Posted on May 06, 2014
By Ellie Laks, Founder of The Gentle Barn
We have about 25 chickens right now and most of them are older hens who
are the products of the egg industry. In the egg industry, chickens are
genetically engineered to reach sexual maturity at only a few months old
instead of at 2 years old as nature intended. Since they are designed
to lay eggs very early and in unnaturally large quantities, by the time
the hens are 7 or 8 years old, their uteri either get infections,
cancer or can potentially rupture. As a result of the high propensity
for these and other problems, we examine them each month, making sure
they are a good weight and healthy. When one of our chickens does not
look right, we take them to our avian specialist right away so we can
catch a problem early.
This week during our exam, Eliza seemed a bit thin and her crop was empty which suggested that she didn’t eat breakfast. We took her to the vet just to make sure she was okay and x-rays showed that she was egg bound, that is, eggs were stuck inside her and she couldn’t get them out by herself. When undetected it can cause tremendous pain and can be fatal. Eliza had surgery and the vet removed several rotten eggs. The surgery was a success and Eliza is now home, healthy and happy, on her way to a complete recovery.