Ask Lafeber

Question:

March 14, 2019

How do I make my Parrotlet stop laying eggs?


I have a 4 year old Parrotlet, Booboo, that shares her cage with a 5 year old male Budgie named Tonto. They are very good friends.
About 2 months ago my Parrotlet, Booboo, started sitting on the cage floor laying eggs. She’s laid about 7 eggs so far. I’ve taken away any type of nesting materials, switched the perches around, and tried to make their day cycle shorter and night cycle longer. I’ve noticed she does not like paper towel material placed on the bottom of their cage- she will move her egg away from it. So should I cover the entire floor with it to prevent her from laying eggs on the floor? Or do I really have to separate them in different cages (something I don’t really want to do because they love being together)?
Booboo can devour a cuttle bone in the 2 days right before she lays an egg. Before she lays an egg she seems tired. In the past, I’ve removed eggs right away, but she just lays more. I didn’t remove her last egg, laid about 5 days ago in the hopes that it may stop her for a while. Please advise what I can do to help her. Should I buy a fake egg to see if she’ll sit on it? Or if I have to separate her and the male Budgie, what is the best way to transition them so I don’t stress either of them out?


Answer:

Hi Candace,

Have you tried moving the cage to another location? You might try that and also put the paper towels on the cage floor if she really dislikes them. Most birds would just chew those up for nesting material. LOL Generally we recommend letting a female sit on the eggs because this can complete the laying cycle and most hens will stop laying for a while. But some birds become chronic egg layers and this can be a problem. The fact that she is eating a lot of cuttlebone is good because she is replenishing her calcium. But egg laying is hard on their system and laying all the time can really drain them. Yes, you may have to split them up and see if this helps. But first try moving the cage to another location. Then move it again after a few days. Birds want a stable environment for breeding so this can really deter them. Also, if you are feeding a lot of fresh foods, cut back on those for now to a couple times a week. These are great for them, but fresh foods can be another trigger for egg laying.

If you split them up, keep the cages side by side. If they get too stressed, you may have to keep them together and keep trying other methods to stop the egg laying.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,

Brenda

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