Female cockatiels can be chronic egg layers. In this post we will look at signs of egg binding.
Cockatiels have certain wants in life and one of them is to reproduce. Basically they are horny little munchkins. Given any chance they will look for nesting areas and begin the routine of bonding and mating.
A side note here is that the female does NOT require a male cockatiel to produce and lay eggs. Yes you read that right, no male is needed…
The female will produce an egg every two days. To help her produce an egg she will require a good supply of calcium a good diet and a safe, comfortable home.
Signs of egg binding
Fluffed Up Feathers; can be a sign that she is egg bound. It is also one of the most common symptoms in both male and female cockatiels of illness in birds.
Constipation; watch her droppings, if they look abnormal, or if she fails to produce any waste at all she will be blocked. The waste comes from the same place.
Looking depressed; she will not be showing signs of her lively self.
Sitting on the cage or aviary floor; a sign of a sick bird in general is one when they are found to be sitting on the cage floor rather than on a perch. With egg bound hens it is no different, they will often take to sitting on the floor for comfort.
Swelling; her stomach may be swollen or she may have swelling around her vent (bottom) from straining to pass an egg.
Lack of appetite; she has gone off her food.
Laboured breathing; having difficulty in breathing normally is a sure sign something is wrong.
Visible bump or hump; you may be able to see a raised part in her back as she balances on a perch or stand. Also a bulge can generally be seen at the birds vent.
Putting on weight; if you have been keeping track of her weight, then you will notice some extra weight on the scales.
Egg binding and what to do
Egg binding is a serious problem that requires quick attention. If you notice any different behaviour in your girl then be ready to take action.
Keep her calm and remove the male if he is around. If your hen is tame and you can handle her, take her into your bathroom and create a lot of steam by running the hot water. This may help her pass the egg. Also very gently rub some plain oil around her vent without any pressure. Offer her calcium supplements in all forms and if you can, administer some liquid calcium into her either by syringe or orally.
Get your emergency cage ready and put a towel and hot water bottle in it. Keeping her warm will help comfort her. Now get to your vet asap.
Do not try and force the egg out yourself.
What will happen without seeing a Vet?
If she is not treated, then she could end end up with nerve damage, paralysis or worse she can die.
An egg that is stuck inside will be putting added pressure on her spine which is the cause of the paralysis which results in her sitting on the cage floor for comfort.
The egg could break inside and the yolk would then kill her.
The only responsible action to take is to get to your avian vet immediately.
You can read more on this topic in the post; Is your pet cockatiel egg bound? And see how our egg bound girl finally laid four eggs and now has three wonderful young cockatiels…