Ask Lafeber

Question:

September 28, 2021

Hormonal cockatiel


My cockatiel had been laying eggs for a couple of weeks and I almost took her to the vet to get hormonal shots to stop her from laying eggs. But I first changed her cage to a new larger one I bought and the big change prompted her to stop laying eggs. Other than changing her cage when she lays eggs, is there any other natural way to get her to stop laying eggs other than taking her for hormonal shots?


Answer:

Hi Mark,

I am so sorry your question wasn’t answered on Friday! There was a glitch with Zoom at one point, and it kicked me out for about 30 seconds. Your question must have come through when that happened. It was never on the list I see and I just found it in the Q&A report. Fortunately, I reply to this type question almost daily here!

Yes, there are changes you can make, but you need to do all of these things.  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. You stumbled on part of this – you changed her cage, and that made her feel like her nesting area was no longer stable.

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. We also have several webinars that discuss parrots and hormonal issues. Here is a link to that playlist:

Thank you for asking Lafeber,

Brenda

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