Eggbound or Internal Layer? How to tell difference?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Sunny Side Up, Dec 26, 2009.

  1. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    I have an uncomfortable adult RIR hen and I'm trying to decide what to do to/for her. Please help me diagnose her trouble & decide what to do.

    I think she's 2 or 3 years old, don't know for sure. But last night we noticed her standing off to the side of the coop looking very sorry for herself. I examined her more closely this morning & saw that her abdomen is very distended, swollen like a football. She had goopy poop on the feathers below her tail and her vent was also distended.

    I hosed off the poop and set her in a bucket of warm water for about 20 minutes. But nothing passed out, her abdomen is still swollen, her crop is flat, she doesn't show much interest in eating or drinking or anything else. The poor dear did get herself up into the coop and onto a roost tonight.

    The swollen abdomen makes me think she's laying internally. If that's true then I'm going to have to help her cross over to The Other Side of the Road before she gets too uncomfortable. I don't have the resources to devote to an attempt to treat her by draining fluid or dosing with antibiotics.

    But if she's simply eggbound & can be cured by removing the obstructing egg, then I would be willing to attempt that.

    Please let me know what you think her condition might be and what could be done, if anything, to help her. Thank you.
  2. PandoraTaylor

    PandoraTaylor RT Poultry n Things

    Jun 29, 2009
    insert 3-5 ml olive or Vegetable oil into the vent, warm bath and massage gently, can you palpate her? can you feel an egg?

    crush 1/2 of a Tums for calcium, add warm water to dissolve and place in her beak.
  3. organicfoltzfamilyfarm

    organicfoltzfamilyfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 13, 2009
    Trafalgar, IN
    Please keep us updated because I would like to learn more about egg bound hens and treatments.

    Hope she feels better soon.

    Lets just hope she is egg bound and not an internal layer.
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Eggbound you can fix, most likely. Internal layer, you can't. If she just has fluid/infection buildup in her abdomen, you can try 3-4 days of strong penicillin injections. I've saved several ladies like that, however, it's a recurring problem with most of them. Feces gets sucked back into the oviduct and causes an ecoli infection (Salpingitis), especially in good layers. Lost maybe six to internal laying over the past two years, all hatchery girls. There is no cure for that other than a hysterectomy..
  5. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Would she have the tightly swollen abdomen if she were just eggbound? I am willing to try the oil & the palpitation if it might help, but don't want to give her that grief if she's got an internal infection from internal laying. If she has that infection I will just euthanize her and end her misery. Her abdomen feels like an inflated rubber ball, the warm soak yesterday didn't give her any relief from that.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by