Egg bound hen, please help!

Rhodies Rock

In the Brooder
9 Years
Jun 10, 2010
My hen has not laid an egg for the past two days at least. This afternoon, she was in the nest box for several hours and did not lay. She drank but had no interest in food. I brought her inside, filled a tub with warm water, put her in it, and waited to see if she could push the egg out with help from the steam. Nothing. She has been egg bound before and laid the egg with this treatment. Today, she was not pushing very hard like last time, just a little. Then I noticed what looked like a strip of paper about 1/4 inch wide sticking out about 1 inch from her vent. I do not know if this is what is causing her to be blocked up. I also do not know if it is something she ate or if it is some soft egg shell that came off. I am tempted to pull it but do not want to damage her insides. Any advice? I need to know what to do to save her.
paper? are you sure it wasn't a tapeworm?

never had an eggbound hen before so I don't know how to help, sorry
. Good luck! And you're sure she isn't broody or something?
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Do you have any latex gloves? If so, lube up your index finger with triple WITHOUT pain reliever and slide it gently into the vent. If an egg is far enough down to shed shell through the vent you should be able to feel it. If it's something she has eaten, this might encourage her to push so you can ease it out. Either way, you have to get it out for her to have a chance.

If it is egg shell but you can't reach the egg, try gently massaging her sides from just under her ribs down toward her bottom. When my little lavender Dutch bantam was eggbound, I had to massage her sides for quite some time,stopping frequently to let her rest as it was uncomfortable for her, to get the egg to slide down far enough to reach it from the vent. Once it did, it was waaaayyy too big for her to pass, so I actually had to carefully break the bottom of the egg out so it could collapse and come out. I checked once it was out to be sure no jagged shell stayed behind, then cleaned her up, put her in a warm cage with plenty of fresh water with ACV and antibiotics in it (in case of any internal cuts), and fed her yogurt, boiled eggs, and mixed veggies for the next 5 days. Today, she is happy, healthy, and lays an egg a day. So don't give up if the soaks don't work. She may just be too tired to push any more and you'll have to help her move the egg down. I'm sending healing thoughts your way for her. Please keep us posted.
Thank you for your prompt replies. The photo of tapeworm looks very close to my hen's 'paper'. I will look in to the tapeworms. As to the egg binding, she hasn't laid in a few days, and was on the nest like she wanted to lay. Could the tapeworm cause her to have a blockage in her vent area or to be egg bound? That would be like a double-whammy.
Again, thank you so much for your help and I will let you know how my hen (Lumpy) is doing in the morning.
I'm not sure if they can cause a hen to become egg bound, but they do cause intestinal upset. They basically steal the nutrients from their hosts which could cause the body to halt laying to conserve energy and nutrients.

You can confirm it being tapeworm if you inspect her vent again and see white segments as that's how they reproduce. Treat tapeworm with valbazen.
Ok, we have valbzen (albendazole) for livestock. I think I just calculate the dosage with Lumpy's weight. But how do I give it to her? I do not want to get it down the wrong pipe and choke her. She does not have any interest in food, so I probably would not be able to get it down that way.
My Sophie, who is an 8.5 lb Pekin Duck Hen, 1.5 years old, hasn't laid an egg since November. She goes to her roost in the morning and sits in there, but nothing happens. Now she seems listless and doesn't want to talk. She usually cackles if you talk to her. She eats ok, but not with the enthusiasm she used to have. She does have a bumblefoot that I cannot get out and it sits at the base of her foot stem. Has to be miserable to walk on. She doesn't even care about getting into her pool. I am truely concerned about her but don't know if she has staph that has gotten to her blood stream or that something else is wrong. I've tried and tried to soften up the scab on the bumblefoot enough to get to the core but it is tougher than what I can deal with with. I tried black salve for several days with absolutely no results. I hate watching her fade away but I have no Idea what to do. Any advise?
I didn't know ducks got bumblefoot, but I would go back at it with a vengeance and a scalpel. If she is going to have a chance it is up to you.... Treating an eye infection myself today on one of my girls.. Good luck!
Lumpy spent the day hunkering down in dense shrubbery but came out this afternoon to eat and drink. She devoured layer and apple pieces. Then I wormed Lumpy and she is roosting in a tree with a newspaper under her to catch droppings. Her droppings last night were runny, but there were enough of them there to indicate that she probably is not egg bound. However, thank you spiritdance, I will probably need the egg binding info for Lumpy down the road if she pulls through this. As to the worming, will any worms...come out? I have heard that they might get digested.
I hope Sophie feels better soon. I read that staph and other bacteria in bumbledoot can spread to other birds and people. If you have not tried, put epsom salt into warm water and soak her foot in it, then remove the scab. To open the wound pull apart the wound edges (do not squeeze). Clean the wound with hydrogen peroxide and administer a bird-safe antibiotic ointment. Bandage the foot and repeat the cleaning and bandaging process every day until healed. If this doesn't work, contact a vet.

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