egg-bound and won't pass - UPDATE

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by lauracarmer, Dec 30, 2007.

  1. lauracarmer

    lauracarmer In the Brooder

    Dec 30, 2007
    UPDATE: She didn't make it. We tried everything we had available to us, but the egg broke inside her and she couldn't expel the rest so we had to put her down. Thanks for the advice. This is the first hen we've lost. We've only had 3 backyard hens since this summer and the two little ones (which this hen was one of) didn't produce anyway. Still sucks though.


    I have a bantam hen who isn't a regular layer with a very large egg that won't pass. She's been straining for about five hours now. We put her in a warm bath and I palpated her and can feel the egg. It's so large and long that I can't hook my finger around the end of it. She's already beginning to prolapse and getting very tired. She's been in the warm water for about an hour now and we keep rotating the water so she stays warm. I also rubbed some olive oil on her vent so the water is nice and slick.

    My question is - how long do we let this go on before we move on to more drastic measures, which I'm assuming is breaking the egg. I REALLY DON'T WANT TO HAVE TO DO THIS! But things are not looking good. [​IMG]

    We have three bantams as backyard pets. The oldest one is a good layer but is recovering from being broody and bumblefoot. The two little ones are RI reds I think, and have never layed as far as I have seen.

    HELP! And thank you in advance.

    -Laura, mom of two girls, three hens, a giant dog, a parakeet and a cockatiel
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2008
  2. buckbeak

    buckbeak Songster

    May 27, 2007
    Morgantown, PA
    Oy- no clue what to do...See a vet? Bump this up so someone can help??
  3. sammi

    sammi Songster

    Dec 21, 2007
    Southeast USA
    if she hasn't passed the egg by now, best to see a vet..
    or resort to breaking and syringing the egg.

    best of luck to you and your little hen.
  4. TerrasCritters

    TerrasCritters In a new coop

    Oct 24, 2007
    I have never had to deal with this but your doing everything I know, warm bath feed her mineral oil and also put it on her vent and maybe inside if you can to help lube that egg up.
    I am so sorry, get her to a vet ASAP if you can!

    I have never heard of the result of breaking an egg, please becareful with those sharp edges.
  5. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

    Jan 11, 2007

    is description of what the veterinarian would do (note the section I have underlined which may be of assistance to you if you cannot get to a vet ... the injectible calcium can be replaced by a TUM crushed (I have the link to the vet who posted this as an emergency measure if you so wish) and the "panalog on a q-tip" can be replaced by PrepH )


    Egg bound birds
    If the bird presents with rear end paresis or paralysis, thin, markedly depressed or with labored respiration, your prognosis must be guarded. Be sure to provide supportive care before attempting extraction of the egg. Hydrate the bird with fluids, give injectable calcium, and warmth. Some veterinarians elect to give an injection of a short acting glucocorticoid (for potential renal and cloacal swelling as well as shock ) and an antibiotic for potential sepsis. An ideal drug for inducing oviposition, if one emerges, is yet to be determined. Oxytocin and the avian equivalent, arginine vasotocin both cause uterine contractions. The prostaglandins, f2 alpha prostaglandin, (Lutalyse , dinoprost tromethamine, Upjohn , Kalamazoo, Michigan) prostaglandin E2 (Prostin E2 suppository, dinoprostone, Upjohn, Kalamazoo, Michigan, may also be administered for inducing egg laying. If the egg is adherent to the uterine wall or unable to descend (often due to soft tissue swelling or collection of urates and stool), the administration of any of these drugs could theoretically lead to uterine rupture. However, these medications, especially oxytocin and the prostaglandins that are available to the average practitioner, have been administered by experienced avian veterinarians successfully for many years. If the egg doesn't pass with early medical management, I prefer to use Isofluorane and manual extraction. In my hands, the decreased stress (due to decreased pain) and increased muscle relaxation warrant the slight anesthetic risk. Monitor respiration continuously - it WILL be labored if the bird is kept sufficiently light. The head should be held elevated to aid respiration. Barring adherence of the egg to the uterus, the administration of steady, unchanging digital pressure between the end of the sternum and the egg will cause the slow descent of the egg. At this point, the uterus will often evert, (don't let this alarm you) and then gradually reveal the white pinhole where the uterine opening is located. This opening will gradually dilate. Very seldom will any additional pressure or manipulation need to be done. The entire procedure generally takes less than two minutes under Isofluorane. After the egg is delivered, the uterus gradually "sucks" itself back up into position. A small amount of antibiotic/cortisone ointment in the vent (Panalog on a Q-tip) - seems to aid in reducing swelling, and allowing the bird to pass normal stool and urine more quickly. If any hemorrhage has occurred, and it often will as the uterus overstretches, antibiotics are definitely indicated to prevent cloacal and or uterine infection. Post-operatively the hen will continue to be depressed and have some labored breathing for a period of minutes to hours. Generally, by the next day, she has returned to normal, barring any complications (including a second egg - so don't forget to palpate her again, and warn the owner of that possibility)...."
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2007
  6. lauracarmer

    lauracarmer In the Brooder

    Dec 30, 2007
    Thanks for all the info. I was up until nearly 4AM reading everything and it seems we've done all we can other than breaking the egg. Mineral oil, Prep H, calcium, warm's just not happening. She's still doing okay but tiring out and obviously uncomfortable when a "contraction" comes.

    How long do we let her go on like this? Will she eventually pass the egg or die? My husband wants to try to crack it, so maybe that's what we'll do. It's not likely that she'll be going to the vet because a) it's a holiday and b) we got her for free off of craigslist and the husband won't spend the money. (not that we have it to spend anyway!)
  7. silky ma

    silky ma Songster

    Sep 14, 2007
    Have you tried massaging to try to move the egg down .
    When I was little my dad used the mineral oil internally and as vent lubrication. I have silkies that have had quite a time with their first egg lay. I have spent 1-2 days watching, massaging and calming them till they can pass it. It seems the 1st egg lay can be the hardest.

    I like to use Homeopathic remedies and have found a calming spray that works wonders on all animals.
    it is called-- BACH RESCUE REMEDY SPRAY--.
    I get it at our natural vitamin shoppe in CA.
    ( Elliotts natural foods). You can get it online!!!!

    I use a diabetic size syringe( no needle) to administer 2-3 drops in their mouths. It calms the nervous system and works fast!!!
    You can also call
    WOLF CREEK RANCH at 1-951-674-0921 For quick answers. They have a wealth of info on all animals.
    This number is also their emergency #. GOOD LUCK!!!
  8. TerrasCritters

    TerrasCritters In a new coop

    Oct 24, 2007
    How is she doing today?
  9. arlee453

    arlee453 Songster

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    I'm sorry to hear the hen didn't make it. It is tough to watch them suffer and sounds like you did the best you could for her.

  10. Queen of the Lilliputians

    Queen of the Lilliputians Songster

    Apr 5, 2007
    Sorry to hear about your girl. :aww

    You folks really worked hard for her. Sometimes it just isn't meant to be.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: