Eggbound chicken? HELP!!!

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May 17, 2017
One of my hybrid hens has been really off for the last few days. At first I thought she might have flystrike (seeing as one of my other hens had a mild case thats cleared up now) but have checked all over her with no signs of lice, mites, flystrike or worms. My hens are given vermex in their feed every month and their coop is regularly cleaned.
This hen has had problems with soft shells in the past, and I can feel a solid egg inside her. She has been on and off her food since yesterday when I brought her inside and she has lost a lot of weight. I have given her a couple of long baths and given her electrolytes and calcium. She is passing poos, but they are watery, which makes me worry. She is huddled up in a pengiun pose and has developed pigeon toes, which is making me think that she's eggbound.
Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

When you say you can feel a solid egg inside her, is that by inserting a finger into her vent or are you saying she has a hard swollen abdomen? Usually if a hen is egg bound you won't be able to feel it externally and she is often unable to poop.... which is ultimately what kills them.

If you are feeling a hard mass in her abdomen from external examination, then this is more likely to be internal laying or ascites (water belly) or a tumour. Usually hens that are laying internally or have ascites feel very heavy, so if she is losing weight (feels light), that would suggest a tumour is causing her to waste away.

If she is genuinely egg bound and you can feel it by inserting a finger into her vent, then lubricating her vent after a warm soak and gentle massage in Epsom salts bath may help her. If she has been laying soft shelled eggs recently though, the chance of you being able to feel a solid egg is obviously reduced, so any hard mass is more likely to be something else I'm afraid.... I hope I am wrong.

Unfortunately hens are quite prone to problems of the reproductive tract and hybrids, being such amazingly productive birds are at increased risk as their system is under constant strain and they have little or no down time, so they can burn out quicker.

Keep us posted on her progress and keep her warm and comfortable and try to tempt her with some treats like scrambled egg, natural yoghurt and even a bit of soggy bread soaked in water or electrolytes or better still Nutri Drench. Bread doesn't have a lot of good nutrition in it but it will often tempt them to eat when other things fail and eating something is better than nothing. Poop will become watery and green/yellow if they stop eating and their system starts to shut down, so keeping it going with a little bit of something they enjoy is worth doing in my opinion. Giving her sloppy food rather than dry food will help her to digest it quicker and help prevent her getting dehydrated.

Good luck

Thanks Barbara. Unfortunately she has passed on, but I think it may have been a tumour like you suggested, since I couldn't feel an egg after internal examination.
I'm so very sorry. It sounded like she was pretty poorly and if it was a tumour, there is nothing you could have done, so just as well that she didn't linger long.
It's the quality of life that counts, not the length of it and I'm sure she had a wonderful loving home with you up until her recent illness and death. Hopefully you can take comfort in that.
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