Not egg bound

by Dawn
(Gresham, OR)

Not egg bound: Petey has a swollen, fluid-filled feeling to her abdomen, a prominent keel, and her feet are getting red.

This has been going on for months, so not egg bound, but what? She acts normally otherwise.

The prominent keel most likely means she is under weight. She, and possibly your whole flock, may need an upgrade in feed quality.

Winter months are stressful for chickens in areas that experience a lot of cold temps and dark days.

My chickens don’t travel far from the coop on stormy days and have stayed indoors on cold/very windy and wet or snowy days.

The lack of forage and exercise and sunshine can cause some vitamin and mineral deficiencies and make a greater demand of foods rich in good fats and proteins.

A good vitamin/mineral supplement may be needed or a conditioning feed richer in all nutrients.

The red feet are probably a sign of mites. You will want to use a natural product to treat so you aren’t introducing chemicals that will get into your eggs.

Sometimes a good washing of the legs with dish soap will get rid of most of the mites and massaging some type of vegetable oil into her legs and feet can smother the rest.

For a resistant case a pyrethrin lice/tick/mite treatment would be safe.

If one chicken is affected by these mites, she has become a breeding ground and they can spread to the rest of the flock.

Giving a thorough cleaning of the coop, including nest boxes, can cut down on the number of mite eggs present in their environment and spraying the floor, litter, nests and nesting material, with the same pyrethrin product, will further prevent the spread, if this is mites.

Your vet could take a scraping of her legs and look under a microscope to see if there are mites present.

The swelling you notice could just be her normal expansion as her abdomen is filled with developing eggs.

Possibly it seems more pronounced due to her thinness elsewhere. Really hard to tell from here.

Excess fluids in her body could be a result of limited liver or kidney function and vitamins and minerals could help with that and getting plenty of exercise.

You haven’t said what kind or size environment your chickens have. Hopefully they have access to grassy areas and can spend hours everyday scratching and foraging.

Glad she is acting normally otherwise.

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