Ask Lafeber


December 29, 2021

Incubating Eggs in December

My Grandma has had a Sulphur Crested Cockatoo for the past 25 years. She is concerned as over the last week or so he has been incubating fake eggs , only it is December and he has never done this before in December. He is barely eating and is constantly sat incubating the fake eggs. Is this normal?


Hi Amber,

I don’t understand why the bird was given fake eggs? No single bird has a need to sit on eggs, whether it is a male or female. I would throw the eggs away and not give him eggs again. All she is doing is triggering his hormones and causing a behavior issue with the bird. It’s very important to avoid hormone triggers with pet birds, especially cockatoos. Unless a bird is with a mate and set up as a breeder, it should ever be given a nest or be encouraged to nest. You are correct that this is not healthy – mentally or physically. He is compromising his physical health by being inactive and sitting on the fake eggs. It is a fruitless activity that can only serve to frustrate him. If he had a mate, the birds tend to take turns sitting on the eggs. It’s simply not good for him to have these eggs or spend all of his time sitting on them. He is not exercising, eating enough or pooping naturally. This can end up making him very sick. Please take the eggs away and give him some toys to play with instead. Let your Grandma know that there is no benefit whatsoever in letting a single bird sit on fake eggs. It sounds as if someone gave her some very bad advice at some point.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,


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