Sprinkle and Egg Binding
"Please can you help.
I have two breeding canaries and this morning I found the hen, Sprinkle, on the floor of my cage and the cock chirping erratically.
She was panting with her wings spread and there was an egg partially sticking out which she had not laid.
I took the egg away. Bathed her and put in the warmth in the airing cupboard. I gave her some water through a syringe. She looks a little better but still breathing heavy.
What can I do? Please help me."
Your canary has suffered a bout of "egg binding".
Egg binding occurs when a bird has trouble passing an egg. As you can imagine, and have witnessed, this can be quite troubling for your canary hen...and you!
WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN?
Egg binding can result when a hen is young, in her first year, and therefore not fully grown. There's not much you can do to prevent this except make sure you're using light correctly and not introducing a male in the hens first breeding season.
NOTE: A canary hen can still lay eggs in her first season without a male. But without a male nearby she may be less likely to lay.
Other causes of egg binding in canaries is lack of calcium, Vitamin D, and a generally insufficient seed only diet. Always include leafy greens, boiled egg, and mineral block. See this sites FOODS page.
Sometimes older hens, hens that are bred too often, and hens that don't get enough exercise can suffer from egg binding.
WHAT TO DO...
When a hen is having trouble passing an egg you can apply a little vegetable or olive oil to the area and GENTLY try to massage the area and move the egg out. The key word here is "gently". Breaking the egg while in the hens cloaca can cause injury or even death.
Warmth and humidity can help...
Keep the cage area 80 to 85 degrees F.
Apply warm water to the hens vent area.
You can even drape a towel over the cage and add steam if you have something to produce steam. (Placing the bird and cage in a small bathroom with a hot shower running can also be tried.)
Since your canary bird has passed the egg she will likely recover quickly. Apply warmth and humidity anyway to help recovery. This is very similar to the way I treat any sick canary bird.
Wishing you and your birds all the best,