Egg Bound or Sterile Peritonitis?


9 Years
May 8, 2010
I have an 18mo old BO who hasn't laid an egg in months. She sits on the nest a few times a week and gets off singing, but doesn't lay. She eats well, hangs with my roo all day in the yard and doesn't appear to be in any distress.

I decided to feel her abdomen tonight just to see if it was normal. It is distended and feels fluid-filled. She's a big girl anyway, but her abdomen feels like a softball sized water balloon. I felt my other hens to be sure and they didn't feel at all like that.

Is she egg bound? Is it possible to be egg bound for 4 months and still walking around?

What should I do for her?

Any help is most appreciated.


I've been doing some more research and it's looking like it could be sterile peritonitis. Is there anything I can do to make her recover, or do I just need to cull her?
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I'm thinking I'm going to have to cull her. I just want some other opinions first.
One of our leghorns had yolk paritinitis. We put a big needle into her belly and had the fluid drained out A couple times a day. (we did a paracentesis). She is alive and healthy, though not laying anymore. Hope this helps.
Thank you. I looked up that thread and it does sound like this is the problem. I can't be spending the money to treat a bird who will never recover from the problem. We don't even have a vet who will see chickens around here. I guess I'll have to convince hubby to take care of her this weekend.
Thanks for the links. I'm sure that is what she has. One site I found said that peritonitis can be sterile or septic based on the presence or absence of bacteria. She would pass quickly if it went septic so I'm guessing since she's been around for months with this that her case is sterile....for now.

I don't have it in me to drain her when it will only recur and won't get her to start laying anyway.

I sure hope my other birds don't come down with the same condition.
At least my DH brought me 3 new buffs this summer that should start laying soon.

It's never fun to lose one though.

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