Cuddles lays an egg! And my 2 year anniversary.

It’s been a longggg time since I’ve updated everyone on the saga of Cuddles, the chicken that could. Here’s a little refresher. Last summer, Cuddles got sick. Chicken sick. Which means she almost died. Chickens tend to do that. When they’re finally sick enough for it to show they usually die. They’re delicate little dinosaurs.

I got a lot of help and advice from around the world because of the post I wrote about her and I managed to bring her back to life. It was a suspected case of egg peritonitis.  Which basically means that she’s laid an egg internally (it didn’t go through her ovidcut but rather fell into her abdomen) and she got an infection from it.  A bad infection.

She’s looked fine since, but I know she isn’t really fine. For one thing Cuddles hasn’t laid an egg since the trauma the middle of last August. That’s 8 months without laying an egg.  So she’s probably laying internally and will eventually get another infection from egg peritonitis.  Chickens can lay eggs internally and be fine as long as they don’t get an infection and are able to absorb all the eggs into their system so they don’t build up.  But usually they can’t absorb the eggs they’ve dropped into their abdomens and so they build up putting pressure on all their organs, eventually causing infection and death.

So far she hasn’t shown any signs of being unwell though.  Or, as I mentioned signs of being well … which means laying eggs in her case.  Which I’m fine with. Cuddles isn’t here to give me eggs, Cuddles is my pet. She runs up to me, jumps in my lap and loves being held and pet. Cuddles loves to Cuddle. She doesn’t just tolerate it. She loves it. If I put her down after sitting in my lap for 15 minutes, she’ll immediately turn around and try to jump back up. Cats won’t even do that. Cats sneer.

And then this happened.

 

cuddles-and-egg

 

Only I didn’t know for sure if Cuddles laid that egg.  She had been in and out of the nesting box for a few days, never producing an actual egg.  Cheez Whiz on the other hand had been in and out of the nesting box and WAS producing eggs.  But I hadn’t seen her in the nesting box all day, I’d only seen Cuddles.  They both lay the same coloured egg which is a bluey/green, although in this photo the egg looks really pale it isn’t in real life.

This was  a couple of weeks ago by the way.

So.  Now what the hell?  Cuddle’s laying a nice egg like that bodes well for her.  But was it her egg?  Just because it was under her doesn’t make it so.

Fast forward to this week.  Again with the in and out of the nesting box without ever laying an egg for Cuddles.  She doesn’t seem to eat enough and so I decided to keep a really good eye on her.  The way she’s eyeing that egg in the photo above.  I was going to take a few days to give Cuddles the chicken eye.

The first night when the chickens went to roost for the night I took a look and noted their positions.  Cuddles was on the left end, so when I woke up in the morning I could look at the poop board under that spot to see how she’d been pooping.  Lots of poop is good. It means she’s eating enough and her guts are doing what they’re supposed to do.  (you can technically watch for this sort of thing during the day but kind of like a watched pot doesn’t boil, a watched chicken doesn’t poop.)

The next morning I had this.

poop

 

A weird puddle of egg whitey/yolky mess with a few lumps of poop mixed in.  That’s not good.  That’s not what you’re looking for in the poop of a healthy anything.

But then, on a whim I opened up the nesting box, and there in the nesting box were two blue eggs.  One a regular egg, and another with a thin shell that had broken.   A chicken can only lay one egg a day at most.  I have two chickens that lay blue eggs; Cuddles and Cheez Whiz.  That means each of them laid an egg early that morning.

So one of two things could have happened.  Cuddles could have had an egg break inside her and part of it came out when she pooped in the night, the rest of it was laid already broken in the morning.  Or Cuddles had pooped out part of an egg that hadn’t been formed and then laid a full soft shelled egg in the morning.

Either way she got rid of a couple of things that are better off out of her body than in it.  So the chicken eye continues.

I wouldn’t say she’s well, but she’s better than she was a year ago.

Speaking of which.  So am I.  I’m doing even better than I was two years ago today.  Happy anniversary to me. Time really does heal all wounds.

We’ll see if it heals a chicken.

Have a good weekend!

89 Comments

  1. Heather says:

    I’m so happy to hear Cuddles is doing better. I have an Easter Egger that is experiencing internal lay right now. She was taking on the “penguin stance” but now she looks normal again. I thought she was going to die last week but my little cutie is a fighter. I don’t expect to ever get another egg from her but she seems happy and is eating and hanging with her girls so I’m glad I didn’t hire a “hitman” to put her out of her misery when I thought it was a one way ticket to misery.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Heather. Do you know if she ever laid the egg that was causing the penguin stance? The reason I ask is because if it happened to break inside of her she could end up with an infection which could kill her. So just keep a really good eye on her and if she starts acting lethargic give her some antibiotics. If you don’t have any antibiotics on hand for your chickens get some to have because when a chicken needs them they need them immediately. Good luck! ~ karen!

  2. StefT says:

    We’ve has a similar problem with one of our chickens. Luckily my wife is a vet and has given Pretzel (the chicken) a hormonal implant which has stopped her from producing any more eggs, which means that she can’t get any more lost in her abdomen. It’s the same type of thing as people use for birth control. It does mean we are guaranteed to get no eggs from her, but also means we don’t have to worry that the eggs could kill her.
    Just though you might consider it for Cuddles as she’s more pet than producer.

    • Karen says:

      I’d love to do that for Cuddles, thanks for the info. I’d read about it but for some reason I was thinking it was an operation as opposed to just an implant. I’m not sure I’ll be able to find a vet around here to do it. I wish I could do it myself like do everything else! I’ll look into it, thanks again. ~ karen!

  3. Deanna Baranowsky says:

    So glad to hear Cuddles is doing well!!! I also have hens. 7 of them. People misunderstand my hens. They think I have “food machines” in my back yard. I have 7 amazing and wonderful creatures which if I were to describe in any fashion it would be – loving and loved pets. My “lap hen” is Rapunzel. Yep – she loves to get up in my lap and fall asleep. It’s sort of our end of the day routine – provided I get home before they go to bed. She’s even been known to spend some time in the house on my lap. THE HOUSE??? Ya…I’m a fool for my hens. They FAR from have the run of the house – but sometimes, when it is really hot outside (we live in a suburb of Phoenix, AZ) it’s nice to just sit in the house. They do however enjoy their evaporative cooler that we keep running for them! My precious spoiled hens. I’m super glad to know I’m not “crazy” or alone here – there are other hen loving folks out there. Best of luck with Cuddles!!! I think a year is an amazing milestone for a somewhat ill hen!

  4. Shirley says:

    Thanks Karen. I will try some probiotics to see if that helps. Got to give her a bath today. She had lobster body parts for breakfast so doesn’t seem to bad although I had to drag her off the nest. I was thinking it wasn’t fleet because it doesn’t stink, and the other hens eat it so that made me think it was egg. Yuck!!!!! They are under new stress since I am keeping them confined to one yard now while we are at work, so that May have upset her ph balance. Hope that is all it is!

  5. Shirley says:

    Argh I was happy to see the blue egg my Sunny laid the other day but now she seems worse! Lots of yellow crusty stuff on feathers beneath vet vent. It does not feel hot. I noticed yellow stuff in the shavings beneath her roost. She wants to stay in the nest box a lot. She will eat mealworms and walks around with some effort. I fear the worst! Vets around here are not chicken experts. Why does it have to be my only lap chicken? ;(. Any suggestions? I am going to give her a warm bath tomorrow while my hubby is at work so he doesn’t find out I brought her inside!! So worried! She is only 2

  6. Mary Beth says:

    I just found your wonderful blog and spent an hour last night reading all of your posts on chickens, break-ups, and drinking motor oil. My husband and I have been laughing our butts off thanks to you. We need it on this snowy, blowing weekend. Cheers, from South Dakota.

    • Karen says:

      Snowy? Blowy? It was over 80 here today here in Southern Ontario. I think our souths are different, lol. ~ karen!

  7. Shirley says:

    Thanks for the reply. She finally did lay her long skinny blue egg yesterday so I was very happy to see it. I was only getting one egg a day from my 5 free rangers. 3 were laying them in a yet yo be disclosed location, so we built them a chicken corral and spent $300 on special poultry netting, thinking they could stay in there in the morning until they laid their eggs. Apparently my hens fly better than most as 4 of them greeted me at my car door when I came home from work. Number 5 was really pissed off!! I have lots of electric fence around so I ran two wires across the top. Before I could plug it in one jumped up beside me and crawled through, even though the gate was open 3 feet away!!! She was mocking my efforts for sure!!! I added another strand and tacked on a strip of flimsy plastic webbing on the top railing so that has them perplexed for now. Got our 5 eggs yesterday which earned them their freedom. I want my $300 back!

  8. Kelli says:

    You’re good enough, you’re smart enough, and doggone it, PEOPLE LIKE YOU. :)

    Congrats on time helping both you and Cuddles heal, YAY!

  9. Shirley says:

    Awe I hope she is ok. I am worried about my blue egg layer lap chicken too. Sunny hasn’t laid an egg in a couple of weeks. She wasn’t ever really great at it and laid soft shells last year. I upped the calcium so I haven’t seen those lately. She is not crazy for treats like she should be the last few days. I think she needs to lay. I would be a wreck if she got sick! She is my favourite!!

    • Karen says:

      She could just be moulting. Check under her roost for feathers and the back of her neck. If you see pin feathers she’s just entering a moult. Not normal for this time of year but possible. Just keep an eye on her and feel her crop every night before bed. If it’s full … she’s fine. If you can’t feel anything in it try to find *something* she’ll eat before bed. If she has a favourite treat give her that. Mealworms maybe? Or dandelions. ~ karen!

  10. judy says:

    I wish I could express in words what I see from the vantage point of the end of my life. My Husbands body is still with us but most of his mind is now gone, He is very sweet(asks me to marry him daily) and tells me I am a very nice Lady. We had the children(no grandchildren)the career, the job moves from state to state bought and sold 8 houses,etc., And all I regret is my Husbands situation and all of the time I wasted on fretting, regret and worry. As smart as you and your readers are you all probably know this-but give all of the down emotions in Life a fast kick out the door and run through life grabbing all the smiles, laughs and fun you can suck out of it. Take a moment,sit,close your eyes, be at peace and ask yourself, when I look back over 80 or 90 years will I be satisfied with what I did cause that’s all you have the slightest control over. Wish I knew how quickly it would all go by. They tell you life is short but no one ever believes how truly brief it is. We are fortunate to have a home and a comfortable life, so I’m not complaining-just trying to pass on one of the few regrets I have-how much time I wasted on so much of little true importance.

    • Karen says:

      I’m only halfway done with life Judy and I’m shocked at how fast it goes by! I’ve done a lot in my lifetime. Many things most people will never do. Hosted television shows, won awards, lived in Los Angeles with a band, taught the world how to do many, many things and encouraged them to try new things along the way. So I know I won’t feel regret. Except maybe moving to NYC for a while. That would have been nice. But I have another 40 years or so hopefully to consider it still. Good luck with your husband. It’s extremely hard on you and as you know, exhausting and sometimes isolating. ~ karen! (not only content but genuinely happy! )

  11. Jess says:

    That is wonderful news! For both you and Cuddles. Happy anniversary ♥

  12. James says:

    Congrats on the 2 year anniversary.. If I could pass on anything.. I don’t know if I could do as well as others in the post. There ARE a few loyal ones out there. Just gotta find em. They are super rare.. but the one thing I could pass on is this.. You can’t make a selfish person happy. It’s as simple as that.

    I have nothing else to say.

    • TucsonPatty says:

      “You can’t make a selfish person happy. It’s as simple as that.”
      Profound words there, sir. I thank you for that.
      It comes down to accepting and being happy with what you have, and it is ever so much better when you don’t have to try to make someone else happy who will never want to be satisfied with life .
      Karen, I think you are an amazing woman and you constantly inspire me. I think you are the best thing since sliced bread! You deserve the biggest funny award! Yes, funny – not fanny! ; )

    • Karen says:

      Thanks James, you said exactly enough. :) ~ karen!

  13. Kathleen says:

    Thank you for sharing with us – both Cuddles and your anniversary. I had read about both during the past two years, and wondered how you were. I knew you would eventually be fine…you are a Warrior! I am glad to hear that Cuddles is still with you, and cuddling! Thanks, Karen!

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Kathleen. We’re both doing quite well. I’m pretty sure Cuddles is a bit stronger than I am. She came back from death! I just came back from mild shock, lol. ~ karen!

  14. Teddee Grace says:

    Could Cuddles have a hysterectomy? Would it just be prohibitively expensive? She’d still be able to cuddle!

    • Karen says:

      You know what? Technically she can. She can have something done that prevents her from laying eggs. I have no idea what the cost is, but from what I understand it’s more for chickens who get a build up of fluid in their abdomens from internal egg laying. I *don’t* think she has that, although I’m not entirely sure. And I really have no idea what that would cost! ~ karen!

  15. jaine gayer says:

    Congrats on your two year survival. You are a badass survivor.
    And thank you for the update on sweet Cuddles and her poop or whatever that was.

  16. Kat #2 says:

    Ah those “fellas”. Mine thought we should let the “other woman” move in and be the “governess” to our 10-year old sons. Yea, that didn’t smell right and he went away with her. That was 32 years ago and I find myself truly grateful for the 2 sons (and the four wonderful grandchildren) and glad he found his governess. My life is not what I thought it would be and it’s wonderful. I moved back to my beloved Midwest, am about to retire from my 27 years at an institution of higher education and ready to embark on a whole new journey that, for the first time in my life, will be about me and what I want to do! Can hardly wait. Give Cuddles a cuddle for me. She reminds me of my beloved Cockapoo who wants to spend her days playing ball and her nights curled up on top of me. Congratulations Karen for making it through that long and dark tunnel and coming out the other side. Your humor is a true treasure for all your readers so thank you for sharing it.

    • Karen says:

      Well. You’re very uptight aren’t you? Wouldn’t even let the guy have his girlfriend in the house. No wonder he left. ;) ~ karen!

  17. Maryanne says:

    I’m glad you are both doing well.

    Maryanne

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