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When a hen has an egg stuck inside her oviduct, she is referred to as being egg-bound. Egg-binding can be a life-threatening condition that must be addressed quickly, preferably by a seasoned, chicken veterinarian. If the egg is not passed within 24-48 hours, the hen is likely to perish. Absent access to a vet, backyard chicken-keepers may have to take matters into their own hands in order to save the hen's life.