Ask Lafeber

Question:

September 29, 2021

Parakeets keep throwing eggs outside their nest


Would you suggest to remove the nest from the cage? Or what else can we do? They have had 5-6 batches of eggs and killed all of them!


Answer:

Hi Dieter,

If they aren’t sitting on the eggs at all, then the eggs have never developed, so all they are doing is throwing out eggs – they are not killing them. If they throw the eggs out after sitting on them for a while, the eggs likely aren’t fertile. However, they should not be allowed to lay eggs more than twice a year, so if she has already laid 5-6 clutches, unless this was over the course of years, then she has laid way too many eggs in a short time. Forming and laying eggs is very hard on the female’s health, which is why they only do this once a year in the wild. I would take their nest away and make some changes to stop her from laying more eggs, or she is going to end up dying. I will list the changes below.

As to why they are doing this, there can be a lot of reasons. The eggs may be infertile as I mentioned. Do they have the right kind of nest box? You said “nest” – parakeets need a wooden nest box that is made for parakeets. If you have an open nest, this is the wrong kind of nest. The birds need to be at least 2 years old – if they are younger, this can be why they throw out the eggs. The birds need a balanced diet, not a seed mix, as well as greens, veggies, fruits and an egg food. The cage should be in a quiet place where they do not see people except when you feed them. If you realize you are not doing some of these things, then after the birds rest for at least 6 months, you can try breeding again. But frankly, I doubt this pair will be good for breeding because tossing eggs is a bad habit and most pairs will not stop. So, it’s better to just try to keep them from laying more eggs.

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.

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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