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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 30312
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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My chicken is squeezing herself in a small area, she is

Customer Question

My chicken is squeezing herself in a small area, she is unhappy and clucking. Other than an eggbound situation what could be wrong? I have waited 3 hours for a response to my first question. Thank you
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Bird
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. We don't have many avian-oriented vets on the site and my response is necessarily going to be unsatisfactory. While free-range hens often will try to hide their eggs, Dora's behavior can also indicate her sequestering herself because she's ill. An egg bound hen usually is squatting repeatedly, distended in the cloacal area (if the egg is quite distal in the oviduct), constipated if the egg is impinging on the colon, and often progressively worsening at this late date. Unfortunately, the behavior you've mentioned can indicate any number of illnesses or health issues. In avian medicine, there's rarely one cause of a condition, so we usually begin with a list of differential diagnoses and use lab tests and physical exams to differentiate. 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 in differentiating the various causes of what you're seeing. Veterinarians can perform a physical exam and run diagnostic tests, including X-rays, to distinguish between the various etiologies. It's best to approach the diagnostic process with a clear sense of Dora's 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.Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish. I couldn't mark your second post as a duplicate so please contact***@******.*** so you won't be charged twice.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.

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