic cloves too or remove the apple cider vinegar? I will also try and find the tablets.
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Also, if i cant get her to see a vet i will just give the tablets and garlic to the caretaker. Apologies for all the questions i'm about to ask but i am quite concerned about her.
Is it contagious? How can i prevent it in the future? Will she be okay if i go away for one week? How long can she survive for with the infection? Should i isolate her from my other hens?Again, I'm really sorry about all the questions. I am learning more about my hens as I would like to become an ornitholigist.
Expert:  Jeanne Smith replied 8 days ago.

I suggest stopping the ACV and do the garlic. She isn't contagious.  All hens have E coli naturally in their GI tract. Hens are at risk of oviduct infections when they lay eggs because the chamber the egg passes through is adjacent to the passage feces pass through. It can be made less likely by going to nest pads in nest boxes versus particulate materials like shavings or straw because dust from those can carry E coli that gers on the oviduct exit as an egg is deposited.

Expert:  Jeanne Smith replied 8 days ago.

The importance of getting good, early treatment is to catch this while it's still just an oviduct infection and hasn't traveled up to her ovary.  If the infection reaches her ovary she can get a much more dangerous and harder to treat infection called egg peritonitis.

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Ok. Thank you so much and sorry for all the questions. Will she be okay if I come back after a week and then take her to the vet? I'm coming back on the 11th August.
Expert:  Jeanne Smith replied 8 days ago.

It's not ideal but if your caretaker can give the garlic and echinacea it may keep the infection in check.