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Archive for the ‘My Backyard Chickens’ Category


Gert

For Christmas 2012 I got 3 hens and a small chicken coop.  I started my backyard flock!  Before getting them, I studied all I could about the task that lay ahead.  There are wonderful blogs and pages on Facebook dedicated to backyard chickens.  I read message boards and learned what chickens need, what they eat, and what diseases or conditions to watch for.  I learned about keeping a first aid kit for them for the more minor of injuries or illnesses.

I went to a local breeder and chose three different varieties, each of which were 7 months old.

I picked out a beautiful Black Sex Link (left) who I named Gert(rude) because she reminded me of the old fat farm lady.  Gert was the first of my girls to start laying and lays beautiful, very light, large brown eggs.  She lays every other day.

Ms Priss

My Golden Compass is named Ms. Priss (right)because of her strut and constant preening.  Of the three, Prissy is the only one so far who lays an egg every day.

Lucy 3/7/13

This photo (left) is my Rhode Island Red, Lucy.  You can see she is a beautiful specimen.  She’s so healthy, rich in color, plump and has been laying for about 8 weeks.  She lays eggs much like Gert’s and she also lays on alternative days.

One morning this week, I went out to check my girls and gather the  2 eggs they leave for me every day.  Lucy was still on the nest which she tends to hang out once she lays.  Thinking nothing of it, I went about doing other chores.  I watched and waited for her to be done for more than 3 hours until she finally emerged from the coop.  Not thinking much of it as we are still having warm days mixed with cold, sunshine mixed with cloudy, rain, I went to gather the egg(s).  To my horror, I found this anomaly.

Lucy's Egg1

Needless to say, being a chicken mom for all of 3 months, I was frantic!  What happened?  Is Lucy going to die?  Is it contagious and can it kill all my girls?  I immediately came in and showed my husband who wanted nothing more than to retreat and not even look.  I settled down and with great apprehension, I began dissecting the “thing.”

First lateral cut

This was the first, lateral cut.  It exposed a multi-layered, swirly mass.  No odor nor blood.  There was actually no liquid although it was moist.  Not being a veterinarian or even an experienced chicken keeper, I was trying to figure out what this might tell me.  Was this a tumor, part of her reproductive organs, or even cancer?

Layers

You can see how  wet, layered, and flaky it is.  But it’s very clean.

Complete dissection

And here you can see what looks like cystic-growths.  But nothing dark.  It all looked quite benign to this novice.

After having documented as best I could, I went on the hunt to find out what it is.  I could not find this example on any blogs so I headed over to BackYard Chicken’s message board and posted some photos and quickly got a reply which led me right to exactly what this is.  It is called Lash Egg.  Never heard of it?  Not many people have seen it.  From what I read, it’s not very common.  So uncommon that I couldn’t get a clear understanding of what it actually is.  Some message boards has posts from people like me asking for information and advise.  Things I read all indicated that it’s not fatal.  Some hens had been lethargic, some had not.  Lucy had shown no signs of discomfort or distress.

I read one comment where the writer had “heard” that if you find two of these from the same hen, they will no longer lay eggs.  But I could not find any information to support that.  She wasn’t sick before laying this Lash Egg and she has been her normal self since.  She laid another egg two days later, right on schedule which was as perfect as all those before.

While this won’t answer any questions for others seeking information about Lash Egg, it will allow others to see what it is.  I will continue to hope some of the emails or messages I’ve put out about this will be answered.  If that happens, I will add anything new I learn.

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