Hazel our Buff Orpington chicken was not moving at all yesterday morning I worried that it was an egg bound situation but was not sure and had to leave for work. I did not know if she had a disease or something major wrong with her and wasn’t super familiar with a chicken that is egg bound. It’s tough when you are working full time and are a Suburban Homesteader so much to fit in and so little time. In the best interest of our hen the first thing my husband did was quarantine her to a dog crate and he then realized that she had been acting strange the day before. This is my chicken that sits and sits to lay anyway for hours so we have often wondered if she has been egg bound prior to this. So we realized she was egg bound and by the way this will be a little detailed for some if you are squeamish you may want to leave but if you are serious and committed about raising chickens stay because you will need to know this. So he checked her over and soaked her in a warm water bath(feels warm to your skin not hot) which she was grateful to be in and he was pretty sure she had an egg up there the issue is you really need someone to hold her head downwards while you check.
So when I got home from work I donned on my gloves and I lubricated my finger with a little olive oil you can use vaseline or KY Jelly too but I had read olive oil is okay and I put just enough on to make this entire process go easier. You really need to feel around up there and when you go in the vent there are two holes obviously the chute the egg comes out and the intestinal chute I checked in both you can go up or down but the chute that goes downward toward the intestinal tract I could really feel the egg through the membrane tissue you have to be very gentle you do not want to break the egg while you are in there feeling around that can be fatal to the chicken. So after I was sure there was an egg in there we put her in a bigger bin of warm water at first she was afraid but while she was in there I massaged her abdomen with some pressure but again not too much pressure.
We then put her back in the crate with a heating pad under it and a tablecloth over top of it and we went out for the evening.When we got back lo and behold was the offending egg shown below:
It did not look at all like her usual eggs it was very pale and just odd-looking so we are not eating this one as we are not completely sure how long it was hung up there. So we let Hazel continue to recuperate in the coop overnight and put her back in the run this morning and trust me she did not really want to leave the infirmary as I am sure the accommodations are quite cozy and warmer….however we think she is going to be okay we will keep you posted. We were relieved as this condition is fatal in chickens and well Hazel is a favorite of mine….she walked right past that rat snake with no fear or shear stupidity last year she’s just strong for a chicken.
If you are raising chickens at some point or another you will most likely encounter this situation. Hope some of my tips and information helped! There is a lot of information out on the subject but this process worked for us!
Hope it helps some of you that deal with this for the first time. Happy Saturday!
- Flying the coop: The scrambled world of backyard poultry (grist.org)
- Happy chickens, happy planet (metronews.ca)
- Eggs From Jude’s Back Yard (christiescorner.com)
- The eggs factor (countrylivinged.com)