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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Bird Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
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Experience:  As a veterinary surgeon, I have spent a lot of time with bird cases and I'm happy to help you.
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My brothers parakeet keeps laying an egg every two days or

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My brother's parakeet keeps laying an egg every two days or so... She has laid about 10 eggs in the past two weeks. First he was advised to remove the eggs, which he did, but since she kept laying, he started leaving them, and now she is sitting on 3 eggs after another one laid this morning. He has two females, and they were together and fighting with blood drawn, so he separated them and that is when this female began laying. He is concerned that she keeps laying eggs, and not sure what to do. Any suggestions?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your question.

It can be quite alarming when your wee caged bird starts laying and eggs and doesn't seem to stop. But there are ways of modifying her lifestyle to discourage her from laying eggs.

First, I would advise not removing the eggs from her at this time. When the eggs are removed right after laying, we usually end up with more being laid (which is not desirable since we are only stressing her body, not aiming to produce more babies). If we let her sit on them, this will usually "turn off" the ovaries and stop egg production. It might be worth letting her have them for about week after she has stopped laying.

As well, we can discourage egg production by cutting back her hours of light to no more than 10 hours a day, as we simulate winter (when birds shouldn’t be laying eggs). You can achieve this by covering her cage or keeping it in a quiet, dark room for the 14 hours of her ‘night.’ This will help modify her hormonal chemistry and discourage egg laying. Usually this is done for two weeks. If after the two weeks, you aren’t seeing an effect, then decrease the daily light exposure to 8 hours for a following two weeks.

Besides altering her light sensitive hormones, you can also make dramatic changes to her cage to make her not want to continue laying eggs there. This includes removing any beds, mirrors, or toys (that she might be particularly attached to) and moving the remaining items around the cage. At this time, also remove any possible nesting materials and make sure there are no dark, warm cubbies to set up a new nest in. Alternatively, you can even change her into an entirely different cage in a different room. Basically, the bigger the change, the more she will feel that now isn’t the time to be egg laying.

In addition, do avoid petting your bird on the back, stomach or under the wings as this can stimulate ovarian production and potentially lead to more eggs.

If she doesn’t settle down with these, then it would be worth having her evaluated by her vet and considering hormone therapy. Your vet will be able to advise you if it comes to that.

Finally, if you don't already, consider calcium supplementation (like a cuttle bone) in this bird.

If you don’t already have a specialist avian vet, you can check where you can find one at http://www.aav.org/search/


I hope this information is helpful.
Please let me know if you have any further questions.
If you have no further questions, I would be grateful if you would press the wee green accept.
Thank you,
Dr. B.

Dr. B., Bird Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 5781
Experience: As a veterinary surgeon, I have spent a lot of time with bird cases and I'm happy to help you.
Dr. B. and 2 other Bird Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for that information! What is rather odd here is that the two birds that have co-habitated for years suddenly started fighting... to the point of blood drawn. Jerry (the laying bird) didn't start laying until she was moved to another cage, because of the fighting. So essentially, she was placed into a new environment, then laid an egg the next day, and has been laying ever since. It has been suggested that the birds be put back together, but we are afraid the fighting will resume. Any thoughts about this?
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
You are very welcome.

It is not unheard of to have an abrupt change in the relationship between two birds, because just like us they do get moody and cranky. As well, I do wonder if perhaps this laying bird does have an issue that is causing hormonal imbalance. Because if she does have something underlying that is disturbing her hormone production, then that might be the underlying reason for both their sudden fighting and her now constant laying.

I would try what I have mentioned and they do work well in birds with just an 'overlay' issue, but if you find that she is resisting despite the changes, then we might have a bird with a hormonal imbalance. And if that is the case, it would ideal for her to see her vet for evaluation (and doing so before putting them back together).

Do let me know if you have any further questions.
Dr. B.

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