Caring For An Egg Bound and Prolapsed Chicken

Those of you who follow me on Facebook already heard the meatiest part of this story, but I thought it might be helpful if I filled in some details for anyone who might be in a similar situation.

A few weeks back I noticed a chicken ranging around the yard with a bloody, stringy, poopy, slimy and feathery looking mass hanging from her rear end.  Eewww.


I quickly trapped her in the rarely-used dog kennel, to try to keep the others from pecking at her while I ran into the house to Google the solution.

Google agreed with my initial suspicion that she had been egg bound, and had broken an egg inside her.  She had also prolapsed her vent.  The good news is that it didn’t seem to be slowing her down or making her feel bad at all.  In fact before I got back out to her, she had already escaped from the kennel and was foraging with the rest of the girls.

Why Oh Why do I not have rubber gloves on this farm?

I caught her and brought her into the mud room so I could take care of her as well as possible.  I started by using a paper towel to gently pull the gooey mass from her vent. This task was mercifully easy.  Thankfully, the egg seemed to be soft shelled, I found NO hard shell pieces, which could have cut her, resulting in infection.  There was blood, however, so I proceeded as if I knew she had lacerations.  

Next I used the sprayer on the utility sink to clean her up as well as she would allow.  I got another paper towel, smeared it with antibiotic ointment, and used it to gently push her vent back in as well as I could.  She didn’t like it.  I didn’t like it.  But we got it done.  The vent still looked slightly “inside out”, but I was worried I’d do more damage than good if I kept harassing her.

My husband’s buddies had a good laugh at me at this point, not that any of them would/could help a girl out in such a situation.

I kept her in the mud room over night, inside an overturned and weighed down laundry basket.  Why Oh Why did I not think of using a pet porter, or one of our empty rabbit cages?  I covered her makeshift home in a blanket to keep the light out and break her laying cycle.  I did not want her trying to form a new egg until her vent had a chance to recover.

I gave her plenty of water with Essential Oil of Oregano, which has antibiotic properties, and watered-down, plain yogurt to eat. *

The next day she got lovely morning and afternoon sitz baths with warm water and Lavender oil.  You’d be surprised how much a chicken can enjoy a bath.  She didn’t even fight too much about being toweled off.


By evening her vent looked back to normal and she was looking eager to get out, so I decided to let her out a little before dark.  I watched her closely for a few days, and as an added measure I put Oregano Oil to the water in the coop.  She has had no further problems that I’ve noticed.

*There is a lot of conflicting information regarding the use of essential oils to treat  chickens.  I am not a vet, and nothing in this post is intended as medical advice.  You should do lots of research before you decide how to treat your flock.

Have you had any experiences with prolapse or egg binding?  Did your hen recover?

This post will be shared at No Ordinary Blog Hop, The Homestead Barn Hop, and The Home Acre Hop.

9 thoughts on “Caring For An Egg Bound and Prolapsed Chicken

  1. Mama Post author

    It cracks me up that the related post plug-in chose Chicken Soup… That’s what the hubby said we should do with her.

  2. Daphne Y. Zamora

    hi – thanks for your comments. we are new chicken owners so are not fully sure about the crop, she is eating but we think less than normal . . she is now thinner than the other welsummer and is more lethargic, we have put her in bath and she is cleaner now but she didn’t crouch down as if trying to lay and egg. her vent looked normal not red or swollen and we do not know how to find out if there is an egg stuck or not – we couldn’t see anythine from the outside. We did find a small insect – it had a little head and wider body it was light coloured/beige. we are going to worm treat all four hens today and spray them and the hen house for lice to see if this helps. let me know if you have any ideas on what it may be please.

  3. Elayne Malsch

    Oregano, commonly called “the pizza herb,” is one of the most widely-used herbs worldwide, so it is hard to imagine anyone not having tried it. However, oregano was virtually unused in America until returning World War II soldiers heightened the popularity of pizza. ..*-..

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  4. Thomas Lewis

    I am currently treating my prolapsed egg bound hen. The poor girl, her name’s Molly, we have had her for maybe 1 1/2 years. She has been stolen, hit by a car (she escaped the run and went on a mission across the road) and now this!

    I think it must have happened either late last night or this morning. My mum woke me up to tell me she wasn’t looking herself. I went out to get her, she was slouched to the floor and looking very egg bound. I took her inside and set her up a nice home while I began researching what to do. Luckily for her, I think the prolapse was very minor. I get it a very gentle poke and it righted itself while she was clenching and unclenching.

    Once I had done that I let her sit for an hour or two before giving her a good bath in the hope it might loosen her up a bit. I also had to clean a load of stringy egg mess from her feathers and we’ve had a mass break out of red mite because of the sudden heat wave.

    Anyway, shes clean, she loved the bath and even lay down in it on her side (she has trouble squatting because of the damage the car did to her leg). I have made her a fresh bed and I am going to leave her before I try to tackle the egg problem.

    I am hoping she can pass it by herself, but I don’t know if there is another egg blocked up behind a broken one or not. What would your advice be? Should I have a feel around in her vent?

    I hope she pulls through, she is a lovely girl.

    1. Mama Post author

      Poor Girl! First, I’m not a vet, so nothing I suggest should be taken as definitive, but I am a chicken mom, and have had a good deal of success at keeping them healthy. I’d try to gently see if you can feel anything inside her vent. I’ve had to do this before and it’s unpleasant at best, but you’ll know how to proceed once you know if there’s another egg in there. It may be that she just needs time to recover. If you do find an egg, I’ve heard of folks using an olive oil enema to help it pass. Also I’d keep her in the dark for at least 24 hours, even if there isn’t another egg in there, to break the laying cycle and give her a rest. Best of luck to you!

      1. Thomas Lewis

        Just to let you know, she pulled through! She is back out in the garden with the rest of the girls. Turns out she wasn’t egg bound, but had a huge build up of poo because of the prolapse.

        Going to buy them a new coop this week. I will find burning my redmite infested old coop very, very satisfying.

  5. Al

    My chicken this morning wasn’t herself. She was fluffed up and stood in silence and had her vent feathers down like she needed to poop. A few minutes later, she pooped out a whole load of egg white and yolk and I saw a little bit of the eggshell which looked soft, but went back in and wasn’t able to come out after. I sat her in a warm BATH which she felt a little uncomfortable and gave her some yogurt and mashed up pellets along with grapes which she ate thankfully as she lost her appetite and has not drank water all day. I’m really worried for her as she’s my favourite and don’t want to lose her. The vets were all closed today and didn’t know what to do. I tried my best from my side.

    1. Mama Post author

      Sorry to hear about your poor chicken. We don’t even have vets that will see chickens here, which is why I try heroics for my girls (even though sometimes I just have to wing it). It sounds like you’re doing the right thing. I’d also consider keeping her in the dark for a day or so to give her a rest. Let me know how things go!


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