Ask Lafeber


February 28, 2023

sitting on one egg

My parakeet has been sitting on one egg for over 21 days. I took the other eggs from the bottom of the cage before, a total of four, one at a time. I have no nest for the pair. Should i go ahead and remove this last egg? I love them together and they love each other, but i do not intend to breed. I want what is best!


Hi Carol,

Yes, you can take the egg. I’ll also give you a list of changes to make to help discourage egg laying. It’s very hard on her body, so it’s best if she doesn’t lay eggs at all, especially since you don’t want to breed. She will be much healthier by not being a breeder. And even if she was, you would have to make these changes to prevent her from breeding all the time.

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 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 only her head and neck – do not pet her on the body. Only a bonded mate is allowed to groom the body. We can’t be a mate, so touching the body is off limits.

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,


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