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Egg bound laying hens

Egg Bound Laying Hens

How to identify an egg bound laying hens, how to treat an egg bound laying hens, and how nutrition affects the condition
Egg binding is a condition wherein your hen will not be able to pass the egg she has in her oviduct for one reason or another. This is a serious disorder that commonly affects young hens who are laying eggs for the first time although it can affect any hen at any age.
There are many reasons why a chicken becomes egg bound. It could be that the egg is just too big for a hen’s pelvis, she is too fat or sick or does not have enough calcium in her diet. It could also be hereditary condition or an infection in the early life of the hen that leads to a defective reproductive system.
An egg bound chicken is a distressed chicken in poor chicken health, who will sit on the floor or the ground for hours. She will also make visits to the nest repeatedly and later on will exhibit signs of lethargy and droopiness. Her tail may also be pumping up and down in an effort to expel the egg. If you notice your hen behaving this way, you can determine if there is an egg trapped inside her by massaging the vent area to check if there is an egg-shaped lump. Alternatively, you can also bring your hen to the vet and have it x-rayed to confirm the diagnosis. Because this could be a fatal condition, your vet would be the best person to go to. But if you think that the condition is relatively mild and you can do the job yourself, you can try home treatment methods to try to extract the egg. At first, you can give electrolytes to hydrate her. The formulation will also have calcium that will help facilitate the expulsion process. If  this does not work, another method is the application of moist heat. She can be placed in a cage with a steaming water underneath her and a heat lamp above her. Put water inside the cage for the hen to drink before wrapping the cage with a blanket. The temperature should be kept at around 90 degrees Fahrenheit. You can expect the egg to pass in one to two hours with this treatment. However, if this does not work, it would be a good idea to bring your hen to the vet who can give calcium gluconate injection or manually remove the egg using his or her own specialized instruments in a surgical operation that could result in a complete hysterectomy. Unless it is hereditary, egg binding can be prevented by giving your birds proper nutrition. Commercially-available layer mixes combined with greens, fruits and vegetables will generally give your hens the nutrition they need while laying their eggs. Calcium, vitamin and mineral supplements can also be given to strengthen their immune systems and prevent egg binding. Allow your laying hens to get enough exercise by giving them bigger runs so that they don’t grow too fat- another cause of egg binding. Make sure that your layers don’t get dehydrated by supplying them with clean water always.
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