Congo African Grey
“On the phone
again!!, Mom, we need you!” Anna was frantically trying to get my
attention without interrupting my conversation. Clutched in her hand was
my little yellow backed Gouldian hen that is kept in the hutch in my
living room. A month ago, she had just given us her first clutch and we
had seen her pecking at the cuttlebone. This is a sure sign that they
are storing up calcium to lay another clutch.
I motioned to
Anna to set up the hospital cage for her and saw the girls jump into
action. The hospital is Lisa’s bathroom which is small and easy to fill
with humidity. We place the finch in the cage with water, seed and
millet down low and a paper towel on the grate on the bottom. Sometimes
they thrash around and get hurt during the process if we don’t put a
paper towel down. They comes the magic cure.
The warm air
humidifier has saved so many Gouldian hens for us who are egg bound! I
position the cage so it literally sits about 1 foot above the
humidifier, lay a heating pad on the side of the cage and close the
door. The bottom of the cage gets warm and condensation forms all over
it. The hen lays on the paper towel on top of the grate so she is not
overly hot, but very warm and humid.
Anna opened her
hand to show me an egg bound finch that looked just about dead. She kept
stretching out, not holding her head up and fluttering and shaking. I
wondered if we had been too late in finding her. I checked her again
about 3 hours later at midnight and she was still looking close to
hospital I headed the minute I woke up. I was so excited to see
her un-fluffed, sitting on a perch and a squishy egg was down in
the corner of the cage. We have saved about 6 egg bound hens in
this manner and had it work every time. And every time, I am
amazed for they look so terrible when the process starts. Her
lonely "dilute mate" would be so happy to see her again!
Egg binding can be caused by
various factors: too little exercise, too little calcium, cold,
an overweight hen and sometimes, too young of a hen. Do remember
that it takes Vitamin D for calcium to be absorbed. our
Lord gave us our sun for that good ole Vitamin D!
addition to the humidity, I put millet and her mash dish down
low. I am careful about putting water too low for one time a hen
drowned in the water dish. This happened because they can get
incoherent with pain while flipping around being egg bound and
not pull their head up. I do hang a dish fairly low so that a
bird standing on the bottom of the cage can reach it. Add a
calcium supplement to the water.
I do add
a drop of mineral oil to her vent area, but do not push on that
area. You can break the egg inside and then, the hen is lost.
I returned her to
her mate in the "hutch" and added some calcium gluconate to the water. In
addition, there is a dish of finely chopped hardboiled egg and shell in
the hutch. I also crush human calcium pills in my coffee grinder and
keep that in her cage in a separate dish.
The "hutch" is just that. It used to house chaina! A mural on
the back was painted by Sheila Garcia, shelves were added, doors
were cut in the side and I had a mess free cage in my living
room! You can faintly see the pair in the upper left corner of
Here are foods rich in Calcium:
Egg shells; low fat cheese; low fat yogurt; mineral block; collard
greens; turnip greens; mustard greens; chicory; kale; dandelion;
broccoli; almonds; brewer’s yeast; buttermilk; oats; kelp; cooked dried
beans and peas; sesame seeds; tofu; oranges; berries; parsley.
to watch some hens lay eggs.
Recently, a Lineolated hen became egg bound. Her egg popped out
after about 4 hours of an intense sauna bath. I believe this
warm, humid air is a life saver!!!
What if your pet bird is laying
eggs, what should you do. Click
here to learn more
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