Ask Lafeber


November 29, 2022

Egg laying cockatiel

My non stop laying 3 yr. old cockatiel currently gets lupron about every 4 weeks even though she gets hormonal after 3 weeks. Eggs always come before shot. I’ve tried everything to stop her behavior. Any chance she ‘ll stop laying on her own? Lupron is expensive and it’s hard to run to vet in winter constantly.


Hi Terri,

Have you discussed the implant with your Vet? This seems to work better, especially with a cockatiel that is laying so frequently. As I’m sure your Vet has explained, this cannot go on indefinitely – she will end up dying due to laying so many eggs because of the strain it puts on her. Dr. Tully just discussed this during our last Ask the Vet webinar, and & will post that link for you. I know you said you have tried everything, but it never hurts to go over what changes should be made. For most cockatiels, making the changes definitely discourages or even stops the egg laying. Dr. Tully and other Vets of course see the cockatiels that defy everything and keep laying. So while he will say the changes rarely work in cockatiels, again this is because he gets the true chronic layers.

You need to do all of these things to discourage egg laying. Keep in mind that to lay eggs, she needs longer daylight, warmer weather, abundant food, and a quiet, private environment. Your goal is to reverse these conditions.

Limit her light to 8-10 hours by covering the cage early each evening

Do not give her anything to use as a nest – no bird huts or tents, no box, bowl, etc. If she decides to sit in a food bowl, remove it and replace with smaller cups.

Do not give her anything to shred such as paper or cardboard.

Rearrange the toys in the cage frequently.

Move the cage to a different place in the room. Move the cage about once a week, or whenever she shows signs of nesting – settling on the cage floor for example. This disrupts her idea of having a stable place to lay eggs and raise chicks.

If you feed a lot of fresh foods, stop offering any for a couple of weeks, and then only offer them in small amounts about 2 or 3 times a week. You can resume normal feeding later when the birds aren’t being hormonal.

If she is let out of the cage, do not let her get in any dark cozy places and don’t give her free roam.

When you handle her, limit any petting to only her head and neck – do not pet her on the body. Only a bonded mate is allowed to groom the body. We can’t be a mate, so touching the body is off limits.

If there is no metal floor grate, then do not use any bedding or paper in the cage tray – leave it bare and clean it daily.

This video begins at the point the cockatiel question is asked:

Thank you for asking Lafeber,


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