Ask Lafeber


June 18, 2021

Female cockatiel

Our cockatiel flew off in July 2019 I continually kept advert for lost bird on Gumtree Australia 3 weeks ago someone contacted me and yes did have our bird George however 3 weeks of being home
Have gone to clean cage and a soft membranes egg on floor of cage so not George at all Today another egg appeared
What can I do for her clearly wants to be a mother!! I think she
Is happy to be home
Your advice would be appreciated

Thank you


Hi Gail,

I’m glad that George or I guess Georgie has returned! Single cockatiels are known for laying eggs, and are notorious for becoming chronic egg layers. So there are some changes I recommend for you to make to discourage this. It’s a big concern that she laid a soft shelled egg. This means she isn’t getting the calcium she needs to form the eggs. See if she will chew on a cuttle bone. You can also cook an egg with the shell washed, crushed and cooked with the egg. Normally I would not recommend this, because it can result in more egg laying, but you need to replace her calcium first and then try to stop the egg laying.

There are a number of chances you can make to discourage egg laying, but you need to make all of these changes, not just one thing.

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

Do no 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.

Move the cage to a different place in the room. Move the cage about once a week, or whenever she shows signs of nesting.

If she is let out of the cage, do not let her get in any dark cozy places.

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.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,



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