Egg Stuck in Chicken : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

It seems that there is a never ending array of problems on the 3 acre homestead this spring. If it isn't one thing it is another! I guess that is how we learn - when trying to find solutions to irritating problems. Hey isn't that how many great tools got invented?

Well, now I have a chicken with an egg stuck fast in her rear. I am assuming it is an egg. She is straining and her rump is bulging - a little pus is coming out - but no egg. Poor thing! Can I do anything to help her out?

-- Tiffani Cappello (, March 14, 2001


I haven't tried this but I have heard others suggest using an eyedropper and vegetable oil. I guess it isn't too uncommon. Good Luck

-- Trisha-MN (, March 14, 2001.

Veggie oil works. Also try putting some in her feed. A little oil in the feed of most animals on an occasional basis isn't a bad practice. Has she been off her water? They can dehydrate themselves quite easily and that makes things all the more difficult with the eggs. You might want to do that as soon as possible. If she is straining that hard that there is pus, she could keep going and wind up hemorrhaging.

After it is out, apply some antibiotic ointment as best you can, and keep a close eye on her feed and water intake.

-- Sue Diederich (, March 14, 2001.

Had this happen to a Rea once.Your chickens need more calcium in their diets.The olive oil trick should work.If not you can GENTLEY remove the egg.If you can see the egg use a sharp small nail to puncture it.draw as much of the contents out as you can with a syringe.This will weaken the shell enough that it will crush and weaken.The only drawback to this is you must keep the shell from splintering to the piont that sharp edges tear up your chicken.If you are seeing pus she needs to be put on an antibiotic and seperated from the other hens.(who will tear her apart because she is sick or has a blood spot)If she takes too long to pass it she may die from the stress and strain.This procedure is a two person job.One to hold the bird one to do the work.good luck!

-- greg (, March 14, 2001.

I haven't worked with egg-bound chickens, but with cockatiels with this problem. The oil is a good idea at this point,however, try and keep it off the feathers or you destroy their insulating properties. Orally will likely do no good since there is no way for it to get from the digestive tract to the cloaca.

The most common method of approach is the steam bath. The bird is held over the open mouth of a large-mouthed bottle or jar that has been filled two thirds full with hot water. The abdomen is steeped in the rising vapor. This method will sometimes cause the tissues to relax and the egg to pass. A hen, if not relieved, will probably die within 24 hours.

A more direct approach requires an assistant. The chicken must be placed on her back and held by the assistant. A well-oiled finger is introduced into the cloaca, worked gently but firmly throuth the os- uteri (which, by the way is always on the left side) and up into the oviduct until it comes in contact with the egg. Then with the thumb and forefinger of the other hand, a gentle pressure is exerted on the egg through the abdominal wall, forcing it downward as the inserted finger is being slowly withdrawn(this is where oil or KY jelly is helpful). The egg will usually follow the finger. If done properly, the hen should be no worse for the process, although there is the possibility of prolapse from the repeated straining.

There is, however, the possibility of tearing any portion of the cloaca and os-uteri, and if you break the egg within the chicken, the possibility of lacerations and death. Alternately, and if manipulations don't work, you can take the bird to a veterinarian. I have found that a quick shot of isoflurene gas often serves to relax the muscles enough to allow the egg to pass. Often the cause is an ill-formed shell (rough, thickened, lumpy, or incompletely formed). Some birds seem predisposed to this problem, some have it once and never again. Ones that produce mis-shapened eggs regularly, or get into egg binding problems repeatedly are usually best culled from your breeding program.

-- julie f. (, March 14, 2001.

A slight addition...I did not mean to refute what Sue said about feeding oil to your animals, it would likely not hurt them and may help, especially if they have vit. E content, however, I don't think that feeding (if the hen is eating) or force feeding her any at this time will help with the current egg problem. Vitamin E may be of help in the future however!

-- julie f. (, March 15, 2001.

Make sure your hens have plenty of water, exercize, oyster shell (calcium), and access to grit. Can you let them forage? Too much protein in their diet can cause this problem.

-- T.Crockett (, March 19, 2001.

How's the chicken doing?

-- julie f. (, March 20, 2001.

Yeah, whatever happened to your chicken?

-- Betsy in NY (, March 20, 2001.

I sure appreciate all the great advice. Unfortunately this bird could not be saved and had to get the ax. She developed an infection in her egg duct - gross. I think what happened is that she might have been attacked by the guineas and that was what caused the mass in her duct that I thought was an egg - but I don't think it was an egg at all as nothing helped the situation except putting her out of her misery.

By the way, the guineas are getting a new home today!

-- Tifani Cappello (, March 20, 2001.

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