Lame cockatiel egg laying hen
(Cincinnati, OH, USA)
My female cockatiel is 11 years old, and started laying her first eggs about a year ago. She was very persistent despite our efforts to dissuade her from her inclination to lay eggs, and after a couple last spring her leg went lame.
We took her to an avian vet who, upon examining her, declared that he thought the egg laying had put stress upon a nerve and that this led to the disability of her leg. After a few days of waiting, she regained the use of her leg when she stopped laying.
She recently started laying again and we have tried to keep her in the dark longer amongst other things, but she still insists upon trying to procreate all on her lonesome. Today her right leg started to go lame again, and I'm not sure if it from constantly trying to sit on her eggs, the egg laying itself, or falling roughly on a hard floor when taken by surprise by a child. It looks very much like what happened last year.
I was told last time this happened that there are a number of very uncomfortable things that can result from a lame leg, and that there is not much one can do besides try to put the bird down if the disability persists.
Right now she puts her weight on her left leg held forward and on her chest when resting, and on her right wing, her beak, and her left leg when attempting mobility. She has spent much of the past two weeks sitting, with us trying to give her rare breaks which we realize was not good. She has not had the best diet, and trying to change her diet from seeds to a mix of pellets and seed and fruits/veggies has been refused in the past, and I don't know if now is the best time. We do have vitamin and mineral additives for her food and water, she has laid 6 eggs, and she lives with two parakeets since a year ago.
I cannot know if her leg will recover like last time.
I am looking for suggestions on how to situate her, what to do to make her stop laying, what to do about her diet, and what the possibilities really are if she has been permanently lamed, and how I should go about putting her down if it becomes necessary in the future. Please respond.