We noticed that Rebecca wasn't looking so good. She was spending an awful lot of time wandering off to stand by herself. She had her feathers all puffed out and was looking distinctly unhappy. She seemed to be eating and drinking OK and her tail was up. But this was unusual behaviour, even for a little odd-ball like her. Then she went off to the nest box and when she emerged, we went to collect her egg. There wasn't one, but Rebecca was standing by herself again.
When we checked her over, we noticed a white, sticky substance dribbling from her vent. Worried that an egg had shunted itself the wrong way and ended up in her tummy area (which could lead to egg yolk peritonitis), we rushed her off to the vet. He thought it could indeed be EYP as her tummy area was swollen.
The prognosis for a hen with this problem is not good, but we all felt we should try and treat her. She responded well ... until a couple of days ago. Then she looked distinctly poorly, so off we went to the vet again.
Now Rebecca doesn't cluck, she squeaks - it's a really weird sound for a chicken to make. But as I said earlier, she is an odd-ball. She was making a quiet little squeak all the way to the vet, but it sounded as if she was in a lot of pain. I steeled myself for the fact that we might be coming back without her.
As we pulled into the car park she gave a yell, which was followed by a thump. She had laid an egg!
When the vet examined her, we were delighted to learn that the swelling in her tummy had disappeared. He thought the painful egg laying process may have been as a result of a residual inflammation somewhere along her reproductive system. He advised an injection that will stop her laying any eggs at all for around 5 months, so she won't have any more pain and her little body can recuperate.
I can't tell you how happy I was to be bringing her back home with me. I know the Araucanas and Polands are 4 now and they won't go on forever. But I'm really not ready to lose any more of my little flock just yet.
Rebecca on a good day