Egg bound Treatment Works

Hi there keepers, firstly appologies to any out there who have missed my regular postings, I have been very busy at work, and therefore haven’t had the time to post daily.

Anyway on to the business of trapped eggs. If you read the previous post about Daphne having this problem then you’ll already know the treatments that were suggested to me, but I shall go through them again for those that haven’t read the previous posts on the matter.

After catching the afflicted hen, and placing her under your arm like a rugby ball, head out the back, bum facing up, try the following.

Fistly inspect the vent to see if the egg is trapped at the vent, also look to see if they is a white discharge from the vent, if so this is just the urates passing around the egg, meaning that the solids are trapped behind the egg, futher up the tube.

Now to try and aid the realease of the egg, it is suggested that you don a rubber glove, preferrably( for the hen), that you lubricate the finger with vaseline, ky or olive oil, this will make it more comfortable for the hen, and add lubrication to help the egg past easier.

Inside the vent there are two passages, the top one  is where the egg comes down, word of caution this next detail wasn’t in anything I read, there may(probably is) alot of trapped wind, so you might not want to be looking to directly at the vent when you insert the oilled finger.

So apon entering through the vent you want go immediately up, when I did this I thought I could feel the top of the egg, but only just at the tip of my forefinger, I just very gently massage around the egde of the egg, it did feel soft shelled. It ‘s important not to break the egg, as this may lead to futher complications. I imagine this method alone would only work if the egg was trapped right at the opening of the vent.

The other method I incorporated with the above, was the warm bath, this sounds easier, I thought, well what you do is fill the basin with very warm ( warmer than hen body temperature), then sumerge the lower half of the hen in water, ensuring that her vent gets a good clean, and hold her in in there for 20 mins, this is a long time to hold a hen still in a basin, but it needs to be 20 mins to work, 10 mins won’t always do it, so the longer you can hold her in there for the better, this just generally helps all the muscles relax, loosens everything up. Daphne even closed her eyes for a little while during her second warm bath.

After the bath I gently dried her with an old towel, and let her back out in to the garden with the others, and the very next day her tail was up again, as we let our hens free range I didn’t find the offending egg. So if you have a hen that bum points to ground, try these methods first before taking an expensive visit to the vets.

Daphne our silent shaver

Daphne our silent shaver

91 Responses

  1. Does Aloe Vera in the water help with the problem?

  2. I’m waiting for a reply to my question. Does Aloe Vera in the water help slide the egg out?

  3. Will putting Aloe Vera in the chicken water keep the chicken from getting egg bound?

  4. hi Gail i have not heard of the aloe vera in the water, however i can’t see it doing any harm. thanks for your enquiry, appologies for slow response, working away from home at the moment.

  5. Sorry about asking the same questions over and over. I ‘m new to a computer and didn’t know what I was doing. Thank you for the input.

  6. Thank you for the Info, it was very helpfull our chicken was headed for the pot if we couldnt resolve this issue. Much to my wifes chagrin.

  7. […] on 04/05/2010 by nobbydamus Hi there, I am re-posting the entry on egg bound chickens as the prevoius title didn’t contain the word chicken, I hope it is of help to you and your […]

  8. My chicken has been egg bound for three or more days and she is not eating. I have never tried to do anything like this and she did pop out a broken egg. Yhe shell was hanging off her feathers and then she squited our the egg part. She is not roosting I think she is going to die. I bought 50 chickiens and the bears got all but three she is the smallest and only one left . We all love her, but don’t know how to help her. But I will try.

    • Hi Oela, sounds like the bears are having a feast, sorry to hear you’ve lost so many, good luck with keeping the last survior going, make sure she gets water, even if you have to force drip feed it to her. best of luck.

  9. I believe I have an egg bond chicken also. I will try your method today. Will any type of oil like mineral oil in the water help to keep the chickens from having tis problem? I have three Airacona chickens and hope not to have this problem again. Thank you.

    Gail Frost

    • Hi Gail thanks for your comment, I don’t know if anything can’t prevent it happening, some say Aloe Vera in the water helps, I’ve only had it happen to one of my girls. making sure they don’t de-hydrate is a must. Goodluck. Rob.C.

  10. HELP!!! Our chicken has been egg bound for a couple of weeks. On Sunday we brought her in the house to keep her warm and comfortable. On Tuesday I gave her a warm bath and put mineraloil in her vent. still no egg. On wednesday my husband tried to massege the area and help her work it out, still nothing. Last evening (thursday) we imploaded the egg, but its inside her yet. As my husband was trying to manually get it out it broke and crushed inside her. Now its Friday afternoon and she still hasnt passed or layed the egg. We are afraid she is getting backed up with eggs inside her… We are at a loss at what to do! PLEASE HELP!!!

    • Hi Kim, it sounds like your doing everything you can short of taking her to a Vet, I haven’t had a broken trapped egg, so have no experiences to pass on, you can just try more of what you’ve already been doing, the warm baths, all I can suggest is that you try to get the rest of that broken egg out, wooden chop sticks perhaps as a tool, but if your hubsand can reach it with his gloved fingers, olive oil on the fingers too, good luck I hope it works it’s way out.

  11. Hi, I need help! I know she is egg bound but when we reach inside i can feel skin over the egg! We don’t know how long she had this so we don,t know how long she has left.

    • Hi Snickolas, have you tried all the suggested treatments, if so just keep trying them, with out exhausting the bird, warm bathes seem to do the trick for my girls, 20 mins in a warm to hot sink, but you must hold the bird down so that the lowwer half of the bird is submerged, good luck I hoe she pulls through. TCK.

  12. Egg bound / Crop Impactment? In the past one of out RI Reds have been laying some monster size eggs, much larger than the others, but we didnt know which one was doing it. We have three chickens that lay brown eggs. In the past few days we noticed that we were only getting two brown eggs (normal size) each day. One of the hens has become droupy and non-interactive. We have notice this particular hen in the past couple of weeks raising her head towards the sky, opening her mouth wide and shaking her head. we were thinking that during her weekends of free roaming she had picked up something that she could get to move on. yesterday, I held the hen and my wife opened her mouth and said it looked like some scratch was blocking her throat so we tried to clear it with tweezers (being very carefull not to injur the hen) but she couldn’t get very much out. While reading up on the subject, my wife gathered from the information that this was also a sign of being egg bound. So, from that we moved to the putting her over steamy water for several hours. nothing, today, we did the olive oil in the vent but stil nothing yet. my biggest concern is “are we attacking the right problem” or are we at the wrong “end” of the spectrum? any suggestions.

    • Hi Mark, that sounds like unusual behaviour, what season is it? Have you tried submerging the lower half of the bird in a warmer than body temperature bath, that can’t help loosen things up too, and won’t harm the bird in any way, you could also try putting some cider vinegar in their drinking water, this may help disolve any blockages in the gullet, it sounds like trapped egg, gloves on, vaseline up, good luck.

  13. I have just had the same problem with one of our chickens.If she is dragging her behind & walking like a penguin& has her mouth open means she is in pain. She is most probably Egg Bound .Don’t give up on her I never did.Firstly do the warm water bath as suggested above.(Must hold. her bottom section under the warm water for at least 20 minutes.) then remove her put on a plastic glove & oil your index finger with Vaseline or Olive oil. Shove your finger in the vent & move it around to oil the inside of the vent as well as the outside.Dry her off as well as you can & put her in a separate cage away from the other chickens as they will just peck her & she must be kept warm & quiet so she can relax.If you can bring her inside all the better. Then lastly go & get a Thick Towel put the towel in hot water or warm the wet towel in the microwave for a few minutes.Then wrap the towel in a plastic bag (I used two bags) It will keep the towel warm for a few hours.Also will keep your towel clean.If you have a hot water bottle you could also use that wrap that in a dry towel Make sure it is not to warm as you don’t want to burn her.Put this under the chicken in the cage.She will straight away climb on top of it.(You will also notice that she will stop panting.the warmth helps to ease the pain.)Our chicken was like this for 3 days & I had to repeat this procedure twice.I also took her down to the chicken run every morning & every night for her to stretch her legs & have some food.Also see that she has water at all times available in her cage.On the 3rd morning I looked in her cage & there it was ONE HUGE EGG!! & One happy chicken & An Even happier owner.Never give up. “While their is life there is hope” Cheers. Penny.

  14. I have just brought Katy indoors as she has been off colour and off her food for a couple of days now.

    Having trimmed the feathers round her vent (as dirty with white poo) I noticed she is straining – a bit like contractions. Going to try the warm bath and oil technique now.

    Thanks for posting this – she is a lovely natured Rhode Island cross and isn’t quite a year old yet. Fingers crossed !

  15. my chicken has tried your treatment in the water but she is still egg bound we love her to bits and we don’t want to see her die.Also she is as inflated as a balloon with the eggs in side her she is drinking and eating but she lays down all the time.She has been like this for about a 4 days.
    Hope you can help

    • Hi Alice, have you tried a vaselined gloved finger to help loosen the egg canal and vent, sometimes that can help, gently work around the egg in a circular motion, and repeat the bath, making sure the water is above her body temperature. Olive oil also helps, try to get some into the vent .

    • Last night we found one of our girls not well at all, head down not able to stand in a nesting position outside in the sun. I started reading in my books and it sounded like she was egg bound. We gave her a warm steam for two hours in our pet carrier with the steaming water underneath, adding hot water to keep it steaming for the two hours. We had placed her in the carrier over the hot water pan and covered it with fabric to trap the heat as well as had a heat lamp above the carrier. She passed a soft shelled egg sometime after her steam late last night. We’ve have had to watch her since she was little, because she has gotten plugged up with crusty poops since we got her at a week old. All our other girls have never had any problems like this, so not sure that its always a lack of calcium or phosphorus, many things can be a factor. She is eating and drinking, but not standing yet, we thought we were going to loose her, hoping Gretchen pulls through! First time and hopefully the last time.

      • Oh, I just wanted to share this technique with you all, thanks for all the comments, lots of insight to that which I already pursue. Blessings to your Hens!

  16. How long after being egg bound and in recovery will they lay eggs again? My NH Red was egg bound and passed a soft shell egg that had broken. But she hasn’t layed any more and its been 3 days. She is young and had just started laying a few eggs the week prior to this happening.

    • Hi Carey, in my experience, it’s very much depends on the indivdual bird, how they cope with it. When they are young, they seem to bounce back quicker, but it could still be a week or two before they are ready again. We had a few soft shell eggs from our pullets. Make sure they are getting plenty of calcium, i.e crushed white seashell.

  17. I am having the same thing with my R.I Red. I have tried everything, and am continueing to do so. I was able to insert and rotate 2 fingers, and don’t feel an egg! It was weird enough for me to put on gloves and vaseline but wheres the egg!!! How far up is it? She obviously has been pushing for at least 3 days now! She knows I’m trying to help her! I get her up and have her walk around and you can see how uncomfortable she is. I got some crumble wet to help get some water in her, and have put smashed blueberries in water, which worked well. I don’t know what else I can do! I am scared for her!

    • Hi Debbie, it’s sounds like you are doing all you can, short of a visit to a vet. Keep up the care, she may work it out on her own. Good Luck.

  18. Oh my goodness!
    The shaver in the picture looks just like my shaver rosy, She’s the exact opposite of silent! She gobbles away and she’s always first in line at the shed, waiting to be fed. She lays the most beautiful eggs, so I give her a little bread for a treat. I can’t believe that any shaver is silent because mine sure is a chirper!

  19. We are on day 2 of our chicken acting out of norm, she is isolating herself from others and constantly lays in the nesting box. We feel something that appears to be egg shaped but oddly enough from yesterday to today it moved up toward the chest area?????? We did the warm water bath for 30 mins and lubed the vent with olive oil but didnt feel anything. We have her in a small cage with warm towels and a heat lamp. Were guessing she has a egg stuck. She has been eating grass when we remove her from the coop. Any other suggestions and would you agree this is egg binding???? Thanks for your input!!!

    • Hi Daphne, she could be just going broody. What season is it where you are? If they are eggbound they don’t usually sit on the nest box. It could be a food related issue if there’s a lump in her gullet. I would guess that she is broody rather than eggbound, but without seeing her hard to tell, is she dropping normally?

  20. I must say, you really should not poke around inside the vent unless you really know what you are doing as the risk of breaking an egg in there is too high. There is always a chance it will cause peritonitis and kill the hen.
    Please take your hen to the vet if after a few days she is still struggling. It’s very unfair to let them suffer in the hope it will right itself. Sometimes it does but don’t wait and wait.

    • Well Marisa we all have our own opinions, thanks for sharing yours, I have had great sucess with trapped eggs in my own chickens, and have had many reports back from other who also have had sucess treating their own chickens. Many have also said they have taken their bird to a vet, and ended up with a large bill, but not fixed the chicken. Gently gently is the approach I suggest, it’s worked for me, at he end of the day in the real world, I don’t have $100.00 to give to a vet, for a $12.00 chicken, as much as I loved all my hens. This is my first hand experience of raising my chickens, I try to pass on any helpful information I gleen. If you read all the contents on trapped egg, including the comments, you will see, that it isn’t a case of waitng and waiting, their are loads of suggestions, on treatments you can try.

      • Hi Rob, if I have to be honest, then I am relating to Kim on 8th Jan, who said her hen was egg bound for 2 weeks. I know everyone here loves their hens and will do everything they can to care for them but please believe me when I say, it is through caring that I felt compelled to write when I saw what happened to the hen that had in my mind, to suffer for two weeks. That is way too long to wait and then to implode the egg inside her and yet still not take her to the vet days later! Surely at that stage that ‘is’ the time to seek a vets help? Or do you think that was the right thing to do?
        I know hens are $12 but they are also alive and have a life and are individuals and don’t deserve the above. I had to shop around a fair bit to find the right vet and when I did she saved my last 3 hens that I felt sure were unsaveable and I was amazed. And it only cost £15-£20 each time. Well worth it for me. I know it’s tough when vet’s charge what they charge, therein I feel lies the problem.
        I will say the majority of comments here can and do work, and I try the same, but there has to come a crossing point when it’s taking too long to work and you need to seek out professional help.

      • Hi again Marisa, I understand what you are saying, I can see it from your point of view, but some people don’t have spare money, even $20 can be hard to find if you don’t have it. If the hen was in the wild, what would happen to it? I see it like this. If you keep animals, then you should know how to look after them, especially when they are unwell, I will do everything and anything to fix them, how do VETS learn what they do? In Kim’s case, they made a mistake by crushing the trapped egg. Do you think trainey Vets get it right the first time? This is a site for MY own experiences, I don’t claim to be an expert, just trying to help people and encourage them to keep chickens. There has been an overwhelming positive response to my blog. We live in an age where everyone wants someone else to fix their problems. Ownership of responsiblility seems to have been passed to councils, schools, government bodies etc. To finish, keeping hens in your back garden, is giving a better quality of life then they would get in a commercial farm, and if a hen on a commercial farm shows any signs of illness, they do not call a vet, it’s the end of that hens life. Learn how to care in every aspect, and trapped egg seems to be the most common problem out there, in fact i could have called this Trapped Egg Blog.

  21. Helloo.
    We believe we have and egg bound chicken. We have only noticed it today though when she was out running around the garden. Her bottom is pointing down. We haved tried the warm bath and we hope in the morning we will have our happy hen back but if she is still having trouble what would you advice to try next?

  22. So I am pretty sure I have an egg bound hen. After a 20min bath and vasaline around the vent I tried to internally feel for an egg I felt nothing however a bunch of fluid came spurting out the vent do you think there is an egg further in or could it of been a soft egg no shell.

    • Hi Georgina, I found that when the egg gets trapped where the two canals meet, then the waste get back up behind the egg, relieving that may help her get it out. It could be soft shelled and thats why you can’t feel it. Repeat the bath as many times as possible, it needs to be hot without burning obviously. All I can really say is what I already typed in the post on the subject, patience and gentle care, or a vet if you can afford one. Sorry I can be of more help, good luck. When I had a hen with soft shell trapped, I could feel it at the end of my finger, it’s visualizing what it’s like inside, may not be pleasant, but if you can imagine the the egg canal, then a slippery soft boiled egg( de-shelled ), will be pointing towards you, it will feel just like the rest of the inside, except it will have a smooth domed surface. I then very gently moved my finger around the edges of the egg, with olive oil on the glove. The next morning she had layed the soft shell.

  23. From Kat,
    Thanks for the suggestions. We have a variety of hens. For egg binding, olive oil in the food works great. The test would be if it worked for one of our girls who seemed sick. I couldn’t feel any eggs in her canal when palpitating her bottom, externally. One of our fancy tops was gasping, tail down, passing some white stools, feathers missing on one side of her neck as if she’d been scratching herself like crazy, not eating, listless, and I was afraid she might have one of the many diseases chickens get.

    I tried a warm bath with her in a 5 gallon bucket, a small squirt of shampoo, water up to the top of her shoulders. A plastic mug was handy to pour water on the front of her neck, and by tipping her beak up, I could get her top knot as well. She relaxed in the water while I massaged her externally and very gently around the outside of the vent and sides. I trimmed her vent feathers and blew her dry on low, which she loves.

    For morning greenery, instead of their usual whole greens, I made a mash of collards and their favorite curly lettuce in the food processor with the addition of about 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil to lube things internally, all tossed well, and some of their favorite fruits cut up – green grapes and watermelon for motivation.

    Between the bath and the oil, today, she’s no longer panting, tail is up, she’s eating well and passing normal stools, quite chipper. It looks as if her neck is starting to fill in too.

    We had another chicken, our smallest, I thought at first had gone broody because she was sitting for an abnormally long time in one of the nests. I hid and decided to watch what was happening in the chicken yard. Turns out one of the girls was attacking her viciously, and when that chicken attacked, two more would join in. They wouldn’t let her eat or drink. Poor little thing was trembling with fear, and she was using the nest box to hide in. So I moved her to a separate chicken house and let her spend the night there. She immediately relaxed and ate.

    Next day I returned her to the yard, but she was attacked again by the same chicken which then became a gang attack. So this time I removed the original attacker to a separate house. She wasn’t happy about it. When I returned her to the yard next day, she attacked the little one again. What to do? I couldn’t spend all day monitoring chickens.

    So I decided to let them run free for the day in our 60×80′ fenced in garden and left them with pellets, water, cover and a box for egg laying. I watched them for a time and they went about their business, each in their own patch, peacefully digging for bugs. It worked. When I walked them back to their yard, the attacks seemed to have stopped.

    Little one, however, was still nervous and her attacker was still giving her the eye, as if she might attack, although didn’t actually attack. So I took an ear of corn in my hand and held it so all the hens could take out their aggressions on the ear of corn. They had a blast. Then I held collard greens for them to bite. More fun. They like being fed. The two combatants seemed downright calm. The test would be at night to see if they’d all be up on the perches as usual or if little one would be hiding down in the nest box. When I just checked, all were up on the perches and looking quite content. Looks so far as if the chicken gang problem is solved. We’ll see how it goes tomorrow.

  24. I had a Guinea lay an egg that was soft over the weekend and it was really windy and cold and it stuck to her but she wouldn’t let me catch her since I have them free range well I caught her Saturday night and noticed she had layed another egg and it stuck to the soft egg. Both were blocking her area so she couldn’t get ride of her waste or lay another egg. I took water and soaked the area and removed both eggs. She eats, drinks, and goes with the other guineas all the time now like before but I noticed she has a nasty bottom now that runs clear ozz… Is this normal? I was thinking maybe her body was healing itself from the whole ordeal?.

    • Hi Rebecca, it sounds like she may be having trouble laying, and possibly there are more trapped eggs inside, If no solids are passing only fluid, then it suggests she has an internal block, usually an egg. Try increasing her grit intake, feed her crushed shell, with her food, she may be having soft shelled eggs that are having trouble moving through her tube. Doesn’t sound normal, but I don’t have Guinea’s. TCK.

  25. Thanks for your help your web sit seems to be the right place. my question is will she pass it into the water if i leave her in there to long. I got the chickens for my grandkids, the eggs are just an extra bonus but i was concerned when she didnt move out of her stall for 3 days. I really hope the warm bath works on her the kids love the animals. Started out with a wounded goat we nursed back to health and now we have 9 goats and 15 chickens. Thanks again, I have my fingers crossed. Dan R.

    • Hi Dan, I haven’t had one lay an egg in the bath, I think they would rather do that somewhere private, as is their nature, try the bath as many times as you can, without causing too much stress to the bird ofcourse. good luck, with 15 hens you’re gonna lose one sooner or later, time for the ‘ Do chickens go to heaven?’ chat with the kids.

  26. Great post, I am worried that my hen is egg bound and this was very informative.

    I have a question about the vent spelunking. So I tried this on my chicken and how do I know if I am in the right duct? I poked in and I could only feel one duct. And yes, she expelled some gas and pooped on me. Suggestions? Or photos or a video I could look at? I finding a surprising lack of probing a chicken info on the internet. Thanks!

    • Hi Sarah, probing about in the vent is a last resort, I had simular problems finding a diagram online, maybe I should try an draw one,. Basically, the tube split into two, not very far in at all, down is poo alley, up is egg tube, be very very gentle, with a sterile latex glove, I work my finger in a rotation movement, looking for a smooth rounded edge. Good luck, try the bathes over and over first before probing again.

      • Rob,

        A 3 days ago, we had a chicken that had egg perontisis??? Her oviduct, with soft shelled egg, were outside her body (looked like a tomato attached to her bottom). We safely got the egg out, and her oviduct back inside her. Later that day, she did it again with a hard shelled egg. We afely got that out, and everything back inside. She had been keeping her tail feathers down. She is drinking; not sure how much she is eating. I brought her in tonight and tried the bath, and keeping her warm. Any other thoughts?

      • Hi Julie, It’s sounds like you’re doing all that can be done, I haven’t heard of a way to treat that, and it hasn’t happened to any of our birds so I have no experience of it either. I did see a vid on Youtube, and thats exactly waht they did, pushed it back in. Aloe Vera in the water, and a small amount of cider vinegar, some say that works wonders. Good luck Julie.

  27. It sounds like you hen is having a prolapse rather than egg peritonitis. Chck out how to treat a prolapse on google. She needs to be kept seperate from the other hens as they will try and eat it and as this is her insides that would be bad! It’s good you have the 2 eggs out at least, but pushing the innards back up taking care it is all clean and your hands are very clean or with gloves. You don’t really want to put anything inside that could introduce infection up there. They say to try and stop her laying by keeping her in the dark for quite a while as more laying will mean more prolapses. It may be best to check with a vet to be sure it is this but it sounds like it. Good luck, I hope the poor girlie gets it sorted.

  28. Hi
    I have an ex batt hen that I have had for 14 months and up until now she has been fit and well. Today she is very sleepy, didn’t want to come out of the coop and just stood up against the wall with her eyes closed. She has her feathers fluffed up and sounds a bit raspy. I thought she might have been egg bound but I have tried all the usual techniques with no success. I can’t feel an egg up her vent either. Any suggestions?

    • Hi Julie, If you got her from battery farm she was probably older than 2, so it may be she is just reaching the end of her life, 3 to 4 is the average life span i think for shavers, hyline, ex battery hens have had a stressful beginning. Check for parasites in feathers and on legs, they could also be dragging her down. Good Luck.

    • Hi Julie
      Could it be Mycoplasmosis? I have suddenly had 3 of my hens come down with this, 2 have sniffles, and an odd little sneeze and 1 sounded like a squeeky dogs toy which has now developed into sneezing quite a bit.
      A vet I took her to gave her tylan but omitted to tell me to return for a second dose 48 hrs later which is why she is now worse. I went to a new vet who told me this and has now given her tylan twice in the last 48 hrs and I can only hope it works as she is the sweetest, friendliest little silkie and I don’t want to lose her.
      The silkie also developed a foamy eye so check for a bit of what looks like sleep in the corner of her eye.

      It might not be that but worth checking as it can affect the whole flock.
      I hope she gets better.

  29. Hi! I believe I have a hen that is either egg bound or has fluid build-up in the abdomen area and has been like this for a couple weeks before I realized something was not right. I can bring the hen inside and give her a warm bath (hubby will be thrilled) but my question is if I put her in say a large dog crate in the house (again hubby will be thrilled) how do I keep her clean, after all I’m sure she will poop inside the crate and sit in it. I can’t stick her back outside until completely dry because it is to cold.

    • I’ve used a hairdryer on one of my hens before, and she seemed to like it, that help get her dry quicker, so she could go outside, but you’ve resolved the issue by the time you’ve read this, so future tip.

  30. I have had a hen whose feet have been so far apart when she stands or walks, and she cannot run at all. Her tail is down. I did a chicken gyno exam with gloves. It seemed the vent was open and I could see about a quarter-sized end of something, something fleshy and round. I think that was a partial prolapse. I also think there is an egg in there. I put my finger in the length of my finger (gloved hand) and pushed it. Whatever it was seemed hard. This was after a short bath…too short. Then, I gave her another short bath and the vent was closed, forming sort of a smile shape.

    I brought her inside. She will not sit down. It is about 11 pm and dark in her cage, quiet in here, yet she stands. ??? Help. Tomorrow, I will feed her olive oil in some dry oats, something she loves. ACV will be put in her water. I have put a waterer and feeder in her cage. You can read all about it on my blog–

    This post and the previous one might give a better explanation than I gave here. Thanks so much. I love Fancy and don’t want her to die.

    Now what?

  31. Rob,
    Can you stop this woman? I am out of here for good.

  32. She has to have the last word. She is a detriment to your site. Bye!

  33. I have a chicken that seems to be experiencing egg binding. She seens to be walking a little funny and her tail was droopy and the night before was hanging her wings. I caught her a few days ago in the nesting box just sitting and when she got up and out, did not leave an egg. This happened a few different times over the last couple weeks. I have 5 Speckled Sussex and they not lay an egg every day. The last time I knew for sure she laid an egg was 16 days ago. Since then I’ve only gotten mostly 1, 2 or 3 eggs.

    This evening I took her in the house and before putting her in the cat carrier with the warm water bottle, I checked her vent but did not feel anything, no egg. I used olive oil on my finger so hopefully added some lubrication.

    Could doing this introduce an infection or bad bacteria? If so, how would we know if there is an infection?

    Also, I read most of the comments on here last night and I woke up this morning thinking egg binding would only happen due to a nutritional deficiency. If the eggs are so soft they can’t be pushed out that would be a severe calcium deficiency, right? I have had the crushed oyster shells out for them for months and it never changed the hardness of the eggs. What I noticed actually hardens the eggs are crushed egg shells and feeding yogurt or raw kefir. Today I spread lots of crushed shells and gave them kefir.

    • Hope this comment is not out of line, but is there a difference between raw kefir and the kefir that is sold in the organic section at the grocery store? My ill hen just loves, loves, loves kefir!

      • Yes, there is a huge difference. Homemade raw kefir is made from a kefir culture (which is alive beneficial bacteria and yeast cultures called grains) and I culture it in organic raw Jersey cows milk that are grass-fed, grass finished. The Jersey cows are a breed that has a high buttermilk fat content and makes the most wonderful drinking milk, butter, yogurt, sour cream, etc…but I digress.

        By culturing the kefir in raw milk it maintains all the nutrition and enzymes and beneficial bacteria and yeasts.

        Now the kefir you buy in the store is made from pasturized milk from factory farm that are fed GMO feed, stuff that was never meant to be food for the cows, hormones, antibiotics, herbicides, fungicides, pesticides, etc….so they have killed off everything and then add the beneficial bacteria that have a hard time feeding off the dead milk.

        So, although there are “some” beneficial bacteria in the store bought kefir, its like a shot glass of good in 50 gallons of bad. The homemade organic raw kefir will give you like 1000 shotglasses of beneficial bacteria in a gallon. That may be a little exaggeration, but there really is no comparison. There is a forum on yahoo groups for “Good Kefir Grains” where you can ,earn all about it.

      • Thanks for the info! I’ll have to look at the label a little closer, but I am pretty sure it is organic kefir….I’ll have to read the label to see if they use processed milk. And being Organic, I would think they would not be using GMO grains…but you never know! Thanks again for the info and I’ll check out that yahoo group you provided!

      • Sorry, read your comment too fast and didnot see the word organic. They should not be using gmo, hormones, etc, but do use pasturized milk. You can go to to look for raw milk in your area. Homemade kefir is like 1000 x’s healthier than store bought and it tastes better.

      • Oops, misspoke a little. There would not be gmo’s or anything non-organic or hormones in the kefir but the milk would still be pasturized. Still would not be anywhere as healthy as raw homemade kefir. You can get grains and make it yourself. It’s really easy.

      • I drink raw milk, love the stuff! but I know for sure it is not raw milk from grass fed and grass finished cows. Where I live it would be pretty impossible during the winters, it is to cold and the farmers have to supplement their feed during the winter. I also need to verify that is is organic….not sure why I never thought to check that in the first place with it! Thanks for all the help!

      • It it best to have grass fed cows. The grass finished part is before they butcher the cow for the meat. Meaning they should eat grass their whole lives, never grains. That is how God meant for cows to eat. There is no problem e-coli in these cows because their 4 stomachs take care of that. It’s the factory farms that have the problems with e-coli because of the horrible living conditions and the worst food in the world for the cows.

        If they are feeding grain, you need to find out what kind of grain they are feeding them. If it’s not organic, or conventional (which might still have pesticides/herbicides/fungicides), it is most likely GMO…which means they are probably using antibiotics and hormones on the cows.

        You have to check with the farmer and see how they answer the questions. If they don’t want to tell you or seem to be lying to you, you may want to seek another source for milk.

  34. Wow!!! Literally 5 minutes after I posted my question I checked on my girl and to pull the cold water bottle out, I shined the flashlight in the cat carrier and saw something. I was the soft egg sitting in the shavings…Yippee!!!!

    Thanks for the detailed instructions. I only did the olive oil and hot water bottle and it worked like a charm. Thank you soooo much!!!

    • Glad to hear the good news, just spreading the same advice given to me by old people who didn’t use computers to blog. They talked over old fashioned devices called ‘Fences’.

    • I’m not sure what the problem is, but the same chicken keeps laying shell less eggs. Four times now she has laid them. They are all eating the same organic layer pellets and lettuce and other compost of kale and swiss chard scraps, cooked oatmeal (soaked in water ans organic raw kefir whey), and millet. They have crushed oyster shells but that does not work to make their shells hard. I’ve also given them some kefir with pulverized eggshells mixed in. What could I possibly be missing?

      Has anyone ever given their chickens tea made from Horsetail herbs, which is high in silica? Silica has been shown to build bone much more effectively than calcium.

      • Again, another shell less egg today, making that 5. I’m getting worried about her. She is doing great pushing these out, but something needs to be done to get her to start putting a shell on these eggs again. What can I do? Could this be a genetic defect? Might she start breaking bones since she doesn’t seem to have any calcium?

        They have been eating more layer pellets this week as I have not had as many greens or given them as much millet. I’m also adding water to some layer pellets and adding ground cracked corn, DE and powdered egg shells.

      • Hi Liberty
        I’ve never used this myself so can’t really comment yet from personal experience but a friend of mine used Calcivet to help with extra calcium and she said it worked for her hen. I’ve seen it for sale on ebay and had a look and it seems they have smaller amounts so not too expensive. It might be worth considering, I think I might buy some to add to my chook medicine cupboard in case it’s needed in future! It sounds like you’re doing everything right and the crushed egg shells should help. I also use a sprinkling of hen grit that I get from pets at home, not sure where you live but again can be bought online and is not too expensive.
        I hope this helps and your hen starts manages to get some shell built up soon.
        Good luck

      • Hi Liberty, I do not have much help to offer, I was trying to search on a hen passing multiple shell less eggs. The only thing I could find is that there might be an underlying issue causing it, such as a disease or virus, how is your hen feeling and acting? Also, how often does she eat her layer pellets, is it on a daily basis?

      • None of their tails are too perky today as its cool and rainy and tgey are walking around outside. Her wings are not hanging and she does not seem to be ill. She seems to be perfectly fine after she passes the shell less egg. I can’t imagine trying to pass a squshy bouncy ball as pushing would need great effort as a lot of energy is lost in the give of the ball.

        Nothing comes up on ebay for calcivet and my search on the internet shows that Calcivet is for birds but does not say ok for chickens.

  35. Hi I’ve just seen what’s been going on, on my blog. I must say I’m a bit disapointed. I approve one comment and then that allows the former commentor to make unlimited, unapproved comments, not very good security from wordpress. As for personal conjecture and like wise, that is not appectable here, It’s a blog about chicken keeping period.
    It takes two to tango, but I hear your point of view. I don’t want to lose subscribers or followers, due to this kind of infantile behaviour. Please respect the space I have created here. The Disapointed Chicken Keeper.

    • I had a hen who had been egg bound for two.or three days, put in her in a warm bath for over an hour (re-heating as necessary) and she actually passes the soft shell egg in the bath tub! But she continues pushing… Not sure what to do now…

  36. They all have access to plenty of organic layer pellets every day.

    • I’m not sure where you are, I’m in the UK and can see it with a number of sellers on ebay. A company on ebay called Garden Feathers Poultry Supplies sell it and have this description:

      Calcivet – Birdcare Co – 250ml
      Liquid calcium supplement for breeding and growing birds. Has been found to be very effective as an emergency product for egg-bound hens.
      In water (10-20 mls per litre) or on soft-food 0.1-0.2 mls per 100g bodyweight. Use the lower doses in hard water areas.
      Active ingredients:
      Magnesium, Vitamin D3, Calcium.

      On having a look just now I saw something called Davinova which seems another supplement for hens with low calcium, if that is the problem. Although I don’t think by the sound of them these supplements will do any harm.

      Like anything though don’t take my word for it! Maybe you want to check with your vet first by giving them a call to see if they are ok with it or maybe they can order it or offer something suitable, I sometimes do that and my vet doesn’t seem to mind, saves a bill!

      • I’m in the. US. I will look into that product. I feed organic so do not want to feed synthetic supplements. I’m not sure about other areas of the US but vets in this area do not treat chickens, so we are on our own.

        My research shows that calcium and vitamin D3 are deficient. I will look at the product to see if it uses natural supplements or not. If not, I will go for whole foods that are high in these naturally.


  37. Hello there, I have had an egg bound chicken in the past but she got sooo swollen and sick I had to put her out. But now I have another one that has been wobbling for about 3-4 days. She has white stuff of course down her butt. I just soaked her for 20 minutes with her behind down. Then I put my finger up there with oil but couldn’t get very far?? It was very tight?? and it made her very uncomfortable. I coulod not feel any eggs even gently feeling on her belly.So now what? Well in the mean time I put her in my potting shed where its warm and away from the other chickens with a warm towel, I waited till she layed down before I left. She has water too. I have had her for 4 years. She is a cinnamon queen. Her but is swollen and looks purple. Is this egg bound and have I waited too long? Any advise would be great I would hate to have to put another one out, it just breaks my heart 😦

    • Use a hot water bottle with 140 degree F water and put her in a cat carrier so she has no option but to lay down. I put the water bottle in 3 plastic bags to keep it clean and to hold in the heat. It worked for mine to help her pass the egg. I’m still waiting to see if the vitamin D, silica from Horsetail extract and Homeopathic Bone Strengthener will help mine put a shell on her eggs. She laid nine shell less eggs.

  38. about 2 weeks ago we got baby chickens for the first time and we love them but it seems as if one baby chicken is egg bound she has all the syptoms but she is only about 1 or 2 months old and i don’t know if that is possible and if it is i don’t know what to do for her i tried putting her in warm water and above steam but nothing has worked yet also last night i came home from work and she was laying down on her side gasping for air and me and my husband forced her to drink water and she looks a little better but still is shaking and not eating as much as the others please please help as much as u can i cant afford to take her to the vet but my kids love her so much

  39. Update on my chicken laying the shell-less eggs. My little trooper has laid 9 of them so far. I’ve increased her calcium, vitamin D, silica and omega-3 fatty acids. I’ve also had her tested for a Homeopathic remedy called Bone Strengthener. She tested positive so we started using the remedy. I was getting worried that she may start breaking bones. Hopefully, she will start putting a shell on her eggs soon.

    • Update on my chicken with the shell-less eggs. I started April 7 with the Homeopathic Bone Strengthener, Vitamin D3 dropps, and Silica (Horsetail Extract) in Chia seeds, with extra egg shells crushed in their other feed and today, for the first time in a month, I have absolute confirmation that my chicken is laying eggs with shells on them. Yippee!!! And I didn’t use any toxic chemicals to get her there.

      I also found out the feed I have been giving them, although organic, is not very good in the nutrient category, so I’m changing to another organic feed source.



  40. Hi, Vets seems to give calcium injections to assist with egg-binding. What role do you see this playing? I have always used the warm bath & lubricant, but wondered if there’s something more that can be done.

  41. A buff orpington has had a case of flystrike. She was unfriendly and very fast so we never bothered to check her vent. Then we saw her squating and sreeching. She had maggots covering her backside and he flesh there was rotten( it was brown,black, white, and yellow). SO we got the maggots off but now she is trying to lay a egg. Its as if her vent is closed. Help?

    • Hi All, the only thing i can think of is to keep the vent washed and clean, and possibly add some lubricant, stop the wounded flesh from tightening.

    • It doesn’t make sense that she would have maggots on her if she was healthy. Maggots eat dead, necrotic wounds, not healthy flesh. She may have some kind of infection going on. I don’t know anything about flystrike, but I do know some things about natural healing and the maggots may be helping her. Although, it probably doesn’t feel good that they are crawling all over her. This article may give you some insight into the maggots.

      When Antibiotics Fail, Nurses Turn to Maggots And Manuka Honey to Beat Superbugs

      I hope this helps.


  42. I have a horror story that ended well, at least at this point. My chicken had all the symptoms of being egg bound. I started doing all the suggested things, but nothing happened, she was getting weaker, I was very upset. So I decided to take a tiny doggy medicine dropper and fill it with olive oil and a squirt it in the vent. Now things started moving. Unfortunately, what come out wasnt an egg but hard poop, but it only came out partly. The poor chicken couldnt push it out any further. It was stuck. It was hard as a granite rock. I again put her in the bath hoping it would soften, but no it wouldn’t. By this time her vent was completly out with this offense just stuck. She labored for hours, started to bleed alittle. My husband suggested that he take his drill(!!!) and drill alittle hole in it and then use some tweezers to grab onto it and put it out. I exclaimed, it will kill her! He said, she’s gonna die anyway! So I held her, she didn’t even move, he drilled the hole and used the tweezers and genlty pulled, it fell out, my chicken, Bubbles, let out a big sigh and sat down. She laid in her little bed for 2 days, only leaning over to drink. I kept warmed towels under her and watched her closely. She eventually became strong enough to stand and started walking around eating and acting normal. She is now so tame, I can pick her up and she makes the cutest sounds to me when I check on her in the morning. Now that that night mare seems to be over, I’ll need to get her back in with the other girls. That scares me.What’s the best way, and what could of caused her to have such hard poop?I hope this story helps others when they think they have a stuck egg.

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