Egg Bound Chicken: Everything You Need Know

It might not seem like much at first, but handling an egg-bound chicken is not something you would want. This is because it can be painful for your chicken when you have no idea how to help it.

Egg binding is not too common in most chickens, but it can happen once in its lifetime. What is important is that you catch it early and help alleviate your chicken from it.

The guide below looks at what it means to be egg bound, the symptoms, causes, and treatment of egg binding in chicken. Let us see how well you can care for your chicken in case of egg binding.

What is Egg Binding in Chicken?

Egg-bound chicken simply means the chicken with a stuck egg in it. Usually, the egg is stuck at the last part of the reproductive tract. The chicken at this point cannot pass it as it would normally do. When this happens, the chicken would be uncomfortable and sometimes in pain.

If you are keen, you will start to notice some of the symptoms mentioned below and act fast to help your chicken pass the egg.

Common Symptoms of Egg Binding in Chicken

Once you understand the symptoms, you would know when it is time to take action and help relieve your chicken from egg binding.

Penguin walk

The most common symptom is the penguin walk. In this case, the chicken would be walking like a penguin. Also, it will look uncomfortable and distressed from this type of walk.

Pumping its tail

You are also likely to notice that your chicken keeps pumping its tail. This is where the chicken will stand with its legs apart then squat and pump its tail. The tail pumping process is something the chicken tries to do as a way of laying the egg. There are times the process can be successful, and the egg is released.

Loss of appetite

Your chicken eating less may be a vague symptom since many things can lead to it. However, you should always monitor it further. If it has been 48 hours and the chicken is still not eating, then you would know something is up. The worst part is that experiencing dehydration would make egg binding worse.

Too frequent rests

If the chicken tends to sit for extended periods after short walks, it might be in pain or egg bound. Look at its eyes too. If she looks sluggish and tired, egg binding might be the cause.

Looks stressed

It is possible for some chickens to feel stressed and exhausted when trying to expel the egg. This would lead to shaking in some chicken. So, it is something worth checking out.

Watery poop or lack of it

Also, the chicken may not poop, or when it poops, it is very wet. This is because the egg would seal the chicken’s intestinal tract, making it hard to pass solid waste. In case she passes any poop, it would be very watery with a foul smell.

Causes of Chicken Egg Binding

There can be several reasons why your chicken is egg-bound. Here are possible causes.

Lack of calcium

When your chicken lacks calcium, it may lead to egg binding. This is because calcium is vital for building strong bones, improving muscle contractions for pushing the egg out, and putting a shell on the eggs. So, when the chicken lacks calcium, it will not have the energy to push the get out normally.

Obese chicken

The obese chicken can also find it hard to push the egg out of its body. It is because they have weak muscles that may not contract as required.


Sometimes a chicken can have infections in its reproductive tract. The worst is that you may not notice this since there are not many symptoms associated with such. Also, many other problems can also lead to having weaker muscles.

Malformed egg

Whenever the eggs are malformed, they can make it hard for the hen to lay them. A good example is when the egg is too big, or it is misshaped. The chicken would have trouble pushing it out.


Chicken can also get stressed. It may be that you have introduced it to new flock members. This kind of stress can also lead to having an issue in pushing the egg out of its body.

Premature laying

The chicken may also experience premature laying. Such is common in young chicken whose reproductive tract is still not yet ready to push the egg out. This can make it harder for the hen with continuous laying.

Internal parasites

Chicken eat a lot of things. As such, sometimes they can end up with internal parasites such as worms. When the parasite load becomes high, the chances are the chicken can experience egg binding.


Sometimes it can be genetics. However, you cannot do much about such chicken. Just make sure you do not use such hens in breeding, as they will transfer the same gene to the newly hatched chicks.

Egg Bound Chicken Treatment

You may have to consider trying several methods when you want to treat egg binding in chicken. I look at some of the best options below.

Identify the issue

So, before you can start any egg binding treatments, it is best if you can establish that it is egg binding, causing the problems in the first place. Sometimes, you may think it is egg binding because of the symptoms, but it is something else.

There is a simple examination anyone can do at home to ascertain this is the case. Wear a glove and make sure it is well lubed before inserting it into the chicken’s vent. Push your finger for about two inches. If the chicken is egg-bound, you should feel an egg. If there is no egg, then your chicken is not egg bound.

Use a bubble bath

As much as I say a bubble bath, it does not have to include the bubbles, actually. All you will do is give your chicken a bath to help it loosen its vent and eventually pass its egg. Ensure the water is high enough so that the chicken can sit in it and its body is submerged up to four inches.

It is advisable to use Epsom salts as they can help your chicken relax its vent. The chicken might not be fond of water, but you can hold it down in the water for a few minutes. This will help it to relax further.

Once the chicken has been bathed for at least twenty minutes, get it out and give it a proper dry. Apply a lubricant at the vent and start massaging the chicken around its sides, trying to encourage contractions. With luck, you can help the chicken pass the bound egg easily.

This method is quite effective and will mostly help reduce the discomfort faster. In case the treatment is unsuccessful, you may want to consider the other treatment methods mentioned below.

Improve her appetite

To help stimulate her appetite, you may have to give her water containing sugar. This can help in lubricating its internals so that it can pass the egg. Also, this would help in replacing several nutrients the chicken has already lost.

Offer more calcium

Adding more calcium to its diet can also help in improving its contractions. This is vital so that the hen can expel the egg with ease. You could give it some calcium before putting it in a bath. These two techniques will generally make it easier for your egg-bound chicken to pass the egg.

Use a warm towel

Using a warm towel is also a welcomed idea. Place the warm towel over the chicken and hold it for several minutes. The warmth from the towel can help loosen the egg and eventually get it out of the chicken.

How to Prevent Egg Binding

As you can see, egg binding is no fun. It is why you may want to catch it before it happens. That is why we also look at some of the ways you can use to prevent egg binding.

  • Make sure that you build spacious and good nest boxes. Some people tend to skimp on nest boxes which sometimes can lead to congested laying areas. So, you need to take your time to come up with the right sizes of nest boxes.
  • Watching the age of your chicken is important. There is no point in pressuring the hen to start laying eggs when it is too young. You can always consider waiting. Also, some chickens might be too old to lay eggs. As such, you should keep the egg-laying chicken within the recommended age.
  • You still have to ensure that the chicken gets optimal nutrition. The food should have all the nutrients the chicken needs. This also includes vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients. You can expect to have healthy layers when they have all the right nutrition.
  • Try to prevent infections as much as possible. This is mostly because you do not practice proper sanitation. Ensure you engage in cleaning the chicken nest more often to provide them with a clean place to lay eggs.

So, there can be many other ways to prevent egg binding in chicken. The four mentioned above will go a long way in keeping your fish strong and good at laying its eggs.


The egg-bound chicken can easily make your chicken suffer. It is why you have to consider finding ways to alleviate egg-bound chicken as soon as possible. If you are keen on the symptoms, it is always easy to know when to step in. Follow the various treatment and prevention methods mentioned above to help your chicken pass its egg. Also, make sure you practice safe treatment methods to avoid harming the chicken.

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