Nanday Conure Forum

Message #6878. This is a followup to #6877.

Name:Kellie
Date:Saturday March 15, 2008 12:25:33 pm MDT
Subject:Re: HELP!! my bird is laying eggs, WHY???
Message:Hi Regina,

First off, take a deep breath! We'll help you out.

Secondly, it's great that you're offering Ellie a new, better life. It sounds like she's receiving better care with you. As a result, Ellie now feels "safer" due to the environmental change. In the wild, only the birds in the best health and the with the best available resources will survive and therefore mate. This is nature's way of ensuring only 'the fit survive'.

Anyway, a bit off track. Here's a few things you should do now:

--Now that she's in egg laying mode, it's quite likely more are on the way. You need to supplement her diet with calcium. Parrot hens will utilise skeletal calcium stores to form egg shells if not enough calcium is present in dietary form. Grit is a bad way to supplement calcium. In parrots, it is a cause of crop impaction. A better way to get calcium in her diet is to offer supplements sprinkled over food or dissolved in water. (You can buy them online, here's a link to a very good one: http://www.avitec.com/Cal-D-Solve-Calcium-Magnesium-Supplement-p/cds.h tm )
--Next, you need to ensure that you DO NOT take her egg from her. However, new mother hens are sometimes inexperienced and may break eggs. It's a good idea to buy replacements because they can smell, and broken eggs (as well as taken ones!) will stimulate her to lay more eggs. Apparently, the following link has eggs for sale that are very 'life-like': http://www.redbirdproducts.com/cagesaccessories.htm . Scroll down to "Artificial Conure/Cockatiel eggs $0.75/ea." You must not remove the eggs until she is disinterested in them, which is somewhere in the range of 4-6 weeks, ive or take.
--Watch carefully for signs of distress. It's good that you are very observant of her behaviours, because this could prove vital. Not terribly common, but certainly possible, is egg binding. Eggs should pass about 1-3 days apart, and there could be up to six. If you suspect she is in distress and is not passing an egg within this time, egg binding could be the cause, and I don't want to alarm you, but it can be lethal. It is an emergency and she'll need to go to the vet ASAP. Again, I don't mean to alarm you, but you should know this. Egg binding can cause haemorrhaging, etc., which is why this is so serious.
--Ensure she's eating. You may need to move food and water dishes closer to her, or feed her yourself. She may go many hours without food, just to incubate the egg(s).

Off the top of my head, that's all I can think of, for now. In the future, you can prevent her from being stimulated to lay eggs by ensuring she receives 10-12 hours every night of undisturbed sleep, make sure that when she's acting "funny", that you disturb her environment enough to get her mind (and her hormones) off of egg laying (changing the configuration of cage contents, changing where the cage is in a given room, etc.), ensuring she has no 'special' toys that she regurgitates to or 'practices' with (a sexually-stimulated state in parrots has been recently shown to be detrimental to their health in terms of excess physiological resources going towards hormone synthesis, etc.), limit the feeding of warm and/or mushy foods, and the list goes on. You may want to invest in a good starter's book on parrots, such as:
--Guide To A Well-Behaved Parrot - Mattie Sue Athan
--Companion Parrot Handbook - Sally Blanchard
--A Guide to Pet & Companion Birds - Ray Dorge & Gail Sibley

There's many others, but those are some really good titles. Anyway, come back again if you have more questions and please don't be afraid to ask anything.

Good luck,
Kellie

regina wrote:
> I recently got my ex- best friends nanday, she was neglected for a
> while, and after trying for 2 years I finally got Ellie. She was not
> used to being handled alot and was ALWAYS around people fighting and
> screaming. Ive had her now since Thanksgiving and she is doing GREAT!
> So i thought. All week she has been acting strange, Really quiet
> staying on the bottom of her cage. not letting me clean her cage an
> so on. This morning I found her laying on the bottom of her cage, I
> thought she was dead, and when she got up there was an EGG!! I know I
> sound REALLY stupid but I don't know anything about birds, only how to
> love her. In the 5yrs Ive known Ellie I've never heard of or seen her
> do this. Is something wrong with her? Is this normal and something
> she will do now because of a stress free environment? PLEASE HELP ME
> HELP HER. I'M REALLY WORRIED!!

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