Egg-binding is the failure of the egg-laying process. It is most common in budgies, cockatiels, lovebirds, canaries and finches.
What causes egg-binding?
There are many factors involved in egg-binding, including:
- Muscle problems due to dietary deficiencies or disease
- Excessive egg production
- Malformed eggs
- Lack of exercise
- Stress, particularly when caused by temperature extremes
- Other diseases
How do I know if my bird is egg-bound?
Your bird will look unwell; it may be fluffed up or sitting on the floor of the cage. It may also be breathing quickly or bobbing its tail. It may also display leg problems, such as a wider than usual stance, leg weakness or paralysis. The condition is diagnosed by feeling the egg in the abdomen and may be confirmed by X-ray.
What is the treatment for egg-binding?
Treatment is aimed at helping the bird pass the egg. Some birds are extremely ill when diagnosed and may die despite treatment. These birds require fluid therapy, antibiotics, and drugs to treat shock. If the bird is still unable to pass the egg, it will require manual removal under general anaesthesia. If the egg cannot be removed via the cloaca, surgery may be required.
Following successful treatment, it is important to stop further egg-laying by modifying your bird’s environment to discourage nesting behaviours and egg-laying. An avian veterinarian will be able to advise you on any necessary behaviour or dietary modifications and may also recommend hormonal or surgical treatment to prevent egg-laying.
By Provet Resident Vet
Contributor: Dr Rebecca Bragg BVSc
Last updated on 15 November 2019