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How To Diagnose And Treat A Constipated Chicken!

How To Diagnose And Treat A Constipated Chicken!

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In this article, we will delve into how to diagnose and treat a constipated chicken. We will be identifying symptoms, distinguishing between constipation and egg binding, and exploring treatments for constipated chickens.

It’s not uncommon for chicken owners to encounter issues with their flock’s health, including constipation. Recognizing the signs of a constipated chicken and knowing how to differentiate it from other health problems, such as egg binding, is crucial in providing proper care.

By understanding the causes and preventative measures for chicken constipation, you can ensure the well-being of your flock. Familiarizing yourself with various treatment options, from warm baths to dietary changes, will allow you to effectively manage and address any constipation issues that may arise.

Key Takeaways

  • Know the signs of a constipated chicken and learn to differentiate from egg binding.
  • Explore various treatment options for constipation relief in chickens.
  • Understand the causes and preventative measures for chicken constipation.

Constipated Chicken Symptoms

When suspecting constipation in your chicken, you should pay attention to the following symptoms:

  • Firm and bloated stomach: As the constipation becomes more severe, the chicken’s stomach may feel firm and bloated. However, this might not be noticeable in chickens that have had constipation only for a short time.
  • Unusual walking pattern: Chickens with constipation may display stiff movements and frequent squatting while walking, which differs from their normal walking patterns.
  • Hard and smelly droppings: Healthy chicken feces should be semi-solid with liquid content. If you observe harder and smellier feces, constipation might be the cause. The first droppings after constipation may have a particularly foul smell.
  • Loss of appetite and water intake: A chicken with constipation may refuse to eat or drink due to the waste built up in their body. Although you should not force your chicken to eat, providing water is essential since chickens often stop drinking when they are unwell.
  • Lethargy: A constipated chicken may lose energy as it loses its appetite. Lethargy can indicate that your chicken is sick, although not necessarily only due to constipation.
  • Protruding vent: A chicken struggling to defecate may have a protruding vent, indicating that the hen is straining to expel something. However, distinguishing between an egg-bound or constipated chicken might be challenging.

Keep in mind that some of these symptoms may be indicative of other illnesses. It’s always best to consult an aviary veterinarian if you are unsure about the cause of your chicken’s discomfort.

Chicken Constipated or Egg Bound?

It is crucial to determine whether your chicken is constipated or egg-bound, as they require different treatments. Examine your hen’s stomach by gently palpating it.

If there is an egg stuck inside the oviduct, you will feel a distinctive hard lump. Conversely, a constipated chicken will exhibit firmness but not a solid, egg-like shape.

When unsure, consider performing a vent check. Prioritize hygiene during this process by putting on gloves and using a water-based lubricant. Carefully insert a finger into the chicken’s vent and feel for the presence of an egg.

The egg should be detectable without venturing too deep. In the absence of an egg, you can confidently conclude that your chicken is constipated.

This knowledge will allow you to address the individual needs of your chicken, whether it involves laying issues, oviduct complications, broken eggs, or unhealthy chicken poop.

Constipated Chicken Treatment

To treat constipated chickens, gently massage their abdomen to help loosen any blockage. If needed, you can offer a mild laxative, such as Epsom salts, mixed with warm water to support bowel movement. Be sure to monitor your chicken closely for improvement.

Warm Bath

A simple and effective remedy for constipated chickens is offering them a warm Epsom salt bath. This treatment allows the chicken to relax, and the warm water provides relief by reducing pressure. Sometimes, the hen may even defecate during the bath.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Prepare a bucket of warm water just above lukewarm temperature.
  • Dissolve Epsom salt in the water.
  • Gently place your hen in the bucket and hold her for 15-20 minutes.
  • Repeat this process up to three times per day until the chicken successfully eliminates waste.

By following these steps, you can ease your chicken’s discomfort and help her overcome constipation.


Offering electrolytes to your chicken can aid in their hydration, which plays a crucial role in constipation relief. Using an electrolyte supplement, like UltraCruz Poultry Electrolyte Supplement, can be a simple and appealing option for your birds. You can easily add this supplement to their water or mix it with water and administer via a syringe.

Maintaining proper hydration not only helps your chicken recover from dehydration faster but also supports natural lubrication of their intestines, making it easier for them to pass stools.

Blackstrap Molasses

Blackstrap molasses can act as a natural remedy for constipation in chickens. You can give your chicken a few drops orally or add a small amount to their water. Be cautious not to give too much, as overuse can result in other issues. This method may help alleviate your chicken’s constipation effectively and safely.


To help relieve constipation in your chicken, consider using Vaseline as an effective option. Simply, wear gloves and get assistance from a friend in holding your hen steady. Then, gently apply a small amount of Vaseline inside the chicken’s vent. This will lubricate the colon lining and aid the release of any obstructing debris.


When dealing with a constipated chicken, an enema can be a helpful method to alleviate the issue. This procedure can be challenging and somewhat uncomfortable, but it is quite effective in removing obstructions.

To administer an enema, gather a saline solution, a towel, and an ear bulb syringe. Secure your hen by wrapping the towel around her, preferably with the assistance of another person. Gently squirt small amounts of saline into the chicken’s vent, observing as feces and other materials may be expelled. Continue the process until no further discharge emerges.

Bear in mind that it may take a few attempts to fully help your chicken recover. Enemas serve as a useful means to stimulate the colon and facilitate the removal of fecal matter.

Coconut or Vegetable Oil

To ease your chicken’s constipation, try administering a teaspoon of coconut or vegetable oil orally. This helps lubricate their digestive system, making feces more liquid and easier to pass. The use of oil is a trusted method among flock owners for relieving constipation in chickens.

Pre and Probiotics

To promote a healthy digestive system for your chickens, consider using prebiotics and probiotics. These supplements encourage the growth of beneficial bacteria in your hen’s gut, ultimately aiding in the prevention and treatment of constipation issues. Incorporating vitamins in their diet can also contribute to their overall wellbeing.

Constipation Causes And Prevention

To prevent constipation in your chickens, ensure a well-balanced diet with adequate fiber and hydration, thus avoiding poor diet-related issues.

Too Much Protein

Feeding your chickens excessive protein can lead to constipation in many hens. To address this, ensure that their diet is well-balanced and consider the protein content in their treats. Foods such as fish, egg yolk, and nuts could inadvertently introduce excessive protein into their diet, and remember to monitor calcium levels as well for optimal hen health.


Ensure your chickens have access to clean water to prevent dehydration. Regularly clean water troughs and check that all dispensers function properly. Provide multiple drinking spots to avoid hens guarding water sources, which can lead to competition and imbalance in the pecking order.

Too Cold

When raising chicks, it’s essential to keep them warm. If they’re not warm enough, their bodily functions begin to shut down, starting with the digestive system to conserve energy. Constipation can occur as a result.

If you notice multiple chicks experiencing constipation, consider increasing the temperature in your brooder to avoid any further issues. Always be mindful of your chicks’ comfort and adjust the environment accordingly for their well-being.

Egg Bound or Other Illness

Occasionally, constipation might be a symptom of another issue rather than the main problem itself. Egg-bound chickens can experience constipation due to the egg obstructing their digestive tract.

Additionally, various bacterial infections may lead to constipation. You may need to identify and treat common illnesses like pasty butt, colon, or cloaca infections to alleviate constipation.

Probiotic and Prebiotics

To maintain optimal gut health in your chickens and prevent constipation, incorporate prebiotics and probiotics into their diet. This can be achieved by adding a powdered supplement to their feed or by offering natural Greek yogurt as a tasty digestive aid. Your hens will enjoy either option.


Providing your chickens with a balanced diet that includes whole grains and high-fiber foods can help maintain proper digestion. Although the optimal fiber intake for chickens is 10%, achieving this may be challenging.

To compensate, consider planting high-fiber foraging materials around their run. This will not only aid digestion but also add variety to their diet, making it more enjoyable for them.


Make sure to observe your hens daily to detect any signs of illness early on. Regular monitoring helps you recognize when one of them is not feeling well, allowing for prompt treatment. To maintain their well-being, consider incorporating exercise into their routine.

Wrapping Up

By identifying and addressing your chicken’s constipation issues using the guidance from this article, you can effectively support their recovery and overall well-being. The information presented here empowers you to take the necessary steps for maintaining a healthy backyard flock.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I tell if my chicken is constipated?

To identify constipation in chickens, observe their behavior and physical symptoms. A constipated chicken may walk abnormally and experience a visible loss of appetite. Additionally, examine their droppings and abdomen for any indication of hard, smelly waste or a firm, swollen belly.

What signs should I look for in a constipated chicken?

Common symptoms of a constipated chicken include:

  • Abnormal walking pattern
  • Protruding vent
  • Loss of appetite
  • Firm or hard abdomen
  • Hard, foul-smelling droppings

Is it possible for chicks to have constipation, and how can I diagnose it?

Yes, chicks can experience constipation. Diagnosing constipation in chicks involves observing their behavior, appetite, and physical symptoms similar to adult chickens. Look for difficulty walking, loss of appetite, and abnormal droppings or a distended abdomen.

What are the most effective treatments for constipation in chickens?

The best treatment for constipation in poultry involves a combination of the following:

  • Provide a warm bath to help relax the chicken
  • Give electrolytes to help with dehydration
  • Encourage the intake of fiber-rich foods
  • Monitor and adjust the diet to avoid excessive protein
  • Ensure proper hydration

Are there any natural remedies available to help with my chicken’s constipation?

Some natural remedies for relieving constipation in chickens include:

  • Giving a warm bath with Epsom salts
  • Providing a fiber-rich diet
  • Encouraging hydration by offering clean, fresh water
  • Offering foods with natural laxative properties, such as blueberries or pumpkin

How do I differentiate between egg binding and constipation in my chicken?

Egg binding refers to a condition where a chicken is unable to lay an egg due to blockage or other complications. While it may appear similar to constipation, egg binding has some unique signs, such as:

  • A visibly swollen abdomen near the vent
  • Frequent straining or squatting without producing an egg
  • Lethargy and signs of discomfort

To differentiate between the two, a warm bath with Epsom salts can aid in loosening any egg present. If an egg is passed after this treatment, it is likely egg binding.

If no egg is passed and other constipation symptoms persist, it is more likely to be constipation. Always consult a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment if you are unsure.

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