Ask Lafeber


June 16, 2022

Removed nest but still laying eggs

Good Morning Brenda,
I wanted to give you an update on my finches since taking out their nest. I removed it, put the grate back on the bottom and have pet safe bedding underneath. A very small amount. Just enough to cover the bottom to help with cleaning. The female is now laying eggs on the grate. Every morning when I check on them, there is another cracked egg stuck in the grate. She won’t stop. You had said laying eggs so often is very stressful for her. I’ve noticed she’s also lost feathers around her neck. It’s like a tiny bald band all the way around. I’m guessing because of stress? What can I do to stop her from laying eggs? I feel so bad for her. As I said, their previous owner had dementia and kept a nest in the cage for years. She constantly threw out the eggs so they never learned how to care for them. What can I do to ease her stress and get them on the right track? This makes me so sad. The poor little things don’t know what to do😢 I know they’re tiny and don’t really like to be handled but I’ve become very attached to them. I sit and watch them every day. What can we do to help these beautiful babies?


Hi Barbara,

There are definitely some changes you can make to try to stop her egg laying cycle. You basically need to disrupt her environment so she doesn’t want to nest or lay eggs. I hate to suggest this, but if you have another cage, move her to it. You can still have the cage next to the male, but separating them for now may help. It is dangerous for her health to keep laying eggs because it drains her protein and calcium levels.

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. I know we have gone over this, but it helps to have this as a list.

Do not give her anything to use as nesting material.

Rearrange the toys in the cage frequently. Or give her some toys as I recommended – colorful plastic toys, swings, ladders, bells.

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. Since she is just dropping eggs from the perch, I would say move the cage daily until she stops laying eggs.

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. Your grate and small amounts of shavings are ok since she can’t get to them.

I recommended removing her from the cage rather than him, because a new cage would be more disruptive for her than removing him.

I do understand about birds you can only watch. Finches are cute and enjoyable to watch them interact. Maybe she will interact with some toys and it will get her mind off eggs!

Keep me updated,


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