Sun Conure Who Gained Weight Laid An Egg 1/3 size of normal

by Darci
(Winnipeg, Canada)

The large egg on bottom was laid in Dec/08 the small one Jan 24/10

The large egg on bottom was laid in Dec/08 the small one Jan 24/10

Hi there, I wrote about a month ago regarding my 5.5 year old Sun Conure who had gained approx 10-13g last month. She went from 107g end of November up to 120g near Christmas and then down to 115g around New Years, back to 120g a week later and then up to 124g this week.

Last night she was making some awful cackling noises and flicking her wings like she was in pain. No vets were available as the emergency clinic does not see birds. After an hour of that (I had her laying on my chest and checked her for an egg but no egg was visible) I picked her up and she popped an egg out right onto my bed. The egg was tiny!

After she laid the egg she was exhausted and panted for almost an hour and seemed to be in pain. Last December she was egg bound and I still have the egg she laid and this one is less than half the size and weight (this egg weight 3.5g, the one from December 2008 was 10g.)

This morning her weight went up to 125g so I am sure there is another egg on it's way. Her vent is quite swollen and I am pretty sure I can see the shape of the egg in her lower abdomen. She has done the cackling/crying noise a couple times today but still no egg. She is eating and drinking normally, playing and droppings are normal but she seems quite tired, doesn't seem to be trying to push it out.

She hsn't been sleeping well at night for the last few days, I keep her in my room at night and can hear her stirring about. She eats Harrison's pellets, among other things but mostly pellets.

My question is why the difference in egg sizes? She laid approx 10 eggs in 2008 before becoming egg bound and they were all the same size. Also when she was egg bound before her right leg became lame (which it isn't now) and the egg was present at the vent for 3 days before she was hospitalized to pass it.

I am also concerned about her becoming egg bound again and wondering when is a bird considered egg bound and should be seen by a vet for intervention? The last vet who treated her egg binding administered oxytocin and I don't want her to be given that again as you said it is very dangerous and my research tells me the same.

I will continue to monitor her and try to call the vet for advice tomorrow but would appreciate your insights on this matter. I have tried taking her in the shower for heat and humidity, made her a nesty spot under a folded pillow with a heating pad underneath and keeping her calm and warm. Thank you very much.

Comments for Sun Conure Who Gained Weight Laid An Egg 1/3 size of normal

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Dec 02, 2010
Sun Conure Who Gained Weight Laid An Egg 1/3 size of normal
by: Anonymous

I have a cockatiel hen that is a chronic egg layer. She didn't start laying until she was about 6 years old and then kept laying. She and her cage mate are separated as that's the only way to keep her from laying.
Anyway, one of the things I noticed about her when she lays is, about a day before she has labored breathing, closes her eyes. This comes and goes through out the day and then she has normal periods of play and eating and what not. When she's getting ready to lay the egg, the labor gets more intense. She breaths heavier and her eyes are closed most of the time. Sometimes when the egg passes, she's completely normal and other times she still acts as though she's in labor for another hour after the egg is layed. She's never been egg bound. She's also laid odd looking eggs here and there. I'm not sure if this is suppose to be normal for most birds, but it seems to be normal for her.

Jan 27, 2010
Conure laid small egg
by: The Avian Vet

It is not uncommon for birds to lay an occasional abnormally small egg. This is nothing to be concerned over.

Her behaviors and timing of the behaviors are all also normal for a gravid (with egg) female. Labor can last for 24-36 hours in some cases. If the expected egg does not arrive in this time period, then see your veterinarian. Normally birds lay an egg every other day.

Since your bird is eating pellets, there is really nothing to be concerned about. She will not become egg bound, unless there is some underlying medical condition we do not know about.

Dr B

Jan 26, 2010
Sun Conure Who Gained Weight Laid An Egg 1/3 size of normal
by: Linda

Hi, I remember you from last time, and I must say, I'm very concerned for your bird's health and well-being. Egg laying is NOT that painful, and the very small egg is a signal that all is NOT well inside your bird. I'm not sure what could be wrong, but birds also do not become so tired after an egg is layed. I'm very concerned about a rupture either happening or one that has already happened. The fact she is still eating, drinking and pooping normally leads me to believe this is not an infection or at least not one that is full blown yet.

I suggest you talk with Avian Vet about a scan of some kind as X-Rays will not show soft tissue clearly. Possibly her pelvic bones are not spread enough, but the size of the other egg kind of shoots that one down. See if vet will do a CT Scan or some other type of soft tissue scan on her abdomen and lower regions to see if they can shed some light on the matter. Unless she tests positive, from a throat culture, for a bacterial infection, I suggest you not give her antibiotics this time around, unless vet is worried about internal infection. She may or may not have to be sedated for the scan, and if she does have to be, make sure your request light sedation as I feel she is under a tremendous amount of stress at present.

Results from the scan should help the vet tell more about what is going on inside your bird. Something is just not right and what it is, I just cannot say. Hopefully, they have the equipment in-house for the scan, if not, you'll have to take her elsewhere, and I hope she can be done in-house for her sake.

Keep a close eye on her, and hopefully, you've already seen the Avian vet by now. If not, get her in as soon as you are able to start getting to the bottom of this. If she starts laboring again, boil some water and let it cool down some so it won't burn her and place warm compress on her clocoa area. You can also do the same thing by running hot water until it steams and heat compress. Allow her to lay on it and relax. What I'm worried about is her having a heart attack from all the hard labor, heavy breathing and possibly shock. Keep her warm by putting her in a smaller cage sitting on a heating pad on medium. Cover the top and sides of cage, leaving some room at the bottom for air circulation. She must be kept warm when she is laboring like this, but not TOO warm or it can make the stress worse.

Let us know when you know what is going on and your little bird and you are in prayers for a good diagnosis and a quick recovery.


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