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Dr. G.
Dr. G., Bird Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1248
Experience:  Bird and exotic animal veterinarian for over 16 years.
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My female love bird Tinkerbell is laying eggs & has in the

Customer Question

My female love bird Tinkerbell is laying eggs & has in the recent past- she has laid 5 eggs now and has torn up my books to make a nest. There was another bird In her cage and I saw them trying to do the deed and they were real close but it turns out the other bird is a female according to DNA blood test. She was living w/that other Love bird for 5 yrs but started chasing her and fighting w/her when she became hormonal. I put them in separate cages for a few months, & they come out of there cages and cuddle w/each other & than go back in there own cages on there own.

Tinkerbell just crawled up her cage to her little wooden nesting box where she has slept in for the last few yrs and is breaking the wood to make a nest.

I have read that You should take the nesting box out and change her environment so she will not feel encouraged to lay eggs. I know that laying eggs can be hard on her and deplete her of calcium, I am going to give her some more egg food. Can I get another male? I know it has to be the same type and match and that I would have to quaratine first. I just feel she is going to want to keep laying eggs and she is five now , I read the best time is between 1-5 yrs old.
I know if I take her eggs away she may just lay another clutch. She laid all five eggs in the last five days. the last egg was hatched this morning. I put her eggs in a little hanging nest house and she is in there w/her eggs now and she was starting to rip the straw wood from it to make a nest.

Maybe I should not incourage this behavior. I was hoping I could get her a male , but I know its a lot of work and it can be dangerous if not done right. or should I just remove her house she slept in for a few yrs now and she is attached to it , and should I change her environment. If I can get her a mate - How old should it be and here should I get him from. etc? I feel I have the time to study and raise the babies and have been doing research. What is in my birds best interest. I don;t want to put her at risk. I let her last eggs stay in cage for a while tell she got bored with them but now she has laid more and I guess it's cause of the envoronment?

Thanks
Tara
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. G. replied 7 years ago.
Hi,

Thanks for your question Tara.

Yes, you are correct about the egg laying behavior. It is very hard on a bird and they can die from laying too many eggs or becoming egg bound. Lovebirds are a species that tends to lay more so it will be challenging to correct.

I would not get another bird unless you want another bird. You are the one that will have to take care of it, pay for vet bills etc. There is also no guarantee that they will get along. Also, if you do get a male, you will just encourage her to lay more (regardless of whether there is a nest or not).

I would encourage you to remove the nest box or perceived nest areas to try and discourage laying.   Right now, is she is still sitting on the eggs that she laid, I would let her sit on them for the normal incubation period (about 21-22 days). This will discourage her from egg laying again right away. If any of the eggs are broken or damaged, they need to be removed.

If she continues to lay, medical intervention may be needed. We can administer hormonal therapy which will stop laying for a period of time. In some cases, a bird will need to be spayed.

See: http://www.avianweb.com/egglaying.html

The other issue is to make sure your feed her correctly. If she is eating only a seed diet, she is at much higher risk of developing issues with low calcium. Your birds should be eating primarily a pelleted diet with healthy veggies like carrots, sweet potatoes, dark green leafy veggies. Seeds will become a much smaller portion of the diet. For more info see:
http://www.harrisonsbirdfood.com/ourfoods/index.html

http://www.birdieboutique.com/switch.html

Please let me know what other questions you have.

Dr. G

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