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Old 03-25-2019, 12:49 PM
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post-egg-laying behavior 末 not returning to tent

Hi, all.

My lovebird laid four eggs (non-fertile; she's alone) over a week period, and during that time she stuffed her little 'tent' with paper strips that she'd placed into her 'hind' feathers and transported to her home. About three weeks later, after she'd seemingly stopped producing eggs, I removed everything from her tent, since she had stopped eating and coming outside when her cage was open.

After I cleaned out her tent, I kept her away from paper. She hasn't returned to her tent. She is eating and is more lively, but she spends the night huddled outside her tent in one corner of her cage. The first or second night out in the corner, she laid another egg, which I removed. And lately I'm finding a rather large collection of small feathers (breast feathers??) below the corner where she spends the night; she's obviously picking at them. This morning I gave her some paper, but after placing three strips in her feathers, she didn't fly back to her tent and showed no interest in paper. (That's VERY unusual for her.)

I have a slew of questions:
Was it a mistake to remove her original eggs and "bedding" in one fell swoop?
Was the timing of my removing her eggs (about 3 weeks after her fourth egg) correct?
In the future, how long should I wait, and how should I go about getting rid of her eggs? Would it have been better to get rid of her eggs and *keep* her paper-strip bedding?

Right now, how can I remedy this situation? Return the eggs and insert more stripped paper into her tent? Insert paper but not the eggs? Buy her a new tent?

Any advice would be hugely helpful. Thanks!
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Old 03-25-2019, 01:29 PM
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Re: post-egg-laying behavior 末 not returning to tent

Hi there and thanks for reaching out about your lovebird.

Laying eggs can be dangerous for female parrots. Egg binding, increased aggression, depleting of minerals, things like that. The only time they should be encouraged to lay eggs is with the purpose of breeding. Breeders normally prepare their birds for the egg laying process by feeding them more nutritious food and variety including more calcium. Seeing as how you aren't breeding her, you should be discouraging the egg laing as much as possible as it can deplete their systems and laying too many eggs can kill them.

The tent should be removed and no other tent should be purchased or put into her cage. These simulate nests and encourages her to lay. Lovebirds are perfectly able to sleep on perches like other parrots.

This also means no more paper. Do not give her anything to shred that can be used as a bedding. You can offer her chewable toys that can be torn up but not necessarily used as bedding, like wood.

It was right of you to remove the eggs and bedding after 3 weeks, I saw no issues with what you did there except that you left the nest, which may have confused her. Whenever the female loses interest normally that's when people remove eggs, and female commonly use any happy hut, tent or nesting toy to lay eggs.
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Last edited by itzjbean; 03-25-2019 at 01:32 PM.
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Old 03-25-2019, 01:32 PM
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Re: post-egg-laying behavior 末 not returning to tent

Good morning. Someone much more experienced than I am will come by soon and say more on this topic. In the meantime, ideally you want her to stop laying eggs. It痴 hard on her little body. Some things that will help:

Remove the tent and anything else cozy that she could think of as a nest.

Make certain she gets 12-14 hours of uninterrupted darkness and quiet.

Don稚 per her anywhere except her head-everything else is 菟rivate parts for them.

Make sure there痴 a cuttlebone in her cage so she痴 getting plenty of calcium to make up for what she痴 losing/lost by making eggs.

Some people recommend restricting food-don稚 starve her but make it less abundant so she doesn稚 think this is an excellent, safe time to have babies. I personally wouldn稚 do this without careful guidance from someone experienced.

Move her cage from one location to another if that痴 feasible-again, makes her feel a tiny bit less 都afe and cozy about having babies.

Keep a close eye to see that she doesn稚 get egg bound. I don稚 know the symptoms so either google it or someone more experienced will comment.

If she won稚 stop laying, take her to you certified avian vet (CAV) and get their advice. They may give her a hormone shot to stop it.

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Old 03-25-2019, 06:28 PM
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Re: odd behavior after eggs were removed from tent

Remove the tent. ANY dark spaces (clothing, furniture, pillows, blankets, piles of paper, under furniture, low ledges....huts etc....) will encourage nesting behavior and cause hormonal spikes. Parrots do not need special places to sleep...she can sleep on the perch of a covered cage, but there should be no access to shadowy daytime spaces or you will get stuck in this cycle forever. Also- pet your bird on the head only, make sure that she is getting 12-14 hours of uninterrupted/quiet sleep, some sunlight (but not too much) and avoid mushy foods (at least during this hormonal stretch). Mushy= regurgitation=sex/babies (not always, but often). Also, shredding toys (which may be okay some of the time) are not a good idea during hormonal periods like this...I just had to take away a sea-grass foraging wall from my U2, as she was shredding it and acting all "broody". It was casting a shadow over her cage, but now that I have moved it to the window, she is way less fixated and her behavior has returned to normal.

Did you wait for her to lose interest before removing the eggs? If not, she will likely lay more. How long have they been out?

Cuddle huts/tents are VERY dangerous for reasons other than hormones as well, so please consider taking it out.

Also, egg-binding is a real hazard, so make sure you Google it. Also, due to the stress of egg-laying and the nutrient drain, make sure she has a cuttle-bone and access to green vegetables. If she is egg-bound that can be deadly...Birds usually lay more than one egg per clutch -over a 24 hour period- so consider taking her to the vet for an x-ray or at least palpitation...she could have an egg stuck--be very vigilant.

Sometimes birds will pluck an area of their abdomen when hormonal---it's called a brood patch and it facilitates faster heat transfer from skin to eggs.

Last edited by noodles123; 03-25-2019 at 07:13 PM.
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