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She has two eggs, she has no mate, can these possibly hatch?

She has laid two...

She has laid two eggs, she has no mate, can these possibly hatch ? she sits on them faithfully, these are eggs #'s 3&4 this winter the first two broke

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The Expert will know how to help the bird. What is the bird's name and age?

My Sun Conure has laid 4 eggs this winter, the first to fell and broke the current 2 are a couple of weeks old and she sits on them faithfully and tends them constantly, She has no mate, can these possibly hatch???

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about the bird?

Not at this time, other than for two years she was supposed to be a Male!

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Answered in 6 minutes by:
1/21/2018
Dr. B.
Dr. B., Bird Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 22,821
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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Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today.

First, in regards ***** ***** question, if she has no mate the eggs won't be fertile and cannot hatch. So, that is not possible even if she tries to be a diligent mother.

Now as I am sure you can appreciate this isn't something we'd want to encourage here since egg laying takes a toll on the body and can carry risk (ie binding, negative effects on her body's calcium levels, etc). Therefore, we should take some steps here to deter future egg laying.

Now for the moment, we'll need to leave her with the eggs at this stage if she is sitting on them. Taking them away too soon can stimulate further laying where letting her try to incubate them will usually "turn off" the ovaries and stop egg production. Alternatively, they can be replaces with fake (ie wooden) eggs if there is any reason she cannot keep these.

Otherwise, to discourage her body from thinking about laying the first step we can try is to cut 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 the 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.

As well, you can also make dramatic changes to the 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. As well, you can 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, I do want to note that sometimes we see females lay eggs without males because of the handling they receive from their owners. Specifically, we can see over vigorous petting of the bird's back, stomach or under the wings as this can stimulate ovarian production and potentially lead to more eggs. So, if anyone has been petting her excessively, they could be stimulating her to lay. So, if that is an issue you here, then do keep that in mind. And if you use all of these but still see her laying dud eggs, then we'd want her evaluated by her vet as some birds will need hormone therapy. Your vet will be able to advise you if it comes to that.

Finally, as I noted, since non-fertile eggs do not have a purpose other then to take a toll on her body, we do need to make sure it that she is being well supplemented and supported during this lay. This means keeping her on a high quality feed but also making sure she has adequate calcium supplementation (since this is so key for them and can potentially be depleted by her egg laying.)

So do try the above to retrain her brain to think it is winter and thus no time for egg laying. Also do consider the above steps to halting her laying and support to keep her calcium and nutrition levels from wavering. And just in case you do need an avian vet and do not have one already, you can check where you can find one at near you at AAV (http://www.aav.org/search/), Avian web(http://www.beautyofbirds.com/recommendedvets.htm) or Birdsnway(http://www.birdsnways.com/birds/vets.htm).

Kind regards,

Dr. B.

******************************************************************************

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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Bird Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 22,821
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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