Ask Lafeber

Question:

April 22, 2022

Conure laying eggs


Hi my conure is in an aviary with 2 other conures. This is her first time laying eggs and has now laid her 7th egg starting April 2nd and her 7th one today April 19th.
I have removed each egg and replaced them each time with a dummy egg.
She is sitting on the bottom of the cage on the grate on them. I was worried she would be uncomfortable on the grate for long hours so i put the eggs on a piece of newspaper but she moved the paper and sat on the cage grate anyway. Theres no paper on the grate now as i removed it to discourage any further nesting. Ive taking the advice of shorter daytime hours.. less soft foods and she isnt hand tame so i dont pet her.
She is a sweet kind bird that doesnt bite and isnt aggressive even over her eggs.
I gave her cuttlebone and a mineral block which shes isn’t interest in.
Is there anything else i can do? I don’t want babies and since they could be fertile i remove them and discard them right away. Is there anything else i can do to prevent deficiencies or discourage laying? Also will sitting on the cage grate all day/nite hurt her?
Thankyou so much for any guidance you can offer.


Answer:

Hi Tracy,

The real eggs wouldn’t have been able to develop on a wire grate because of the air coming from underneath. You are correct that you do not want to make her comfortable. Seven eggs is a lot – hopefully she has stopped? If she continues, I would take her to an avian vet to discuss hormone treatment. The implant has worked well in cockatiels. There are also shots. I’m a bit concerned about you having three birds in a cage. This generally results in two birds bonding and one bird being left out. Now that she has eggs, she may be sweet for now, but she may turn aggressive. I would actually remove the fake eggs and see what happens. With most birds, taking the eggs away is fine. There are species that won’t stop until they lay a set number of eggs. But most parrot species are not like that. As for there being three birds, are the other two males or male and female? If 2 males, she may be under too much pressure. If a male and female, then you have the risk of them starting to fight as they get older. I’m not sure how old she is, but if she is under 3, she really is too young to be laying eggs. Conures should be paired with the opposite sex until old enough to breed, even if breeding isn’t your goal. It triggers hormones too early, and can cause a hen to lay eggs when she is really too young. So consider separating them by sex, and maybe getting another same sex for the odd bird out. As long as you have males and females in the same cage, breeding will happen. It doesn’t mean you have to let them hatch the eggs, but even with making changes, you will keep dealing with this from time to time. Of course the most important goal right now is for her to stop laying. Try changing things around in the cage, or maybe move her to another cage to shake things up and hopefully get her out of the egg laying cycle.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,

Brenda

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