Egg Peritonitis in Chicken?


Jun 11, 2020
In around mid to late March one of my one and a half year old Delaware hens got very sick, as she stopped eating and drinking, and she wouldn't like to move around. At first I thought she was egg bound and gave her the proper treatments but that did nothing, and I felt no egg in her. After a few days of giving her immune boosting foods, she seemed to have gotten much better, and would eat, drink, and move around like she did before. Although she still didn't lay any eggs. As time went on, while she still walked around and ate, and drank regularly her abdomen would begin to look slightly more swollen, and she would constantly go to sleep anywhere showing signs of weakness. In the past couple of days she has also gotten a noticeably bad waddle with her legs spread out, and now lays down anywhere, usually where she can hear us. I think she is internally laying because when she lays down she makes her broody sounds, and pumps her tail as though she were straining. Her poops at first were liquid with little dark green pellets, but now they look like regular poops although smaller and with more calcium in them. Is there any way to help her?


Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Apr 3, 2011
southern Ohio
Sorry anout your hen. It does aound like she may be suffering from a reproductive disorder. Salpingitis, internal laying, egg yolk peritonitis, oviduct cancer, and ascites can be common. She is young for that, but it does happen. Once they become symptomatic, it is best to make them comfortable as possible, and try to get them eating. Antibiotics may or may not help, but are usually more effective early in the illness. If you have vet care, that might help, but if she appears to be suffering, at some point it might be good to consider ending her suffering. I usually do a home necropsy after losing one, and it can be helpful to take a few pictures of the abdominal organs for any comments here. One I did last week showed oviduct cancer, ascites, and fatty liver disease with a large blood clot in the abdomen.

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