Possible bronchitis effect? Hen now sterile?

Posted by: MossyDell

Possible bronchitis effect? Hen now sterile? - 09/10/20 04:52 PM

Hi, I have a puzzling case. I was shipped a cockrel and pullet in late winter 2020, and the pullet began to lay for the first time in early spring. I hatched a nice clutch of eggs from her in April. When she resumed laying, we collected her eggs for eating and my wife and I noticed they were watery. They have remained so all summer and now into fall. They splatter when cracked. When hard boiled, they end up with a hard spot on one side where the yolk seems to have settled. This spot seems to be all yolk but is very dense and hard.

Reading up on infectious bronchitis, IBV, this kind of egg problem is seen sometimes in hens that have recovered from it. She has never looked or acted sick. I did hear a couple sneezes from her vicinity early on. I figured it was from the stress of shipping and waited for it to worsen. But again, no obvious illness, and no onset of apparent respiratory or other problems.The only other chickens I had at the time were a new trio that had also arrived in late winter just ahead of this pair, from another source. The fowl were housed separately, though in each other's vicinity. None of the trio acted sick either.

The weird thing to me is that if her first eggs had been like all the rest have been, they would not have hatched. So I wonder why the first eggs were fine. I also wonder if her reproductive days are over. Again, she looks fine even though she may be effectively sterile. Could this be something she got at the breeder's and recovered from? If she got it at my place, why didn't she get sicker?

Can anyone shed any light on this puzzle? I emailed the breeder several days ago asking if he had any ideas and have not gotten any response. Also the egg problem may not be the result of IBV, that just seems to fit the symptoms best so far in my research. The hen is a standard Old English Game, I think fairly inbred but of good size and vigorous.