Unusual behaviour - normal, egg-bound, poorly or something else?


Jun 11, 2017
Hi folks.

Firstly, I've just posted something through the Facebook page but not sure where it's gone or if it'll get seen. This afternoon I spotted one of our hens looking a little odd. The width of her gait seems unusually wide compared to her sisters, almost twice the width. Later she also laid down on the grass, dropped her head then did like a soft body contraction. I thought she was about to lay an egg, but she never did. She also seems to have a bit of panting going on too. I have videoed her but it doesn't look like you can post vids on here. Does anyone have any thoughts please?

She is about 2 years old, generally healthy looking with a full plumage.

Many thanks.
Hi @MeScubaSteve :frow Welcome To BYC

If you post your video to youtube or vimeo then give us a link we can view it.

How long has she been like this?

From her stance, it's possible that she is having trouble laying her egg - keep a close watch on her. Being egg bound is deadly. Give her a while so you don't stress her. If she gets worse or becomes a bit lethargic, then you will need to check her to see if she has an egg stuck. Watch to see that she is staying hydrated and provide extra calcium - dehydration and lack of calcium makes it harder to pass an egg.

Egg bound info and treatment:
Thanks very much Wyorp. Ive only noticed her like this today. We have allowed them out for a while since we now have chicks and they've been getting used to the surroundings. I've uploaded the video to Vimeo:
Panting could be the heat or stress or both.

Sometimes they have a hard time passing a soft shelled egg,
it's too soft for the contractions to move it well.

Might want to take a look at her vent and belly,
if she doesn't get it out within a an hour or so.
As @aart mentions, panting can be from heat or stress of trying to lay the egg.

She does look a bit uncomfortable, give her a while - if no egg or see seems to be in distress then check her out more thoroughly.

First post here, so hope its a helpful one!

We had one of our girls doing the almost the exact same motions (and she was the same colour coincidently!). Kept on moving around then sitting down and trying to squeeze out something. Being new to the chickens, we looked up egg bound and all sorts, but whilst we were doing some reading we stuck her in the coop and closed the doors to leave her in the dark. Don't know if this did anything or was just good timing, but checking on her 30ish mins later there was a tired yet relived looking chicken with a soft-shelled egg.

Hope yours gets through OK!

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