This is our Black Blue Laced Red Wyandotte hen, Doug. Yes, Doug. (It's one of those funny stories that I would prefer not to tell to a broad audience!) She is about 6 months old and has been laying very nice eggs for us. She got a little "backed-up" today. The technical term is "eggbound". We found her this morning waddling around with her behind dragging the ground. Rubber glove time! A little poultry 101 for those of you interested....The egg and the poo come out of the same hole. Anybody proclaiming they will never eat another egg, relax, there is good news. Yes, the egg and poo share the same exit door, "the vent". But they don't take the same route. There are two roads that lead to the vent. The egg takes the high road and the poo takes the low road. When one road is being used the other is closed off. Okay, back to our drama. Being eggbound can be life threatening (to the hen!), so rubber glove and vaseline in hand, I was ready for my first gyn poultry experience. I told Doug, "Just relax, you'll feel a little pressure." Why would I think this would work with her, it's never worked with me! Slowly and gently, I could feel the egg about 2 inches in. I added more vaseline and gently masaged around the tip of the egg, being ultra careful not to break it (that can be a complete disaster!). We left her alone for about 30 minutes, no change. Onto the warm bath. A 20 minute warm bath is recommended to relax the bird. Katie carried her into the kitchen (farm animals in the house again!) as I filled the sink. The egg fell right out of her onto our (thank goodness) tile floor. Yay! We put her back outside with the gang and she still seemed to be walking strange. I examined her again and could not detect any egg. Also, she felt much softer on her underside. We put her in Phyllis' apartment to protect her from the roosters (since she was walking around in a very inviting pose). She may just need a little time. We will keep checking on her. She should be fine.
Every morning, at feeding time, Polka and Phyllis chow together. They are definitely our two handi-capped residents. Polka had an eye removed earlier this year, and he is 29! And Miss Phyllis is a Polish hen, which means she has this beautiful "puff" of feathers on her head which limits her vision considerably. She doesn't like hanging with the other girls because she can't see them coming, so she has her own "apartment" in the coop and when she free-ranges, she hangs with Mr. Polka. He is so big, she can hear him coming and he moves VERY slow. So Phyllis and Polka are good buds!