Egg Binding – Know the signs

What is egg binding in Chickens

Egg binding is when it takes an abnormally long time for an egg to make it’s way out of a hen’s reproductive passage. It is a serious condition, and if it is not resolved can prove fatal for your feathered friend

An Egg-bound chicken is in a lot of discomfort. This is because an egg is literally stuck somewhere between the uterus and the cloaca. When the egg travels through he cloaca, the intestines are cut off to prevent poop mixing with the egg. This is why egg-binding is a major problem, if the intestines remains blocked off and your hen cannot defecate she may die in 24-48 hours.

Know the signs

There may be many reason why your chicken has just stopped laying eggs, so this symptom alone is not a great indication of egg-binding. However, if you are also noticing other concerning symptoms you should seek some help to fix the problem

  • Not producing any eggs
  • Hasn’t defecated
  • Waddled walk like a penguin
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal straining. If you examine the vent you may notice a prolapse or straining
  • Looking unwell and disheveled
  • Going to her nesting box

What causes Egg Binding

  • Poor nutrition. If a hen does not get an adequate amount of calcium this can cause the egg shell to be weak and form poorly. A thin shell may find it difficult to slide through the cloaca
  • Odd shaped eggs, and double yolk eggs
  • Old Hens
  • Lack of water / dehydration
  • Overweight and a sedentary hen
  • Illness.

Can you prevent egg binding?

Egg binding can be quite serious for laying hens, so it is important to take preventative measures where possible. Preventative measures include:

Healthy diet and exercise

As mentioned above an obese or sedentary hen can lead to egg-binding. A clean diet of pellet or mash feed with the occasional treat of dried mealworms will keep your hen at a healthy weight. Also, by providing ample room to move about, exercise and forage in plants will also aid in preventing a sedentary lifestyle.

Somewhere to nest

Be sure that your hens will always have somewhere to lay their eggs when they need to. This includes ensuring easy access to a nesting box that is quiet and dark.

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