hen appears to be egg bound but cannot tell

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by lcatty, Feb 11, 2012.

  1. lcatty

    lcatty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 6, 2011
    Las Cruces, NM
    My EE hen (three years old) has been sitting in the nesting box all day and not laying an egg. The only time she goes in there is to lay. Her mouth is open and breathing heavily. She appears to be straining- her tail moves from time to time. She has never done this before.

    I do not have a wire cage (I saw the thread that recommended putting her in a wire cage and having hot water underneath for the steam). How should I proceed? Put her in the bathroom and run a hot shower? Hold her over some steaming water? There is also some unexplained blood on the stairs to our porch (the chickens hang out there sometimes). I have checked all four cats, both boys, every chicken I have and cannot tell where it came from-nobody has any wounds. The EE doesn't appear to have blood in or around her vent area, but who knows?

    Two of my young chickens just came down with what appears to be Marek's disease. It seems like my flock is cursed!

    If anyone has any suggestions please PM or reply. I will keep searching as long as the boys are asleep.

    thx
     
  2. terryg

    terryg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 5, 2007
    New England
    What you describe is certainly a hen in distress, and it does sound as if it's a laying issue. The first thing to do is to give her what I call the "spa treatment." Put her in a nice, warm soaking bath with some epsom salts (if you have them.) This relaxes her abdomen and vent area and often gets things moving. It also doesn't hurt to give her some olive oil. If she's eating, at a tablespoon to her feed. If not, you can dose with an eyedropper. I have a video of how to bathe a chicken here:

    You don't have to use the soap, but it'll give you a good sense. I've never had a chicken not like a warm soak. They even like to be blow dried.
     
  3. lcatty

    lcatty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 6, 2011
    Las Cruces, NM
    thx! Will do. What if the egg breaks inside-will it still come out?
     
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Probably not all will come out, if she's even egg bound. If an egg breaks inside, that could set up egg yolk peritonitis and she'd need penicillin injections to combat that. May not be egg binding. Some of my internal layers will strain on the nest, thinking they have an egg to push out, when all the while, it's gunk built up in the oviducts and/or abdomen, causing them to feel that urgency.
     

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