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Hen "eggbound" for first egg?

528 Views 18 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  robin416
Hello! I have a 6-month-old Delaware hen who recently started changing character and her daily habits. She used to have a ton of energy speed-racing everywhere and would hang out with the flock... but about 5 days ago she started acting different, we thought she was preparing to lay her first egg due to squating and low energy.+ her sisters are starting to lay their first eggs.
She was in a hunched position the first few days (Basically all day), no eating, rarely drinking water and staying away from the flock. These last couple of days she has been snacking/drinking a little but still very low energy, squating, napping a lot and rarely go near flock. Is she having a problem with laying her first egg? Or does this sound like an illness?
Thank You.
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Sounds like you hit on what it might be. Have you checked to see if you can feel anything?

It might help her to let her soak in some warm water to help relax her. You can dose her with some Calciboost and D3 to help her too.

I'll see if I can get @dawg53 to weigh in on this. I've had them feel pretty punky a few days before the first egg but not for as long or as hard as it seems to be for your girl. He might have an idea on what else might help.
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It sounds like your Delaware may be eggbound and I agree with Robin regarding that your hen should be placed in a container of warm water up to her sides. Then place your hand in the water under her abdomen and gently massage her underside front to rear for about 30 minutes.
The warm water will relax and expand her innards, massaging encourages her to move the egg along. Then apply a little olive oil or vegetable oil just inside her vent wearing a disposable glove. The oil will help her lay the stuck egg more easily.
If necessary, repeat this procedure as needed until she lays an egg. Hopefully she'll lay an egg sooner rather than later.
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I felt her lower abdomen but couldn't really feel anything. I have softgel vitamin D3 - 2,000 IU, would that be ok to give her? I will give the chicken a bath and massage until the egg comes out. Yes, hoping sooner than later!!
A couple questions: Could eggbound be fatal or does the egg eventually come out naturally? Is it best to isolate her?
Thank You both for your help.
No, don't isolate her if the others are not bothering her. It's hard on them to be alone.

Yes, compromised egg laying is an issue with hatchery birds. But your girl is a bit different if it is an egg that's got her feeling punky. Normally two or three days of being "off", then out pops the egg and they're back to normal. The first eggs can be difficult for them.

The D3 will be fine but you want to add the Calciboost to it.The way it works, the D3 helps her absorb the calcium, the calcium helps strengthen the muscles needed to push the egg out.
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Hello! I gave my hen a warm bath and tried to lubricate her vent with olive oil but her vent seems really small.. I was scared to stick my finger in thinking I would possibly hurt her. This is her first egg, maybe this is why she's having such a hard time?
FYI her poops have been runny, watery and yellowish since shes been trying to push this egg out. Thats normal for eggbound?
That's more of a bird not eating. @dawg53 might have some more insight on this so I'll try to get his attention.

I was so hoping you were here to say it happened, she laid her first egg. But I'm not beginning to suspect she might need antibiotics. And @dawg53 knows quite a bit about that.
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Poops are runny, watery and yellowish; as in something similar to an excreted egg without a shell? Is it possible this is the case? I hope not.
I wish she could just pop that thing out :( I'll be praying for her - I have a few pics attached!
1.The pics on the white t-shirt is from last night as she was sleeping (at the moment she likes to stay in this little cubby we made her in the garage with some old t-shirts for her to lay on).
2.Then I have one from a couple hours ago.
3. Next, 2 pics of her poop I got 10 mins ago: Fresh on the concrete and one pic wiped up with a napkin so maybe you would be able to see the details better.

and just to be clear, although her vent is small, just go ahead and put my fingertip up there? or a knuckle in? Just want to be sure, first time doing this!
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adding @dawg53 I dont know if my reply included you.
I suspect she has a bacterial infection. I recommend giving her Amoxicillin 250mg capsule once a day for 7 days and observe for improvement. If the amoxicillin doesnt work, I doubt anything else can be done for her. Here's where you can order the amoxicillin. It's for fish and will work for a chicken. Dont tell them though. I recommend expedited shipping.
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Yeah, that's kind of where I was leaning. That it's not an egg problem but something else.

If you can get the antibiotics quickly and get her started on them.
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oh man, alright thank you both.
Please keep us posted because we all want them to get better.
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Good Morning,
The next day after that bath she seems to be doing better. She started roaming around more and is chicken scratching. Was very happy to see that! She will lightly run away from me now when I try to pick her up but she is not as energetic as she once was.
She has been this way for a week with no antibiotics (they were delivered here about 2 days ago- I thought she wouldn't need it anymore since she is doing better). Anyways her poop is looking normal now too, just lightly yellow.
Glad we're seeing progression!
But no egg? If not, then I'm concerned this might be egg related. It's just not common for them to have such issues right from the start.

I am glad to hear she's liking life once again though.
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Maybe she is eggbound? I've added a picture of what her posture looks like sometimes... no more penguin stance/ hunched over but it looks like she tries to squeeze something out with no success.
I feel her stomach to see If I can feel a stuck egg but it almost felt like ribs? I really do not think I should be feeling ribs in that area. Anyways I wonder if the egg possibly broke inside of her?
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I need @dawg53 to weigh in here.

Any chance at all of getting an X-ray for her? Most large animal vets are willing to try.
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