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Ask August Abbott, CAS Your Own Question
August Abbott, CAS
August Abbott, CAS, Certified Avian Specialist
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 7611
Experience:  Cert. Avian Specialist; Int. Assoc.Animal Behavior Consult; Pet Ind. Joint Advisory Council; author
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hi i have a female love bird that lays eggs after eggs, no

Customer Question

hi i have a female love bird that lays eggs after eggs, no male it must be hard on her and her system but she keeps laying on 2-4 eggs and a local bird shop said take the eggs and throw them out, w/ in a week or two she lays more??? help
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Bird
Expert:  August Abbott, CAS replied 7 years ago.

You are right to be concerned.


Egg laying is something that every female bird can do without benefit of male birds. Of course eggs laid without a male to mate with are not fertile and will not hatch. Laying, in birds other than chickens and other food source poultry, is not healthy and shouldn’t be ignored. All steps you can take to stop this behavior should be taken and right away.




When a bird lays she’s got a very increased risk for egg binding or Dystocia, both potentially life threatening situations that would require immediate veterinary intervention. Even if it’s in the middle of the night on a weekend or holiday.




You have to have a vet who knows you and your bird, ready to open their office for this emergency; or have an urgent care clinic you know about and know how to get to.


Whether the bird is laying or not, make sure you provide fresh cuttlebone to females at all times to help maintain calcium. Other good sources of calcium are in fresh foods such as kale, broccoli, chard tops, spinach and collard greens.


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By leaving laid eggs with them it should discourage laying more for a while.


If you notice any egg cracked or broken, however, it must be removed since this is a breeding ground for bacteria and other potential infectious problems. Remember, eggs are the number one modality to grow viruses in development of vaccines; they grow other things as well!


Putting in some fake eggs, often available at craft’s stores, is an idea too. Just be sure to use plain wooden types or enamel, plastic - a type that has nothing dangerous for a bird to possibly gnaw on.


There are online sources that provide fake eggs for the species. One example is right here http://theeggshop.com


You might want to increase her nighttime hours to 13 or even 14 sleep instead of 12+12.

 

 


Another option is to move things around inside the cage. Change out her toys, switch perches, rearrange feeding and water cups - make it look 'new' to her. Even moving the actual location a little bit can help.

 

 


Other precautions are to not pet her under her wings or touch consistently from the mid-back down (this can trigger egg laying).

 

 


No feeding her from your mouth, which is just a good idea anyway since we have far too much bacteria there to be safe for a bird.

 

 


No feeding soft foods from your fingers which may be perceived as regurgitation, another mating behavior.

 

 


If egg laying continues or becomes chronic, you must consult with an avian vet or other vet who is well experienced with birds. Chances of severe health complications exist in over-layers.


For more about nutrition, behavior modification and overall problem solving


http://www.4animalcare.org/birds


You are obviously very involved, caring and smart --- keep up the good work!



Customer: replied 7 years ago.
will she eventually quit laying eggs? or what do i have to do to get her to quit waisting her time and health? first i tried to take them out asap, so she wouldn't recognizing them being gone, and then tried taking them out after the time they may have been hatched??? she is nicer to me when she doesn't have to protect or see, or freedom
Expert:  August Abbott, CAS replied 7 years ago.

Hopefully, yes she'll stop. By leaving them in with her, or providing fake eggs, her motivation to lay is reduced. When we remove the eggs, the birds reproductive system is just triggered to replace them until they have the clutch they feel they need.

Once she abandons them herself, it's a more natural progression of events and if you undertake the other changes - it will, in many cases, end the laying.

Most important is the reduction of the daylight hours by providing regularly scheduled sleep hours. Since she's a prolific layer I'd establish 14 hours right away. A separate sleep cage will also give her less inclination to lay because she's not in one place consistently enough to establish a "nest".

The changes inside the cage at regular intervals (every week or two to begin with) also does this, but it's not as impacting as having to leave her day territory to go to a sleep cage.


You can see arrangements and options here 4Animalcare


I know you want her affection and attention right now, but let her abandon the eggs in her own time this time. It's far better to invest a little time now for a lot of quality time later, right?


You should also check the link above for options to feed her higher calcium rich foods to get her through this as well.

I know you can do it. It sounds like you're very determined