Constipated Chicken


9 Years
Oct 7, 2010
New Westminster
We have three austrolorps (about 8 months old).

One of the chickens started making noise last night, at a time when she should have been sleeping. We checked her out - she seemed fine.

The next day, her poop was watery, and she seemed to be straining.

Our first thought was a bound egg, so tonight we soaked her in warm water for 30 minutes, and left her inside in the bathroom with some fresh water and heat.

With further investigation, we noticed what appears to be a golf-ball sized poop in the bottom channel. The top channel of the vent is for eggs, and the bottom for waste, or so I've read (feel free to correct me if I am wrong). There is no caked-on excrement on the outside of her vent. I suspect the kids went overboard feeding them left-over pasta.

I don't think she is egg bound - she is fairly energetic, and the poop appears to be the issue.

I've searched online with Google (and through this forum), and I've seen a few solutions - yogurt (or yoghurt) via the mouth, and warm mineral water via the back end using a syringe.

I am concerned about getting a syringe in there - the poop is a hard ball and I don't want to scrape or otherwise damage her insides.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

What you really need is a soft rubber tube with a hole in the end. Know anyone who uses catheters, by any chance? A soap water enema or mineral oil enema would be just the thing, I would think. Maybe a vet would let you have one.
Well, I was able to clear what appeared to be a blockage of her intestine - was hard, but much smaller than I thought.

I was then able to get my finger up her intestines to see if there was anything else - nothing.

We then gave her a mineral-oil enema, and put castor oil in their water.

After her 30 minute warm bath, she was put on the floor of the bathroom, covered in towels, with the heat up.

I am still not 100% sure. It's day 2.5, and she is still running around, and eating, so I am hopeful this is/was the problem.
Well, the best of luck, and keep us posted -- I am hoping to read in a day or two that she is fine and laying.
She went up into the top of the chicken ark tonight at 5pm. I went out to check on her 30 minutes later.

There were two huge golfball sized poops under her (she was in her perch). One was full of partially digested grain. Turns out one of my kids had poured out a bunch of uncracked barley, and I guess this chicken ate most of it, and was unable to grind it up fine enough in her gullet.

There are now new rules on the feeding of chickens by children - an adult has to be present.

Anyway, I suspect she will be just fine now. I'd love it if we started getting a few eggs again now... it's been a while.


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