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Old 01-23-2019, 05:03 AM
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African greys mating but no eggs

I have been trying to get my CAG pairs to breed successfully for the past 6 years. I have done my homework on how to acquire birds, set up cages, diet, environment(privacy) etc.. and set them up. I have followed the initial how to's from Mrs. Jean Pattison's blogs especially to get the pairs select their mates naturally from a flight. Cage size is 10x4X8 ft(L,B,H) and now 2 of my pairs are mating successfully for the past 40days(ever since I noted them mating) mostly early in the morning and in the evening. I see them copulating for around 10 mins continuously through surveillance cams. But no eggs so far.
I have read blogs only stating of mating and seeing eggs within 15 days to 25 days appart but no incidents of mating and no eggs. I am pretty sure the birds are healthy, active and flying well(The cage is fairly large for them to fly around). Has anyone here faced issues like this. Mating but no eggs. What do you think might be the reason ? I thought the female is not mature enough for eggs. But would the female allow the male to mount on if she is not mature and I am pretty sure that one of the pair is atleast 6 years old(ever since I had them).
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Old 01-23-2019, 05:30 AM
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Re: African greys mating but no eggs

Okay- I will start with the silly questions first: did you have you 'pairs' DNA-sexed?
Even a visual is not always enough, appearences can be deceiving.

Not every successfull mating will produce an egg (as you have found), they are young birds and just starting out.
(Or you have been had and they are past the production days.)

They are cute little cages, if I had the chance I would give them more, but its better than the miserable 3x3x3 cages that are still used to breed greys like they were factory-chickens.

You could take the female to the CAV for a bloodpannel on active and inactive calcium-levels. That will tell them if the bird is actually 'ready to go and produce eggs'.

Just how old are your birds?
If you want to breed (amateur or professional level) you will need detailed records, especially now they are all CITES-birds and they will need a legband/ chip aka transponder etc.etc. or you are not allowed to sell them ( present and possible future birds).
Are you registered already?
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Old 01-23-2019, 08:56 PM
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Re: African greys mating but no eggs

There are a million reasons that you're not yet getting eggs, but the main one is probably just that they are new breeding pairs...Some breeding-pairs of birds mate for YEARS without producing any eggs, and even if the female does lay eggs they typically aren't going to be fertile for at least months and months, usually years...That's why you always see breeding-pairs advertised for sale as "Proven", which means that they have laid fertile eggs that have actually hatched. So just because a pair of birds is mating does not mean that they will EVER produce eggs or produce fertile eggs, and they usually don't "get the hang of it", especially in larger species of parrots, for a long, long time...So even if they do lay eggs in the next few months I wouldn't expect them to be fertile or viable eggs...40 days is no time at all to have them mating. I know CAG, Cockatoo, Macaw, and Amazon breeders who have owned breeding-pairs that have been mating for 2 years daily and have yet to get a fertile egg...It's just how it works with birds, they aren't at all like breeding any other type of animal, like dogs or cats where they mate once and you get a litter of 10 puppies...just not how they work.

***That all being said, the first thing you ALWAYS need to do is take all females to a Certified Avian Vet, tell them that you are wanting to breed them, and get full blood-work done to see if they are even healthy enough to breed and whether or not their sex-hormones are even at a point where they could even produce follicles, let alone eggs...Without knowing their ages you may not even have CAG's that are able to reproduce at all. So i highlly suggest you take your females to a CAV for full work-ups first to see what you've got, and whether they can even breed.

And I'll repeat Christa's question...Have you had them DNA-tested to see if your pairs are even male/female? Because same-sex pairs of parrots mate all the time too if they are closely-bonded...But honestly, I think your issue is that you've only had them mating for 40 days...In all truthfulness, if you wrote this same post but instead of 40 days you had said "2 years", then I would think there is a health issue, but before at least a year, it's most-likely just that it's too soon.
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Old 01-23-2019, 09:04 PM
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Re: African greys mating but no eggs

Quote: Originally Posted by EllenD View Post
There are a million reasons that you're not yet getting eggs, but the main one is probably just that they are new breeding pairs...Some breeding-pairs of birds mate for YEARS without producing any eggs, and even if the female does lay eggs they typically aren't going to be fertile for at least months and months, usually years...That's why you always see breeding-pairs advertised for sale as "Proven", which means that they have laid fertile eggs that have actually hatched. So just because a pair of birds is mating does not mean that they will EVER produce eggs or produce fertile eggs, and they usually don't "get the hang of it", especially in larger species of parrots, for a long, long time...So even if they do lay eggs in the next few months I wouldn't expect them to be fertile or viable eggs...40 days is no time at all to have them mating. I know CAG, Cockatoo, Macaw, and Amazon breeders who have owned breeding-pairs that have been mating for 2 years daily and have yet to get a fertile egg...It's just how it works with birds, they aren't at all like breeding any other type of animal, like dogs or cats where they mate once and you get a litter of 10 puppies...just not how they work.

***That all being said, the first thing you ALWAYS need to do is take all females to a Certified Avian Vet, tell them that you are wanting to breed them, and get full blood-work done to see if they are even healthy enough to breed and whether or not their sex-hormones are even at a point where they could even produce follicles, let alone eggs...Without knowing their ages you may not even have CAG's that are able to reproduce at all. So i highlly suggest you take your females to a CAV for full work-ups first to see what you've got, and whether they can even breed.

And I'll repeat Christa's question...Have you had them DNA-tested to see if your pairs are even male/female? Because same-sex pairs of parrots mate all the time too if they are closely-bonded...But honestly, I think your issue is that you've only had them mating for 40 days...In all truthfulness, if you wrote this same post but instead of 40 days you had said "2 years", then I would think there is a health issue, but before at least a year, it's most-likely just that it's too soon.
Yep pretty much, it can take more then a year even before they start to produce eggs on a new breeding pair.

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Old 01-24-2019, 12:26 AM
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Re: African greys mating but no eggs

Thanks for helping me figure it out. But I would not consider my cage dimensions(10 x 4 x 8) as "cute small" for a pair. Those are definitely on the fairly large enough to fly around and play especially with diagonal perch placements. I bet not even pro breeders there in the west have given them more space than that(read Jean Patisson or Tony silva's blogs) even if larger space is always better nobody can provide them enough space as long as they are in a cage. I don't believe the cage dimensions is small enough for them to breed as there are birds giving 3 clutches a year in a 4x3x4 dimension cages world wide.
Yes they are DNA sexed. But they may be young and may be figuring it out.
I would be interested to know has any one faced issues like mating yet not breed CAG's
If they mate, they have accepted the mate, they believe environment is suitable for producing offsprings, privacy is adequate etc... So yes they may be young or the female at least must be.

Last edited by leninmon; 01-24-2019 at 12:28 AM.
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Old 01-24-2019, 12:19 PM
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Re: African greys mating but no eggs

Quote: Originally Posted by leninmon View Post
Thanks for helping me figure it out. But I would not consider my cage dimensions(10 x 4 x 8) as "cute small" for a pair. Those are definitely on the fairly large enough to fly around and play especially with diagonal perch placements. I bet not even pro breeders there in the west have given them more space than that(read Jean Patisson or Tony silva's blogs) even if larger space is always better nobody can provide them enough space as long as they are in a cage. I don't believe the cage dimensions is small enough for them to breed as there are birds giving 3 clutches a year in a 4x3x4 dimension cages world wide.
Yes they are DNA sexed. But they may be young and may be figuring it out.
I would be interested to know has any one faced issues like mating yet not breed CAG's
If they mate, they have accepted the mate, they believe environment is suitable for producing offsprings, privacy is adequate etc... So yes they may be young or the female at least must be.

What you're experiencing isn't unique to CAG's, but to parrots in-general, specifically Congo African Grays, the larger species of Cockatoos, and the full-size Macaws. This is a normal, regular occurrence, and there are always people asking this question after they have a pair of birds that have bonded and started mating. Just "mating" has no bearing on successfully producing fertile eggs, and even laying fertile eggs doesn't mean viable chicks. And no, just because they are mating does not mean that they have "deemed the surroundings/environment good to breed chicks in". Remember, same-sex parrots that bond-closely with one another "mate" all the time, every day, and obviously they are not mating to produce offspring. They are mating because they have bonded-closely with one another and they are hormonal. That's it. So that's what you've got, you've got two pairs of bonded-CAG's of the opposite sex who are mating.

That all being said, after only 40-days it's impossible for anyone to be able to make any type of meaningful prediction to you about whether or not they are going to be successful breeding-pairs for you. I'll reiterate this to you again, as did ParrotGenie above: Most bonded-pairs of large parrot species who start mating typically take at least a year before they even produce a fertile clutch of eggs, let alone a "viable" clutch of fertile eggs. It's not so much that they are "too young", that's not the right way of thinking about this...At the point of your CAG's being far past puberty (if they are in-fact 6 years-old or older, specifically the females), then their age is fine...You can have a closely-bonded pair of CAG's or Cockatoo's that are both at their prime-age for breeding, and that have started mating, and it still typically takes a year or more for fertile eggs to be produced...And usually the first few breeding-seasons where they produce fertile eggs don't produce viable fertile eggs. So it's not so much their age as it is the amount of time they've been together, combined with many other factors that you're not taking into consideration at all that we've already mentioned...

The other factors that effect whether or not a bonded-pair of CAG's produces fertile eggs are their regular, daily diets, their overall environment including whether or not they have an enriching environment...It's not all about the size of their cage, it's whether or not you're providing them with things to do so they're not bored to tears all day long, everyday...CAG's in the wild spend 8-10 hours every single day foraging for their food. This keeps their brains stimulated, their bodies stimulated, etc. They have the intelligence of a 4 year-old human child, and if they are bored to tears and have nothing to do, they will often continually mate out of boredom...And if they are mating out of boredom, the results are typically not fertile eggs.

Also, you must take their overall physical-health into consideration, you haven't had any routine blood-work done to test their overall health as well as their levels of sex-hormones, which is another factor...And their sex-hormones typically will be very low if they are bored to tears. It's a vicious circle.

Overall, you've just got a good amount of time to wait before you're going to see any fertile eggs. I would say the average with most bonded-pairs of CAG's, Umbrella and Moluccan Cockatoos, etc. is typically about a year or so after they start mating. And that's assuming that they are both physically healthy, their sex-hormones are at normal levels of production, their reproductive systems are normal and functioning, and you start providing the with lots of "Captive Foraging" activities, things to chew on, shred, puzzles to do, etc. A common mistake a lot of new parrot breeders make is since their breeding-pairs are not "pets", but rather just baby-producers, they don't provide them with any brain-stimulation at all, and this in-turn has a very negative effect on their overall health and stimulation. Mating out of boredom is never productive...So that's something that I would work-on, because the sooner they are happy, stimulated, have a job to do, things to occupy their brains and their bodies, the sooner they will be more productive all the way around, because their overall health is better...

BUT, in-general, you're just going to have to be patient...If you get them all wellness-exams that include routine blood-work and everything is physically good with all of them, especially the females, then I wouldn't get excited until at least a year has gone by without any fertile eggs...At that point then you need to reassess and consider other issues that might be at play, but after only 40 days of them mating, you're just not even close...
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Old 01-25-2019, 01:29 AM
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Re: African greys mating but no eggs

I agree with your points mentioning the time I have given to reach a conclusion is way too low and the birds may need more time. My CAG pairs are all in the same 10X4X8 cage dimensions and with multiple perches and visual barriers during the breeding season. Once off season(irrespective of if any pairs breed or not), the visual separation doors are opened and they will have a much larger 24x5x8 flight section and their own 5X4X8 portion for them to retreat when they need a bit more isolation. I achieve this by sliding doors opening to half of the length of the cage. The other half will be separated and nestbox doors closed.

Something like this:
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The diet include seed mix + sprouts/pellets(alternatively). I would be feeding them 20% pellet diet over all to avoid guess supplementation of vit and min. I dont feed them fruits as my cage design may cause some of the wet leftovers unseen and I don't want the birds try moldy wet fruit leftovers. Some breeders prefer an all wet diet like fresh veg and fruits but Its all another matter to debate. I prefer dry feed or feed with below 50% moisture due to many reason including more moisture feed will get rancid faster than the dry counterparts.

Thanks to all who read my post and answered.
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Old 01-25-2019, 08:55 AM
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Re: African greys mating but no eggs

Out of curiosity, and this isn't meant as being sarcastic but a real question...These CAG's are wild birds that were poached, correct? How in the world are they eating pellets then? I would think that successfully duplicating their diet in the wild would be the way to go in this situation, just the same way you should try to duplicate their environment in the wild, being as they are wild birds...I just can't see them eating any pellets at all...
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Old 01-26-2019, 10:24 PM
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Re: African greys mating but no eggs

Quote: Originally Posted by EllenD View Post
Out of curiosity, and this isn't meant as being sarcastic but a real question...These CAG's are wild birds that were poached, correct? How in the world are they eating pellets then? I would think that successfully duplicating their diet in the wild would be the way to go in this situation, just the same way you should try to duplicate their environment in the wild, being as they are wild birds...I just can't see them eating any pellets at all...
It doesn't matter if a bird is wild or captive breed they eat what we provide. Most breeders of CAG have at least a few pairs of wild caught birds world wide. Persistence in feeding a routine will let them know what they get to eat a day.
I am a strong advocate on pellet based diets irrespective of brand. I would feed them alternative food like sprouted legumes and seeds but I am counting on pellets for their nutritional coverage over all like omega 3 6 vitms minerals etc

We could suppliment using exclusive formulas but the dosage will be another headache. Each day when we eye guess and feed supplement is not a better way than already strict ratio supplimented pellet diets
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Old 01-27-2019, 09:52 AM
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Re: African greys mating but no eggs

Quote: Originally Posted by leninmon View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by EllenD View Post
Out of curiosity, and this isn't meant as being sarcastic but a real question...These CAG's are wild birds that were poached, correct? How in the world are they eating pellets then? I would think that successfully duplicating their diet in the wild would be the way to go in this situation, just the same way you should try to duplicate their environment in the wild, being as they are wild birds...I just can't see them eating any pellets at all...
It doesn't matter if a bird is wild or captive breed they eat what we provide. Most breeders of CAG have at least a few pairs of wild caught birds world wide. Persistence in feeding a routine will let them know what they get to eat a day.
I am a strong advocate on pellet based diets irrespective of brand. I would feed them alternative food like sprouted legumes and seeds but I am counting on pellets for their nutritional coverage over all like omega 3 6 vitms minerals etc

We could suppliment using exclusive formulas but the dosage will be another headache. Each day when we eye guess and feed supplement is not a better way than already strict ratio supplimented pellet diets

Ha Ha, "they eat what we provide"...I wish that was true with pet birds...The difference is that you put pellets in their bowl and if they don't eat it they starve to death...I'm assuming anyway, as most pet parrot owners won't allow their birds to not eat for a day...And if they were weaned onto seeds, they surely don't eat pellets right away...And that's why I asked you this question, because "pellets" don't exist in nature, so I wouldn't think that they would even recognize them as food...
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