How do I break an egg in a hen? **** UPDATED, First post ****

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by bayouchica, Jun 11, 2008.

  1. bayouchica

    bayouchica Songster

    Jan 23, 2007
    N.E. Louisiana
    I've got an eggbound pullet,she just started laying about 2 weeks ago. I've soaked,lubed & done all I know to help her pass it.
    It feels really big & the shell is hard as a rock..How in the heck can I do it???

    **** UPDATE**** Well I finally got it out of her!!! She was a good patient,never fussed at all. She's out drying off in the sun,relaxing.
    She's one of my "Twins" I have two solid white EE's that always hang out together,lol.

    Thanks for everyone's help...
    Miriam [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2008
  2. MayberrySaint

    MayberrySaint Chillin' Out

    Mar 7, 2007
    Mount Airy, NC
    [​IMG] maybe a knitting needle?
  3. aliena614

    aliena614 Songster

    May 17, 2007
    Columbus, Ohio
  4. panner123

    panner123 Songster

    Jan 15, 2007
    Garden Valley, ca
    Go to It tells you what and how to help an egg bound hen. If you can't get in that way just go to and scroll to egg bound. They even tell you how to break the egg.
  5. bayouchica

    bayouchica Songster

    Jan 23, 2007
    N.E. Louisiana
    Panner, I searched on google & no luck.. can you give me a direct link?

    Andy, LOL.. no knitters here [​IMG]
  6. sammi

    sammi Songster

    Dec 21, 2007
    Southeast USA
    not getting anything for ""
  7. sammi

    sammi Songster

    Dec 21, 2007
    Southeast USA
  8. bayouchica

    bayouchica Songster

    Jan 23, 2007
    N.E. Louisiana
    thank you Sammi [​IMG]
  9. eggchel

    eggchel Crowing

    Dec 26, 2006
    Both Coasts
    Here is the information that panner123 was referring to.

    Egg Bound Birds

    Egg bound is when your hen can't pass or lay an egg. The pressure of the egg there at the vent may stop her from passing manure as well. It is bad news, undetected or left untreated it has a high fatality rate and the complications can lead to the hen having to be put down even if the egg is passed. I don’t mean to scare you but it is important that an egg bound hen is recognized early and treated so here is a bit of information on the problem.

    Factors that can lead up to egg binding and their prevention are:

    Pullets starting to lay too young - Try and avoid exposing pullets to more than 14 hours of light per day or lengthening hours of light prior to 20 weeks of age. Obviously not possible at some times of the year for those who have their flocks in natural light.

    Laying hens too fat – Watch the hens weight and reduce or remove high calorie treats like corn if necessary. Keep them fit, the more exercise they get the better.

    Hypocalcemia - The lack of free calcium in the blood. Free calcium is needed for proper smooth muscle contraction and the lack of it can mean that she does not have the muscle power to expel the egg. Don’t confuse this with the calcium that she needs to create the egg shell. Hens with fine egg shell quality can still have a hypocalcemic crisis.

    Egg shell too rough or egg too large – Hens that have not rested from laying can get chronic big rough eggs and have problems with them. Inducing a molt (see treatment) may help them as would extra calcium supplementation. All hens occasionally lay big or rough eggs and those can’t be prevented.

    Injury or swelling at the vent or in the reproductive tract – Sometimes a hen ‘works up’ to being fully egg bound by having a bit of trouble passing an egg each day. Pain and swelling increases each time. Noticing the hen is in distress would be difficult but if you catch it before she gets fully eggbound treat her with ASA in her water and Preparation H in her vent.

    Recognition: is very important, the earlier the better. The hen often stands or moves in an odd way, usually with her tail held very low and her rear end tucked between her legs. Sometimes they just sit around looking ruffled, but often it is obvious the bird is straining to pass an egg. If you feel her abdomen you may be able to palpate the egg and she may let you know that is the painful area.

    Treatment: begins with separating the hen to a quiet warm area. Sometimes a heat lamp over a makeshift nest box is all they need. Warmth relaxes the hen so that the vent can dilate more allowing the egg to pass. A warm water bath is a great option. Hens that are egg bound and placed in a sink of water will immerse themselves squatting down and look like they are nesting. This is helpful in diagnosis as an ill hen will usually stand in the water wondering why you put her there or get out. Often the hen will pass the egg into the water bath. Make the water as hot as you would like to take a long soak in if you were sore from overwork the day before.

    The hen can be given Calcium Sandoz. It is a liquid calcium supplement that most drug stores carry. Give 1 cc to a standard and half to a bantam by mouth. Add 1 cc to each quart or litre of water that she has while in treatment. Even if the cause is not hypocalcemia in this hen’s case it will not hurt her to have more calcium.

    If in doubt as to if the hen is egg bound a few vet sites recommend separation, warmth, warm bath and calcium to all hens in lay that seem distressed. Since treatment is only successful if done early and none of these thing can harm her even if she is not egg bound up to this point it is better safe than sorry.

    If treatment so far has not helped her out you need to get some oil, mineral oil or vegetable oil, or a personal lubricant like KY jelly and liberally apply it to her vent and your finger and put the finger into her vent very gently and upward in direction. Downward would get you into the digestive tract. If you reach an egg try to get some of the lubricant into the area and sweep your finger past the egg and help the lubricant get all around the egg. Give the hen a rest and perhaps another chance to pass the egg herself depending on her condition. Hens go into profound cardiovascular collapse over being egg bound and she may not be able to put in the effort to try anymore. If not place your well lubed finger in there again and if you can get past the egg and sweep or traction it gently out. If you can’t do that the last resort is to gently break the end of the egg and allow the contents to pass and the shell to collapse. It is vital that all of the shell be removed from the hen. Be very gentle as she will get internal cuts from the egg shell. If you have to do this place the hen on antibiotics following removal if she survives.

    Following passing or removal of the egg keep the hen in a warm quiet area separate until she is out of shock and back eating and drinking well.

    Complications from being egg bound can be swelling, bleeding or prolapse of the oviduct. Some swelling is normal and the hen can be given ASA (Aspirin or acetylsalicylic acid) at the rate of 5 of the 5grain ASA tablets to each gallon of water. Preperation H can be placed in the vent as well. If the oviduct prolapsed gently wash it off and lube it up well with oil or KY and very gently place it back pushing inward and upward. There will be a lot of swelling after so add Preparation H to her vent and ASA to her water. Bleeding that continues past that day should be treated with antibiotics.

    Recurrence is common. Hens that have been egg bound often take a rest from laying and that healing time is important. If she does not take time off and seems to have continued problems you can induce a molt by keeping her in only dim light for less than 10 hours a day and darkness for the rest. Laying will shut down after 4 or 5 days and a molt in another 2 weeks. If you put her back in regular lighting conditions after the laying stops she may not go into a full molt and resume laying in a week or 2. I have done that to give a hen some healing time and it was successful.​
  10. bayouchica

    bayouchica Songster

    Jan 23, 2007
    N.E. Louisiana
    Thank you Eggchel, I tired again awhile ago.. no luck.I went up in her egg tract & lubed it,she's tired so I'm going to give her a rest for now.
    She did lay yesterday,so I think she'll be alright till the early morning.
    It's just the dang egg shell is so hard to break. I don't want to put pressure in the wrong place & hurt her.I'm so frustrated!!! [​IMG]
    On top of all of that.. my dog Rex just got sprayed by a shunk So I had to stop & give him a bath... [​IMG]

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