Ask Lafeber

Question:

December 31, 2021

My bird layed egg


Hi my bird is a cockatiel and she layed a egg today without mate. She has been giving mating signals since she was 1year and now she is 1year and 6months old. This is her first egg and we dont have any setup in the cage for breeding. Now should i throw the egg away or i should let her take care of it? We know the eggs are infertile without the mate however we don’t know what to do with the egg and my bird. Will she lay more eggs? She is too young and how we can stop this. Please help and advise. Thanks


Answer:

Hi Meghna,

This is very common with pet cockatiels. As for the egg, she will most likely lay several more, every other day. If she doesn’t have a cuttle bone, cook her an egg with the shell washed, crushed and cooked with it. This will give her some calcium and protein to help replace what she loses with each egg. This should not be fed to her except for right now while she is laying eggs. You can leave the eggs with her, but don’t give her a nest or bowl or anything. She can sit on the cage floor, even if there is a grate. Hopefully she will have no interest in the eggs, If so, just throw them away. There are several things you can do to discourage egg laying from this point.

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.

Happy New Year!

Brenda

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