Reproductive disorders occur commonly in domestic and pet birds. This is due to aritifical light, innapropriate human bonding and dietary problems.
In the wild birds get cues from the environment on when the best time to lay eggs is – often it is when food is abundant, the weather is nice and the days are getting longer. In caged birds they get strange signals that their body can find hard to interpret – for example some birds are in artificial lighting or in temperature controlled environments, and food is never hard to find.
This can turn on the egg-laying switch in a Hen and she can start laying egg after egg. Making the eggs depleted her body of nutrients and can make her quiet unwell.
Egg Bound Hens
When hens overlay, are overweight or on a poor diet they can have trouble laying eggs. When an egg gets stuck in the abdomen of a hen it is called being ‘Egg Bound’. This condition needs to be treated by a veterinarian as Hens can die from exhaustion and being unable to pass anything.
Prevention and Treatment
There are a few things that can be done at home to help prevent reproductive problems in pet birds:
1 – Nutrition – make sure your bird is on a balanced diet of Pellets, fruit and vegetables
2 – Calcium intake – if your bird is laying it is important to ensure they get enough calcium, if there diet is not ideal (for example on all see diet) it may be necessary to use calcium supplements
3 – Natural Light – ensure your birds have access to natural light and try to mimic the light cycle that is happening outdoors. If it is dark outside your birds should be covered.
4 – Bonding with humans – When birds bond with people they can start to think of their owners as their ‘mates’ (not in a lets be friends way!). Some rules to follow to prevent this is allowing the bird to interact with multiple people, no petting below the neck and avoid mating behaviours like feeding the bird from your own mouth or letting them nest in your hand.
If your pet bird is over laying or you think they are egg bound please contact the clinic as these conditions can become life threatening.