Egg Bound or Trapped Egg Symptoms.

Hi there keepers, I have noticed in the search engine for this site, that quite a few people type in, ‘ How can you tell if a chicken is eggbound? ‘, or simular. I can only tell you how I detected ours were.

The first sign and posssibly the most obvious, was that the affected hen stopped laying eggs, now we only have 6 hens now, so I can individually recognise each hens egg, which makes it easier to know who has stopped laying.

The second behavoiur I noticed was that, the affected hen seemed to be constantly pushing down her rear, infact the whole tail of the bird was pointing at the ground, rather than the healthy tail feathers up position, On closer inspection of the vent, ( the hole both eggs and waste appear from), it was constantly being pushed by the hen, in an effort to free the egg, so the vent is visably being pushed out and then going back in, every few seconds. In some cases there will be alot of white discharge, this is because the solids are stuck behind the egg, and only the fluids can get passed, caution when examining vent, see Egg Bound Chicken Treatment  for details.

In general the affected hen will appear down, not moving around much, bum down, off their food, with a look of constipation. Good luck.

Moulting or Molting’s Over

Hi there, well the hens have all but finished renewing their feathers, save for a few small ones here and there. By my calculations, it took about 6 weeks. Only Renee, the first one to start the process, has gone back to laying eggs. I have noticed an attack of scaley mite of 3 of the girls feet, it has gone quite far on one of them as I failed to noticed it sooner.

 Hopefully remedied with the homemade  cure,1 part turps 2 parts linseed oil, and applied with a stiff brush, an old toothbrush is ideal, coat liberally over boths legs of the bird, of the effected and non effected areas.

Winter is closing in here in New Zealand, so I have been checking around the run and coop for leaks, and patching up a few holes, just a

99% complete, just some finishing touches, it's no master piece i know.

 general maintainence, in an effort to keep the hens a little warmer on these colder night, I don’t go as far as putting any heating in their coop, I have seen some coops on the internet that look palacial, resembling a country retreat, I’m afraid my hens have to contend with a home made shed.

Egg Bound Chicken Treatment

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 hens.

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 vet.

Below is some sub notes, provided by other visitors. Any thing that may help always welcome. TCK.

If a hen is handled roughly just before she lays an egg, the egg may break inside her. So be sure to handle hens carefully, especially early in the day.
A hen who’s egg bound will sit on the floor or ground. Her feathers will be fluffed, and she’ll be drowsy and act sick. Sometimes you’ll actually see her strain as if trying to produce the egg. More often, you’ll notice her tail pumping up and down.

Moist heat is considered the safest remedy for egg binding in chickens. Put the hen in a cage with a wire floor. Place a large, flat pan of steaming water beneath the cage. Keep the water warm under her, but don’t keep it so hot that the steam burns her.

Provide some overhead heat from a heat lamp, and enclose the whole cage with a blanket or plastic to keep the moist heat in. Make sure it doesn’t get too hot, however. A thermometer can be used to keep the heat between 90 and 102 degrees Fahrenheit. Water should be available at all times for the hen to drink.

The hen should pass the egg in a couple hours with this treatment. If you see an egg, she should have perked up and will be ready to be removed from the cage. If no egg has passed but she seems more active and will eat, you probably misdiagnosed her. Something else is wrong. If she continues to act droopy and ill, give her a few more hours of treatment. A vet can give a hen an injection of calcium gluconate, which will often cause her to pass the egg.

A hen that’s truly egg bound will die if she doesn’t pass the egg, usually within 48 hours. Don’t stick things like syringes full of oil up her vent; you’re likely to hurt her and cause infection. Trying to break the egg inside her and extract the pieces isn’t usually effective either; it’s likely to result in infection and death.