How to Deal with an Egg-Bound Bird
When birds are gravid – that is, ready to lay an egg – they can sometimes suffer a process called “egg binding”. This means that the egg is not passed through the cloaca (the reproductive opening of the hen) and remains lodged in its reproductive tract. This can lead to infection and damage to internal organs. Particularly common among stressed or sick birds, egg binding can also occur in otherwise healthy birds. Bird owners should carefully monitor potentially gravid birds for signs of egg binding.
One of the most common symptoms of egg binding is hard, laboured breathing, and in this case you should contact your vet swiftly. Other symptoms include a swollen, red or bloody cloaca, a swollen stomach, puffed feathers and straining. Egg bound birds may begin spending all their time on the floors of their cages. If your bird is egg bound, you need to take it to the vet.
Your vet may give your bird a supply of calcium and hormones. This can reduce muscle tension, causing the egg to be released. Birds with an infection of the reproductive tract are especially susceptible to egg binding.
If the egg is not released naturally, be aware that your vet may have to operate surgically on your bird, particularly if the egg has broken inside the bird.
If there is any sort of long delay in taking your bird to the vet, there are things you can do. Give it water or Gatorade to keep it from becoming dehydrated. Apply a lubricant like mineral oil to the bird's cloaca, which can ease the pain associated with egg binding. Place your bird in a warm, humid incubator or nesting box.