Chicken trapped in odd position overnight?


10 Years
Dec 30, 2009
I'm not sure whether this is cause or effect. That is, I'm not sure whether a sick hen stuffed itself into a crevice behind a container in the coop, or she went back there to lay and became trapped. I noticed her back there yesterday afternoon, and thought she was just finding a place to lay, but found her there this morning, sitting on a couple broken eggs. It was very cold last night, in the teens, and she potentially was stuck in a weird position, unable to benefit from the warmth of the rest of the flock roosting nearby.

1) What type of bird , age and weight.

Buff Orpington, 7 months old (born first of August). Vaccinated for Marek's at day old. Purchased as a group. Closed flock.

2) What is the behavior, exactly.

Quiet, but awake, aware. Seems unable to stand, or use leg or legs. Wings unaffected.

3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms?

If she was sick, and found the spot yesterday, then 24 hours. If being trapped was the cause, then I suppose about 12 hours.

4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms?


5) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma.


6) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation.

See above.

7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all.

When I first found her this morning, I offered some water, which she drank immediately, reinforcing my belief that she had been trapped. She is currently in a large dog crate, with food and water. Hasn't touched either since I put her in there a couple hours ago.

8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc.

Runny. Like water. I am not even sure it's poop. I don't know how to identify, but could it be a broken egg inside her, and some of the white is what I am seeing? When I found her, there was this same liquid in the area near her.

9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far?

Isolated in grate in garage. Put heat lamp nearby. I am open to other ideas, but I stopped at this point because I was concerned handling was causing more stress than help.

10 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet?

I would prefer to do what I can myself. If it seems like a disease, I would consult a vet for the purpose of preventing further losses or determining if I need to cull and start over.

11) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.

Nothing visible.

12) Describe the housing/bedding in use.

Pine shavings in a 100 sq ft coop with a dozen other hens and one rooster. They are fed a layer ration. They have a small enclosed run, but I open the gate daily and allow them to free range on 20 acres.
If it looks like egg or eggwhite may be coming out of her then give her a warm water soak for about a half hour and then you can blow her dry. You can keep her inside in a cage or crate with food and water to see if she will pass the remains of the egg. You can also massage her underneath from front to back to help encourage the egg stuff to work its way out. I have one who has done this twice now and this helped her.

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