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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I have a mated pair of pigeons. The female, Newbird, had one clutch of eggs back in August (which we replaced with false ones), but it was at our vet's office, so I wasn't there when she laid the eggs. She's probably due soon to lay eggs (she mated with her mate, Philly, towards the end of August / beginning of September). She's been acting normally until today, when just a few minutes ago I notice she wasn't moving much and has been tail bobbing. She's also closing her eyes and her mate is preening her.

I would assume that she's about to lay an egg, but she she doesn't seem to want to stay in either of the two prepared nest areas that she and Philly have constructed in their territory. That could be because I bothered her somewhat trying to check whether she had laid any eggs (so I could replace them with false eggs).

So I was just wondering if anyone knew whether Newbird's behaviour could be typical of a bird laying an egg, or if something might be wrong with her. Do you know how long it should take for her to lay the egg? Could there be a complication causing her to need immediate veterinary attention or emergency care?

Thanks so much,
Howard


P.S. I saw something about egg binding and calcium. In case it's relevant I just wanted to add that Newbird has been eating oyster shells for several days. She's offered a constant supply, and seems to have eaten a lot of them.
 

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Most importantly, has she pooped? Does she have any unusual swelling around her bottom? MMake sure she has access to plenty of bathing, sunshine and vitamin D3 and calcium.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi Skyeking,

I know that she had a pretty watery dropping last night. But for the last 8 hours I don't think she's had any droppings, or touched her food, water, or oyster shells.

I think that her lower abdomen does seem swollen (although I don't remember what she looked / felt like under normal conditions).

I called an emergency vet in a different city last night and she suggested that, since Newbird has been seeming tired, I should bring her in. Unfortunately we didn't have an emergency vet on duty in this city who treats birds. But we're going in to see our regular vet in the next hour or so, so hopefully we'll get this straightened out...

Thanks,
Howard
 

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yes I would say she is wanting to lay an egg..she just may be low in calcium stores for her muscles to push it out. let us know what happens at the vet. hope all goes well.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Update: She is Egg-Bound

Hi,

Thanks very much. I took Newbird to the vet this morning, and they took an x-ray that confirmed that she's egg-bound. They're treating her at the clinic in an incubator with warmth, moisture, humidity, pain-killers / relaxants, and possibly calcium (although they thought her bones looked well calcified, which wouldn't be surprising since she's been eating lots of oyster shells). I asked them about Vitamin D3 and they said they'd check if they have any.

Hopefully she'll lay the egg at the clinic. If not I can either take her to the emergency vet where they may be able to continue the same treatments or try to treat her at home.

Thanks again,
Howard
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Does Tail Bobbing Mean Egg-Bound?

Hi all,

The night before last my pigeon Newbird, who was due to lay an egg, had been tail bobbing and looking tired. Yesterday I took her to our vet's, where she was diagnosed via x-ray as egg-bound. The vets cared for her form 10 AM - 9 PM (she was transferred at 5 PM from our usual vet's to the emergency vet's), until she finally had her egg. She was warmed in an incubator and given calcium, fluids, pain medications, and oxytocin.

As I understand she is probably due to lay her second egg soon. I've just recently noticed her doing some tail bobbing, but it seems more intermittent than the night before last. She also doesn't look as exhausted, and instead of just sitting in the middle of the floor (as she had the night before last) she's in her nestbox (sitting on the false egg that replaced her first egg).

What I'm wondering is: does the fact that Newbird is doing some tail bobbing mean that she's egg bound again with the second egg in the clutch? Or is some tail bobbing normal for pigeons before they lay eggs? This is my first experience with a bird laying eggs on my watch,* so I do not know what to expect. I searched the web for tail bobbing and egg laying, and I saw some people suggesting that tail bobbing was a normal precursor to egg laying and others suggesting that it always meant trouble (although I wasn't able to find much on pigeons and what I did find concerned various avian species). So I'd be most grateful for any help you could give me as to how to interpret Newbird's tail bobbing.

Thanks so much!
Howard



*Newbird had one other clutch of eggs (that I know of), but it was while she was boarding at our vet's, so I wasn't there to see the immediate precursors of egg laying (although I didn't notice any tail bobbing before I left and the vet tech who was there didn't remember seeing Newbird doing any tail bobbing).
 
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