Ask the Vet Webinar – single bird egg laying
Hello! I have a question: what do you recommend if a companion parrot (a female without a male) lays eggs? Is it better to let her sit on it, take it from her or take it and replace it with a fake egg?
It depends on the bird, and in some cases the bird species. You can let the bird sit on the eggs if she wants to, but you should not make her a nest of give her a nest. You do not want to encourage egg laying, so it’s best to leave the eggs on the cage floor and maintain your daily routine, including cleaning the cage. If she has no interest in the eggs, just throw them away. The important thing is to try to discourage or stop egg laying in the future, by making some changes in her environment and how you handle her. Dr. Lamb recently presented a webinar on reproduction which covers single bird egg laying – please see the link below.
In the wild, there is one breeding season a year. The weather, combined with longer days, abundant food and a safe nesting place will trigger breeding. We provide this perfect breeding environment all year. You can start by limiting her light to 8-10 hours by covering her cage early each evening. Never give her anything she can use as a nest – no box, bird tents or huts, large food bowls, etc. If she sits in a dish, take it away and give her smaller food cups. If she chooses a corner of the cage as a nest, hang some toys there to bock the area. When she is out of the cage, don’t let her get in dark, cozy places. Even sitting in your lap can be a trigger. When she lays eggs, leave the eggs on the cage floor. If the cage does not have a floor grate, remove all papers or bedding from the cage tray and clean the tray daily. Don’t let her roam free and explore when she is out – she needs to be with you, on her cage or on a play stand. When you pet her, only pet her head – any petting on her body will trigger her hormones. Do not let her have anything to shred like paper or cardboard. Limit her fresh foods – you can offer them in small amounts, about 3 times a week. Rearrange the toys in her cage, and move her cage to another place in the room if she shows signs of nesting or laying eggs. Move her cage about once a week. If she starts to lay eggs, and won’t stop after one clutch, you should take her to an avian vet for hormone treatment – there is an implant or shots. The implant seems to be the most effective. If you have to do the hormone treatment to stop her, continue the other changes, and in most cases, they do not resume egg laying.
Thank you for asking Lafeber,