Waddling hen


May 24, 2017
Hello everyone. I have 8 bovan browns. They'll be a year old this April. I usually open their coop in the morning, let them free range and go to work. I haven't spent much time watching them outside because I get home and they're already back in the coop. Anyway, I went in the other morning and there was blood splatter all over the top of the nesting boxes. They roost over top of the boxes all around the coop. It looked like someone had expelled something crazy. Then I noticed that one of my hens was roosting on the lower roost which isn't normal. I was home yesterday and watched her outside and she's waddling like a penguin and she looks swollen. I checked for an egg or anything inside that felt weird but honestly, I don't know what I'm feeling for. Her vent looks like she's constantly trying to push something out too. I don't know what else to do for her. I'm scared she's in pain. Anyone experience this before???


Free Ranging
5 Years
Feb 14, 2014
Consett Co.Durham. UK
I'm not sure what the blood splattering was from if there is no sign of an injury to her vent. It might be worth checking all of your girls over carefully for an injury.
Combs and claw injuries are the two commonest "bleeders"

As regards he one that is uncomfortable, there are a number of possibilities, largely related to reproductive issues and most of them will have a sad outcome. The best you can hope for is that she is egg bound either with a proper egg or a shell less egg. The latter cannot usually be felt by an internal digital examination, so if you inserted a finger and di not feel an egg, then she may be struggling to pass a shell less one which takes a lot of effort. If you haven't already, I would bring her into the house, give her a warm Epsom Salts bath soak and gently massage and lubricate her vent. After a 20 min soak, giver her a good blow dry and place her in a box or crate in a dark location on a heat pad with a damp towel over it or in a warm steam filled shower enclosure and offer her a scrambled egg with a calcium supplement crushed and sprinkled on it to help with passing it. Check on her regularly but don't disturb her too much. Hopefully, it will be an egg and she will manage to pass it. If not, then it is likely to be something like Salpingitis, an infection of the oviduct which gets impacted with "lash egg" material and or internal laying/egg yolk peritonitis. Unfortunately these ailments are all to common in high production birds and usually terminal. If you have the money to fund veterinary care then hormonal implants can be beneficial to prevent them from ovulating but need to be replaced every 3-6 months and at about $150 a shot, it is not an option for many people. If she fails to clear her system in the next day or so and her condition deteriorates, it might be kinder to end her suffering.
Things to monitor whilst she you are waiting for an egg to pass are food and water intake, crop function and poop production. If she is unable to poop, that suggests a blockage of her digestive tract and that will become fatal in a few days. It is important to ensure that she gets plenty of fluids, so only offering her sloppy food will be beneficial and electroytes in her water may give her extra energy to expel a stuck egg.
Good luck and I hope it is something that she can resolve with a little assistance from you.

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