Ask Lafeber

Question:

February 14, 2022

Green cheek egg laying


My 5 year old green cheek has laid 7 eggs so far in the last 3 weeks. She has never laid eggs. No mate. No nest box. She is getting calcium supplement and boiled egg. I’m worried how many eggs she has laid. She gets 13 hours of sleep in a dark room.


Answer:

Hi Rose,

This isn’t an alarming number of eggs yet, but you are right to want to get her to stop. While she is using calcium and protein to form these eggs, the egg you are feeding her can actually be a hormone trigger and cause more egg laying. If she is on a balanced diet like pellets or our foraging diets, then all she needs is a cuttlebone for now. It’s a fine line between keeping her healthy and causing more egg laying. Green cheeks will lay an egg every other day, and some lay up to 8 total for a clutch. But if this has been over the course of 3 weeks, she may have started a 2nd clutch. I’m going to recommend some changes – and make all of these changes – and if this doesn’t stop her egg laying, then I would recommend taking her to the Avian Vet for a hormone implant.

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.

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.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,

Brenda

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