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Anna
Anna, Bird Expert, Biologist
Category: Bird
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Experience:  Have owned and/or raised parakeets, finches, cockatiels, and poultry over a period of thirty years.
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How often do lovebirds lay eggs I have had a blue masked lovebird

Resolved Question:

How often do lovebirds lay eggs? I have had a blue masked lovebird for about 5 years and she just started laying eggs about two years ago. She has layed 4 eggs in the last 9 days, it this the norm?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Bird
Expert:  Anna replied 4 years ago.
Hello,

Some additional information will help me to answer your question.

Does your lovebird have a mate?

If she doesn't have a mate, do you remove the eggs as she lays them, or leave them in with her?

Does she have a nest box?

Thank you.

Anna
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
The lovebird has no mate. I do remove the eggs as soon as I spot them. She does not have a nest box
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I did reply to the questions your expert asked
Expert:  Anna replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for getting back to me. It's normal for female birds to start laying eggs at any point in their lives. The bird's hormone levels, the number of hours of light, and even the presence of wild birds outside a window can trigger it. Of course, if no male is present the eggs will not be fertile. The best thing to do is provide an appropriate nest box and let her lay her eggs in it. She'll stop laying when she has a clutch and will set on the eggs. Many birds know when it's been too long for the eggs to hatch, and will leave the nest. For lovebirds, that is twenty-two to twenty-five days. If your bird doesn't abandon the eggs by then, you can remove the nest while she's eating. This is sometimes enough to break the cycle of egg-laying. If you simply remove the eggs as she lays them, she's likely to lay more and more.

Excessive egg-laying is unhealthy. It can lead to egg-binding and calcium deficiency. Be sure your bird has both a cuttlebone and a mineral block available to her to decrease the chances of that happening. If, once the first clutch is gone, your lovebird starts a second one, you'll want to take measures to discourage it. It can help to provide lots of toys and interesting things to do in her cage. Give her only part of her toys at a time, and change them every week. That way, they'll always seem new.

The American Cockatiel Society recommends removing some of the stimulus to mate and lay eggs. Their advice applies to all birds, not just cockatiels. For example, limit the amount of daylight your bird is exposed to so it seems like winter, rather than breeding season. Keep her cage where she can't see or hear birds that are outdoors. Change the location of the cage frequently. You can read all of the recommendations in detail at the Society's site. It is one of the best on this subject.

http://www.acstiels.com/Articles/Health/pet_advisors_mail_box.html

An avian vet can also help you if this becomes a problem. There are hormone injections that will stop the egg-laying. If you have further questions, just let me know by clicking on REPLY.

Anna
Anna, Bird Expert, Biologist
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 9347
Experience: Have owned and/or raised parakeets, finches, cockatiels, and poultry over a period of thirty years.
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