My poor sick hen. What am I missing here?


Jul 7, 2016
Berkeley California
Poor Angelica.

I noticed her acting a little lethargic last Saturday, but by Monday it was clear something was wrong. She had her tail tucked down, walked funny, waggled her tail a lot, spend her whole day laying in the coop instead of free-ranging with the flock and wouldn't (couldn't?) get up on the roost at night. Classic egg-bound symptoms right?

So, Monday I gave her 2 warm epsom baths (2 hours apart), brought her inside and put her in a safe warm/dark place, gave her scrambled eggs and water. She ate none of them and didn't drink any water all night.

The next morning, I thought maybe she was stressed by being separated from the flock, so I put her out near the water and she drank a TON and then had the biggest, messiest liquid and white poop I've ever seen (it didn't smell bad - sorry, no photos). Then she went into the coop (not the nest box) and laid there all day with her tail feathers raised and her vent pulsing- no eating or drinking that I observed. She stayed on the floor of the coop all night with her head in a corner. :(

This morning, she was in the same place and her comb had lost some color, so in spite of REALLY not wanting to, I put ky jelly into her vent (about 1.5 inches). I didn't feel an egg, but when I removed my finger, about 2 tablespoons of what looked like egg yolk and whites came spilling out of her.

After, I gave her some more scrambled eggs and water and she ate and drank a tiny bit. It's now been 2 hours since the ky jelly incident and she is resting on a nest pad in a box next to the most technicolored poop I've ever seen, but still no egg.

What else? Her vent looks normal - not red, not swollen - just is constantly pulsing. She does have a little poopy butt. Oh, and her crop is not enlarged. There haven't been any stressers in her life - no heat wave, no new hens. And the rest of the flock is healthy (though 3 of them are molting).

Am I missing something? Is there anything else I can do for this poor hen??

Thanks everyone!


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Calcium boost, such as Tums is often recommended to help expel a stuck egg. I don't know how well this works with broken eggs, but it can't hurt at all to try! Hope your hen recovers.
Okie dokie- thanks for the suggestion. I just gave her some crushed tums in water via a dropper syringe. My fingers are crossed. Poor thing.
I'm sorry to hear about you chicky hen. My Ernie Bird layed a soft egg eith no shell once. Freaked me out. I know it was soft like a ballon with jelly. I researched and found that it was common for this to occur if the hens lack calcium. I bought oyster shell crumbles at Wal-Mart, yes walmart. I put mealworms on top so when she eats them she gets her calcium. No mushy eggs since. Maybe a mushy egg broke inside her. Poor baby. Good luck.
Sounds like she had a 'rubber egg' (one without a shell) that she was having trouble passing. Laying a rubber egg is about as easy to do as a human putting their hand into a wet rubber glove. Sounds like it burst either before or during your digital examination. In no way, shape or form, am I laying blame on you. In truth, if she didn't pass this egg somehow, it would have killed her, and soon! Please put her on antibiotics as a precautionary measure (I'm thinking egg yolk peritonitis could occur due to the broken yolk in her). As for the cause of the her bind... it's hard to say. She could have an underlying reproductive disorder such as asceites, salpingitis, cancer or others. She could be coming off of or going into a molt and her laying cycle became disrupted. A hen coming out of broodiness can lay some unusual eggs too. Heat. Stress. Or even a simple, one-time oops! can cause this.
You can add Apple cider vinegar with mother to her water. I use 1/2 tsp to 4 cups of water. Chickens like the taste so she might drink more water. I would also keep giving her calcium.

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