Eggstreme egg-laying

Stav likes eggs.

So many eggs! It’s only January and already the birds are gearing up for the spring. I know the winter is not very cold and long here, but aren’t you exaggerating a little, girls? It seems the (neutered) cats are the only thing not trying to multiply like mad. 

Duck eggs, chicken eggs, quail eggs… The chickens had a little winter dip in their egg-laying and broodiness, but the ducks and quail totally ignore the seasons. They don’t even take a break for moulting. It’s business as usual!

This is what greets me every morning -several nests full of mixed duck and chicken eggs. The feathers are from the white muscovies, who are sneakily trying to brood. It seems the season starts early this year! We even got the first guinea egg already:

Smaller brown egg is a guinea fowl egg.

Egg-laying usually goes smoothly. I have never seen anyone having problems passing an egg. Until today. I found one of the quail hens in a pretty terrible situation: an egg was stuck half in, half out of her vent, and in the process of trying to get it out, she seemed to have more or less turned herself inside out. I won’t show you any pictures, because it was quite a horrible sight. 

Cue panic and trying to forget I’d seen it. Until I got a grip on myself. If I don’t deal with this, no one does. So, deep breath, grab phone, Google “quail turned inside out”. After scrolling past a list of recipes for cooking quail, I found information on what to do in case of egg-bound hens with vent prolapse. I was supposed to try to get the egg out and and push the prolapsed vent back into place. Backyard Chickens counselled a warm bath with salt.

So the poor little hen went home with me. Interestingly, I have noticed before that quail seem to like going into water. This girl certainly seemed to relax into her bath. She just stood there, looking up at me. If she was a chicken, she’d have kicked up a terrible fuss. Chickens are drama queens.

No matter what I did though, I couldn’t get the egg out. The only thing left was to break it. That did seem to help, the vent shrunk and I was able to push it back inside. I cleaned it up as well as I could, gave her some antibiotics and put her under a heat lamp. She seemed to have fever and was also missing a load of feathers from her backside. 

I really hope she’ll be ok. Poor little thing. It can’t be easy having to daily push out a disproportionately large egg compared to your body size.


About tarnegolita

Dutch expatriate, mother of 3 boys, freelance translator and pet zoo keeper in a kibbutz in Israel.
This entry was posted in Animals, poultry and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Eggstreme egg-laying

  1. Oh! The poor thing! Gotta love Google, though. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Poor little bird, I hope she’ll be all right. My dad used to use vaseline or vegetable oil as well, also a steamy room as well as a warm bath and gentle massage. Fingers crossed for her, sounds like you did a good rescue job 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Poor bird, poor you. Indeed, you did all you could do. But maybe the egg problem was a symptom of something deeper. Maybe she was already weak and at her end.
    What do you do with the egg-cessive eggs?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Abby Lutman says:

    So sorry she died…glad you found her and helped her as much as possible..

    Liked by 1 person

  5. aheikkinen says:

    You did everything to help the poor little bird. So sad she didn’t make it.


  6. dayphoto says:

    Love that cat laying on the eggs! I’m sorry about the loss of the little bird. After years of raising chickens sometimes you just can’t help them.


    Liked by 1 person

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