Ask Lafeber

Question:

May 24, 2021

Should I keep giving my Quaker parrot fresh food?


I have a 5 year old quaker parrot named Sammy she keeps laying eggs, she’s currently on her 11th egg and I’ve done so much to get her to stop. My question is should I stop giving her fresh foods and limit her to pellets or do I give her fresh foods but less. My current chop(after removing sweet potato, corn and squash) has radishes, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, carrots, bok choy, sugar snap peas and sweet mini peppers and a sweet kale mix (no cranberries, sauce or pumpkin seeds) I get at Walmart.


Answer:

Hi Danielle,

I would definitely stop offering any fresh foods until she stops laying eggs. I know you said you have tried to stop her, but let’s go over what you need to do just to be sure  – and you need to do ALL of these things. There are a lot of hormonal triggers, and with a chronic egg layer, all triggers need to be removed or avoided. It’s imperative that you get her to stop laying eggs, because it depletes her health, and if she keeps it up, she can literally die from laying too many eggs.

In the wild, they have one breeding season a year. The weather, combined with longer days, abundant food and a safe nesting place will trigger breeding. We provide this perfect breeding environment all year. You can start by limiting her light to 8-10 hours by covering her cage early each evening. Never give her anything she can use as a nest – no box, bird tents or huts, large food bowls, etc. If she sits in a dish, take it away and give her smaller food cups. If she chooses a corner of the cage as a nest, hang some toys there to bock the area. When she is out of the cage, don’t let her get in dark, cozy places. Even sitting in your lap can be a trigger. If she is sitting on eggs, leave the eggs on the cage floor. If the cage does not have a floor grate, remove all papers or bedding from the cage tray and clean the tray daily. Don’t let her roam free and explore when she is out – she needs to be with you, on her cage or on a play stand. When you pet her, only pet her head – any petting on her body will trigger her hormones. Do not let her have anything to shred like paper or cardboard. Limit her fresh foods – stop offering all of them for now, and when she is no longer laying eggs, you can offer them in small amounts, about 3 times a week. Rearrange the toys in her cage, and move her cage to another place in the room. Move her cage about once a week. Again, you need to do all of these things to end “breeding season”. If she continues to lay eggs, you should take her to an avian vet for hormone treatment – there is an implant or shots. The implant seems to be the most effective. If you have to do the hormone treatment to stop her, continue the other changes, and in most cases, they do not resume egg laying.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,

Brenda

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