How to Treat Egg Binding Problem in Pigeons ?

What is Egg Binding Problem ? Egg binding is the inability of a hen to pass a developed or partially developed egg. A partially developed egg can have either a soft shell or no shell. Many cases of egg binding occur when a hen is trying to pass what appears to be a “normal” egg. The inability to pass the egg quickly results in the death of the hen.

The egg bound hen will be found sitting on the nest moped up night after night with the parts above the vent swollen and hot. When walking about the loft they look miserable and the feathers ruffled. Sometimes the trouble arises through the egg being abnormally large. 

The egg bound pigeon does not act normal. She will just sit by herself in a corner somewhere and look listless and sick. Her feathers may be fluffed slightly, making her look rounder than normal. (This feather fluffing is something birds will naturally do in low temperatures; the egg bound pigeon may have a feeling of being very cold.) The bird will look droopy and have dull eyes and feathers. An egg-bound pigeon will not usually attempt flight.

Why Egg Binding Problem in Pigeons ?

Egg Binding usually happens when the hen is too young. The poor hen has just not grown sufficiently to allow the easy passage of the developed egg. Egg binding is an emergency situation. The bird may be given fluids intravenously or subcutaneously as well as antibiotics, steroids and calcium.

Egg Binding Problem in Pigeons

Another common theory is that egg binding is the result of lack of calcium in the diet. Most of us offer a variety of calcium sources to our birds (egg shell, cuttlebone, oyster shell) and yet hens still die from egg binding.

I do believe nutrition is at the root of this problem. Most bird breeders are careful to offer a variety of calcium sources. Rather, I believe, the problem is the inability of the bird to metabolize the calcium that is readily available in the diet. The other major cause is poor condition of the mucus membranes in the vent area.

Egg Bound Hen Treatment

First and foremost, a warm, quiet environment will allow the bird to focus it’s reserves on passing the egg rather than keeping warm.

An immediate increase in calcium will do nothing to harden the shell of an already formed egg but will do wonders in improving the muscle action needed to expel the egg. Calcivet by Vetafarm, provides not only the calcium, but also the d3 needed to absorb the calcium.

Directly administer into the crop incase the bird is not eating or drinking properly.

Massaging a small amount of vegetable oil around the vent will help soften the mucus membranes around the vent and help the hen pass the egg.

Administer a dose of castor oil and then anoint well up the vent with hot olive oil, applied by means of a feather, gently pressing the parts to help the pas sage of the egg.

Once the egg has passed, the bird will appear to have made a complete recovery. Pairing the same bird again can result in death, treat your bird first to address natural deficiencies.

Egg Binding and Steam
Another useful remedy is to hold the bird’s vent gently over steam from a jug or a bowl of warm water, taking care not to scald the parts, or hold it in warm water for half-an-hour so as to relax  them.

 It is not advisable to handle birds suffering from egg binding too much. If the above treatment fails, an operation may be necessary to remove the egg, but if undertaken by an unskilled person will generally prove fatal. 

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