Ask Lafeber

Question:

May 24, 2022

African Grey


I have an African Grey 24years old by itself i the cage has never had a mate always thought it was a boy until we found eggs
this year along has been thus the most she has layed over 12 eggs is this normal of should this be a sign of something wrong


Answer:

Hi Ivette,

This is actually a very dangerous situation for your Grey. She is probably already very low on calcium and protein. I would recommend taking her to an Avian Vet as soon as possible, to have bloodwork done to determine if she needs emergency treatment for low calcium and protein. Then you need to do something to discourage additional egg laying. The Vet can give the bird hormone injections or an implant to stop her right now. But to prevent this in the future, you need to look at how you have her housed and how you handle her. She should never have any type of nest, box, bird hut, tent or anything she can use as a nest or get inside of. Do not give her any cardboard or paper to shred. Limit her light to 8-10 hours daily, by covering her cage early each evening. If you give her fresh foods, stop offering those for a few weeks, and then only give her small amounts about 3 times a week. When you handle her, limit any contact to her hear. Do not pet her on her body as this can trigger her hormones and cause more egg laying. Think about whether anything has changed just before she started this egg laying. Hormones are triggered by long days, lots of food, petting, shredding things, and having a nest or dark area to get into. So you need to reverse or remove these conditions as I described above. This is vital for her health and survival. Each egg she forms depletes her body of calcium and it is a tremendous effort for her to pass each egg through her reproductive tract. It may seem that laying eggs is natural, but not 12. She is intended to lay 2-4 eggs, once a year. She has basically laid at least 3 years’ worth of eggs in a short time, to put that in perspective for you. So do take this seriously and find a qualified Avian Vet to help her.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,

Brenda

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