Enema-Can I give one to my Chicken?


11 Years
Oct 11, 2008
Emily 3years.Isa Brown,has been ill for at least a month with swollen belly. No egg laying since going off for winter so that's probably 5 months. I've given her baths,fed her some oil,squirted some enema oil up her vent,isolated her kept her warm but nothing I do seems to help. Now she's back outside with the others.Had a feel inside but couldn't get my finger in very far. Not quite sure if she's eggbound. She eats and drinks a little but walks like a Sumo Wrestler.Any suggestions?


11 Years
Aug 8, 2008
Sonoma Co, CA
No egg laying for months and a big belly in an older hen has two likely answers- sadly, neither is very good for your hen. One is reproductive related tumor(s), and the other is egg peritonitis (aka internal layer). Egg bound is when the egg is actually stuck in the tract, and these birds are actively straining, and often prolapse or die because they cannot defecate. If your hen is walking around eating and pooping, and just not laying (with a big belly), she is not egg bound, and you will not feel anything sticking your finger up her vent, and sticking any lubricants up there will not help either. Giving oil by mouth will lube her GI tract, but that is also not useful.

Egg peritonitis is when there is a defect in the repro tract due to one of many different diseases- and yolk material ends up in her abdomen outside of the reproductive tract where it cannot get out. The stuff builds up and sticks to itself and to the other organs. Internal bacterial infection often is associated with it. Antibiotics sometimes let them survive longer, but the yolk is still there making a mess of things. The bird is uncomfortable, and eventually dies from this or is culled.

Maybe it is something else, and I hope it is- but probably it is a tumor or egg yolk peritonitis, and you will need to humanely end her life.

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