Discouraging Breeding Behavior In Pet Birds

by Hilary S. Stern, DVM
General Information
In the wild, female parrots will not lay eggs unless they have a mate and a suitable nesting site. In captivity, however, some parrots will lay eggs or even have repeated clutches of eggs despite the absence of a mate. Egg production is stressful for birds; it depletes their nutritional stores, and predisposes them to malnutrition, osteoporosis, and life-threatening illnesses. In situations where birds are being intentionally bred, these risks are an inherent part of the breeding process. For pet birds that are not being bred, however, egg laying can pose serious health risks without the benefit of producing chicks.
Some birds have problems from the very first time they try to lay eggs. Other birds can lay for years before they run into difficulties. In either situation, however, reproductive problems can lead to egg-binding, oviductal prolapse, peritonitis, and death.
Unlike with cats and dogs, it is not a simple procedure to spay a bird. For many birds, the most effective way to stop egg laying is through environmental and behavioral changes. Some birds may also require medical intervention.
10 things you can do at home to stop your bird from laying eggs:
  1. Put your bird to bed early, by 5 or 6:00 p.m. 
  2. Keep your bird away from dark, enclosed spaces. 
  3. Keep your bird away from other birds to which she is bonded. 
  4. Discourage breeding behavior in your bird. 
  5. Remove your bird’s “love-toys”. 
  6. Rearrange the cage interior and change the cage location. 
  7. Give your bird optimal nutrition and provide full spectrum light. 
  8. Avoid removing the eggs which your bird has already laid. 
  9. Ask your veterinarian about hormone injections. 
  10. When in doubt, ask your avian veterinarian. 
For the full detailed list, visit [FOR THE BIRDS DMV]

1 comment:

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