Hen may be eggbound? Help!


8 Years
May 6, 2011
I have read descriptions of hens being eggbound, but never understood what the symptom of having their "tail down" meant. Saw one of our hens displaying this behavior on Tuesday and now I understand!

Of our 10 hens, we have 5 reds, one who is definitely a New Hampshire and the rest who are either NH or some other red-colored, brown-laying breed and we can only tell one apart from the rest with any certainty. Two are two years old, the rest are one year old. Consequently, I cannot tell you if the sick hen is one or two years old. All of our hens are (or, rather were) laying regularly.

We gave her a warm water bath for 20 minutes on Tuesday and again last evening. Last evening after her bath she hustled for one of the nests. I am at work today so will not know if she did indeed lay an egg until later this afternoon.

Here are my questions: Are baths the best option? I have read that you can try reaching up inside, but I am definitely not comfortable with this as I am afraid of hurting her. I just don't know enough about their anatomy to feel comfortable. Is there anything else we can do? We have no inside facilities where we can place her under a heat lamp. At what point should I look into veterinary care? Can they even do anything?

Thank you all in advance for any help you can provide! I am so worried for this girl.


Sparkle Magnet
May 6, 2009
Akron, Ohio
Warm bath helps, because it relaxes the muscles so that the hen can push it out. I had a bird die (my favorite one, of course) from being eggbound... if you arent comfortable reaching inside, try feeling around the abdomen to feel if there is an egg.

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