Egg Laying Females without Mates

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Egg Laying Females without Mates
Egg Laying Females without Mates

My Bird keeps laying eggs without a mate.

Is that normal?

Yes, laying eggs without a mate does happen. Some birds such as Love Birds, Budgies, and Cockatiels, in particular may lay eggs several times a year. Usually it's not a serious issue for them, but there are a few things you can try that might help break the hormonal breeding cycle. Laying too many eggs can deplete calcium and can become a health issue for some birds. Some of the triggers for breeding include longer days, warmer days, abundance of food, and nesting areas as determined by your bird. So in attempting to break the cycle, try putting your bird to bed very early so the days are short for her. That means covering her cage "completely" with a dark cover and making sure her cage is located in a very quite room for sleeping. You may have to shorten her days for several weeks to break the cycle. If she has a favorite toy she feeds, or a sleeping hut or bed, she thinks of as "nesty" spot, or even a favorite food dish she likes to sit in, it would be a good idea to remove these. In fact you should really consider removing all of her current bird toys and replacing them with different ones as well as moving her perches around and even food dishes. You are then helping to distract her from the breeding cycle. Provide lots of interactive busy foraging type toys, and it may also be helpful to move her cage from one side of the room to the other for a new non-breeding environment. If your bird is sweet and cuddly, don't cuddle for a while. Snuggling, petting, and such, can also encourage breeding hormones. So stick to little feather scratches around the cheeks and such and stay away from any snuggles that she might incorrectly interpret as love is in the air. If she tries to feed you, carefully replace her in the cage until she is distracted. Most birds have an internal number of eggs they will lay and if you keep removing the eggs as soon as she lays them, she may keep laying in an attempt to reach her number. Sometimes leaving the eggs for her to sit on or roll around, will allow her to reach the number she thinks she needs, and her laying may stop. Letting her sit on them for a week or two is fine, and often the bird will loose interest after a while and desert her eggs which is the perfect time to then remove them. Smaller birds lay their eggs every day or every other day until their clutch is complete. So if your bird has not laid an egg in several days, you can then guess her egg quota, and just let her sit a while. Make sure she is getting all the calcium she needs during this time. Providing cuttlebone, a calcium supplement, or calcium enriched bird pellets will usually provide the calcium she will need. If at any time however, she lays a soft shelled egg, she will need to see her veterinarian as soon as possible. Soft shelled eggs can be a sign of a serious calcium deficiency or other health issue not allowing her to absorb calcium in her diet. Egg binding is another serious medical condition and requires veterinarian care quickly. Egg binding is when the bird is unable to pass an egg because of it's size, her health, or other issue, and she will need assistance of a specialist to help her pass the egg. Soft shelled eggs that do not pass or rupture inside the bird, or egg binding, can lead to infection or internal organ damage, and even death. If your bird looks like she is straining, or is sitting all puffed up and not eating and moving around, call your vet for assistance. Better to be safe than sorry. I hope this helps give you some ideas on how to safely help a bird that is laying eggs without a mate.

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