Quick Guide to Treating Egg Binding

Egg binding is dangerous for the hen because eggs and bodily waste are expelled from the same opening – the vent.
By Nutcase · Oct 14, 2013 · Updated Oct 22, 2013 · ·
  1. Nutcase
    Quick Guide to Treating Egg Binding
    This method is based on my own experiences with egg binding. Before you try any method, confirm that your hen really is eggbound. Feel around her vent for swelling, soreness, hardness and tension. Typical symptoms also include poor appetite, fluffed-out feathers, moderate to extreme lethargy and retracted neck.

    Egg Binding
    Sometimes a hen lacks the strength and energy to lay her egg. This can be caused by malnutrition which is often not obvious until a problem develops. Egg binding is dangerous for the hen because eggs and bodily waste are expelled from the same opening – the vent. If something is blocking it, her whole digestive system is thrown off balance.
    Handle your hen gently during all procedures. Don’t panic, just remain calm. If you can’t handle it you may want to ask someone else to do it for you.

    Egg bound hen with diarrhea:


    As you can see, her vent and feathers are dirty from diarrhea and her bottom is swollen. These are still the early stages so this hen is still able to move around and eat. You should begin treatment as soon as possible.


    You will need:
    Bathtub or other large container
    Olive oil/baby oil
    Calcium pill


    Step 1
    Crush a calcium pill (human), mix it with water and use a syringe to help the bird swallow the mixture.

    Step 2
    Give your hen a bath in warm water. This will help her relax and help to loosen any tension. If she struggles, hold her down gently and firmly until she settles down. Do not leave her unattended!! I chose to bathe her outdoors where she is comfortable with her surroundings.




    Step 3
    Rub some oil around her vent. This can help her pass the egg. I use a spray bottle of oil which makes application easier and quicker.

    Step 4
    Keep your hen hydrated. Check her regularly to make sure she isn’t thirsty. If she's hungry, a scrambled egg will do the trick.

    Step 5
    Your hen should be close to passing the egg. Feel her bottom to see if the egg is still there.

    If the hen cannot pass the egg on her own:

    Don’t try to break it if it is whole. If you can see the egg, try to grasp it with your fingers (or tweezers if it’s a soft/shell less egg). Apply more oil to the edges of the vent.

    Step 6
    Pull gently. As it emerges, apply more oil to help it slip out. With any luck it should slide out without too much difficulty.

    Not all cases respond to treatment. If the method does not work and your hen is in pain, you may have to cull her. Sometimes that is the best option.

    Good luck with your little patient.


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    Lin & Hailey, N F C and KikisGirls like this.

Recent User Reviews

  1. MissChick@dee
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Aug 14, 2018
    The information is straight forward and easy to understand. So many people freak out when they believe their hen is egg bound. Staying CALM is so important. For you and your little hen.
  2. N F C
    "Easy to Follow"
    4/5, 4 out of 5, reviewed Jul 23, 2018
    The article is easy to follow and the photos are helpful. One question, what does the calcium tablet do for the hen (I didn't see an explanation for it)?
  3. The Farmers' Daughter
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Jul 23, 2018
    All bases are covered.
    Good explanation on exactly what to do.


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  1. mama peggy
    I am finding that coconut oil is a miracle oil. You can use it for so many reasons. I am using it in weight reduction for myself. It is wonderful for digestion, softening your skin, just so many ways that you can use it for.
    But.. I discovered it is helping my egg bound hens!! I am treating 3 hens now. We have never had a problem with egg binding until this winter.
    I use a small table with a blanket on to, rest the hen on the blanket then introduce the plate of small chunks of the oil. it might take a few minutes for the hen to relax (you gently holding her).
    I found that if I drop a piece of the oil on the ground for the other hens to eat, that the hen seeing them racing to the oil, entices her to eat or I should say gobble her oil down!! You can also put a sprinkle of chick corn scratch on the oil as well. (Chick scratch aids in pasty butt)
    First Day:
    I started feeding the first hen, 1/2 cup of coconut oil (not melted) on a plate. Once she eats a good amount of the oil then set her down and let her rest where she wants to rest. Keep warm water for her and the other hens to drink. We find that warm water in the mornings is great for egg laying!! :))
    Second Day:
    The hen was more alert the second day, as the coconut oil gives a good energy level for the hens and people too. I treated her with more C oil.
    Third Day:
    I felt her tummy and it had softened and was not tight, swelling down by half. She is alert, walking around (walking keeps things moving) I gave her 1/2 cup C oil with chick scratch. Then set her down and she is walking almost normal now. She is engaging with her pen mates and overall she looks relaxed :))
    Fourth Day:
    Hen's tummy back to normal. No puffiness, no discomfort, no distress!! Prayers answered. Back to happy hen.

    I will be making up a coconut oil hen block (with Chick corn scratch mixed in) for all of the hens to have daily, to keep things flowing and soft. Coconut oil on their bottoms is great too.

    I have two other hens that I am treating with C oil too. They are loving the C oil treatments and they are also responding in the same way.

    I am a Thankful and a Happy Mama Hen now. We love our Hens :))

    It never hurts to try something to help our chicken family. We hope this helps others as well.

    We have had a dry, cold winter, we are thinking that maybe this is causing the hens to bind.
    So we give the hens warm water in the mornings for egg production and for hydration, along with their usual feed and now coconut blocks.

    Coconut oil Rocks!!!
    Mama Peggy :))
  2. troy4
    I have a lots of hens.Not all laying.May this be the choice?
  3. ELauraD
    I am not sure if I am dealing with an egg bind or a broody hen. Today is the third day she will not leave the nest. She's fluffed up, no apparent redness on the vent, actually she has a firm roundness well above the vent. I don't know if she is going out to eat or drink, never that I see.. Can anyone advise me? I will ad a pic if needed. It is getting time for me to do something .. the first day I tried to get her off the nest and she pecked at me and gives me the threatening chatter. She is a young hen, only been laying a few weeks... she may be 27 weeks old...
  4. RezChamp
    Hi all.
    To louy51, experience has shown me that dfrnt breeds have dfrnt lay times. Even within that spec breed times differ a bit. Brown sex link are usually all done by lunch. If you are very concerned(as some of us do get) may I suggest keeping them all day for a cpl... ....days if their coop iis large enough to handle it.
    To misslys15, again my experience... any change in diet items and/or composition(%) will affect our innards. I've noticed if I make a change to my feed egg laying will in some instances come to a complete stop. I've had as many as 55 layers just stop.
    And yes, some foods will make the trotties appear.
    Thank you all and esp Nutcase for the info.
  5. ChickenLover200
    @misslys15 That's what is wrong with my chickens and I've also been feeding tons of strawberries.. maybe it's different foods that we give them that causes that? I'm not sure.
  6. ChickenLover200
    I have a chicken that her bottom kinda looks like the picture only it's not swollen or anything.. i cured an egg bound hen a while ago too, but I am thinking that that is not the problem with my hen now.. I have had other chickens with that kind of bottom, but they weren't egg bound.. it seemed to cure itself.. I think I'll bath her or something though just in case.. I cured the previous egg bound hen by using a salt water bath and the oil.. took her back to the coop and she laid a huge egg!
  7. N F C
    Thank you for the helpful information. We experienced this situation with one of our RIR earlier this year when she first tried to lay. We weren't sure how to help her but because it was a soft gel-like egg, with some massaging she managed to pass it. Thank goodness she has done fine since that one time.
    We now have 12 younger girls that are nearing their time to start laying (hopefully next month). After reading this article, I feel more confident that we can handle a bound egg situation if it arises. Thank you!
  8. misslys15
    I think one of my girls has diarrhea, but none of their bottoms look swollen and none of their feathers are all wet with it like in the picture. All their feather look normal, though some are a bit messy. I've just found a couple spots of diarrhea around. I'm not sure which of my girls it is. I don't think anyone is eggbound, but I'm wondering what the diarrhea might be from? I've been feeding them fruit like strawberries and green grapes; could it be from that?
  9. BYC Project Manager
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  10. Nutcase
    Each hen will gradually develop a laying routine. Given that, if under stress her laying will become earlier or later or may cease entirely. Just watch to see how many eggs there are by lunchtime.
  11. louy51
    Thanks for the advise. So far she looks healthy. She eats good, and forages good. Can a chicken make herself lay at a certain time of day. The other two chickens have layed by 2 or 3 each day. after they lay I let them out of their pen. I was just wondering if she can wait till I let her out and lay outside.
  12. Nutcase
    She might be laying somewhere secretly but it's more likely that she's just getting very close to point of lay. Don't worry, I doubt anything is wrong with her. Good luck!!
  13. louy51
    I have three hens that are around 30-35 weeks. My RIR started laying around20 weeks, my orphington started at around 30 weeks and my Plymoth rock hasn't started laying yet. I do let them out in the afternoon. I'm wondering if she could be laying out side some where or if something might be wrong with her. Her comb and whattles have been a bright red for some time. Any ideas?

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