What does being "egg bound" mean? And is my chicken egg bound?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chickiyo, Nov 9, 2011.

  1. chickiyo

    chickiyo Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 21, 2010
    Hi all,

    I have a Buff Orpington named Ponyo who, a couple days back, was acting lethargic. She had her butt open as if she was trying to defecate so I thought she was just constipated. I gave her some warm olive oil and a date as laxatives to help her out. And later on that day when I checked up on her I was surprising to find she had laid an egg, outside her coop, on my porch. Furthermore when I was putting the chickens away in their hen house I found she had laid yet another egg, but this one was deformed and crumpled up. I looked up these symptoms and found she might be "egg bound" but I'm not still sure what that entails. Is she egg bound? She is alittle over a year old and lately has not laying as much as usual. She also has a poopy butt, and since this incident I've noticed it's become rather red and lost feathers on it. What does that mean?

    Her lifestyle I'm proud to say is ideal, she is completely free range and we make her feed out of leftovers, rice, fish, and vegetables ect. We do this because our local pet store doesn't have all natural chicken feed and only carries stuff that is chemically treated. I also occasionally dump a whole bunch of crickets or meal worms out there for protein and as a treat for them.

    Please help me figure out what's going on!
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2011
  2. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Sorry no one has replied to you. Recently, I had an egg-bound hen and it was a very nerve-wracking experience. It sounds like your little girl could indeed have (had) this problem.

    When I noticed my hen Rachel Corrie moping around in the pen, barely moving, holding her tail in a very droopy position, I put it together with my memory of her, earlier that morning, sitting on the nest box for two hours without producing her regular very, very large egg. I figured she had an egg stopped up in the chute., which is what egg-bound means.

    I filled a small wash basin with warm water and immersed her in it for about fifteen minutes. I dried her off and placed her in a pet crate with some fresh pine shavings, in a darkened area that was quiet. The warm bath usually relaxes a hen's muscles and lets her pass the egg. Well, Rachel passed the egg, all right. But she followed it with another egg right away! It was a soft-shelled egg, and apparently it had come down the chute too close behind the first egg, resulting in a stop-up.

    Sometimes these things happen for no reason, and the hen goes on to lay normally. But often, it signals that a hen has an internal laying problem, and the future may be full of problems for her.

    Keep a close eye on your little girl. The two eggs she laid so close together may have been her problem, and it was just a one of a kind thing. But if you notice her sitting on the nest for long periods without laying an egg, moping around with her tail down - a sign she's in pain - you may have to give her special attention.

    I sure hope you don't have any further problems with her, and chances are, you probably won't. But be vigilant.
     
  3. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do you provide supplemental calcium in the form of oystershell, for example? It sounds like the diet you're providing may be deficient in calcium, a necessary component for a laying hen's diet.
     
  4. chickiyo

    chickiyo Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 21, 2010
    Hi all,

    Thanks so much for the replies [​IMG]

    I will keep an eye on her, she has been having weird egg laying tendencies. And hopefully there is no next time, but if there is now I will be able to give her the warm bath treatment [​IMG]

    I do include oyster shell in her feed, I think I will be monitoring her and making sure she eats it all.

    Again thanks so much you guys, really appreciate your insight [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  5. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    I totally forgot to mention the calcium. I was told that calcium deficiency seems to play a role in egg bound hens. After Rachel Corrie's episode, I've been serving yogurt and cottage cheese to the troops a couple times a week. They're going through molt right now, so their nutrient levels may be out of whack some. Can't hurt them. Most adore yogurt and cottage cheese.

    I'll be happy to never, ever see an egg-bound hen again!
     

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