Ask Lafeber

Question:

March 3, 2021

Bare eyed laid an egg


So our Bare eyed cockatoo laid an egg today.
Do we remove it of find a blank for her to sit on


Answer:

Hi Jeff,

If she wants to sit on it, you can let her. She may lay one or two more. I would not make her more comfortable – meaning, do not make her a nest of give her anything special like bedding or a box or anything she can use as a nest or for nesting material. Ideally, you want her to lose interest in it after a few days, or after the normal incubation period. I’m not sure a dummy egg would work, and again, you don’t want to encourage nesting, you want her to get it out of her system. Clean the cage daily as usual and maintain her normal daily routine. There are some things you can do to try to prevent egg laying. When you handle her, it is best to limit petting to her head and neck. Cockatoos are known for being cuddly, but when you pet her on the body, you are triggering her hormones. The last thing you want is for her to become a chronic egg layer. If that happens, she will need an Avian Vet to give her a hormone shot or implant. As I mentioned, no nests, nothing she can shred for nesting material. When she is out of the cage, keep her away from cozy, dark places. You can try limiting her daily light to 8-10 hours by covering her cage early each evening. If she eats a lot of fresh foods, you can try reducing how much you give her and only offer these foods a few times a week. We have several webinars discussing hormonal issues, and we have one coming up next week on March 12 about Avian Reproduction. Understanding the avian reproductive system can help you better understand what can trigger this behavior. I’ll give you the links to our past webinars and the page for the upcoming one where you can sign up to watch it – our webinars are always free.

Webinar: Where do Baby Parrots Come From? A Veterinary View of Avian Reproduction

Thank you for asking Lafeber,

Brenda

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