(help!) how long does egg laying take?

ConureCrazy

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Hi all,

Whoa, I made this account when I was TWELVE and now I'm well into college. I wonder if any of you from 2012/2013 are still on here?

I'm back to ask a pretty urgent question. Two years ago, I saved a house sparrow who fell out of her nest and because of a bunch of complicated reasons, I didn't release her โ€”*long story short, I now have a pet house sparrow. She's essentially domesticated and very sweet! Her name is Pip.

Pip, this evening at around 6 p.m. (three hours ago), started squeaking, drinking a LOT of water, and basically dripping..water? As if she were pooping... slowly.. but just water.

Then, I basically worked out that she was trying to lay an egg. By an hour later it was pretty clear that she was trying to force it out (sticking out her butt; you could see her cloaca expanding with every squeak (tmi, IK). She was still drinking water and flitting about, but she was NOT able to lay the egg. Just kept trying to, and it would go back.. in. Almost like constipation.

Then, she started acting pretty normally (playing in the folds of a blanket, sitting on our tv, preening, flying longer distances) with NO squeaking or cloaca activity (basically, doesn't seem like she's even trying to lay the egg anymore). She since went to bed, and is just asleep. I keep checking on her, but she keeps just sleeping. Head tucked into wing.

I'm so confused โ€”*she just gave up on laying the egg after a solid few hours of it.. Is it safe to let her sleep through the night? Since house sparrows are so small, and our vets are closed due to quarantine, I'm so, so so worried of her being egg bound, and me not being able to do anything about it.

Can egg laying take a whole day? Is it safe for me to let her sleep? I know this is a parrot forum, and she's a sparrow, but I know how helpful y'all are and i'd love some insight. Thank you!
 
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LaManuka

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Hello there and welcome back!

That's a difficult situation you've got going on there. If there's one thing that's never changed it's that little birds will get themselves into all sorts of trouble ESPECIALLY when the vets are closed - and they're even harder to get into these days!

As the mother of a chronic little egg-laying lorikeet I'm always VERY worried when my Lilly is looking like she's got some extra cargo on board, but thankfully for her, so far everything has always been passed successfully. Egg-binding is extremely serious and can be life-threatening if not resolved soon. I've heard all sorts of remedies from placing the bird in a small cage in the bathroom with a hot shower running (the steam is supposed to relax the cloaca and may help with egg-laying) and massaging the cloaca with some olive oil warmed between your fingertips. I've used the latter on a cockatiel who appeared to be having difficulty and the egg passed, but whether it would have passed anyway unassisted by me I will never know!

I would think if Pip doesn't pass this egg fairly soon you'd be best to try to contact an emergency service if you possibly can, if not an avian vet then an exotics one will do. The following link may help you find some assistance...

https://www.aav.org/default.aspx

Hopefully some more members will weigh in with some more advice for you shortly, and I wish you and little Pip all the best!
 

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ConureCrazy

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I found some more resources for you (thanks to Moderator Scott!)

https://www.petcoach.co/article/egg-binding-and-dystocia-in-birds-risks-signs-treatment-and/

https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/egg-binding-in-birds

https://www.lbah.com/avian/egg-binding/

Of course from this distance it's impossible to know whether indeed egg-binding is what is going on, but these resources may help you recognise if these descriptions match the symptoms that Pip is displaying.

Good luck!
Thank you for these, and your above post! There's an avian vet that's open Saturdays not too far away from me; I'm hoping I can get her there tomorrow if no egg. She's had a bite of food and some water, but still sleeping... thank you again!
 

LaManuka

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You are most welcome, I hope your little girlie makes it!
 
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figured I should update since it's three grueling hours until Pip can see a vet:

Pip woke up around midnight and resumed trying to lay the egg. There are no emergency vets that take birds anywhere near me, so my resounding thought this whole night has been: wait until 9 AM. wait until 9 AM. So since midnight, she's been in my bathroom, all steamy and cozy, lights dimmed.. I've also been using olive oil to lubricate.

at first, things seemed okay.. The egg was moving slowly, but surely. After a bit, I could see it pretty well. I thought it would pass just fine..

Nope. not at all. since three a.m., the egg has been stuck. Just enough that you can see it even when she's not contracting. It's now 6 AM, and for three hours now, Pip has been exhausting herself trying to expel the egg. At first, she was still more or less energetic, which is why I was optimistic. she was straining, but still eating orange slices and drinking water.

now, she's barely opening her eyes. won't even drink the water I'm dropping into her beak. and she's STILL trying to lay the egg. three hours until the vet opens. i'm very scared. the egg is so visible.. but just so big..

I'm so heartbroken; I don't know if I should risk it and do that egg-pushing our technique I see on those weird youtube videos and risk cracking the egg and killing her, or if I should be patient and wait the three hours for the vet as she slowly gets weaker... and risk her dying also. The egg just seems very large. I don't know what to do. i'm really stricken.

I hope i can update this later with better news. and I'm sorry for the many errors this probably has; it's written on no sleep and some tears, to be honest

will update in a few hours :(
 

noodles123

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figured I should update since it's three grueling hours until Pip can see a vet:

Pip woke up around midnight and resumed trying to lay the egg. There are no emergency vets that take birds anywhere near me, so my resounding thought this whole night has been: wait until 9 AM. wait until 9 AM. So since midnight, she's been in my bathroom, all steamy and cozy, lights dimmed.. I've also been using olive oil to lubricate.

at first, things seemed okay.. The egg was moving slowly, but surely. After a bit, I could see it pretty well. I thought it would pass just fine..

Nope. not at all. since three a.m., the egg has been stuck. Just enough that you can see it even when she's not contracting. It's now 6 AM, and for three hours now, Pip has been exhausting herself trying to expel the egg. At first, she was still more or less energetic, which is why I was optimistic. she was straining, but still eating orange slices and drinking water.

now, she's barely opening her eyes. won't even drink the water I'm dropping into her beak. and she's STILL trying to lay the egg. three hours until the vet opens. i'm very scared. the egg is so visible.. but just so big..

I'm so heartbroken; I don't know if I should risk it and do that egg-pushing our technique I see on those weird youtube videos and risk cracking the egg and killing her, or if I should be patient and wait the three hours for the vet as she slowly gets weaker... and risk her dying also. The egg just seems very large. I don't know what to do. i'm really stricken.

I hope i can update this later with better news. and I'm sorry for the many errors this probably has; it's written on no sleep and some tears, to be honest

will update in a few hours :(

Have you tried raising the temperature in the room and increasing the humidity? I would use a humidifier---steam in a shower is faster, but your bird is likely weak and I'm worried the fright from the shower, plus the shock of the cold when leaving the steamy warm room could be too much.
You could also apply some coconut oil to your bird's vent...
You want to keep her calm...

I hope the vet is able to help-- did you call and explain that it is an emergency?

So sorry you are going through this..
 
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figured I should update since it's three grueling hours until Pip can see a vet:

Pip woke up around midnight and resumed trying to lay the egg. There are no emergency vets that take birds anywhere near me, so my resounding thought this whole night has been: wait until 9 AM. wait until 9 AM. So since midnight, she's been in my bathroom, all steamy and cozy, lights dimmed.. I've also been using olive oil to lubricate.

at first, things seemed okay.. The egg was moving slowly, but surely. After a bit, I could see it pretty well. I thought it would pass just fine..

Nope. not at all. since three a.m., the egg has been stuck. Just enough that you can see it even when she's not contracting. It's now 6 AM, and for three hours now, Pip has been exhausting herself trying to expel the egg. At first, she was still more or less energetic, which is why I was optimistic. she was straining, but still eating orange slices and drinking water.

now, she's barely opening her eyes. won't even drink the water I'm dropping into her beak. and she's STILL trying to lay the egg. three hours until the vet opens. i'm very scared. the egg is so visible.. but just so big..

I'm so heartbroken; I don't know if I should risk it and do that egg-pushing our technique I see on those weird youtube videos and risk cracking the egg and killing her, or if I should be patient and wait the three hours for the vet as she slowly gets weaker... and risk her dying also. The egg just seems very large. I don't know what to do. i'm really stricken.

I hope i can update this later with better news. and I'm sorry for the many errors this probably has; it's written on no sleep and some tears, to be honest

will update in a few hours :(

Have you tried raising the temperature in the room and increasing the humidity? I would use a humidifier---steam in a shower is faster, but your bird is likely weak and I'm worried the fright from the shower, plus the shock of the cold when leaving the steamy warm room could be too much.
You could also apply some coconut oil to your bird's vent...
You want to keep her calm...

I hope the vet is able to help-- did you call and explain that it is an emergency?

So sorry you are going through this..

it's super warm and steamy in here! i've been running hot water from the shower on and off for a good bit and she's on a towel (doesn't want to get in a warm bath). warm olive oil too.

i think the egg is just too big? or she is just too small? or it's sideways or upside down? i've been thinking this over in this grand solitude over and over and i just don't know. i guess this stuff happens; i'm doing all i can for now.

the vet's not picking up. they accept emergencies, i think, during open hours, but during off hours, they direct everyone to some service you have to pay for that only tells you *whether* something is an emergency (it's just a telephone call, so no treatment). it's 7:06 and the office opens at 9, so i'm going to start calling at 8 and hope to god someone comes in early and picks up.

she opens her eyes when there's a noise, and is still standing on her two feet (not plopped down on the towel, but i imagine the egg would make that pretty painful). she drank some water a bit ago.

this is seriously the hardest thing i've ever gone through? i've had hard nights where *I* was in trouble, or feeling awful, or in the hospital, but watching your pet suffer for hours and hours is really taxing and heartbreaking. I can't wait for 9 a.m. agh... I'll update, hopefully once i'm at the vet <3
 

noodles123

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I'm so sorry you are going through this. If the vet is far away, I would start driving ahead of time if you are sure a vet will be there and meet them at the door or whatever (as long as you know for sure there will be someone coming in). Could someone drive you so that you could sit with your bird in the car? I dk if it would make a difference, but it's hard to drive and worry at the same time.

So there is no 24 hour emergency vet that you could consult with? They might at least be able to tell you if they could do anything supportive, like an IV or something.
 
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I'm so sorry you are going through this. If the vet is far away, I would start driving ahead of time if you are sure a vet will be there and meet them at the door or whatever (as long as you know for sure there will be someone coming in). Could someone drive you so that you could sit with your bird in the car? I dk if it would make a difference, but it's hard to drive and worry at the same time.

So there is no 24 hour emergency vet that you could consult with? They might at least be able to tell you if they could do anything supportive, like an IV or something.

ah yes good thinking โ€” the vet is 20 minutes away, so my current plan is to leave at 8:20, get there at 8:40, get in at 9? i'd leave earlier but i don't want to have her in the cold car for too long :"/ i mean, i'll have the heat on, but it won't be "steamy bathroom" warm

an unfortunately, no :( I live in a small town so even having this vet is a weird miracle โ€” there's an animal hospital 40 minutes away, but every google review says it's great for dogs and cats, awful for birds. two reviews said their bird died?? one from a nail trim?? i wouldn't risk the shock to take her there.. but this vet, though not 24/7, has an actual avian doctor..

and don't have my own transportation โ€” someone will be very graciously picking us up and driving us to the vet, so I'll be a passenger!
 
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90 minutes till the vet opens.. eyes closed but alert to noises.. oh man :โ€ข(
 

noodles123

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Well, I wish you luck.
Don't leave too early-- you don't want her getting cold (like you said). If someone is driving you (as you indicated) make sure they don't have air fresheners in the car.
You might consider making things a bit darker in her cage when you transport her (unless that freaks her out). Generally, I wouldn't suggest that for a healthy bird, but if she would be calmer covered a bit, it's something to consider. Do try to tell them you are coming--obviously--but as a last resort, if you are sure they are open, you could show up with a mask and beg for them to get her in.

I'm so sorry! I wish I could help more..
It's such a tough call because trying to manually push it out could complicate things or kill your bird, but if things get REALLY bad...Idk...it's like a last resort move that you might attempt if you think she won't make it...So frustrating that the time is so close to when they open....ugh.

I'm thinking of you! You are doing what you can and I hope to never be in that position..Hang in there..
If you can tell them you are coming maybe they can prep some IVs etc...I have a feeling she will need it one.
 
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Well, I wish you luck.
Don't leave too early-- you don't want her getting cold (like you said). If someone is driving you (as you indicated) make sure they don't have air fresheners in the car.
You might consider making things a bit darker in her cage when you transport her (unless that freaks her out). Generally, I wouldn't suggest that for a healthy bird, but if she would be calmer covered a bit, it's something to consider. Do try to tell them you are coming--obviously--but as a last resort, if you are sure they are open, you could show up with a mask and beg for them to get her in.

I'm so sorry! I wish I could help more..
It's such a tough call because trying to manually push it out could complicate things or kill your bird, but if things get REALLY bad...Idk...it's like a last resort move that you might attempt if you think she won't make it...So frustrating that the time is so close to when they open....ugh.

I'm thinking of you! You are doing what you can and I hope to never be in that position..Hang in there..
If you can tell them you are coming maybe they can prep some IVs etc...I have a feeling she will need it one.
Thank you for keeping me company! It's keeping me coolheaded, honestly.

This whole situation is unlucky, honestly. COVID, small town, on a Friday, problems began at night, small bird... I'm hoping Pip beats this though and becomes a medallion of luck in the process!!

I'm keeping a super close eye out.. if any sort of fainting situation happens, or a stop in breathing, or becoming unresponsive to noise... I'm willing to opt for the last resort. :โ€ข( especially since the egg is so so so close to being out, it seems better than .. not doing anything...

hm, she just tucked her head into her wing.. still responsive to noise though .. probably just sleepy? i mean..she has been awake all night. i hope she can get some rest from the pain of Too Large Egg..

I hope I don't sound too casual. I assure anyone reading this, I am very distraught ๐Ÿ˜ญ this thread has become my means of rationalizing while I wait for time to pass. I'll keep updating!
 

noodles123

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You don't sound casual-- I understand. You are doing great.
Has she had any food or calories of any sort?

My concern is that they can get hypoglycemia very fast without...
DON'T DO THIS WITHOUT TALKING TO A VET- but If you gave her some SUPER diluted apple juice or something, I wonder if that would help....I am not sure if that would spike blood sugar levels at this point or not, so it may be bad advice-- I am just wondering if maybe you could call a vet somewhere who could tell you whether that is a good idea or not *AGAIN, because it may not be...it could make things worse...or it could help....*

If she hasn't had any calories, she is going to need them, but how they are given can be complicated in a sick bird- especially when they have gone without for a while, so I don't want to mislead you into thinking that it is super straightforward because it often isn't. They have strange metabolisms.
 
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You don't sound casual-- I understand. You are doing great.
Has she had any food or calories of any sort?

Through the night she ate a good deal of an orange slice, and then when she stopped eating i gave her some lightly sweetened almond milk (homemade.. literally just almond water and some sugar water) with calcium drops. so she's not totally empty but! not like the usual. but honestly better than nothing! edit: i meant cashew milk..it's very very diluted as is (cashews are expensive!)

the vet hasn't picked up yet and my ride will be a few minutes late, but i'll definitely get there before opening since i miscalculated the time it takes to get there (only 12 minutes). trying to hold my breath since Pip seems unchanged.. just regularly lethargic and pained :-( but hanging in there!
 
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oh oops i meant cashew milk sorry i'm loopy
 

noodles123

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You don't sound casual-- I understand. You are doing great.
Has she had any food or calories of any sort?

Through the night she ate a good deal of an orange slice, and then when she stopped eating i gave her some lightly sweetened almond milk (homemade.. literally just almond water and some sugar water) with calcium drops. so she's not totally empty but! not like the usual. but honestly better than nothing!

the vet hasn't picked up yet and my ride will be a few minutes late, but i'll definitely get there before opening since i miscalculated the time it takes to get there (only 12 minutes). trying to hold my breath since Pip seems unchanged.. just regularly lethargic and pained :-( but hanging in there!

Again- try to keep her warm and calm-- you want to make sure that someone can get you in when you arrive and that you aren't standing on the stoop for too long or told to leave by a tech-- in the event that you are, I would just make sure that the car is warm enough and that things are still as calm as possible. It is certainly en emergency at this point, so make sure they know that and don't forget your mask (in case they complain about that). I would keep calling as you drive if no one answers. Again though--- you are sure someone will be in, correct?

No matter what happens-- you are being very good to your bird and you are doing everything you possibly can to save her! It's a terrible situation to be in-- and it's not your fault- no matter what happens!!!! You LITERALLY are doing all that you can.
 
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noodles123

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Has this vet dealt with sparrows etc? It occurred to me that an emergency wildlife rescue might be better if you haven't been to this vet or spoken with them about the situation-- still, something is better than nothing at this point....Hopefully they will give it a shot even if they aren't 100% certain, as the alternative is doing nothing and that's no good either.

Ugh...I hope you guys do okay.

SO sorry you are going through this, again, and please do keep us posted.
I am going to wonder all day now...you are both in my thoughts!
 
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We finally made it to the vet! We were held up bc they called me back and said they had to "double check" if they'd be able to consider an emergency entry today...

But we're in! Post $500 deposit.. They took her in and are going to try to get the egg out naturally, but then said they'll opt for "injections" if not. They're going to call me when they consider treatment. The vet tech had to warn me about the high risk of death and I had to verbally affirm that I understood and .. tears... now we can only pray I guess. She seemed scared when they took her carrier from me. ahh
 

LaManuka

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Oh that poor baby, what a terrible worry for you. I hope your little sweetie pulls through!
 

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