Ask Lafeber

Question:

June 24, 2022

Weird noise, cockateil


My female cockateil is laying on her, dummie eggs all night. ( male sits on them in the day) During the night she makes just one sound like maybe pain? Only once a night. No more eggs. ALL seems fine other than that NOISE ONCE A NIGHT. Should I be concerned? She is no longer laying.


Answer:

Hi Ann,

I’m really not sure what the sound might be – it doesn’t seem like anything to be concerned about. But as for sitting on eggs, if you do not want to deal with chicks when you have a pair, then it is best to not give them a nest box or anything to use as a nest. It is better that she not lay egg at all because this is very hard on her body, as it sitting on eggs. So she is going through all of the physical and mental strain of laying eggs and incubating them for nothing. If she laid without a nest box, then there are still changes you can make to discourage egg laying in the future.

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 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.

All of the above can apply to the pair, not just the hen.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,

Brenda

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