How to give a sick hen a bath and check for egg

andree

In the Brooder
Oct 21, 2017
12
8
26
We've had four hens for about 20 months now and have never had any health issues with them (no lice, worms, respitory problems...) I posted about them in this thread.

The hens used to be great layers but all of that seems to have slowed way down this fall and now I get about 3-4 eggs per week even though they get extra light.

One of my Sussex hens has been acting and looking poorly for the past 24 hours and I think that I need to give her a bath and check if she is egg-bound. She isn't moving around much, isn't pecking the ground and hasn't layed any eggs in the past couple of days. Plus she is looking so puffed up and swollen and is keeping her head tucked in and just standing there without moving too much. I tried to pick her up and she is seems more sensitive than usual.

In poking around the forums, I see that she could have some laying problems. I did find signs of broken eggs in the coop but since we had issues with magpies stealing the eggs and breaking them, I didn't think of a laying problem right away. So this could have started a few weeks ago and I'm just now seeing it.

I'm feeling very sheepish about the bath & having to explore her derriere ! Because the hens have been in great shape, they don't get handled much except for the monthly inspection, which they don't like but is pretty quick.

What should I expect to feel doing this? Can anything go wrong? I don't suppose that there is a video somewhere that shows how to do this?

Thanks & wish me luck ;-(
 

townchicks

Free Ranging
Dec 1, 2016
1,998
6,504
666
Contra Costa county, Ca.
I don't know if there is a video, I did a quick search w/o finding one, but that doesn't mean there isn't one. Start with a soak in a basin of warm water and epsom salt. Give that about 20 mins, that may do the trick, if not, lube a gloved finger with KY jelly or vaseline, and gently insert it about 2 inches into her vent. Good luck.
 

Aunt Bouncy

Hatching
Nov 14, 2018
9
1
9
We've had four hens for about 20 months now and have never had any health issues with them (no lice, worms, respitory problems...) I posted about them in this thread.

The hens used to be great layers but all of that seems to have slowed way down this fall and now I get about 3-4 eggs per week even though they get extra light.

One of my Sussex hens has been acting and looking poorly for the past 24 hours and I think that I need to give her a bath and check if she is egg-bound. She isn't moving around much, isn't pecking the ground and hasn't layed any eggs in the past couple of days. Plus she is looking so puffed up and swollen and is keeping her head tucked in and just standing there without moving too much. I tried to pick her up and she is seems more sensitive than usual.

In poking around the forums, I see that she could have some laying problems. I did find signs of broken eggs in the coop but since we had issues with magpies stealing the eggs and breaking them, I didn't think of a laying problem right away. So this could have started a few weeks ago and I'm just now seeing it.

I'm feeling very sheepish about the bath & having to explore her derriere ! Because the hens have been in great shape, they don't get handled much except for the monthly inspection, which they don't like but is pretty quick.

What should I expect to feel doing this? Can anything go wrong? I don't suppose that there is a video somewhere that shows how to do this?

Thanks & wish me luck ;-(
We've had four hens for about 20 months now and have never had any health issues with them (no lice, worms, respitory problems...) I posted about them in this thread.

The hens used to be great layers but all of that seems to have slowed way down this fall and now I get about 3-4 eggs per week even though they get extra light.

One of my Sussex hens has been acting and looking poorly for the past 24 hours and I think that I need to give her a bath and check if she is egg-bound. She isn't moving around much, isn't pecking the ground and hasn't layed any eggs in the past couple of days. Plus she is looking so puffed up and swollen and is keeping her head tucked in and just standing there without moving too much. I tried to pick her up and she is seems more sensitive than usual.

In poking around the forums, I see that she could have some laying problems. I did find signs of broken eggs in the coop but since we had issues with magpies stealing the eggs and breaking them, I didn't think of a laying problem right away. So this could have started a few weeks ago and I'm just now seeing it.

I'm feeling very sheepish about the bath & having to explore her derriere ! Because the hens have been in great shape, they don't get handled much except for the monthly inspection, which they don't like but is pretty quick.

What should I expect to feel doing this? Can anything go wrong? I don't suppose that there is a video somewhere that shows how to do this?

Thanks & wish me luck ;-(
Andrew,
We've had four hens for about 20 months now and have never had any health issues with them (no lice, worms, respitory problems...) I posted about them in this thread.

The hens used to be great layers but all of that seems to have slowed way down this fall and now I get about 3-4 eggs per week even though they get extra light.

One of my Sussex hens has been acting and looking poorly for the past 24 hours and I think that I need to give her a bath and check if she is egg-bound. She isn't moving around much, isn't pecking the ground and hasn't layed any eggs in the past couple of days. Plus she is looking so puffed up and swollen and is keeping her head tucked in and just standing there without moving too much. I tried to pick her up and she is seems more sensitive than usual.

In poking around the forums, I see that she could have some laying problems. I did find signs of broken eggs in the coop but since we had issues with magpies stealing the eggs and breaking them, I didn't think of a laying problem right away. So this could have started a few weeks ago and I'm just now seeing it.

I'm feeling very sheepish about the bath & having to explore her derriere ! Because the hens have been in great shape, they don't get handled much except for the monthly inspection, which they don't like but is pretty quick.

What should I expect to feel doing this? Can anything go wrong? I don't suppose that there is a video somewhere that shows how to do this?

Thanks & wish me luck ;-([/QUdrew,
We've had four hens for about 20 months now and have never had any health issues with them (no lice, worms, respitory problems...) I posted about them in this thread.

The hens used to be great layers but all of that seems to have slowed way down this fall and now I get about 3-4 eggs per week even though they get extra light.

One of my Sussex hens has been acting and looking poorly for the past 24 hours and I think that I need to give her a bath and check if she is egg-bound. She isn't moving around much, isn't pecking the ground and hasn't layed any eggs in the past couple of days. Plus she is looking so puffed up and swollen and is keeping her head tucked in and just standing there without moving too much. I tried to pick her up and she is seems more sensitive than usual.

In poking around the forums, I see that she could have some laying problems. I did find signs of broken eggs in the coop but since we had issues with magpies stealing the eggs and breaking them, I didn't think of a laying problem right away. So this could have started a few weeks ago and I'm just now seeing it.

I'm feeling very sheepish about the bath & having to explore her derriere ! Because the hens have been in great shape, they don't get handled much except for the monthly inspection, which they don't like but is pretty quick.

What should I expect to feel doing this? Can anything go wrong? I don't suppose that there is a video somewhere that shows how to do this?

Thanks & wish me luck ;-(

Andrew,
We are in a similar situation, but started last week. We have one chicken that laid a few soft eggs and seemed egg bound. She wasn't eating or pooping. We are newbies, so won't be too much help to you, other than to tell you the bath and finger in the vent weren't bad. I thought there was no way I would be able to keep her in a bath, but she seemed to like it. I put the Epsom salt and warm water in a shallow tub and set her in it and she settled right into the water. I put a towel over the top so it would be dark and she took a little nap. She did expel some stuff (maybe unformed shell?) into the water. The finger in the vent was a little weird for me, but she didn't seem to mind. I wore a rubber glove and used vaseline. I turned her on her back (which she doesn't like) and cradled her in my arms and she quickly settled down. Then I explored the duct. I don't know what it was supposed to feel like, but I didn't feel anything that felt like an egg. She did expel some runny poop. She would seem to be pushing extra hard and her one leg straightened, and I got nervous and pulled my finger out, and that's when some poop came out. That happened about 3 times.

I can't really help you other than that. Our girl did lay a very soft egg the next day, and then an egg without a shell the day after. I don't think she has laid any more eggs since then, but could have and the others ate it. She has been eating and her poop is now normal, but there is still something wrong with her.

Good luck!
 

andree

In the Brooder
Oct 21, 2017
12
8
26
Thank you both for your replies, they gave me the courage I needed.

My daughter and I gave the hen a warm bath, but we had to keep adding water because the hen refused to settle her bottom in the water and kept raising herself above the water line. I totally forgot the epsom salts but will try them next time if there is one. I didn't feel anything at all in her vent, but like AuntBouncy's hen, she did release some poop. We blow dryed her and put her back outside but now she is breathing heavily with her mouth open.

I'll see how she is tomorrow but don't know what the next steps are.

Repeat the bath? Isolate her?

Poor chickie.
 

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