Jul 20, 2012

Chicken Egg Binding. Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, Prevention

Chicken Egg Binding. Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, Prevention

When a hen has an egg inside her oviduct, she is referred to as being egg-bound. Egg-binding can be a life-threatening condition that must be addressed quickly, preferably by a seasoned, chicken veterinarian. If the egg is not passed within 24-48 hours, the hen is likely to perish. Absent access to a vet, backyard chicken-keepers may have to take matters into their own hands in order to save the hen's life.

Causes

  • Calcium or other nutritional deficiency
  • Obesity
  • Excessively large or misshapen egg
  • Oviduct infection
  • Premature layer (hen began laying eggs before her body was fully mature)
  • Egg retention due to lack of sufficient nesting areas
Excessively large or misshapen egg
An overview of a hen's reproductive system is important in order to know where an egg may be stuck.*
An overview of a hen's reproductive system is important in order to know where an egg may be stuck.
A hen's uterus (aka: shell gland)  is the muscle responsible for squeezing the egg out of the vent. Since muscles require calcium to contract properly, if a hen has a calcium deficiency, the egg can get stuck in the uterus.
An overview of a hen's reproductive system is important in order to know where an egg may be stuck.
Possible Symptoms
  • Loss of appetite
  • Disinterest in drinking
  • Shaky wings
  • Walking like a penguin
  • Abdominal straining
  • Frequent, uncharacteristic sitting
  • Passing wet droppings or none at all (egg interferes with normal defecation)
  • Droopy/depressed/pale comb and wattles
Frequent, uncharacteristic sitting
Dangers
  • Infection
  • Prolapsed uterus
  • Damage to oviduct
  • Bleeding
  • Death
Prevention
  • Avoid supplemental lighting with young pullets to avoid premature egg-laying
  • Feed layer ration, which is carefully formulated to provide balanced nutrition to laying hens
  • Make available oyster shell (or another calcium source) free-choice (never add to the feed)
  • Avoid excess treats that can interfere with balanced nutrition in layer ration
  • Avoid treats in the summer heat when feed intake is reduced
Avoid treats in the summer heat when feed intake is reduced

Treatment
Calcium (injection, liquid or via vitamins & electrolyte solution)
Warm bath
Apply KY jelly
Massage
To assess whether a hen is egg-bound at home, gently feel on either side of her vent with one hand (think: squeezing the cheeks of a cute kid). If an egg is felt, giving the hen calcium is the first course of action. Absent liquid calcium, vitamins and electrolytes in the water contain calcium and can help. Even if she's not interested in drinking, try to get some into her with a dropper or syringe carefully. If she is too weak to drink, don't try it. The calcium may be enough to get her to pass the egg on her own within a half hour or so.
Put the hen in a tub of warm water for 15-20 minutes, which will hydrate her vent and relax her, making it easier to pass the egg.
Put the hen in a tub of warm water for 15-20 minutes, which will hydrate her vent and relax her, making it easier to pass the egg.
After a warm bath, some KY jelly applied to the vent can also help hydrate the cloaca to allow for ease of passage when the egg gets to that point (don’t use olive oil, as it can become rancid). Massage the area around the egg gently towards the vent, being careful not to break the eggshell.
At this point, put her in a crate in a darkened, quiet room. If a truly egg-bound hen does not pass the egg within an hour of these measures, the egg may need to be manually removed, which can be dangerous but is possible but proceed at your own risk.
At this point, put her in a crate in a darkened, quiet room. If a truly egg-bound hen does not pass the egg within an hour of these measures, the egg may need to be manually removed, which can be dangerous but is possible but proceed at your own risk.

"If she still hasn't expelled the egg, and you don't think she's going to on her own, then you can move to manual manipulation. This only applies if she is still bright and not in shock. Palpate the abdomen to find the location of the egg and gently manipulate it in an effort to move it along. GENTLE is the key word here. If manual manipulation fails and you can see the tip of the egg, another option is aspiration, implosion, and manual removal.

"First, get someone to help you hold the bird very securely while you work (preferably not upside dwn). Then, using a syringe and a large needle (18ga.), draw the contents of the egg into the syringe. After aspiration of the contents, gently collapse the egg all around. You want to do this gently in order to keep the inner membrane of the egg in tact, which will keep the eggshell fragments together.

Last, gently remove the egg. (Copious amounts of lubrication would be good here.) Go slow and try to keep the shell together (although broken). If all fragments do not come out, they should pass, along with remaining egg content, within the next several days."
Stella was put to sleep due to severe egg-binding. She did not exhibit the typical symptoms outlined above, the only clues that she had a problem at all were a change in droppings, activity level and a hard abdomen.
Stella was put to sleep due to severe egg-binding. She did not exhibit the typical symptoms outlined above, the only clues that she had a problem at all were a change in droppings, activity level and a hard abdomen. 

Additional reading and resources:
http://www.avianweb.com/Prolapse.htm
*Anatomical illustrations and photo reproduced for educational purposes, courtesy of Jacquie Jacob, Tony Pescatore and Austin Cantor, University of Kentucky College of Agriculture. Copyright 2011. Educational programs of Kentucky Cooperative Extension serve all people regardless of race, color, age, sex, religion, disability, or national origin. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, M. Scott Smith, Director, Land Grant Programs, University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Lexington,and Kentucky State University, Frankfort. Copyright 2011 for materials developed by University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension. This publication may be reproduced in portions or its entirety for educational and nonprofit purposes only. Permitted users shall give credit to the author(s) and include this copyright notice. Publications are also available on the World Wide Web at www.ca.uky.edu. Issued 02-2011
 The Chicken Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com


113 comments :

  1. very informative article, hope I never have to deal with an egg bound hen tho

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  2. Very timely repost of this article!

    My new True Araucana hen has an egg that, for the last 3 days, could be felt in the abdomen through gentle palpation. She is not yet uncomfortable appearing, "walking funny," nor is straining. Defecation is continuing in what appears to be well formed/non-watery movements. (Gastric obstructions often are also dealt with by the body through increasing the liquidity of the stools.)
    I've been giving her warm water soaks every few hours... then I remembered you posted this the other day, and here I am! Next, I'm going to the store for water based lubricant and electrolytes with calcium in it... and ordering the CalciBoost on the fastest shipping possible (And in the largest bottle, because its going to become a regular addition for my 100+ girl egg co-op flock **as well** as my Euskal Oiloak and show-Araucana flocks!!)
    Again THANKS for reposting this at just the right time!!!!!!

    Hugs and Clucks!
    Jenn Nashoba--AKA "~Mama Cluck~"

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    Replies
    1. Jen, if she is truly eggbound, she could die by the time the calcium arrives in the mail. I'm astonished that she has had an egg stuck for three days and is still alive and walking.

      Get some vitamins and electrolytes into her right away- every feed store carries some version, you may even get lucky and find liquid or powdered calcium depending on how big your feed store is. Might even check Petco or PetSmart locally.

      I'm wondering if what you're feeling might be something else due to the amount of time you describe the lump as being there. It could be egg peritonitis that you're feeling. Are you certain it's an egg in the oviduct?

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    2. Thanks, Kathy.

      Frankly I was surprised too... it was an assumption I jumped to, since the mass in question is hard and the same shape as an egg... and will move with abdominal massage/manipulation. It is larger than the 2.5 finger distance between pelvic bones... preventing any visualization, were that even possible.

      I have already administered a nutrient drench, and am heading to PetSmart/Petco first thing in the morning to look for a liquid calcium.

      I'm not very encouraged by what I'm reading about egg peritonitis either. I wish I could afford a visit to our vet or the Avian clinic in our area, but... being on a "Social Insecurity" income... it just isn't going to happen, darn it.

      Thank you for the redirection. Whatever it may be, I hope it either is able to resolve... or that it turns out to be just a benign mass.

      As for the CalciBoost, it sounds like something that will be beneficial to add to our water anyway.

      Again, my best!

      Jenn (with 2 n's) ;^)

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    3. Please keep me posted, Jenn. I wish you the best.

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    4. Thank you Kathy,

      Amelia is still doing the same, which is good since there is no obvious discomfort, her posture is normal, and she is still eating/drinking.

      Right now we have tetracycline in her water, just in case. She is in her own, dimly lit coop, for the moment. The calciBoost got here today, so I'm giving it to her according to recommendations. It couldn't hurt!

      She still has that egg shaped, hard mass in her abdomen... and hasn't laid an egg for over a week now. Right now we're choosing just to "wait and see." If nothing happens in the next week, she will be let out into Lulu's (our blind EE hen) yard for a close watch.

      Thank you for the good wishes.

      Jenn ("Mama Cluck")

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    5. Can you give us an update? My Turken started acting funny - more sluggish than normal with a messy bum two days ago. I've done the baths and lube and nothing. I'm worried about egg yoke peritonItis too but she has a mass like an egg in her abdomen. It's been a few days now (she just started laying and isn't regular so maybe it's been there longer? I don't know) and I'm not sure what to do. Your story seems most similar to mine so I thought I'd ask how your hen was . Hope she's ok!

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  3. Excellent article. I once became worried that a hen had a stuck egg, but she was just broody. Then I would have not known what to do. I feel much better prepared with this information. But I still home I don't have to use it.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Charlotte. I hope you don't ever need it too!

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  4. Great post! Really helpful information!!

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  5. We offer crushed oyster shell in a large terra cotta flower pot. They even dust bathe in it. They're such goofy birds.
    I wonder- could you offer milk or yogurt in a calcium emergency? Normally we don't feed dairy but would it be ok?
    Thanks for this. You are a wonderful resource and a fun read!

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    Replies
    1. The calcium would not get in their bloodstream quickly enough from yogurt or milk. The other problem is that chickens do not have the enzymes necessary to digest milk sugars, which can cause gastric distress and diahhrea. Best not to add insult to injury during an egg binding crisis.

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  6. HI KATHY,
    I WAS WONDERING IF YOU COULD HELP ME. I LOST MY FAVORITE HEN TO SOME KIND OF RESPIRATORY ILLNESS OR MAYBE WORMS. I HAVE TRIED TO RESEARCH WHAT MAY HAVE HAPPENED TO HER, BUT I CAN'T COME UP WITH ANY RESULTS. SHE STARTED OUT WITH DISTRESSED BREATHING AND IT GOT PROGRESSIVELY WORSE EVERYDAY. SHE FINALLY HAD A SEIZURE. I NOW THINK ANOTHER ONE OF MY HENS IS HAVING THE SAME SYMPTOMS AND I AM CLIMBING THE WALLS, SO SCARED. I TREATED BEEBOP WITH TETRACYCALINE AND THEN WITH SULMET POWDER AS I THOUGHT IT MIGHT BE COCCIDIOSIS. WE DON'T HAVE AN AVIAN DOCTOR NEAR. ANY TREATMENT YOU KNOW OF THAT MIGHT CLEAR UP THIS BEFORE I LOSE HER,TOO? THANK YOU.KATHY WOODY

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    Replies
    1. Kathy: I'm so sorry to hear about your pet, that's awful.
      Unfortunately, I have no way of knowing what she may have had or whether there is any correlation between the hen that passed and the symptoms of the hen who is currently acting oddly. I wish I could help you with this one but I'm afraid I can't.
      I can suggest that you get a copy of The Chicken Health Handbood by Gail Damerow (most bookstores carry it) and look in the DIAGNOSTIC GUIDE section. It has many diseases and conditions listed by symptom and you should be able to narrow down the range of possible issues that way.
      I hope you're able to figure it out and again, my condolences.

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  7. Great information. Dh and I loved the detailed pictures.

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  8. This is extremely helpful information but it sure did a great job freaking my wife out.

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  9. This is extremely helpful information but it sure did a great job freaking my wife out.

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  10. Hi Kathy,
    i was wondering why wouldn't it be wise to add oyster shells to the feed?

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    Replies
    1. Layer feed already contains calcium and the oyster shell is provided to aid the hens who know that they need more calcium than that in the layer freed to avail themselves of it. Not all laying hens need calcium beyond the amount provided in the layer feed and excess calcium, which can cause liver damage.

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    2. thanks kathy :)

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  11. my husband then I have 10 hens 4 ducks and 4 baby ducks they are all in the same pen together and seem to get along fine... I get on average 7 to 9 eggs 8 day but sometimes I get 1 extremely large egg... do ducks lay there eggs in the hen nest... I got up this morning to let them out and found 1 of my hens dead with an egg half in and half out of her it didn't look like an extremely large egg.. any ideas on what could have happened and how I can prevent that from happening again?

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    Replies
    1. I'm so sorry to hear about your duck. I don't keep ducks, so I'm not sure what their laying behaviors may be. There's really no way of knowing what happened to her without a necropsy though. Again, I'm terribly sorry for your loss.

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  13. CharmingBaglady2/22/13, 8:57 PM

    I have a question for a friend. What would cause a hen to lay an egg with what looks like a "nipple" on the end?  Please email me at tdsplan@chater.net

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  14. TheChickenChick2/22/13, 9:53 PM

    This article should help your friend with that question, but the issue is likely that the shell gland malfunctioned and the end is either a squished piece of membrane and/or shell. http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/01/how-hen-makes-egg-egg-oddities.html

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  15. Teresa Griffin2/26/13, 11:26 AM

    Really good info! Thanks for sharing. <3 love your blog

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  16. lynnette lynn4/29/13, 12:47 PM

    love your blog your amazing! great info

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  17. Tamara Krasovska6/16/13, 4:58 PM

    I fell in love with you, your chickens, and your blog. Thank you so much for making my Sunday!

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  18. TheChickenChick6/16/13, 11:05 PM

    Thank you, Tamara. :)

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  19. I love reading your blog. My husband and I just got chickens a few months ago and one of them was not doing well. I figured she had an egg stuck, she had lots of poop on her back end, not walking right and just sitting in one spot in the yard. We picked her up and some stool was stuck to her vent so with lubrication I pulled it and out came a long rubbery looking thing with the stool. She is doing much better now, this was a few days ago. Have any ideas what I pulled out?

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  20. If it was in the droppings, it may have been something she ate.

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  21. Holly @ Backyard Chicken Lady7/8/13, 3:12 AM

    My goodness I hope I never have to do that procedure...it sounds so scary. I am so sorry about your poor Stella, she was such a beautiful bird.

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  22. TheChickenChick7/8/13, 2:37 PM

    Thank you, Holly.

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  23. My chickens egg is out of her back end but stuck in what looks like a sack of water been like that since about 5pm last night what do I do x

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  24. I purchased a silkie pair in April from craigslist, the hen laid 1 egg in May but has not laid any since then. I was told she was about 2 1/2 years old when I bought her so she should still be laying. I have cleaned out her back end twice, once about a month ago and then again last night. There was a hard ball of white caked up and its kinda waxy on her feathers. I don't know if she is egg bound or not? She is eating and drinks fine? Any thoughts or help I would appreciate.

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  25. Our free range RI Red hen has only laid a few eggs in her life of two years. Just recently she has a droopy and pale comb, and a very swollen bottom. Less energy, feels bad, but eats and walks around. We have seen this before on another hen three years ago, she had to be killed. Help!! Our Easter Egger has been fine throughout the two years.

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  26. gatorgranny568/15/13, 12:38 AM

    It sounds like gape worms. They can get these from eating earthworms. Mine always died, or I had to put them out of ft heir misery. You might look it up. Good luck.

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  27. Chicken Review9/16/13, 2:38 PM

    As always we enjoyed reading this article. We shared a link to it on our Blog.

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  28. Yvonne Saville9/21/13, 7:47 PM

    I just found my standard cochin with what looked like prolapse.... I brought her in and filled the sink with warm water.. when I checked again it was an egg.. behind tissue, behind her inner tissue but on the outside of her body.. I tried to push it back in and up and around whatever wrong turn it had taken, but she kept "pushing" and it was impossible... she was getting weak. I felt I was going to lose her unless I did something... so... I used sterile implements to cut a small slice in the tissue and remove the egg... being afraid to break it in her and not having found this site first. I stitched it up, and used Preparation H in and on her. I also gave her an injection of Baytril. Now, she is in a cage alone with food, water, a soft cloth bed and oyster shells. Having said a prayer for her, we will just have to wait and see what happens now. I am most concerned with the next egg. If one took a "wrong turn", might all of them take a wrong turn... might she not be able or built to pass an egg normally?
    Thank you.
    Yvonne

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  29. Our chicken "Angel" has egg yolk peritonitis, but is rapidly recovering since we began giving her DURAMYCIN-10 (tetracyline hydrochloride soluble powder) just 1 day ago :). I was really surprised how little information there is about this. It is often misdiagnosed as Egg Bound and sounds like many don't make it. The easiest way to tell the difference is to gently feel the (out) sides of the vent, if she is egg-bound you will be able to feel the hard eggs within. Our story: We recently found one of our girls collapsed and weak in the coop. Her abdomen and vent were swollen. First thought it's an e-coli infection, and contacted our local grange to get antibiotics. Her sister had just started laying, and she was likely due to start too. We figured it was probably related to this, and suspected her to be egg-bound. Tried a warm bath and gentle massage but did feel any eggs, instead the swelling felt spongy. After 5 days giving her SULMET (sulfadimethoxine) and praying, the swelling in her abdomen and vent were still increasing. We were desperate, searching the internet, calling the avian vet, etc and the most helpful thing I came across was this video on youtube, showing a chicken that had all the same symptoms , but had also recovered! Pretty much everything else I had read said the prognosis was poor and to puther in the pot. During the video the speaker holds up a bag of the antibiotic he used to treat his chicken: DURAMYCIN-10 I went back to the grange to get some. Very glad I did, because after only 24 hours she is nearly back to her old self; the swelling is down, she is active and standing more often, even making coos which she had not made for nearly a week! She is still quite lethargic and weak, but I think she is going to make it :) I will update this post. The video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPOVrzMO2QA

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  30. I have a 7 month old Americana that hasn't laid for 5 days. The other hens are laying as they normally do. She isn't showing the symptoms described above, but I'm worried I'm misreading her signs. Is this normal? I felt the abdomen area and around her vent and it didn't feel differently then the others. Any advice?

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  31. Hello,
    My chicken just died recently and would like to know if it was from being egg-boud? Her head was down and she would be sitting on the ground, she didn't want any food or water and she had really runny poo! She had lots of poo around her vent and she would walk slow. She would sometimes go to the nest and sit then get off and sit on the ground. She died, was she egg-bound?!?!?!!?!?!!

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  32. TheChickenChick11/26/13, 10:11 PM

    It's impossible to know without having a post-mortem exam done, Keah.

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  33. TheChickenChick12/24/13, 12:38 PM

    Poor girl. Here's hoping for a speedy recovery.

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  34. Lynnie Bat-Abba1/21/14, 7:08 PM

    :-( I am new to flock care. Thank you so much for your detailed information!!! I feel much better having access to your site.

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  35. TheChickenChick1/21/14, 8:26 PM

    Thank you Lynnie!

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  36. Kathy, Stella was a beautiful chicken. What type of chicken was she?

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  37. Do you know what could cause blood in the white of the egg?

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  38. I have a mail and female all white ducks. bought them last epring. The female duck just got to where she was laying on her eggs. I went out there this morning for feeding and water and I found blood all over the pin and my female was dead laying on her eggs with her saturated in blood and around her mouth when I got her out there was something like an embellicaord hanging from her bottom still connected what could have happened.

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  39. Well - I had read your information but it seemed to be referring to blood spots in the ypok. This was runny blood in the white.. would that be the same?

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  40. TheChickenChick1/24/14, 8:39 PM

    I suspect there was some sort of laceration along the oviduct somewhere. If it only happened once, I wouldn't worry about it.

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  41. Hey miss chicken chick. I'm frightend I'm going to lose on of my 3 year old girls. She's been slow and depressed the last couple of days. Have been watching her, and didn't initially think it was eggbound cos she was walking well, eating and not straining. Then yesterday she looked more quiet. On palpation of her abdomen I could feel a walnut sized hardness about where she would be making her shell. Last night I tried to manually move the hardness. With lots and lots of ky jelly. (I'm a vet tech so savvy to certain procedures but this was a first for me). It wouldn't budge, not an inch. Also it was almost like it wasn't in her tube almost undercut, I'm starting to wonderif it could be a tumor? And now today she is more depressed and definitely looking like she is straining. What more can I do at this late stage to help her??

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  42. I posted this earlier, but for some reason looks like it was deleted?? So am reposting....
    Hey miss chicken chick. I'm frightend I'm going to lose on of my 3 year old girls. She's been slow and depressed the last couple of days. Have been watching her, and didn't initially think it was eggbound cos she was walking well, eating and not straining. Then yesterday she looked more quiet. On palpation of her abdomen I could feel a walnut sized hardness about where she would be making her shell. Last night I tried to manually move the hardness. With lots and lots of ky jelly. (I'm a vet tech so savvy to certain procedures but this was a first for me). It wouldn't budge, not an inch. Also it was almost like it wasn't in her tube almost undercut, I'm starting to wonderif it could be a tumor? And now today she is more depressed and definitely lookinjg like she is straining. What more can I do at this late stage to help her??

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  43. TheChickenChick2/27/14, 10:51 PM

    Get her to a vet. If she is truly egg-bound and the egg is not removed properly, she can die very quickly.

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  44. Kathy, I think my girl might be egg bound, however I can't feel any lumps. She is walking like a penguin or sumo wrestler with her wings kind out. She is breathing hard too. She has oyster shells free choice. I gave her a 20 minute bath - which she seemed to really like she just floated in the water no flapping and stood up when she thought it was time to get out! Next I gently massaged her vent area and put some ky jelly. She did poo for me after that and drink a tiny bit of water. With no lump could this be something other than egg binding? Are there any other things I could do to help her? She seems SO uncomfortable!!!

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  45. TheChickenChick2/28/14, 10:20 PM

    She could have a disorder of the reproductive system, which is very common in laying hens. When two of my hens presented that way last year one had cancer and the other had egg yolk peritonitis and had to be euthanized.

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  46. Hi Kathy,

    I have 4 what seem to be happy healthy free ranging chickens. One of my chickens is too old to lay, and that's find, but now I am only getting 1 egg per day from the other young 3 hens? 1 does sometimes have her wings out to the sides but it's very hot here, 1 occasionally does a runny poo although usually all is good at that end, 1 hen lately has been spending a long time on the nest and then no egg comes out but otherwise they all seem very healthy and run around all day scratching for food, drinking water, having dirt baths and sun baking! I have been feeding them a high quality dry mix from the country buying store that they make up especially plus, as I don't seem to have many scraps, a daily mix of chopped greens, cooked rice, sometimes oats, toast, broken up eggs shells and a bit of seed. What do you think? Also can you tell me what to do with Oyster shells? Break up on just put in their big enclosure? About how many and how often. Appreciate any help and advise. I love my girls! Big thanks Danielle

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  47. I have a hen that is sick. She keeps her neck close to her body, stands in place, moves sometimes, and butt is low to the ground. It is cold where I live coop does have inculation. What does she have? She does eat and drink.

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  48. I've three ex batt hens which I've had at home for 3 wks. They are completely free range and very healthy, happy birds, but yesterday when I collected the eggs, one of them had a lot of blood on the shell but on close inspection of the hens I couldn't see which one it had come from. They are all eating, and acting normally. Just wondered if anyone has any ideas. I'm slowly changing their diet from ex batt crumb to a mix of 50/50 with pellets, could this be the cause?

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  49. TheChickenChick3/6/14, 11:21 PM

    It's unlikely due to anything in her diet. I suspect she has some sort of laceration in her oviduct.

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  50. Hi, I found one of my hens eggbound today, the egg was visible but not comming out. She was sitting funny and not herself. I told me husband to google 'egg-bound' and he read to me the info off your site. We bathed her for 20 minutes in warm water, gently put ky jelly around the vent and egg area, and put her in a hay-lined box with a blanket over her in a quiet room like you suggested. After half an hour I checked and nothing. I went back dismally after another half hour with my rubber gloves on and egg-extracting utencils in hand, and picked her up where I saw a MASSIVE egg she had finally passed! Poor girl, egg with twice the size of a normal egg, no wonder she couldn't get it out by herself. So thanks for the helpful info, it worked in the time frame given :)

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  51. TheChickenChick3/8/14, 9:13 PM

    Yikes. Scary stuff. I'm so happy you were able to help her. Nice work!

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  52. Do you know the subcutaneous injection dose for calcium flick ate 23% for chickens?

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  53. Can a hen that stopped laying eggs 8 months ago become egg bound? Someone's chicken is showing signs of being egg bound but they haven't laid eggs for 8 months.

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  54. TheChickenChick3/13/14, 9:48 PM

    Yes, it's possible, but it's more likely that they have some other reproductive system problem.

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  55. TheChickenChick3/13/14, 9:48 PM

    I do not.

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  56. Denice Ramsey3/18/14, 8:38 PM

    I have a chicken that is swollen in the back between her legs, and is pasty. She is having trouble breathing, or looks like she is gasping for air. Her comb is purple. She is slowly moving around. She is off to herself. Seems like she may be egg bound but is too far gone. I need some input. She is a Buff orpington.

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  57. Thank you for your site-so much needed info!

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  58. Bella, my partridge wyandotte hen is about 5 years old. Over a month ago, she started having many of the symptoms above. I first noticed her bottom was wet and messy. She usually was the most active of my 4 hens, but when I let them out to free range I would find her sitting huddled alone. She walked slowly and waddled somewhat when she walked, (but not with her wings out) and her legs appear to be farther apart than normal when she stands. I haven't seen anyone that said that, but I noticed it. After a couple of days poop had built up and dried and was a harden mass about the size of a golf ball in her feathers. I soaked, then bathed her in warm water and she tolerated it well. Even used a blow dryer on "warm" and she was so good. She seemed to be better after that, but not fully back to her normal self. She started with the wet bottom again about a week ago. Not feeling well, she would still come out to free range but would sit huddled alone and maybe eat a couple of bites of grass, etc. Another bath, and blow dry.
    Yesterday I took her to the vet. He said he couldn't tell. He wormed her, he said he couldn't feel an egg, but she felt "gassy" in her abdomen. He gave me some flagyl to give for a few days. I don't want her to suffer, but I don't know what esle to do.
    My girls are all the same age, and it has been cold here. I average about 2 eggs a day. I work, so I dont get to see if she's on the nest, etc. They get fresh water and laying pellets daily, along with a little scratch, some fresh produce trimmings from whatever we eat, and whatever they find when they free range for 2-3 hours before they go up to roost.
    The vet said he would call me back on Tuesday and check on her.
    Do you think I could/should do anything else?

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  59. TheChickenChick3/22/14, 1:16 AM

    You're luck to have a vet and I am going to defer to their judgment for further suggestions.

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  60. my hen is about 3 years old and is having some sort of oviduct impaction, she hasn't laid for about 2 months and has passed 3 lash eggs recently. She's been living off a bird food called 'wombaroo'(kinda like baby food, has every essential nutrients)because she doesn't eat anything else, she is very lethargic, sits fluffed up with her eyes closed all day. Are there any ways to treat her without doing a surgery? because she seems very weak right now, I don't think she will be able to handle the anaesthesia. Now I'm pretty much in despair, i've literally done everything i can to save her, warm bath, antibiotics, pray... but none of these had any significant effect on her... maybe you can offer some advice? thanks in advance

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  61. I am a first time chicken momma we have 4 backyard chickens. One of my girls was showing signs of egg bound, her otherwise beautiful fluffy butt was really dirty, she was not walking or eating, so sad! I took her to the bathroom filled up the tub with warm water, she panicked first but finally she relaxed and hang out for 20 min just floating in the water, after that I wrapped her in a towel applied some olive oil and took her to a quiet place, I stayed with her, and 10 minutes later she started pushing and she dropped the egg!!!!!!!! I'm so happy for her, I feel like a proud mom :) thanks so much for your blog! you are my chicken bible! , now I have to go clean the bathtub, great! lol~

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  62. TheChickenChick3/25/14, 2:27 PM

    Is it fair to say that your hen has been under the care of a vet who indicated that her only hope is surgery?

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  63. First time chicken owner....one of my hens has a messy bottom....brought her in and bathed her and washed her with soap...cut some feathers that were very matted. She walks fine. She does go in and out of the coop. Wondering if she is egg bound. She has laid only about 3 eggs ever....but they have only been laying about 4 months. She hasnt laid in about 2 weeks or more

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  64. TheChickenChick3/28/14, 6:12 PM

    Can you feel a stuck egg?

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  65. I have recently got three more chickens to add to my others. Obviously they have been a little stressed in the process of moving. They are two years old. They laid the first morning, one however was a completely soft shell. They are all eating and see happy enough. But one has a large swollen abdomen (area below the vent), it is squishy to touch and doesn't seem to have any hard lumps in, what is this. Everywhere is clean and looks lubricated around the vent area. It has been like it a few days now, i am a chicken owner newbie..... Thanks in advance

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  66. TheChickenChick4/4/14, 11:48 PM

    If you have access to a vet, I suggest getting that bird in for an exam.

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  67. SLilyBelle14/19/14, 8:52 PM

    Does a hen who is egg bound once tend to be frequently egg bound, or is it usually just a chance happening (with no greater chance of doing it again than any other chicken?

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  68. TheChickenChick4/19/14, 9:07 PM

    It depends what caused it.

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  69. hi. we have a 11 month old Americana that has developed constricted pupils, messy feathers, pale thing on her head, acts lost, probably due to not being able to see, eats and drinks very little, has not laid an egg in a week. Any thoughts or suggestions on what might be happening or how to treat? thanks. our chickens are my wifes pets

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  70. Hello, thanks for your advice. I have ex battery hens that I have had for a year now. One isn't leaving the nest box. She has has clumps of poop on her behing which I have bathed off. She isn't looking very happy at all. She is passing clear fluid along with yolk (I am assuming) is she egg bound? I can't feel or see an egg? Thanks

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  71. TheChickenChick4/23/14, 9:58 PM

    Call a vet or your state agriculture extension office to speak with a vet there- that's what they are there for, to help small farmers.

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  72. TheChickenChick4/23/14, 10:25 PM

    Contact a vet or your state agricultural extension office STAT. My concern is that it could be Marek's disease or a similar serious problem.

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  73. Amanda Baldwin4/26/14, 2:15 AM

    Thank you for the advice. It's nice to have an article to refer back to. Last year I lost my beautiful splash Orpington to what I think was egg binding. I did 2 warm bath soaks, even massaged her abdomen, but she passed over night :( 2 days after first signs. It is important to work quickly.

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  74. TheChickenChick4/26/14, 12:20 PM

    I'm so sorry for your loss, Amanda. :(

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  75. I have read many of your articles trying to figure out what may be wrong with my little backyard flock. It seems to be a little of everything?? It started about 2 weeks ago, one of the six hens started limping. I thought she may have injured it, no signs of bumble foot. I started putting electrolytes and vitamins in the water and DE calcium in the food (this may all stem from calcium deficiency ?? only thing I've been able to connect it all too that seems like a possibility) I kept an eye on her and examined her but could find no obvious injuries. A couple days later another one started limping and I freaked out at the possibility of Mareks. I started antibiotics on the two in case it was respiratory infection or secondary infections (Amoxicillin) Then I noticed everyone started having filthy bums, like diarrhea running down their backsides so I started everyone on antibiotics. It has officially been 7 days that they have been on it and I checked everyone over. They all act very healthy but one, only one is slightly limping, but one sits by the water and falls asleep all on and off throughout the day(she never limped), she is a bit messy in the front like the water is spilling out of the sides of her mouth and she is the same one that I thought had Gage-worm because she was 'gagging' a couple days ago. I picked her up to look her over and she had what looked like a water filled latex balloon hanging out of her vent, I tried to see if it was something I could gently insert back in and do the diaper thing with hemorrhoid cream but it fell off and popped and non odor fluid looking like water broke out of it. Any ideas? feel terrible for her.
    would an Epsom bath do any good? thank you Katie

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  76. Kerry Tubb5/4/14, 7:20 AM

    BRILLIANT! Thank, it is thanks to this page that Priscilla is now running around my daughters bedroom-yup bedroom!! We really thought she was going last night!! Please keep up the great work!

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  77. I suggest calling your state agriculture extension service to speak with a vet there- they can help.

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  78. Anita Jo Martin Fields5/9/14, 12:40 PM

    Please explain what you mean by avoiding supplemental lighting in young pellets. Are you referring to a heat lamp? Mine are 7 wks and I still turn it on at night as it is still in the 40's. Thanks for all the information.

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  79. This article explains what supplemental lighting is and why it is done. It does not have anything to do with a heat lamp. http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2011/09/supplemental-light-in-coop-why-how.html

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  80. Angel Dixon5/14/14, 3:12 PM

    My hen was acting a little funny a week ago. She just wasn't running around with the rest of the flock and I did notice she did some watery dropings. She and my daughter have a special bound and after my daughter held her she began to act normal again. The next few days she acted like her normal self but I kind of thought she wasn't laying. I though she may not have had enough grit since our grit cup had run out. Yesterday she was walking like a penguin. Then I saw her lay a huge egg like the one pictured above . I looked at her bottom and saw what looked like clear jelly and some pale yellow butter looking stuff was stuck to her feathers around her vent. Her vent looked swollen and a little bit like it was wrong side out, but there was no red tissue showing at all. I cleaned her up good and used a little antibiotic ointment to gently push her vent back to normal. Checked her last night before I went to bed and it looked like clear (egg white) dripping from her bottom. Today when I checked her she had laid a rubber shell egg and is still walking like a penguin. She is trying to eat and drink water. Comb and wattles are still bright red, but she seems to be panting. It is warm here today. Any adivce would be wonderful since she is my daughters favorite.

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  81. My chickens been doing this for months and this I hope can save her.

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  82. Serviced Apartments Guy6/23/14, 1:16 PM

    I'm not an expert on how to keep chickens but I certainly feel like I've learnt something here!

    http://www.thearmitage.com/

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  83. Karen Garbutt6/24/14, 9:06 AM

    We woke up to find one of our chickens is egg bound this morning. I have tried the warm bath today but with no success. I've tucked her up safe and warm tonight and I'm hoping tomorrow will be a better day for her.

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  84. Amanda Tetzlaff7/3/14, 11:34 AM

    One of my 13 month olds woke up ill today wouldn't walk etc gonna try some of this to see if I can help her so sad!!

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  85. worried chick7/18/14, 4:28 PM

    is one treatment enough with an egg bound hen? What if she gets egg bound again the next day? Is that an indication of something more serious?

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  86. I would call a vet for sure.

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  87. When you say "put to sleep" did you take her to a vet or is there a home remedy? I simply cannot bring myself to cull a hen even when she is sick. I have had great luck with isolation and antibiotics for any girls that fall ill.

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  88. Most vets will euthanize a chicken if you ask even if they do not ordinarily treat chickens.

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  89. Cathy I got home today and noticed my RI red was not excited about being let out to forage she was acting strangely, I watched her and knew something was wrong b cause she was just standing and not active like the other girls I picked her up and check her body , as I was feeling under her belly out came an egg, so I thought that was the problem, but she still acted the same then she squatted down and expelled another egg, this one was soft shelled. I gave her some liquid electrolytes and vitamin by mouth with a small dropper was only able to get 1 full dropper into her. What else can I do?

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  90. Mark Zarraonandia8/2/14, 8:56 PM

    We just had our best chicken die in her egg box today. She was a red-star hybrid. She bagan to lay humongous eggs and then they started to get misshapen. We didn't really know what was happening until it was too late.

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  91. Lindsay ColonelSkirts Evans-St8/4/14, 5:27 PM

    I have a friend with a question that I have no clue how to answer because I am a vegetarian! The question is: They have an egg-bound chicken that they can't treat and so they are planning to cull the hen. They are wondering if it is then safe to eat the hen even though she was egg bound?

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  92. keith cauley8/22/14, 12:03 PM

    my chicken has a swollen bun. I thought she was egg bound but she has been this way for several months. she has quit laying about the same time. she eats good and gets around good. I have given her warm baths and oiled her bun hole. everyone tells me an egg bound chicken will last only a few days. her bowels are loose but she goes regularly. sometimes she will go up to lay but never does. her bun looks terrible, red and swollen. could she be semi-egg bound or is it something else. thanks for any help.

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  93. ConcernedOwner9/15/14, 9:48 PM

    My hen has not been active (she stays in her coop all the time) and has not been eating as much for a few days now. However, when I tried to feel for an egg, there was none. Her poop is very watery and her comb is almost always red with a slight dark hue at the tips. There has not been a single egg seen for almost a week. I've tried putting her in warm water and making her eat fish oil pills, but she is still in the same condition. A few days ago the weather suddenly turned cold (before it was around 20 degrees C, and now it is around 10-15 degrees C). She has all the symptoms of being egg bound (except there was no egg), but is it possible that she has just gotten sick instead? Please reply soon, I am very worried.

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  94. One of my girls is showing the following symptoms whit liquid poops hasn't had appetite and is now unable to wake up her breathing is shallow as well I've put her in a crate in the house w clean bedding and a blanket covering her any other suggestions

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  95. One of my six hens is showing repeat symptoms of being egg bound. I am extremely upset. Jaz first showed signs last Wednesday evening, I found her laying in the garden with feathers fluffed out and her tail pumping up and down. I went out with her and and found ahe layed a rubber egg! As the rest were going in to roost my ibran a hot bath for her and she played a second rubber egg 30 min later in the tub. We put her in the kennel in the laundry room that my husband heated up for her. She slept through the night and was back to old self.

    It happened again yesterday and I repeated what I did he last time however she passes to rubber eggs in the tub 30 min apart. Aftershe wwent back in kennel drank and eat and slept through the night. She woke up and we put her back in the play pen and she was fine until an hour ago... Please help, she's worse this time and I can't bear to loose her.

    I'm confused as to why she's showing egg bound signs however she is laying TWO RUBBER EGGS IN THE EVENING and having a very hard time doing so ��

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  96. Sietske C. Van Schaik10/10/14, 1:23 PM

    She may have more eggs stuck still. She needs calcium.

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  97. Thank you for so much information, Kathy. I can only hope I can rise to the occasion if/when needed and that I will be able to recognize the s/s.

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  98. can you eat a chicken that has had this happen?

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  99. Eleanor Sferle12/1/14, 3:58 PM

    I have a chicken that has not layed a egg , bought 3 the other two are laying , she seems to be fine , she goes in the nest and nest downs but no eggs any ideas

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