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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Sick Pigeon - Egg Bound??

Hi there,

Can someone please give me some advice on a sick pigeon?

She is about 15mths old and has laid 5 eggs in the past 6 weeks or so.
She does not have a mate so they are infertile eggs. Any idea on how to stop her laying them? I know they use up her calcium and it can't be good for her to keep laying them.

Not sure if that is part of the problem with her now.
She got sick a couple of times yesterday, has diarrhoea, is off her food, has little energy and just rests all puffed out.

She is a pet pigeon and usually loves company - but shows no interest now.

Any suggestions on how to help her will be much appreciated.

Thanks.
 

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Hi Hector, and welcome to Pigeon Talk. There are a number of things that can cause the symptoms you describe, so more info is needed. First of all, where did you get your pigeon? Is she a feral pigeon you rescued or a domestic pigeon from a breeder? Have you given her any medication? There are a couple common diseases most pigeons carry that can make them sick when they are stressed by something else. They are easily treated by medications available from the pigeon supply houses.

What is your pigeon's living situation? Is she outdoors in a coop or in a cage indoors? By sick do you mean she threw up her seeds? Has she lost weight recently? What do you feed her? Does she have a good quality pigeon grit available to her at all times in addition to her feed? This is important for providing calcium and other minerals. If she lives indoors she should also get vitamins containing vitamin D to help her absorb calcium properly, if she's not getting natural sunlight.

Egg-laying can cause loose droppings just prior to the time the eggs are actually laid; it's caused by hormone changes. But it does not normally cause vomiting or other symptoms. You can't stop her from laying eggs but you can reduce the number she lays by allowing her a place to nest and sit on her eggs until she gives up and starts the cycle over again. We've quite a few members with pet pigeons that live in the house and lay eggs for their owners.
 

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Well, there's probably more than this going on, but right away, my question is, "what are you doing with the eggs after she lays them?". You should NOT take them away from her. Either replace with plastic/wood eggs or remove, boil and give them back to her. SHE will leave the eggs when she's tired of sitting on them. 5 eggs in 6 weeks is WAY to many.
Other will be along I'm sure with more advice.
 

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Hector Bector,

First of all, welcome to Pigeon Talk.

It sounds as if your little hen has just worn herself out with egg laying and maybe picked up some bug or other.


As to her egg laying, have you been removing the eggs when she lays? When hens lay, if you take the eggs away, they will just lay again. This depletes their calcium reserves. If she lays again, just let her sit and brood her eggs. They won't hatch as she doesn't have access to a male pigeon. Pigeons lay two eggs about 48 hours apart usually, although young hens may just lay one. Does she have a nest bowl of some kind available. A basket that she can fit in easily with some kind of soft nesting material works well.
Make sure that she has grit with calcium available to her at all times.

She does sound ill. There will be some other very experienced members along soon to help you with her other symptoms.

Margaret
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Thank you all for your quick replies - just to answer your questions:

She is a wood pigeon that I rescued as a tiny squab.
I have given her no medication - no idea what to give her.
She is kept indoors - has a cage that is left open for her to come and go in a room.
She has a nesting bowl in the cage that she lays her eggs in. We have not been removing the eggs but she does not sit on them for long. Once she lays them she tends to just leave them.
She does normally lay 2 within 48hrs but she only laid one the last time.
I would have thought she'd have laid the second one by now if there was another one on the way.
Yes she threw up her seeds - no obvious weight loss.
She is fed pigeon/dove seed, brown bread with seed, lettuce and she has grit available to her.
What type of vitamins would you suggest for vitamin D? We do put her out in the sun when the weathers warm enough / not raining.

Thanks again for your advice. If anybody has any further suggestions it would be much appreciated.
 

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Not sure about wood pigeons, Cynthia is the expert on them, but with my pet hens there has to be an object of affection. It is someone or another bird or something that may keep her laying eggs, if she is bonded to them. Also don't pet her on her back, if you are, as that will also stimulate hens to lay eggs, not all....but some.

Also, decrease the amount of protein in the diet to 7 to 8 percent. Too much protein can increase the sex drive. Add a bit more barley as that has the opposite effect.

Does she have a "hunched up" looking posture with her tail down? That can indicate there may be an egg issue.
 

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Seeing as she just laid one egg and hasn't laid the other, I would not discount the possibility that she is eggbound, which can be a serious problem, though is usually due to too low temperatures. However, I'm not an expert here, and please wait for one of those such members to give you a more likely explanation.

Cheers,
Vasp
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi Treesa - I think maybe I am the object of affection. I bonded with her when she was very young and still spend a lot of time with her. Thanks for the tip about not stroking her back. I did do that when she settled on my lap.
I won't anymore.
Yes, she does look hunched up and she looks heavy at the back. Could she be eggbound as Vasp suggested? What can I do to help her?
Would this make her vomit? She vomitted again a while ago.
Please help!
 

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I've never had an egg-bound hen, but it's sounding like that's what is wrong with your bird. There are a few members reading this post. Hang on.......they'll be answering you I'm sure.
 

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If you can, move her into a bathroom and run the shower until the room gets pretty humid. Check out these links in the following post:

http://www.pigeons.biz/forums/showpost.php?p=195867&postcount=4

Egg binding can be extremely critical. Please let us know how she does.


PS - one of the links mentions you manipulating the egg - honestly, I don't recommend that any lay person attempt this. It is best done by a vet.
 

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Yes, she does look hunched up and she looks heavy at the back. Could she be eggbound as Vasp suggested? What can I do to help her?
Would this make her vomit? She vomitted again a while ago.
Please help!
It's possible. If she is egg bound, steam will help, but also administer a drop of olive oil down the throat. Extra calcium and B complex will also help her to give the muscles the strength to push the egg out, if that is the problem. I have had hens that had egg issues, but never throw up.

Have you ever treated her for worms or are you currently giving her anything different from her usual regimen before she started throwing up?

Where exactly do you live?... perhaps someone can give you a resource to get some help for her.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hi Maggie,

Thanks for getting back to me, and to everyone else who replied.

Great news - she has just laid her egg...:)

She laid the first one early on the 24th but she has never had this trouble before. She has never been off her food or vomitted before so we were very worried about her.

Hopefully now she will be back to herself!

Thanks again,

Susanne
 

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I'm so glad to hear the news! The best thing for her now is to give her as much rest as possible as well as a long time before she lays again. Keep her interested in her eggs or dummy eggs and please locate a good avian vet meanwhile. Egg issues rarely resolve by themselves if the hen keeps laying, and it would be good to find an avian vet or good rehabber now, just in case. These issues can become very serious.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hi Treesa,

I think the steaming may have helped her.

So throwing up is not usual with egg binding then??
I have never treated her for worms, I never even thought of it.
Do birds need to be wormed? I know dogs/cats do.

I live in Dublin, Ireland and unfortunately there aren't many places that help with birds - if there are, I can't find them.

Thanks,

Susanne
 

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Hi Suzanne,

I suppose if her stomach is upset she might throw up, but throwing up can also be a sign of worms.

I would address one issue at a time, and see how she is in a few days. If she is still throwing up we can address it then. Yes, birds should be wormed annually.

I also recommend some probiotics to repopulate good gut bacteria, as lack of gut bacteria can also cause throwing up. You can also put a drop of apple cider vinegar in the water as that will help establish a good environment for good gut bacteria.

From what I have heard wood pigeons are easily stressed so maybe the throwing up is a result of the stress.
 

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Hi Suzanne, I'm really relieved to read she laid her egg. We just recently lost one of our young hens because of egg laying problems. Even after undergoing surgery, she simply couldn't pull through. So, I'm particularly sensitive right now to egg laying problems.

I am going to PM a member, Alvin, who, I think, lives in Dublin, to see if he knows of a vet you could contact who could do cultures of your pigeon's poop to check for worms and coccidiosis. Alvin doesn't check in every day but hopefully he can help.

Again, I'm really happy for you.
 

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Thanks to all the other members who helped, and my apologies for being slow to get back to PT today. Susanne, I'm so glad she laid her egg. But I would look into getting her some additional calcium and vitamin D supplements as well as an annual worming medication. I had a problem with a little finch that was eggbound and I give her Calcivet. It's made by Vetafarm, an Australian company, but you can buy it on-line. You put in the drinking water.

Global Pigeon Supply makes a good 3-in-one medication for Trichomoniasis ("canker"), coccidiosis and worms. They also ship internationally.
 

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Suzanne,

I was so glad to read that your little hen laid the second egg. I would keep her warm for a couple of days until you see how she is doing and if the vomiting stops.
There are many many pigeon fanciers in Ireland. Go to http://www.pigeonbasics.com/clubs/alllist.php and see if there is a contact for a club near you. These are racing fanciers. They won't be interested in a Wood Pigeon per se, but they will know where to get needed medications etc. and will be the best resource to find local supplies.

Best wishes for your bird to make a complete recovery.

Margaret
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Hi All,

Thanks for your good wishes, she is doing much better today thankfully.
She is resting a lot which is good and hasn't vomitted.

But she is showing absolutely no interest in her eggs - this has always been the case. As soon as she lays them she just gets out of her nest and leaves them. Any advice on this would be welcome as I'm afraid she may lay some more soon.

I will take your advice about the calcium, worming etc on board and look into getting the supplies as soon as possible.

Thanks again,

Susanne
 
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