I was beginning to panic. I remembered reading several years ago that the treatment for an egg bound chook was to put some vaseline on your finger and stick it up the chook’s vent until you felt the egg, then press from the outside with the other hand to crush the egg. Then, of course, the feathered lady would need a douche. Definitely a two person job, and I’m a one person operation. Maybe there is another way, I thought. So I googled it. My diagnosis appeared to be correct–all the symptoms were there, but it appeared I might not have to get quite so intimately involved in Blossom’s difficulty after all.
Most of the advice I could find advocated the steam approach. This looked difficult. It involved putting the hen in a cage with an open floor (nearest thing I have is a possum trap) and placing the cage over a steaming kettle, being careful not to have it too hot lest it burn Herself. Well, I reckon steam is steam, and steam is hot, so I guess the trick is to know how far from the steam is just right. Then you are supposed to put an overhead lamp above the cage, and cover the whole business with a blanket or plastic sheet to keep it all warm (but not too warm–95-102°F is the correct temperature range).
Meanwhile, I should mention that not only had Blossom not had anything to eat or drink, but all of the little Australorps were huddled around her in the henhouse keeping vigil, also with no food or water. There is food and water in the henhouse, but I’m certain no one had touched it. By 2:30 p.m. I was getting very anxious about all of them. I decided to try Plan B, which was the other popular advice I found online. This involved putting Blossom into a sitz bath. The correspondents assured readers that the chooks love it. So I got out a basin and put what seemed a suitable depth of water in–not too hot, just right–and carried it out into the chicken run. When I looked in the henhouse I couldn’t see Blossom anywhere at first, but then I saw that all of the blackies were huddled around her in the far, darkest corner. Once I managed to get her out she was surprisingly docile compared to the objections she had raised this morning when I had winkled her out from the henhouse to try to get a look at her bottom in the sunlight.
Anyway, I managed to get her out and into the other enclosure, and gently dipped her into the warm bath. This, I am reliably told, will relax the muscles so that the egg can pass. Well, Blossom wasn’t having any of it. My goodness, did she put up a squawk! I could see there was no way that little plan was going to work, but I decided that before I tried any other approach I needed to get the littlies out of the henhouse and out into the fresh air for some food and exercise. As I started to open the door to the henhouse, I saw, on the ground just in front of it, an egg! broken, of course, but an otherwise perfect egg, with a lovely orange-yellow yolk. A perfect free-range specimen. Blossom had obviously squirted it out as I carried her out of the henhouse and I hadn’t noticed.
She’s fine now, but I’m a little frazzled. Perhaps a warm bath would help. MM