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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 23827
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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We think our chicken is egg bound. No eggs for a week,

Customer Question

We think our chicken is egg bound. No eggs for a week, lethargic. We gave her a warm bath and an eye dropper of a " tums" last night. Today she is standing straight up. Still eating and drinking but very lethargic. 1year old Orphington.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
She is now outside in the sun cleaning her wet feathers, Low energy. Her skin is clear, no swelling anywhere upon examination.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 months ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. We don't have many avian vets on this site. Your treatment for egg binding was apt but I'm not convinced that Cicic is egg bound. Those birds usually walk like a penguin and frequently squat as if to lay. You can glove up and carefully explore her vent with your fingers for an egg. In most cases they're palpable in that manner. In some cases I have to X-ray to "see" them in the proximal oviduct. Unfortunately, her cessation of egg laying and malaise can indicate any number of illnesses or health issues in chickens. In avian medicine, there's rarely one cause of such a presentation, so we usually begin with a list of differential diagnoses and use lab tests, X-rays, and physical exams to differentiate one from another. Necropsy of a newly dead or a sacrificed severely ill bird then refrigerated (not frozen) can be an important diagnostic particularly in large flocks. With this in mind, your best course of action is to reach out to your county-extension poultry personnel or avian-oriented veterinarian (please see here: for help.

It's best to approach the diagnostic process with a clear sense of her financial value to your operation. Although some services such as your county animal disease diagnostic laboratory might be available free of charge through a county agency or land-grant extension office, the expense of some diagnostic tests and treatments can add up quickly. While it’s always worth your time and money to identify a bacterial or viral infection that could potentially impact more than one member of the flock, this might not be the case with a condition that only affects one hen. It frustrates me that I can't be more specific for you but such is the dilemma of poultry owners and vets alike.

I need you to perform a thorough physical exam for me. Please check her eyes for a color change or conjunctivitis, nasal discharge, sneezing, coughing, gaping, increased respiratory rate, pale/floppy comb/wattles, regurgitation/vomiting, diarrhea or lameness. Let me know what you find.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** redness or nasal discharge, no coughing or sneezing. No vomiting possibly diarrhea, not positive although today no. It has been hot here so yes gapping from her and the other 2during the day. At rest no gapping. Her comb looks slightly shrunken and dry. . . We've increased her access to water the last 2days as her cohorts' comb is the same. Just now she is still wobbly although mildly resistant, as yesterday we could just walk over and pick her up. Still no eggs.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 months ago.

Thank you for the additional information. We can add dehydration to her list of problems but we still don't have an answer for why she's become ill. That's not unusual, however. Persistent gaping would suggest respiratory compromise but it isn't persisting in her. She'll need the attention of an avian vet. Do you have such a vet available?

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 months ago.
Hi Nancy,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Cici. How is everything going?

Dr. Michael Salkin