Eggbound Chicken? Need advice

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Shepz3, Oct 31, 2011.

  1. Shepz3

    Shepz3 New Egg

    Oct 31, 2011
    So this is the first time I have had a sick chicken, so I am kind of scrambling to figure out what to do.

    I have 2 year old Buff Orpington hen, she is a pretty big girl, always been bigger then her scrawny sister. Yesterday morning we realized that she was walking funny - kind of gingerly, slowly, and her balance was off. She was laying down a lot too. We thought maybe she had eaten something because they had been out all day in the yard saturday. We waited most of the day to see if she would get better, and then I discovered that she had a very swollen under-area (area on her backside, under her vent to behind her legs). It was swollen, red, and she had been plucking off feathers in that area. Compared to her sister's area it is NOT normal. We realized that she had not laid an egg - she is usually very regular (today is day 3 of her not laying any eggs). So we were thinking - egg bound. Yesterday we did the recommended warm water soak, gave her some crushed up calcium and aspirin, and set her up in a nice little nesting box for the night. She drank some water during the bath, but nothing after. We gave her the medicine soaked in oats, and she ate those, and played around with some scratch I gave her. Her balance became much worse - she topples forward when you put her down - and will fall over if you are not careful. She did not poop at all from about... 5pm on.

    I didn't expect her to make it through the night. But she did.

    So today I tried another warm bath, and also went exploring with some oiled fingers (didn't feel anything). She was pretty lethargic, just sitting there, and was panting a little bit. I offered her some scratch, which she pecked at a bit, but she wouldn't drink, and I gave her some more meds with oats - she ate those but didnt eat plain ones I offered her. I ripped up some lettuce and she ate a couple little pieces. When I took her out of her nesting box she made a huge poop, and another one later.

    Thinking this was the end, I took her out to her run to spend some time with her sister in the sun. When she got out there she immediately tumbled out and began wobbling around after her sister. She has been outside for about... 2 hours? And she is doing better then when she was inside. Her balance is still horrible, but at least she is tottering around. She lays down a bunch, and I think she has been pecking around, eating a bit. I just checked her swollen-ness and it is still the same, just not red - it is a normal pink now, so she hasn't been irritating it.

    When I feel the swollen area (I am not pushing too hard because I don't want to hurt her or break anything) I don't feel anything hard. It's not like... liquid. When I was doing this she was clucking a bit and I could feel her muscles contracting... Not much to report.

    SO! Do you think it is eggbound? EYP? or something else? Any thoughts? Any recommended treatments? I need advice because I do not want her to suffer. What I have been doing has not resulted in anything, and I don't want to prolong it. We arranged to have a friend come over and kill her tonight if she hasn't improved. Should I hold off?
  2. bakerjw

    bakerjw Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2010
    Johnson City, Tn
    I had a hen act the same way late last week and came here looking for advice and suggestions. I've now seen numerous posts on egg bound hens.

    If she is swollen and you can't feel an egg in the oviduct that I'd say that it probably is EYP. When I did the postmortem on my hen I found that it was indeed EYP which made any remorse at culling her vanish. She was gasping for breath and became very miserable after checking for a bound egg.

    There are some instances where you can drain liquid from the abdomen and then get any infection under control with antibiotics. I'm not sure how fast you have to catch it though or how effective it is with a bad case of EYP. All you can do is read posts and make an informed decision. If you do have her put down then I'd recommend doing a basic postmortem check. IMHO it will make you better equipped to diagnose future problems. If my hen had not had EYP but had only been egg bound I'd have felt bad but it would have given me an opportunity to see how a hens plumbing goes together. So far I've only ever butchered roosters.

    Best wishes and I hope you can check again and find a bound egg.
  3. Shepz3

    Shepz3 New Egg

    Oct 31, 2011
    Quote:Thanks, I will try again. I'm not sure I was checking properly when I was investigating her vent. I read that the duct the egg comes from is up off the main vent. How far in do I have to go? Any tips for that?

    She is not miserable, she is just tottering around. She is obviously not herself, but not miserable. Another thing - I read that when egg bound their tails point downward and they 'pump' them. She was doing this yesterday, but today her tail is back up.

  4. oesdog

    oesdog Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2010
    It could be she has just picked up an injury and got an infection in that area. The pooping is a possitive sign and that she is up on her feet all be it a bit wobbly.
    You say what you have been doing isn;t getting results. Well you also say the Red now is a normal pink so that is a good sign and possibly because you have been bathing her. - Was there any sign of a prolapse? It would be good if you could have gotten a pic of the area you are talking about. You could try to give her vitamins in her water and see if that helps any if she has an infection. Other thing is yoou could put some vasaline around the vent that sometimes helps them pass a large egg.

    Best I can offer - sorry but don;t give up too soon. [​IMG]

    Oesdog [​IMG]
  5. Shepz3

    Shepz3 New Egg

    Oct 31, 2011
    Quote:Thanks for the reply.

    When you say prolapse do you mean is there any internal organs coming out? No. Her vent looks normal, nothing coming out. If you are talking about organs being displaced inside, I have no clue...

    I do have some pictures but I dont know how to attach them... You would think that since I am a 20-something I would have computers mastered. So not the case. If you can tell me how to do that, then I will put them up.

  6. NovaAman

    NovaAman Overrun With Chickens

    You can not upload and post pics until you've reached a certain number of posts.

    Is she a normal egg layer? How many days since you've had an egg?

    I had a hen who came out of molt, started laying, then egg bound. I brought her in, warm bathed her for 20 minutes, wrapped her in a towel to get moisture out of the feathers, put her in a cat/dog carrier full of pine shavings to absord water and hold her body heat, and put a SADD lamp over the carrier to provide heat and fed her a 1/4 cup of yogurt, her regular feed and water in the carrier with her, put a towel over the carrier, and left her there. Checked on her every few hours to make sure she was ok, and food and water clean of pine shavings. She ended up laying 2 eggs the next day! Poor baby. BUT, that being said, I only knew she was egg bound because she kept being wobbly on her legs when she would walk, and kept trying to squat, tail up high, and her vent was pink and swollen a bit. My first time with it too. I didn't medicate her. If she had a prolapse, it would be sticking out of her vent, and you'd need to gently push it back in, use some... I think I read preperation H... for the swelling, keep her in a dark quiet warm spot for a few days, so she wont lay... Keeping an eye on the prolapse.

    Well, good luck. Hope you get it figured out and she's A OK.
  7. Shepz3

    Shepz3 New Egg

    Oct 31, 2011
    Quote:She is a regular layer, it is now day 3 without any eggs. I will keep an eye out for prolapse, maybe try giving her some yogurt.
  8. Shepz3

    Shepz3 New Egg

    Oct 31, 2011
    So I stumbled across this thread ( and it looks like a bunch of people have experienced this! My hen's swelling is not as bad as those pictures (yikes!), but she still has that weird balance issues. No one else mentioned that. It looks like a weird medical condition that no body knows about!
  9. egghead@1265

    [email protected] Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 24, 2011
    I have posted on here in various sections, as it appears we had a hen and now have ANOTHER HEN with a similar issue! Some of her symptoms and/or diagnosis thus far are: Prolapse, Red Butt, Rubber Egg, soft egg, white stuff coming out, red butt, dirty vent, constantly wanting to bear down/push out/force something out, parts look like they are often hanging out... not healthy acting,(pretty quickly onset to this-not moving around as much, little interest in eating, pecking, and little moving around..) bearing down...

    this is what I posted previously/on another Emergency/ injuries on BYC
    "Wow, after reading all of your messages, though some time ago, i must say, very impressive and brave! I just posted this below, along another question/posting, and now see what you have done. Our hen seems much the same, very red, dirty and not comfortable! But, a Bath! Wow, seems so messy and scary!

    And MORE:

    I am new to this forum, but as I can't quite figure out if or what we can do to assist our hen, am hoping that someone on here can make some recommendations that may be of assistance to us. We have 7 leghorns that have been raised from chicks and one of them seemed to be bearing down while outside, and straining unusually hard. When I went to check on her and looked more closely, I found she had a very swollen butt/bottom, which is very red and extended! Nothing seemed to be coming out, and I wondered if an egg could be stuck in her, if she had some type of constipation, and/or if she has an infection, or something else? I read on here that some people soak their chickens in a warm bath, which seems like a somewhat obvious remedy if this were a human being...but, ? "


    "We lost our hen. What a tough way to go. I feel so bad, and hate this part! "
    "Thank you for the notes, it is a terrible way for them to go/if they do, and seeing anyone or animal suffer is just difficult.

    But, after reading the successive messages, along with thinking back to how our hen may have ended up with the enlarged/red bum, I believe it could have occurred because she may have been the chicken who left us the MOST GIGANTIC EGG EVER!yippiechickie While we marveled at its size when we first collected it, and left it in the box for much longer than we typically leave any in the cartons(especially when it is so GIGANTIC that the box/lid won't even come close to closing!...keep in mind, the leghorns we have are not giants! Well, I cannot imagine that this didn't cause her the original damage, in retrospect."

    So, now, just less than a week later we have another HEN with the same issue! She laid a rubber egg! I took a picture, I will upload it and see if anyone has any ideas.

    I did also find a few websites, thanks to BYC, which may be of help. I will post them as well. I haven't yet found the answer to ours yet, but perhaps you may!

    Also, does anyone know if this is contagious? CONTAGIOUS?

    Thank you for any help.


    IF this was the case, I don't know that there is a solution to this problem. However, this too, is just a guess. We have, or shall I say had, 8 leghorns laying and don't know who lays which one as they are all leghorns. We do have 2 bantams as well, but it is clear which eggs are theirs! We also have a rooster, a leghorn as well, but he doesn't seem to be the problem at least near as we can tell. The other hens all seem fine for now.

    The lost one did not have an egg stuck, as she did lay an egg the day before we lost her. It had a totally soft shell, which is the first we had seen this for many many months.

    Thank you for the notes, and hoping between all of us can figure something out at some point."

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by