Ask Lafeber

Question:

November 3, 2021

Egg Laying Sun Conure


My 4-5year old Sun Conure just laid her first egg…it broke when it fell out of a hole she had nibbled through her bed (now I realize it was to get to the batting that was cushioning the bed)…so I replaced it with a stone egg of same size.
Please advise


Answer:

Hi Grace,

The first thing to do is get rid of the bed. Birds don’t need beds – these can be used with very young birds that are transitioning to a cage, but adult birds should not have them. This is a common cause of egg laying in single birds. Birds do not sleep in nests or need a nest other than breeding season. A single bird never needs a nest. They might like it, but they do not need it and it can contribute to hormonal issues and chronic egg laying, which can eventually kill the female. You can leave any unbroken eggs on the cage floor, but she does not need any dummy eggs. These can also encourage more egg laying. You can make changes to discourage more egg laying, because it really isn’t good for her to lay eggs if she isn’t part of a breeding pair. Forming and laying eggs takes a toll on her health.

You need to do all of these things to discourage more 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.

 

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 her head and neck – do not pet her on the body.

 

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.

 

If she continues to lay eggs anyway, then you may have to take her to an Avian Vet for a hormone implant or shot. The implant seems to be more effective and lasts longer. But most of the time keeping her environment changed around works well.

 

Thank you for asking Lafeber,

Brenda

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