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Signs of Egg Binding in Birds

Symptoms to Look For


Egg binding is a serious and often fatal condition that affects female birds of breeding age.

Because it's so important for egg bound hens to receive prompt medical treatment, owners should know what signs and symptoms to watch for in their pets. Read on for the most common signs of egg binding in birds, and always keep a close eye on mature female birds. Recognizing the signs of egg binding early on can be the key to your pet's survival.
  • Rapid or Labored Breathing: Many egg bound hens will look like they are having a hard time breathing. If you notice even slightly labored breathing in your bird, rush to your avian vet for prompt diagnosis and treatment.

  • Swelling: An egg bound hen may appear to have a swollen stomach or may show swelling around her bottom from straining to pass an egg. Birds with swelling on any part of their bodies should be seen by a medical professional as soon as possible.

  • Constipation: If you suspect that a hen may be egg bound, watch her droppings. If they look abnormal, or if she fails to produce any at all, get her to the avian vet straight away.

  • Fluffed Up Feathers: One of the most common symptoms of illness in birds, fluffed up feathers can also be a sign that a bird is egg bound. If you observe your bird sitting with her feathers fluffed up, assess her for any other symptoms or abnormalities and contact your veterinarian.

  • Straining: Egg bound hens will often visibly strain to try and pass their eggs. Birds that strain but show no progress in moving their eggs should be seen by a vet.

  • Sitting in the Cage Floor: Most of the time, birds that are egg bound will take to sitting in the cage floor. If you see this happen to your bird, get her to a vet immediately. Eggs that are stuck inside of a hen can put immense pressure on the bird's spine, sometimes causing paralysis and the inability to perch.
If you have observed these or any other abnormalities in your bird, please contact a qualified avian veterinarian. An avian vet will be able to properly diagnose your pet's problem, and get her on the road to a fast recovery.
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