So Your Parrot Laid An Egg!

So Your Parrot Laid An Egg!

 May 3rd, 2010
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Photos by Sweet Acres Birds Farm

A bird laying an egg is the most natural thing in the world.  Still, we humans always seem so surprised when it happens.

Egg production is not the result of mating, as many astonished single bird owners have discovered.  It is the breeding stimuli in the environment that causes a hen to generate an egg.  If you have only one bird, or are certain that your male and female are nothing more than good friends, the egg will be unviable.  Without fertilization, an egg will not produce a chick.  Now that we’ve concluded the birds and bees portion of this post we can move on to what to do if your bird does lay an egg:

1.  Don’t mess with mama!:

So you wake up one morning to find your bird sitting in a corner of her cage.  You realize that something isn’t right, and you reach in to retrieve her.  She charges forward, her wings out to the sides, straight towards your hand (which you have hopefully withdrawn in time).  Behind her is a little white egg.  She returns to her corner and repositions the egg under her warm body. She will stop at nothing to protect her little treasure. If you’re smart, you will let her be for a few days.
cockatiel egg

2.  Don’t remove the egg too soon:

If you were to immediately remove the egg, while your bird is still in parenting mode, it will only cause her to lay another to replace the one she lost. This can bring about some serious health concerns, including egg binding, common in cockatiels.
It doesn’t take mom long to realize that the egg is a dud. Often,she will abandon the after a few days or start spending longer periods of time away from it.  When away from the immediate nest site, you will find her less defensive with you.  This is the time to remove the egg.
Some people will then replace the stolen egg with a similar sized stone or plastic egg to minimize the need for the hen to lay again. It has been explained to me that this kicks the breeding urge down a notch, surely she understands that this is not a real egg, and quells the urge to produce more. I have never used this technique, but many have successfully.

3.  Keep her from over producing eggs:

Since it is the breeding stimuli in the environment that encourages her egg production, you need to take a good look around and eliminate those things which might be causing her to lay. Cover the area of her cage where she tends to lay with a large toy or object that she cannot use as a nest or nest behind. Keep her from any dark, private areas, such as under or behind the couch, cabinets or corners.  Remove anything that can be used as a nesting material, like shredders, cloth or wood chips.  Avoid warm, mash-like food and limit bathing for the time being.  These are breeding stimulators.  Make sure she gets at least 10 -12 hours of darkness a day.  If you don’t cover your bird’s cage at night, you might want to do this during the spring.  Extended daylight hours signify breeding season.

4.  Keep her healthy while she is laying:

The egg shell is made up mostly of calcium, which comes directly from the calcium stores in your female’s body.  This means she is surrendering her own personal supply for egg production.  Every time she lays an egg, she will be somewhat depleted.  In a chronically laying hen, the depletion is serious and her own health is at risk.
You will want to serve her a calcium rich diet at this time.   Feed her lots of legumes (especially navy beans), broccoli and papaya. Give her scramble eggs, with the shell crushed in to it, a couple of times a week.  Avoid the leafy greens, like kale, spinach and mustard and collard greens. These are normally great foods for your bird, but they contain oxalic acids which inhibit the absorption of calcium, which she desperately need at this time.

Some fun egg facts:

  • Did you know that the egg is a miracle of engineering?  It’s dome-like shape distributes pressure evenly, which allows mom to walk all over the eggs, but have you ever noticed that the ends are differently shaped with one end being broader than the other?  If you were to interlock your fingers and apply pressure to the egg lengthwise, you would be very surprised how difficult it is to break.  (Wear gloves if you try this, egg shell shards are sharp!)
  • Did you know that, while in the shell, a bird develops an egg tooth?  This is a hard, pointed ridge that grows on top of the beak that is used to pip his way out of the shell when the time comes. It falls off shortly after hatching.
  • Did you know that the egg comes with its own supply of food?  The contents of the egg changes as the bird develops, and it contains a constant supply of nutrients.
  • Did you know that the mother bird turns her eggs frequently to keep the chick from getting stuck?  A baby bird can adhere to the inside of the shell causing developmental problems and death.  The turning also serves to keep the egg warm from all sides.

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105 Comments on “So Your Parrot Laid An Egg!”

Barbara  05/03/2010 8:22 pm

How very interesting Thank you for the information always good to know

Monie  05/06/2010 2:21 am

i wish i knew that information earlier. My female cockatile died of having an egg stuck in her billy. One of the reason was she lay too many eggs because we took it away too early.

james steele  05/06/2010 2:21 am

A friend gave me a parakeet, She layed eggs one after another. I let her sit on them for a few days before removing them. A few days later she suddenly died, is there something I missed?

Sparky  05/06/2010 2:44 am

They aren`t half ugly when they hatch heh heh heh. But I didn`t know about the mum turning the egg, which reminds me my omelets nearly ready.

Wilson  05/06/2010 2:45 am

fascinating! thank you!

chris lewis  05/06/2010 2:53 am

i breed budgies, cockatiels and scarlet roseala s and it still amazes me how it all works

Hatsi Konja  05/06/2010 2:54 am

Wow! Chet
This is very new info for me, never thought my parrot could very likely lay eggs some time.
I must say this blog is very helpful & comes as a handy preparation.
Thanks for sharing. & for the great work

Varun  05/06/2010 3:01 am

I have a pair of love birds, the female laid three eggs and ate it all. After that it did not lay any eggs.

I wanted to know whether it will lay eggs once again or not.

kitl54  05/06/2010 3:02 am

Boy could I have used this a few months ago. My Green Conures just had babies and since it was a new experience for both of us, it was hit and miss. Two babies survived and are doing well.

Kathryn Potgieter  05/06/2010 3:17 am

Thanks for the information Chet! Wow i have just found out that my little bly is actually a little girl, so this has come to me at the right time. take care!!

fatima  05/06/2010 5:00 am

thanks for the info!~ loved to learn new facts.

Shirley van Loggerenberg  05/06/2010 5:05 am

Most interesting – Thank you

jan  05/06/2010 5:23 am

I have a Nanday Conure and she has a toy car that she loves and will sit talking to it for hours, but it has actually stopped her laying eggs.. Shes a lovely chatty bird and very funny. Thanks for your info, I now know that I have been doing the right thing

Nofolk, England  05/06/2010 7:07 am

This was the only one I found out that African Grey I rehomed (which is not had tame) was a female, hence the name changed to Henny (short for Henrietta)

Nofolk, England  05/06/2010 7:08 am

This was the only way I found out that the African Grey I rehomed (which is not hand tame) was a female, hence the name changed to Henny (short for Henrietta)

louise  05/06/2010 7:26 am

now that was a blast of interesting facts thank you. I am looking after a cockatoo who’s beak was bitten off by the male what can i give to encourage regrowth.

Nelson  05/06/2010 8:28 am

So, what’s came first, the egg or the bird?

Lynn  05/06/2010 8:30 am

I thought that this article was very interesting. What months do they usually start to lay their their eggs. I have a parrot but am not sure if it is a male or female.

Shirley  05/06/2010 8:51 am

Thank you so much for this info. Our cockatoo laid an egg last year and as you said, we did not know what to do. She acted very upset and did not know what to do herself. My daughter cuddled her until she calmed down. We were as surprised as the bird herself! Thank you again, your info is always so appreciated.

Jean and Daniel  05/06/2010 8:56 am

A couple years ago I bought a sun conyer in a pet store.(Jack) He needed so much attention and screamed at me to constantly stay with him so I bought him a friend. A baby that still needed to be hand fed. (Jillian). Jack and I had fun raising her and he surely fell in love. He taught her the fun game of screaming at me, (I do give them lots of attention) Turns out Jack and Jillian really are male and female Because she layed 3 eggs.How cute to see these little parents care for them and the two babies that were born.third egg never hatched.They let me share in feeding them after a couple weeks. My intention was to sell the babies but my heart couldn’t break up this cute loving family. Now they ALL scream at me and Jillian says “Jack, STOP”. I really needed advice on how fast I can get rid of any new eggs.

Vicky Slay  05/06/2010 9:07 am

Our Blue and Gold McCaw laid an egg and we took it from her since it was not fertilized and so she laid another one. We left that one with her after finding out she would just lay another one if we took it. We moved some blankets that were near her cage and she has not laid one since.

Martin Guzman  05/06/2010 9:13 am

I have three cockatiels, two males and one female. The female laid 3 eggs and only two hatched.
one hatched first and then the other one about a week later. They were both doing fine but this week
when I checked the nest I noticed that only the first cockatiel that hatched was in the nest. I looked
for the other one and found him dead. It looked like he had been stepped on because it looked like
he was squashed. Do you have any idea what could have happened?

Debbie Davis  05/06/2010 9:33 am

This has been the most interesting article I have read in the 2 years I’ve had my Sun Conures. My little girl, Lola, laid 6 eggs earlier this year for the first time, and in all of my research, I never knew any of the things that I learned by this article. It was all instinct that told me to leave her alone, to not try to touch the eggs, and just see what happens. I waited for her to come to me on her own and watched her. She never stayed with the eggs, but was protective in the beginning, then distanced herself from them more and more each day. The pet store did say to remove all things that would promote breeding, which I did and that seems to work. Now that it’s spring, she and her partner, Kersha, are just loud and happy and singing along with anything on the radio. Thanks again for this wonderful info!

sixshooter 05/06/2010  05/06/2010 9:34 am

Thanks for the info I had 6 eggs layed with no male. I could not find out what to do it was very stress full for her but she is now back to normal lots of sunshine and long dark nights and spray baths seamed to work

Birdie  05/06/2010 9:39 am

My Cockatiels are 11 years old, and still mating. I have tried to cover their cage, plus the other ideas mentioned above; to inhibit egg laying. Nothing has worked. Every year they have 3 clutches and most of them live. Last year only one hatched, and only lived one week. They are already making their nest, and here we go again. If anyone has an other ideas I can use, I would love to hear them.

Dee  05/06/2010 9:44 am

Thank you so much for this info. A few years ago my cockatiel did lay an egg. I was surprised and caught off guard. I knew she might, I knew the egg would not be fertile but I didn’t know what to do for my little friend. Boy, she became ferocious. I searched on-line for info but none was as informative as this blog. The first year (she was 9 years old)she layed 3 eggs. The second year another three and then she suddenly died. I was so sad, I felt I had somehow let her down by not doing something more than I did. My African Grey is 15 now and I’m waiting for the day……………………….. Thanks again.

Isotein  05/06/2010 10:00 am

Wow! How wonderful. I foung the information very interesting. Thank you.

Betty  05/06/2010 10:10 am

Thank you for the information. But my Lori has become so mean I cannot play with her, even
a long time after the eggs are removed. I did leave them in for a while, but ever since she layed
some eggs I cannot touch her. Do you know what I can do to become her friend again. Would love to hear. Thanks again

Barbara  05/06/2010 10:15 am

I broke my cockAtiels egg laying cycle by putting a new strange toy In her cage and i blocked the spot she hid in when she was out of her cage. Also a toy parrot outside her cage made her feel uneasy. No eggs since then.

Tonya  05/06/2010 10:31 am

Very informative! the facts,.

Thank You

MUGHAL  05/06/2010 10:49 am


rose murphy  05/06/2010 10:58 am

my bird has a mate. when she lays an egg she will not set on it. can someone help me out and tell me whats going on with this . i really need some help with this .

Judith Perlman  05/06/2010 10:59 am

Thank you for your informative comments. I have two Love Birds, (age unknown) There seems to be a clear pocket under ones eye. I took them to a bird specialist, who gave me two Rx’s.
Netacam 10ml, administered orally. Steriod Ophth to be put around the swelling and eye. Since it was VERY EXPENSIVE, I have not been back. The treatments do not seem to be helping. I was wondering if you have any suggestions. I hope the bird does not loose its sight. It seems to be eating and resting and playing as usual, but it must be uncomfortable. Thank you for all your helpful e-mails. Thank you, Judith Perlman Florida

Pam Cichon  05/06/2010 11:35 am

Our lovebird was thought to be 10 weeks old when we got her. We think now that she was older. After one year, she laid 5 eggs. She didn’t sit on them much and we took them away. 4 months later, she laid 5 more. Sat on them quite diligently for 2 weeks, then she left them and we took them away. Five months later (this April), she laid two, but ignored them. We took one out because it had gotten dirty. She proceeded to lay 5 more. She has now been sitting on the last 5 for over two weeks. We let her out to get exercise every day and she flies around looking for nesting materials–small pieces of paper, sticks to whittle, and she has snipped 6 small flowers off of an artificial plant–all of which she stuffs into her back feathers and takes them back to the nest (a small felt pad at the bottom of her cage that I put in for her to sit on after the first egg was laid so that she would not have to sit on the bare grate.) My question is that since she is still devoted to sitting on the eggs, should I take them away. I don’t want her laying any more. There have already been 3 clutches in the past year. She looks so wiped out during the laying time. She has been eating the cuttle bone I offered her.

Terry  05/06/2010 11:52 am

I had a wonderful Umbrella Cockatoo that died because of egg laying. The first time she layed an egg I thought someone was playing a joke on me. My Umbrella continued to lay an egg from time to time until one day I saw an egg in the bottom of the cage and my bird was on her perch with her reproductive organs turned inside out. Everything was fully exposed and she knew something was wrong. I took her to a well known bird vet and she was sutured up. Ultimately she died of an infection because of the exposure to her reproductive organs. I am interested in knowing if anyone has ever heard of this happening?

Patty  05/06/2010 12:08 pm

Hi Pam,
I think it’s a fair assumption that your bird is older than you were told. It’s important that you get her to stop laying because her health is at stake. Eventually this will lead to illness for her. Remove ANYTHING that is used as nesting material in or around her cage. If she builds something resembling a nest take it away immediately and cover the spot with a large toy or other obstruction that is NOT a box or something she can make into a nest or nest behind. Make very sure that there is no dark area, like under the cage or couch or in a cabinet where she may choose to play. Even the corner of a room can bring on nesty behavior. Your bird needs at least 12 hours of covered sleep a day, even 14 if possible. Cover her and put her to bed very early and get her up as late as you can. The lengthened daylight hours at this time of year stimulates breeding, so make her day as short as possible for now. Make sure she is getting a high calcium diet (see the post for food suggestions), cuttlebone is not enough. Don’t feed her ANY leafy greens like kale, swiss chard, mustard or turnip greens or cabbage because they contain a substance which blocks calcium intake. DO try to get her outdoors safely. Can you roll her cage out into the shade for a bit several times a week? Sunshine helps to distribute some nutrients and synthesize others. I’ll be doing a post on this soon. Good luck!

Trouble OHara  05/06/2010 12:11 pm

Very helpfull information. My newest addition to my cage is a grey female cockatiel named Twiight. The day I brought her home she layed an egg from a perch and it broke on the bottom. She showed no signs of trying to nest with it so we removed it right away. Her previous owner said she does this every 6 months or so. So far we have not had another egg production and it is going on 6 months that I have had her. Maybe the change in environments has stopped her? My other cockatiel is also a female and they are both in a very large cage.

Patty  05/06/2010 12:15 pm

Hi Rose,
Some birds just make lousy parents. Sometime a bird will diligently incubate the eggs and then neglect to feed the chicks. There is nothing you can do about this, she is what she is. Perhaps she knows the eggs aren’t viable and chooses not to waste her time, there’s no way to tell. If you are intending to breed, which I DO NOT recommend unless you have extensive bird experience, this may not be a good pair.

adeeb  05/06/2010 12:15 pm

the parrot is futting.bhoooooooooooooooooooooooooooo,smely,thanks.

theresa  05/06/2010 12:18 pm

my love bird is best friends with my budgie , and my love birds is laying eggs and i want to breed them. any suggestings ?

aj  05/06/2010 12:19 pm

BUT i have a problem with my budgies, she lays a lot of eggs but they never hatch, what’s the problem?

Patty  05/06/2010 12:21 pm

Hi Betty,
This sometimes happens. Give her a chance to get out of breeding mode, you can help her with the suggestions I provided in the post. Training her is a great bond building experience and will win back her friendship. Let her get past her hormonal behavior as the breeding season winds down, and get started. I can’t stress enough how much training will do for your relationship.

theresa  05/06/2010 12:21 pm

hi my i want to breed my love bird but she is best friends with a budgie how would this work

Marie Alley  05/06/2010 12:22 pm

Thank you for posting this information. I enjoyed reading it very much. Please give us more like this.

Patty  05/06/2010 12:24 pm

Hi Barbara,
Great suggestions for when the conventional methods don’t work! Thank you!

Patty  05/06/2010 12:40 pm

Hi Judith,
Did your vet tell you what this is or take any samples for testing? Metacam is a pain med, which will help with the discomfort. I don’t know what to tell you except that if the ophthalmic is not working, you need to call the vet and let them know. It would be a shame for the bird to lose the use of an eye over something treatable.

helen mentz  05/06/2010 12:47 pm

Thankyou for this very informative information. Greatly appreciated.

Patty  05/06/2010 1:01 pm

Hi Lynn,
They can lay eggs at anytime of the year, but they come more frequently during the spring, between February and June.

robin  05/06/2010 1:18 pm

Our Cockatoo lays eggs sporadically. The first few times she sat on them for approx 5 weeks. Now she lays them and leaves them straight away

Michelle  05/06/2010 1:35 pm

Our 6 year old Cockatoo brought my 15 year old Macaw into “season.” As the male’s testostarone levels increased, the more animated, ferocious, loud, and obnoxious both birds became. Eventually the Macaw began laying eggs. After a few years of the two of them no longer enjoying to live in the same house together, we finally separated the birds and rehomed the Cockatoo. Since then, the Macaw has continued to give me one egg each spring, but her overall behavior dramatically improved. There are pictures of both of them on my website at

I wish I would have had this basic egg laying information years ago. The article was very helpful.

By the way – we made the mistake of trying to remove an egg. The fingertip took over a year for the new skin and nerve endings to come back but the fingernail still hasn’t grown back correctly!

MaryHelen Cederholm  05/06/2010 1:56 pm

The last week of April our 3 year old parakeet laid 3 eggs. I took the first one away now knowing any better. I let her keep the other two until she ignored them. Then I took her to her outside cage and she is her sweet old self again. Once I brought her back inside that night, she completely ignored her nesting area, I completely cleaned her cage while she was in her other one. I think that also helps.

Lilla Ferrante  05/06/2010 2:06 pm

I enjoyed reading about the eggs and I remembered my sisters Eclectus (Rosy) which used to lay eggs constantly but were never fertilized… I felt sorry for her, because she looked so desperate…unfortunately she was given to my brother which didn’t know much about this behavior and alloud her to do what ever she felt like doing and I think that her death must have been partly because of the depletion of her important nutrients…! Thanks for opening up our eyes to so many facets of the life of our precious avian companions…!
Lilla Ferrante

Lilla Ferrante  05/06/2010 2:20 pm

My little Orange Wing Amazon has a kind of weezing little sound when she sleeps or sometime even when she gets exited or scared… Is this dangerous for her? She gets one wing trimmed of the flyght feathers, so she does not take off when she is out with me; and also because I like her to stay on her cage and not wander around in the appartment where she can be hurt, and or make a mess… This way works OK for the both of us…!
What do you think about that…?
Lilla Ferrante

Heidi  05/06/2010 3:42 pm

I have a Soloman Island Eclectus Parrot, she has been laying 2 in a clutch since 2005, about ever 2-3 months. I have taken her to get hormon shots, that didn’t work and was very expensive. Short of making her stay in her cage most of the time, which I don’t only while I am at work, I just let her do what she likes to do. I know it is not healthy for her, but she really seems to enjoy it.

Bird Lover-Heidi

Jenny  05/06/2010 4:30 pm

When my parrot turned about 25 she started laying one egg each year, right around Memorial Day. This year she is looking like she will lay another, and has taken up with a ‘boyfriend’, ie the newest hanging toy I put in her cage. She snuggles with it and practically puts her wing around it. I make sure to give her lots of calcium at this time of year….good to know about the almonds, though. I didn’t know to keep those away from her (or myself for that matter!)

Anne Sadovsky  05/06/2010 7:11 pm

My female Eclectus laid 56 single eggs in 14 months. All the while with me trying to get it stopped. Vets gave Lupron shots, behavioral changes, foraging. Lots of small cardboard boxes like vitamins come in, coffee filters with favorite foods wrapped inside. Massive research on line. Stopped handling her much as I was told I was stimulating her…calcium supplements, lots of broccoli and other dietary changes…toy changes, egg in, egg out…she would break them within 24 hours if left in. Finally took her to Texas A&M small animal hospital, avian specialists. She ended up having equivalent to hysterectomy and they found two ovaries and ovaducts. Birds typically have one. She was terribly hormonal for a year and we didn’t know why. She was also a plucker. Great news is that she is doing great, sleeping in dark closet 12 hours a night, still foraging, can’t lay eggs anymore but still acts a little needy to me. Cost? About $6000 total thru whole ordeal. Is she worth it? Yes. Dr. Scott Echols was surgeon…google him. Amazing. Many feathers growing back.

Patty  05/06/2010 8:17 pm

Hi Anne,
WOW! 56 eggs? It is a miracle your bird’s body was able to handle that task. I have never heard of a bird with two ovaries and ovaducts. Unbelievable.
Great job finding your way to Texas A&M for help. I don’t need to google Scott Echols. I’m from Austin where he practiced for many year. I had the benefit of his wisdom with my cat and birds many times over the years. He is a blessing to the avian community.
You are truly a dedicated, loving bird owner. Hats off to you, Anne!

Patty  05/06/2010 8:20 pm

Almonds are fine to give to your birds, except when they are laying heavily. It just works against calcium absorption during this time. Otherwise, no problem.

Patty  05/06/2010 8:25 pm

Hi Lilla,
It is not normal for a bird wheeze. I would definitely have her checked out. Also, it isn’t a good idea to trim only one wing because it puts a bird off balance. Someone I once knew who did this with his bird wound up with a pressures sore on one of the bird’s feet from unbalanced perching. Try doing a light trim, maybe two feathers, on each wing instead.

Sherry  05/07/2010 1:40 am

My lutino cockatiel has been laying eggs about every 3-6 months for about a year and a half now. She lays 2-4 at a time. I have another female and a male but the male doesn’t go to her cage. She only has around 10 hours of daylight a day then bedtime. She has no nest so she uses her food dish! She only sits on them at night and then ignores them all day as soon as she lays them. The only time shes grumpy about the eggs is when I first uncover her in the mornigh then she perfectly fine the rest of the day. What else can I do to slow down her egg laying? She seems to be perfectly healthy even though she lays quite a few. She is almost 3 years old and so is my male. The other female is under 1 year.

Amanda  05/07/2010 6:46 am

That was really good. I adopted a Greater Sulpher Crested Cockatoo, Charlie 29, after her other mum passed away. It took a bit until we became best of mates. Charlie has laid quite a few eggs over the past 2 1/2 years and your information has confirmed to me that I have done the right thing. The advice on food is most helpful and I have greatfully taken notes.

Laura  05/07/2010 11:32 am

Thanks for the information. Very helpful I have a year old female CAG and was wondering about this whole subject.

Karen  05/07/2010 3:39 pm

Karen 05/6/10)

While my bird thus far (thank heavens!) has not laid any eggs, this is useful information indeed!

Gail Nurnberg  05/07/2010 6:22 pm

My love bird started laying eggs in April of 2007, and hasn’t stoped. I know when she is going to lay one, because she starts chewing on her cuddle bone.
She has been aggressive since before she was given to me in July 2006, and was aggressive and bitting before I took her. Of course someone told the previous owner it was a boy,! This bird was hatched in Sept. 2003.
I also have a sun conure, we think is a male, he is about 10years old now and was 2 1/2 when I got him. I have also heard recently of a bird that was 10 years old beleiving it was a male, had a second owner who had it for 8 more years (18) started to lay eggs! Now I am wondering about my conure. If it is a male could that be part of what is stimulating my love bird to lay eggs?
There is no way these two birds will ever be in the same cage. I don’t even let them out at the same time.
I will strive to take away her paper chewing, maybe that will help.(but it will be hard)
I never take her eggs away too early, I probably leave them in her cage too long! But…

Frann  05/08/2010 3:21 am

As far as the stimuli, I thought it was cute when our 10 yr old Macaw would get down off the ring and pull a towel down off the kitchen cabinet door and bop her head in it while making laughing noises. Little did I know she was biting it in pieces and “nesting” so to speak. She would also go into the bathroom and chew the cabinet door frames before I found her, then came 5 eggs soon after, spaced days apart. We stopped her from doing that and we’ve not had eggs now for 5 yrs. Thanks Chet for the info. I hope this helps as well.

Naomi  05/08/2010 4:05 am

Thanks Chet for the link. Gosh…hope ny cockatiel’s not a girl o-o;

Jan Larson  05/08/2010 6:13 pm

thank you for all that info. my cockatiel has laid many over the last two years and I didn’t know really what to feed or not to feed. She is healthy and I want to keep her that way. She does like to lay a cluch of four eggs. So cute.

hrishikesh  05/09/2010 10:33 am

thanks for information our love birds give birh tow small ones

Bonnie  05/09/2010 11:42 am

We have a cockatiel that as laid eggs since she was one year old and she is now almost 4 years.
We have tried everything to keep her from laying eggs, but she just keeps producing. We even took her to the Vet. who said they could give her a shot each month for $50.00 plus the Vet charge, but we can’t afford that. She is heathy and very friendly. We have 2 more cockatiels since we have had her, 1 female and 1 male. They can all be together when we are home to suppervise, but otherwise the male is in his own cage. We thought maybe that would keep her busy and not so prone to lay eggs….nope. Anymore suggestions?

Stephanie  05/09/2010 7:37 pm

I wish I had known all of the above. My Unbrella Cockatoo became egg bound and died.

Cindy H.  05/09/2010 8:30 pm

The best article I read regarded HENS. My lovebird was 10 months old when I got the first broken heart… She forgot game playing, ignored every toy – old & new, PAPER – that’s all she wanted. 3 Years later – and weeks apart – I see the bird I enjoyed those 1st 10 months suddenly snap out it. “She’s back !” and I enjoy the little time I have before she shuts down and returns to mode.
Thank you for always suggesting varieties of food combos during this time.
Reluctantly, I have rescued a male lovebird who adores my HEN. They are happy and she ‘dupes’ him to feeding her (in 2 years, only one egg hatched a baby). Life for her is good. It’s an acceptable balance.

Patty  05/09/2010 10:09 pm

Hi Bonnie,
Cockatiels are very prolific and do lay eggs, some more than others. Is she laying too many? You may not be able to stop her altogether, just be on top of what it is in the environment that is telling her to lay eggs, and try to keep it under control as best you can. Maybe moving her or the male into another room during the spring will help.

Nola  05/10/2010 2:21 am

Hi Chet Interesting about the egg laying. I have a clucky pair of B/Gold Macaws. They have had five eggs and destroyed all by tossing out of nesting barrel. I think they wondered where they came from and kept clearing their home!

tauqir  05/10/2010 9:27 am

Red shoulder parrot how many days take for hatching the eggs.

az  05/10/2010 3:05 pm

After laying about 16 eggs during winter-spring-summer 2 years ago, my 6 1/2 year-old parrotlet has stopped laying eggs, but they (the couple) still act as if they were expecting.
Great info, thank you Chet!

Sharon  05/10/2010 3:24 pm

Thanks you for this wonderful article!

RIP dear beloved African Grey parrot Snoopy, deceased 15th January 2009.

Linda Yung  05/10/2010 7:28 pm

Hi, Thanks for the article. I had my cockatiels lay 5 eggs and all five hatched. This was the first clutch. 6 weeks later, they now have 4 more eggs. I think I will, after reading your article, due to the depletion of calcium, I will try to use the stradegies to get Lil D and Doodlebug to slow down on the egg laying.
Thanks again, Lin

REPTILAND EXPORT  05/11/2010 4:03 am

interesting news.
we want learn more

devan  05/12/2010 1:58 pm

thanks for da info. im lucky dat i read dis b4 i got to dat kinda situation.

H.T.Haider  05/14/2010 7:01 am

my cocktails and love birds lays eggs a lot but since 5 years i have not seen a baby from it.Please advise

carol  05/14/2010 1:42 pm

our peachy face has laid 31 eggs in one year. glad to have some tips. she is a single would be mom and only two years old.thanks so much for the article.

Karen Hardy  05/14/2010 4:09 pm

My female conure parrot lays eggs every spring when the wild birds do. She does not tire of caring for her egg. She has no mate and even putting an egg shaped stone in her path does nothing . She will protect and mother that stone endlessly. I have not the heart to rob her of her egg . She so loves it and stays right with it. I find that to wait a week or two and then crack the egg and drain out the inside , clean it well and give it back to her is the best course. She will pick it appart and seems to then understand it is not any good. You may be right about there being no place they can go to that is enclosed and dark but she has year around an enclosed place she sleeps in at night. She will not go to sleep without it and to be right next to me. The former owner had her in bed with her pet dog and cat. My parrot loves to be under a cloth or blanket like a tent. This , I felt was unsafe so I made her a private bed in a basket. Of course this is a great nesting place when egg laying is ready to happen.

Donna Chaney  05/19/2010 12:46 pm

This information sure was helpful. I now know what my spoild cockatoois trying to do!I thought she was snuggling up to me, I now know she thinks I’m her mate not her MoM!! Thanks so much for this info. DonnaC.< <

adnan  05/20/2010 4:12 am

my lutino pair lay only single 2nd time and its not hatched..
plz help?

Evelyn  05/23/2010 4:14 pm

I have a pair of cockatiels and she lays eggs and sits on them forever and they never hatch. I know the male is fertile so what is the problem

jessie  07/17/2010 2:51 pm

I wonder if I read this all too late.
My hen had her 1st batch of chicks early this year.
2 managed to survive.

Yesterday I came back and was surprised to see an egg in a box that my hubby gave her in the cage to play.
As the box was bare and I saw her sitting on it miserably uncomfortable, I made the mistake of rearranging the box with tissue and pine shavings thinking that she can be as comfortable as last time.
When she came back into the cage after being attracted to the papers nearby for shredding, she was confused to see the box and refused to go back in.
She just move around quite anxiously around her perching area, peering into the box from different angles.

So what did I do wrong?
She still looked heavy bottomed but she seemed to lost her nesting urge as today she was up on the perch instead of her favorite nesting corner even after I remove her box and egg which she never went close.

So I took her and her mate in their cage to take their usual bath shower and took away all her paper shreds and clean the cage.

I tried to put in another empty box which she peered in and went in curiously but was out and on her perch together with Novy screaming for attention like her before-nesting self.

So night came and she was anxious to be out and put into her sleeping blanket without her usual playtime with the rest.

I am now wondering if she is back to her old self or will I see an egg in the blanket when I wake her in the morning.

Hope for any advice from Patty, Chet or any kind souls.


Patty  07/18/2010 9:43 pm

Hi Jessie,

I think it’s possible that she didn’t recognize the materials you put in the box as nesting materials. Generally birds prepare their own nests and she might have been wondering what all the weird stuff around her egg was, and avoided it for that reason. Different species do things different ways. If you are trying to breed, please contact a local breeder for advice on this subject.


jessie  07/19/2010 11:50 am

Hey Patty

Thanks for your reply.

Well CJ did not lay an egg that night but she sure did so the night after.
I was scared out of my wits.
I saw her head out of her blanket and was panting heavily.
She rolled her egg back into the corner of the blanket and slept beside it.
However the next morning, she completely forget about the egg and was excited to be put back into her cage with Novy.

Hmm, I have no idea why she was such a committed mom the 1st time round and now shes like a “party girl”.
Perhaps she felt her eggs are not fertilised?
I thought they would be since obviously she mated since there is Novy around.
Anyway glad not chicks as I already have my hands full with her earlier two rascals.

Patty  07/19/2010 12:38 pm


I loved the party girl comment, I know what you mean. It’s hard to say why they do what they do. I have seen birds be great with the eggs and then refuse to feed the chicks that hatched out of them. Go figure. I have no idea whether they realize if an egg is fertile or not. Just when I suspect I know the answer, one will do something that makes me question my thoughts. Then there are those who will incubate a rock. It’s all guess work. Were the parents good the first time around, or did you have to pull the chicks to feed them?
I think you have already figured out not to put anymore boxes in the cage, especially when you are housing an established pair together. Good luck!


Deborah  07/22/2010 4:16 pm

I found that more important than 10-12 hours of darkness, was less than 12 hours of light. When I did this my cockatiel finally stopped laying.

flyingsnow  10/25/2010 10:08 am

Hi everybody
I have macaw ,conures,parakeet,cockcatoo,toco toucan and many birds . i hatch and reaing baby birds.i like it i thing It is a beautiful bird.

Sarah  12/29/2010 12:05 am

so remove the bird buddy hut and the box with toys?
how do you tell if theres egg binding? she laid one egg and thats it and got bored with it after the 1st day…
She’s not flying as well as she was.. tires out quicker…

Wanda  03/05/2011 3:35 am

my parakeet laid 5 eggs when she was with one of my boy parakeets but he broke all her eggs and began attacking her. I put her in with my other male parakeet and she has laid 2 more eggs. The problem is that she has laid them on the wires on the cage floor and I’m afraid if I move them she won’t continue to set on them. What should I do? She is extremely protective of them and so is her “husband”. Should I put a nest in the cage? If the eggs hatch am I supposed to do anything with the baby birds or will the parents take care of them? I have only had birds for a few months now and don’t know a lot about taking care of them.

Pete B  04/21/2011 1:50 am

For nearly two years, I’ve had custody of a beautiful white umbrella cockatoo. A friend of mine bought the bird in 2008 from an ad on Craigslist, but wasn’t able to keep it, and I willingly adopted the bird the following year. I’m happy to say that “Snowball” and I hit it off very well right from the start, and we’ve had none of the issues that I see addressed so often on the site (biting, noisiness, etc.). Being retired, I spend most of my waking hours by the cage, and the bird seems quite happy with the arrangement.

All of us (including the former owner) took it for granted that the bird was a male, so imagine my surprise when I came downstairs yesterday morning and found that, during the night, “he” had laid an egg! So my beautiful boy is actually my beautiful gal! What I can’t understand is, how can a bird lay an egg if she’s had no contact with any other birds for at least the last few years? She’s been spending much of her time since then incubating her egg, but I don’t see how it could possibly hatch. If it does, I haven’t a clue as to how to make sure the baby is properly fed. Is this situation in any way normal, or is something wrong? Before Snowball, I’d never been called on to take care of a bird, so I really have no idea.

Any advice you can give me would be deeply appreciated. Thank you for your attention! Take care!

zeba  01/19/2014 11:37 pm

Can we change the location of the eggs laid by our love birds who had been sitting on it since a month in a clay pot filled with paper pieces and cotton? she is not sitting on eggs now! she had tried to throw every dirt from her nest in the pot!
last time when she laid 5 eggs,she threw them after 20-25 days by her own and broke the eggs and ate the egg shell….now should we change her eggs location to a wooden box attached to the cage…where she is sitting now! she seems to be weak too!

Michelle Cowin  09/13/2014 9:56 pm

Hi, I bought a hand fed 2 year old green cheek conure, and she is absolutely rotten! She is so spoiled, she sleeps in my lap. My hubby and I would like to know if she will ever mate, since she was hand raised? And, after she does have a clutch, will she still love us, and cuddle us like she does now? We don’t want her to permanently change! We know hormones and aggression go together for a time when they are mating or brooding, but if she might stay that, she will get a female friend! Thanks, Michelle and Dan

SARIM  01/13/2015 10:44 am

hi, i have some pairs of lovebirds and i want to know that the eggs which they laid are turned greyesh in color in winters, whats wrong?
thankyou :)

Jim Harrison  01/20/2015 11:00 am

i have 2 2 year old Green Cheek Conures. They have never layed before, but in the last2 weeks I have 9 eggs. I’m prettysure now I have 2 females, plus candleing the eggs I see nothing solid inside. They will not leave the eggs, I have to force them. Should I just take the eggs out? They get a good supply of calcium in their water. Thanks You

Elaine  03/01/2015 2:03 am

Thank you very much for this post. I have been searching for information as our Lorikeet (thought to be male until this morning) has laid her first egg. She is a lone bird and this is a first experience for us too.

tash  04/16/2015 12:17 am

My female laid a egg I do have a male not same cage but they have play time together out of cage and have had ah oh moments if you know what I mean should I keep him in his cage or put him with her he is aggressive and she don’t like him in her cage to much last time she pulled out tail feather from him I have a expert coming Sunday

tash  04/16/2015 12:18 am

Also my birds are DNA tested male female green cheek conure

Jason Brock  04/19/2015 11:49 am

My bird laid 2 eggs and we caught the male eating them!! Help!! What should we do? This happened twice.

patti  05/28/2015 4:18 pm

If you want to raise the babies when is a good time to take them, and is it ok to let the father around the babies. Do they share raising of the babies?

miley  07/19/2015 12:51 pm

My green common parrot laid an egg she dont come out from where her egg is laid she only come out to drink water n eat once a day thsts it what should i do

Judith Camacho  08/28/2015 2:17 pm

My female green cheek conure died last nite she was taking care of 3eggs will the male takebcare of then or do i have to put in a incubator