Ask Lafeber

Question:

January 25, 2021

Cockatoo laying eggs


My 7 year old cockatoo has laid 2 eggs in a week should I be worried?


Answer:

Hi Bradley,

This does happen with single birds, and for now it isn’t a concern. However, there are some changes you should make to discourage this in the future. Since Cockatoos are cuddly, we tend to over-pet them. We have learned that it is best to limit petting to a bird’s head and neck. When you pet a bird all over, these are areas that only a bonded mate will groom, and it triggers her hormones when you pet her on the body. It’s also best not to give her any kind of box or anything for her to shred like cardboard and paper. Stick to toys with wood and other textures. Shredding paper and cardboard can be a hormone trigger since it mimic nesting material. And when you give her a box or anything she can get inside of, this mimics a nest. The same goes for when she is out of the cage – avoid letting her get into cozy, dark spaces. As long as she is on a nutritionally balanced diet – not a loose seed mix – it doesn’t hurt that she laid eggs this time. But you don’t want her to become a chronic egg layer and keep laying eggs every few weeks. In the wild, a cockatoo would only lay eggs one time a year. If you bird keep laying eggs, then you will end up needing to take her to an Avian Vet for a hormone shot or injection. We present weekly webinars and have two about hormonal issues that you may want to watch. We also have one coming up next month covering the signals we accidentally send to our birds that trigger their hormones.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,

Brenda

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