In general, the average hen will lay one egg per day through most months of the year, and she will usually have no issues with doing so. However, occasionally, a hen can become what is known as "egg bound," which basically means she has an egg lodged and is having a difficult time pushing the thing out. Even though in most cases an egg-bound hen will work her way through the issue on her own, occasionally, you may have to intervene and help. Here are a few things you will need to know if you have a hen who has a stuck egg.
How do you know that a hen is egg bound?
In the beginning stages of a hen being egg bound, you may not be able to spot the problem. However, as the day progresses, your hen will become more distressed and bothered. A few symptoms to be on the lookout for include:
- labored, heavy breathing
- obvious signs of pushing or straining without results
- walking with the tail downward
- waddling awkwardly like a penguin
- restless behavior, such as traveling in and out of a nesting box
- lack of appetite
- pale pink or peach comb and waddles
- watery stools
How do you know for sure your hen is egg bound?
If your hen is showing any of the symptoms of egg binding, it is best to act quickly to see if this is truly what is taking place. Feel with gentle pressure around her abdominal area for a hard lump, which will be the egg. Examine the hen's rear to see if you can see the egg starting to emerge at all. If you suspect the hen is egg bound, but you are not sure, it is a good idea to get advice from the veterinarian who can further examine the chicken to determine if she does indeed have an egg lodged inside of her.
Is there anything you can do for an egg bound hen on your own?
While it is best if you visit a veterinarian with your egg-bound hen, there may be a few things you can do to help her. Try gently massaging her abdominal area, but make sure you do not apply a great deal of pressure as the egg can burst, which can cause fatal problems. You can also try placing the hen in a small tub of warm water, which can help her muscles relax so she can push the egg out easier.