Birds Egg Binding: Here's What You Need To Know! | Kidadl


Birds Egg Binding: Here's What You Need To Know!

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Egg binding is a concept when an egg gets stuck in the reproductive tract.

It is a problem that occurs in species such as birds and reptiles. Egg binding commonly happens in small birds such as love birds, canaries, and finches.

People are mostly confused as female birds lay eggs even when they don't have a male bird around them. Like human females, female birds also ovulate on a regular basis. However, the human egg is a microscopic thing while a bird's egg is big and has a hard shell. It is necessary for female birds to lay these eggs. Otherwise, if the bird becomes egg bound, it can be fatal.

Poultry owners and people with a pet bird, especially smaller birds, should always be attentive towards their birds. If symptoms of egg binding are seen, then they should immediately seek the help of a veterinarian and get it treated. Birds egg binding is one of the serious health issues in birds that shouldn't be overlooked or neglected.

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The Symptoms Of Egg Binding

There are varied aspects of egg binding that are significant and should be known by people who have birds as pets or those who run a poultry farm. One of the aspects to focus on are the symptoms of egg binding in birds. The symptoms of egg binding can be similar to the symptoms of other diseases in birds. However, there are certain indicators in a bird's behavior that can reveal that the bird is egg bound.

Usually, people with pet birds do not know the sex of the bird. It is an important detail to be paid attention to. A female bird might show a few signs of egg binding that can be easily detected if you know what you are looking for. One of the symptoms of egg binding is that the bird will start to perch on the floor of the cage. It will start keeping low to the ground and seem hunched. The feathers of the bird will also get fluffed up in some cases.

The female bird will keep straining as if trying to push out poop or an egg. The straining can cause the bird to become weak and out of breath. Egg binding may also result in disrupting the bird's defecating cycle and the droppings would change too. The bird will find it difficult to stay standing up if the egg creates pressure on the nerves of the legs. There can be swelling of the bird's body especially the abdomen part.

Another symptom of egg binding in birds is the loss of appetite. The bird will either eat less than usual or stop eating due to the uneasy feeling of having an egg bound inside. It will also show weakness in the sense that it will fly or move less and sleep more than normal. If the bird is unable to lay the egg after two days of trying, then too it is a symptom of egg binding and immediate care should be taken.

Other symptoms include furious tail wagging or shaking, depression, and leg paralysis. It is noted that birds often don't show their symptoms of illness until much later and the only symptom that then remains is the death of the bird.

What happens if an egg breaks inside the hen?

Egg binding in birds can be very harmful as it can affect various other bodily functions of the bird. Hens also suffer from egg binding and might show the same symptoms as other birds. Hens lay eggs quite frequently and the issue of a bound egg can cause some serious damage.

Egg bound hens are prone to an egg inside getting stuck that eventually breaks. Eggs break inside the hen due to the pressure build-up from the other eggs trying to get out. When the eggs break, parts of the egg shell fragments get stuck to the walls of the reproductive tract of a hen. It damages the internal tissue of the hen and causes internal bleeding or an infection.

In some worst-case scenarios, the breaking of the egg inside the hen can also lead to a condition known as egg peritonitis. This happens when the egg residue gets stuck inside the hen and becomes infected. When this occurs, immediate medical care must be provided to the female bird.

The breaking of an egg inside a hen can be very serious and lead to fatal scenarios where the bird might suffer from severe pain before it is either treated or it dies.

Chronic egg laying can cause egg binding.

Can an egg bound bird poop?

Sick birds, including egg bound ones, suffer from constipation and find it difficult to poop like normal. The condition can get better when the bird recovers or lays the egg which was stuck inside. If not, then they should be taken to the veterinarian to get checked.

Often when a bird is suffering from egg binding, it either stops pooping or the consistency of the poop changes. This happens due to the fact that the tract or path for defecating and laying eggs is the same for them. When the egg gets stuck inside the bird, it stops anything else passing through. This then causes the poop to get stuck inside too.

When the poop doesn't come out and remains inside, its color and consistency changes. If the feces isn't released out of the body, it may cause an infection. This happens due to the fact that the poop contains materials that the body doesn't need and wants out of the system. It is generally waste and harmful materials that remained after digesting the food and when it doesn't get out of the body, it starts to affect the internal tissue and organs of the bird's body.

Many times the consistency of the droppings change for egg bound birds. Instead of droppings completely stopping, sometimes the color of the poop changes. This is considered to be a symptom of egg binding when the color of the poop becomes whitish. The amount of poop will also differ and become less when a bird is egg bound. The changes in the dropping rate and color is a very big clue of your bird suffering from this condition.

How do you stop egg binding?

An important factor contributing to the condition of egg binding is a poor dietary plan for birds. Low protein diets either cause the eggs to not form properly or the reproductive tract to not be strong enough to push out an egg. To prevent egg binding, a proper diet has to be maintained which includes calcium and protein-rich food along with minerals and vitamins.

Lack of adequate calcium supplements also causes another problem which is soft-shelled eggs. These are created with either no shell or a very thin shell membrane that can be broken easily. It is caused due to the deficiency of calcium which not only affects the contractions needed to lay an egg but also how the egg is formed.

There are a lot of other factors that also play a role in causing egg binding which include obesity, environmental strain, malnutrition, infection, and excessive laying of eggs. People looking after birds have to take precautions and keep a lookout for when their birds lay eggs and how much time it requires them to do so. Along with this, experts also recommend making your bird exercise and make sure it is hydrated. Their surroundings should also be free of any environmental tension and they should have a proper and clean nesting area.

Chronic egg layers such as lovebirds, budgerigars (budgies), cockatiels which also come under smaller bird species, have to be monitored as they are known for laying eggs in excess. These birds are given therapy involving hormonal drugs to stop their egg-laying temporarily. Other measures that can be taken to prevent excessive egg laying is to keep mates or any other similar stimulation away from the female bird.

Keeping your bird healthy is the best way to ensure that it does not suffer from egg binding. Although it can be treated, it is a painful experience for birds and should be avoided at all costs. If you see your bird sitting at the base of the cage, or it is inactive and breathing heavily, take them to emergency care and get it treated as quickly as possible.

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