Ask Lafeber

Question:

July 12, 2022

Lovebirds Mating


Hi there, I have a pair of lovebirds which recently mated. The female around 10 mths now has laid about 6 eggs. The eggs are infertile as of now. Do we throw it or keep it in the cage. The female has been sitting on the eggs most of the time when she’s in the cage so i am unsure whether we should remove them. And i read your previous articles, you mentioned that female lovebird should only breed when they are 2 years old. So must I give her a 6 month break? How do i go about it.. Is it by putting the male and female in two separate cages? And also will the female be upset if we remove the eggs? I am worried cause she seems to be biting anyone who goes near the cage or change the food or cleans the cage.


Answer:

Hi Lava,

Yes, your female should not be with a male or laying eggs at this age. Luckily she didn’t get egg bound, but she really should not be breeding when she is so young. Her aggression is normal. Female lovebirds get extremely aggressive when they lay eggs. They can actually get aggressive in general about anyone being near their cage. I would separate the pair since the eggs aren’t fertile. Then I would remove the eggs and make some bug changes to get her out of this hormonal state. Then I would wait another year before you re-introduce them. They are more likely to mate correctly and she is more likely to produce fertile eggs and healthy chicks if she is older. She’s not going to be excited about you taking the eggs and her mate, or the changes I’m suggesting, but by doing this, you are doing what is best for her and that is what is important. She will get over being mad and her aggression may stop once you change things around. Her cage aggression means she thinks of the entire cage as a nest, and that is not what you want. Mixing things up should settle her hormones and get her mind off of nesting.

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. This disrupts her idea of having a stable place to lay eggs and raise chicks.

If you feed a lot of fresh foods, stop offering any for a couple of weeks, and then only offer them in small amounts about 2 or 3 times a week. You can resume normal feeding later when the birds aren’t being hormonal.

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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