Ask Lafeber

Question:

November 22, 2021

Cockatoo laying egg


My cocatoo has just laid egg then eaten it she has no mate is this normal


Answer:

Hi Danny,

Yes, single birds will lay eggs in captivity, but of course the eggs will not be fertile. It’s fine that she ate it – this replaces the protein and calcium she lost when she formed the egg. The concern is that you do not want her to get stuck in an egg laying cycle. Generally she might lay 2-4, with a day between each one. If she continues to lay eggs after this, then there is cause for concern. You can make changes to discourage egg laying. While it is common to cuddle a cockatoo, you should really limit any petting to her head and neck. When you pet her on the body, it triggers her hormones because only a mate would be allowed to have contact with her body. When she is out, keep her from getting into dark cozy places, even your lap. She needs to be on a stand or on top of her cage. Don’t give her anything she can use as a nest – no bird huts or tents, no boxes. Don’t let her shred paper or cardboard. If you can, limit her light to 8-10 hours a day by covering her cage early in the evening. If she continues to lay eggs, you will end up needing to take her to an avian vet for a hormone implant or injections.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,

Brenda

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