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Egg binding is the inability of a hen to pass a developed or partially developed egg. A partially developed egg can have either a soft shell or no shell. Many cases of egg binding occur when a hen is trying to pass what appears to be a "normal" egg. The inability to pass the egg can quickly result in the death of the hen.

Nutrition is often at the root of this problem.Calcium not only forms the shell of the developing egg and maintain strong bones, but is also crucial in the proper functioning of the muscles. While it does take a large amount of calcium to form an egg shell, the hen also needs calcium for the muscle action needed to expel the egg. Vitamin D is crucial in the absorption of calcium. Even when we are feeding the hens a good source of calcium (egg shell, cuttlebone, oyster shell) other things can effect the absorption rate.An excess of phosphorous from plant seeds. Oxalic acid found in spinach, beet greens, chard also reacts with the calcium so that it can not be absorbed. Full spectrum lights can help.A vitamin D water soluble supplement is best.

There are some things you can do.

A warm, quiet environment will help the bird to focus it's reserves on passing the egg.

An immediate increase in calcium will do wonders in improving the muscle action needed to expel the egg.

If the bird has stopped eating and drinking, calcium and Vitamin D liquid from a feed store can be administered directly into the crop.

Massaging a small amount of vegetable oil into and around the vent will help soften the mucus membranes around the vent and help the hen pass the egg.

When the egg has passed, the bird will have made a complete recovery from this episode but correctional steps need be taken.

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16y ago
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12y ago

get a scale

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Q: How can you tell if a chicken is egg bound?
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