Egg bound? What else could this be? Please help!

HENrietta's House

In the Brooder
10 Years
Jun 26, 2009
2-year-old hen listless -- found laying in corner of coop -- looks uncomfortable -- could be egg bound?

I tried to feel for an egg, but couldn't tell for sure... (We've had hens for almost 2 years, but have never had any problems!) If there is a hard egg, it's not feeling very big. When I pushed around her abdomen, she jumped a bit -- must be tender. She also has some red looking skin underneath with shavings stuck to it.

I read some posts on egg binding and we brought her inside and are trying a warm water soak. She sat down in the water, so I'm guessing it feels good? How long should I leave her in there? What should we do with her when we take her out?

She did have some foamy, yellowish poop come out when I was feeling her abdomen. At least something is coming out, but it doesn't look very normal.

Not interested in drinking. I doubt she has eaten anything either.

We also noticed our rooster peck at her head when we brought her out of the coop. Is that a sign that he knows she is weak, or maybe he always does that to her and we haven't noticed...

She seemed fine on Sunday, not sure about yesterday. Found her like this just this morning.

Thank you for any suggestions!
I left her in the sink for about 30 minutes. No egg... We're going to put her in a box of shavings inside to see if anything happens. I read about using oil around the inside and outside of vent. What type of oil is best? Would olive oil be okay? How exactly do I do this? With a syringe? Thank you so much for your help! We're just not sure exactly how to go about helping her!
I have no advice for you unfortunately, but just wanted to wish you luck! Come on, all you experienced chicken folk! Henrietta needs some of your wisdom!!!!


Hoping for the best,

Lisa from NC
I have not had a lot of success with helping the egg out of an egg bound hen. I also have tried the warm water with no real success to mention. I've had them pass them after a few hours without intervention. I dropped one poor girl and the egg broke. It worked, I don't recommend dropping her, that was an accident. I then had to check to make sure all the shell came out. I'm hoping someone else may have some better input. Good luck!
A swollen abdomen can be a number of things. Egg binding is a possibility as is egg peritonitis (i.e. an egg broke inside of her). Ascites will also cause swelling and intestinal obstruction from eating something inedible that blocks the intestines. Yellow/watery poop can be a sign that she is overproducing bile and not eliminating what she something could be blocking her syste.
One of the first things I would do is to take her temperature. A normal chicken is 103-105 degrees. If she is normal, egg binding or an intestinal obstruction would be high on my list of probable causes. If her temperature is elevated, she probably has an infection that needs treatment with antibiotics. There are threads on all these maladies on this board to help you out.
Good luck with your hen.
I've had a hen that goes through kind of what you're describing every few weeks for the past several months. I tried the warm baths, feeling for an egg, etc. with no positive results. So far, she's bounced back within two days each time she's gone through this. I know dog and cat ailments, but feel pretty helpless when it comes to my chickens not feeling well
I've kind of suspected internal laying (in my girl's case). Do a search on that and see if it sounds like a possibility... Good luck - Hope your girl recovers.
place some oil down her vent, cooking oil, cod liver oil type, should help if egg bound...Have in rare case, if you can see the egg , break it and remove the egg shell. remember if egg bound another egg is behind and needs layed in a day or don't wait to long

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