Something we have noticed here at Sandhole Veterinary Centre in the last year or two is that pet chickens are becoming ever more popular. Chickens are fast becoming part of people’s lives and families and will, in return for housing and good food, produce you eggs for your breakfast!
Luci is such a chicken. She and her friend Mabel live in an Eglu in a back garden in Maidstone. She loves sweetcorn and porridge oats and she has until recently laid an egg every day. At the end of June her owners brought her in concerned that the eggs being laid were quite soft shelled and in fact she hadn’t laid any for a fortnight. She was also very subdued and quiet.
Vet Isobel examined her and decided that x-rays would be a good idea to rule out any problems. While she was here we could also test her faeces for any parasites and give her a really good once over.
The xrays showed a large egg waiting to come out, but it was not stuck, she did not have egg peritonitis which is a common and dangerous problem in chickens but her gut was quite gassy. Isobel felt that we were dealing with an infection.
Supportive treatment was essential because birds can go downhill really very quickly. The nurses got onto the job of providing this care, crop feeding, administering fluids, and antibiotics. They also ensured that Luci’s pain was under control.
After 2 days in hospital Luci was sent home and has continued to do very well! Her gut infection seems to be under control. She has now moved out of the house where she enjoyed watching the television back outside to her friend and we are in no doubt that she will begin to lay eggs very soon!
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