Egg-laying sickness in parrots

Egg-laying sickness in parrots

The evil spawn is found very frequently in birds ( wavy, cockatiels, Catherines,  inseparable …). This phenomenon is also common in parrots.

The causes of egg-laying sickness

  • Often the causes of poor egg-laying are due to a female that is too young or of small size (beware of often smaller mutations). So what causes a bad passage and/or too weak contractions to expel the egg… This tires the female enormously and can kill her.
  • Deficiency of calcium, selenium, or vitamin E.
  • Environmental conditions: humidity, insufficient light, temperature variations, stress.
  • Hormonal and metabolic disorders (hypocalcemia).
  • Food imbalance or overload, obesity.
  • Abnormal eggs: too large or soft shell

Green cheek conure eggs

Among the symptoms observed of egg-laying sickness

  • Bird curls into a ball at the bottom of the cage, legs apart.
  • Repeated up-and-down tail movements to attempt spawning (contractions)
  • Weight loss, gasping.
  • A lump is visible to the eye or to the touch in the lower abdomen where the bird expels its egg.


How to intervene?

It is necessary to intervene quickly without delay because the outcome of the sickness of laying is often fatal. Start by warming the bird, making sure to maintain a suitable humidity level.

  •  Lubricate and massage the vaginal mucosa and cloaca with oil or petroleum jelly, being careful not to break the egg.
  • Hold the bird over a bowl of boiling water (steam to promote expansion). You can also use a bottle or rubber bag (insulated) to put hot water in. Cover the bag or bottle with a towel and place the bird on it. Pay attention to the temperature of the water and be careful of the steam so as not to burn the bird.
  • Obtain dog/cat laxative at a pharmacy, which contains paraffin oil. A hazelnut is to be administered directly into the beak of the female.

If the bird still cannot expel the egg, see an avian specialist or veterinarian promptly, as in some cases surgery is necessary to save your bird.

Precautions to avoid egg-laying sickness

Better to prevent than to cure and this is valid for our feathered companions.

  • Avoid breeding young birds. It is not because the bird (female) is sexually mature that it is ready to reproduce. It is necessary to wait until the genital system is operational knowing that each species has a recommended age to start reproduction.
  • During reproduction, it is necessary to favor a rich and varied food (pate with eggs, sprouted seeds, fruits, and vegetables…) and by adding food supplements ( cuttlebone, mineral block, vitamins… ).

My interventions after a sickness of laying:

Despite all the precautions taken to prepare the birds for reproduction, egg-laying sickness can occur. On the other hand, an intervention to help the bird is necessary. I myself experienced this bad patch. Here is my feedback:

  • Intervention following egg retention in a catherine parakeet
  • Intervention following egg retention in a pyrrhura conure

If you too have had a case of egg-laying sickness, we would be interested in collecting your testimonies in the comments at the bottom of this article in order to share and inform more people.

Do not hesitate to join us on our facebook page, on instagram, and to subscribe to our YouTube channel.