The day before yesterday Shadow was in the nest box for most of the day. She had been in there all morning so at lunch time I lifted her out and gave her some sunflower hearts. Shadow returned to the nest box until the end of the day but there was no egg.
I assumed that Shadow had got her timing wrong and didn’t think any more of it but yesterday morning when I gave out some sunflower hearts Shadow didn’t come running with the rest of the girls. She was sitting on a log looking miserable and hunched. I realised she was having an egg laying problem.
Shadow’s egg shells have been a bit thin recently and this is typical of a soft shelled egg. At the end of the day she put herself to bed and I hoped that there would be a soft shelled egg in the shed in the morning.
Today there was no sign of an egg. Shadow wasn’t able to compete with the girls for the treats which is always the case when they are feeling out of sorts. I checked Shadow and she had a mucky bottom which is also always the case with an egg problem.
In the past when there has been a bit of an egg shell showing I have been able to pull it out but there was no egg shell showing. I am heart broken at the thought of losing her. Shadow is a favourite. She is so pretty and so friendly. She has a lovely nature and is the easiest girl to pick up. I don’t know why this is happening to her when she has never had egg laying problems before.
I know that if I do nothing and she has an egg stuck we will lose her so I felt that I had to try to help her. I decided on a three pronged strategy. First I wanted to get her to eat something to help keep her strength up. Secondly I decided that as I still have some tylan, that is in date, I would put that in the water for five days. I have read that occasionally an egg can be reabsorbed and an antibiotic could stop an infection. Thirdly I decided to give her a warm bath.
I have never found that the bath treatment has worked for me but other people have had success with this and I felt that I had to give it a try plus it would clean up her mucky bottom.
First I separated Shadow on top of the metal table and gave her chopped tomato and sunflower hearts which are her favourite things. She wouldn’t take them from the dish but had some when I dropped them in front of her.
Next I got everything ready to bath her. I also used a syringe to put some of the tylan water into her beak as she isn’t going to the water at the moment and I felt this would give her a start on the tylan.
I bathed her in a bowl of warm water making sure her vent was in the water. The muck had set hard on her feathers so I gently got that off. I couldn’t see any sign of egg or shell in her vent.
I wrapped Shadow in a towel on my lap and dried her as much as possible before using a hair dryer on the lowest setting to finish drying her. I put her on a towel in the bathroom to wait a bit until I was sure she was fully dry.
Shadow didn’t move from this spot and I was worried that she was traumatised so I decided it would be best to return her to the run. I put her in the nest box but she immediately came back out so I left her to it.
Only time will tell if she comes through this. I am very down hearted about it at the moment but there really isn’t anything else I can do for her.
I will be keeping a close eye on Shadow and checking her vent regularly. I am willing her to come through this. Please, please, please, get past this Shadow. I can’t bare the thought of losing her.