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Old 12-12-2018, 01:45 PM
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Egg laying - Have I exhausted my options?

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My cockatiel, Nirah, has been broody ever since she became sexually mature about a year or so ago. She absolutely would not stop and it became clear that this just wasn't a good life to live for her.

I tried the conventional options of daylight hour changes, changes to food, rearranging her cage, etc. Those had virtually no effect in the slightest. I eventually tried to give her lupron shots, which prolonged it for about a week or two, but then she started to lay again. About a month ago (beginning of November) she got a suprelorin implant. It worked well for a while, but now she's starting to squat down and do her squeaky toy impressions again. Her vent isn't swollen yet, but I know it's just a matter of time.

I'm really frustrated and sad, too. I know egg laying is normal behavior to some degree, but I can't imagine that it's a good life for her to sit in a corner for more than half the year and be so hormonal and secluded that you practically just "exist", but not really live. Nevermind that I, too, would like my bird to be more of a companion again.

Are there any other options that I could try? Does anyone else have experiences with a bird that just won't stop laying, no matter what?

I know that there are still the options of "spaying" her or possibly giving her away to someone that could breed her and allow her to go through a full cycle, but neither of those options are great. One of them could kill her and the other would break my heart - and hers, too, I'd imagine, since she's so close to me.

I'm at my wit's end, though... I really just want to do what's best for her in the end

Last edited by Cerusia; 12-12-2018 at 08:27 PM.
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Old 12-12-2018, 03:24 PM
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Re: Egg laying - Have I exhausted my options?

I can suggest , change everything! Change were the cage is, change everything inside the cage, mix it up. If you don't have a scale get one, keep track if weight. That way you can decrease the diet slightly. If she is not flighted let her feathers grow out and get her flying. Make her work fir her food, with training, or foraging, or even setting her up with different play stations that have a little food at each one. I have read that this hormonal behavior is a substitution for lack of other stimulation in their life. That's what I would try ..
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Old 12-12-2018, 04:15 PM
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Re: Egg laying - Have I exhausted my options?

Have you ever tried boiling the eggs then putting them back for her to sit on or better yet, replacing them with dummy eggs? Sometimes this does wonders for females who chronically lay.
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Old 12-12-2018, 05:36 PM
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Re: Egg laying - Have I exhausted my options?

Quote: Originally Posted by Laurasea View Post
I can suggest , change everything! Change were the cage is, change everything inside the cage, mix it up. If you don't have a scale get one, keep track if weight. That way you can decrease the diet slightly. If she is not flighted let her feathers grow out and get her flying. Make her work fir her food, with training, or foraging, or even setting her up with different play stations that have a little food at each one. I have read that this hormonal behavior is a substitution for lack of other stimulation in their life. That's what I would try ..
I can definitely try the weight / diet suggestion. She's flighted, and I do keep her flying pretty much every day. She's also trained for tricks and then getting the more delicious food as a reward.

In that context, I actually found out that a lot of the time she gets broody during the training sessions, too. I'm not sure if she takes me giving her a reward for the trick she does as feeding her as a 'partner'?

Quote: Originally Posted by Kiwibird View Post
Have you ever tried boiling the eggs then putting them back for her to sit on or better yet, replacing them with dummy eggs? Sometimes this does wonders for females who chronically lay.
I tried that! I didn't boil them, but I got her dummy eggs that she does accept. Unfortunately, even if I replace them and flood her with them, she still keeps laying until she thinks she laid enough. The last time she laid she had 11 eggs under her butt in total (though she only laid about 5 of those).
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Old 01-08-2019, 04:11 PM
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Re: Egg laying - Have I exhausted my options?

I am in the same boat for my cockatiel and came for some advice, as well.

My cockatiel is a serious egg layer. I had an appointment scheduled for her for a Lupron injection, and in the meantime, she laid 18 eggs in 3 weeks. She sat on the whole pile!

I hated the Lupron because it made her so moody and blue. She wasn't herself for long after.

Now, in January in New England, she has started again. She gets 10 hours of daylight, a good diet, no nest, no mate, no mirrors, etc. I can move her to a new house and she will be back to laying within the week. Nothing stops her.

I am considering a hysterectomy even though I am terrified of her not making it. I just don't know what kind of life it is being under the influence of hormonal injections all the time.

Has anyone been through this? Does the procedure impact their moods severely, as well?
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Old 01-08-2019, 04:23 PM
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Re: Egg laying - Have I exhausted my options?

Wow, there's a closely-related thread right next to this one. I'll provide a link to make sure you two read each other's stuff. What a serious issue. Good luck.

New Member, chronic egg laying help!
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Old 01-09-2019, 11:41 AM
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Re: Egg laying - Have I exhausted my options?

You said that the Deslorelin implant "worked for a while"...How long has it been since you had it replaced? What dosage is she on? You know that the implants are only good for a certain number of months, based on what dosage she's on, and you have to take her to get a new implant whenever that time period is up, right? And if a birds Deslorelin implant work for a certain amount of time but then wears-off before it's supposed to, that should be taken by your CAV as a sign that the dosage of the implant they gave her is too low for her, and they need to either remove the current implant if it's still within it's working time-period, or if it's past it's working time-period then they don't have to remove it, it will be absorbed by the body, and the CAV should go ahead and put in another Deslorelin implant, but of the next highest-dosage! This is very normal practice and something I've run-into many times, and all we do is give the bird a new implant of the next highest dosage. Hormone-therapy is just the same as any other type of drug therapy, it's all about finding the patient's "Stable-Dose". And the higher the dosage of a Deslorelin implant, the longer it's working time-period is. The main key is whether or not the very first implant a bird gets works AT ALL OR NOT. If it doesn't work to shut-down the bird's reproductive system at all, then it's not the right therapy for that particular bird. However, if it does initially work to shut-down the bird's reproductive-system but doesn't work for the total length of time it's supposed to, and the patient requires a new implant before they are supposed to get one, THEN THAT INDICATES THAT THE PATIENT NEEDS A HIGHER-DOSAGE IMPLANT.

Now if you just didn't take her back at the right time to have a new implant put in, then that's your answer obviously. They usually need to be replaced every 6 months, so the implant worked for about 3 months or about 6 months and then stopped working, it's likely that you made a mistake about how long it was supposed to last and just didn't take her back for her next implant on time. However, if that isn't the case and her reproductive system did start-up again before the implant was dead, then you simply need to take her back to your CAV and ask them to give her the next highest-dosage of implant. And then be sure to right down the date that you'll need to bring her back for the next implant, because they do wear-off quickly when then wear-off...

I've yet to see any bird's reproductive system over-come any of the Deslorelin/suprelorelin implants once the bird was on their own correct, stable dose...Lupron doesn't work well at all, that doesn't surprise me one bit, as none of the Depot injections work well in birds....But the "lorelin" implants work great once the stable dose if found...And there are also different types of implants too...but usually it isn't the type of implant, it's the dosage being high enough.

***Also, something you need to realize is that the first implant (or even the very first Depot/Lupron injection) doesn't often work for the full time it's supposed to because at the time your bird was given her first implant she had a ton of natural sex-hormones in her body systemically. And while the implants shut-down the reproductive system from making more sex-hormones, THEY CAN'T ELIMINATE THE AMOUNT OF SEX-HORMONES ALREADY IN THEIR SYSTEM!!!! So it's not uncommon for the first implant to "stop working" before it's supposed to!!!! IT'S EXTREMELY IMPORTANT THAT YOU GET YOUR BIRD HER SECOND IMPLANT BECAUSE BY THE THAT TIME SHE WON'T HAVE ANY SEX-HORMONES IN HER SYSTEM, AND THE SECOND IMPLANT WILL WORK TWICE AS LONG AS THE FIRST, AND SO ON, UNTIL SHE NEVER HAS ANY SEX-HORMONES IN HER SYSTEM AT ALL AGAIN (usually this does happen after the second implant, but not uncommon to wait til the third implant either"... So if your CAV didn't properly explain that concept to you, I don't blame you for giving-up after the first implant, and that sucks...But i'm telling you that I've not ever seen an implant fail to totally chemically-castrate a bird, it's just all about getting the bird's implants renewed on time, every time, and finding the correct dosage for your bird...

I highly suggest that you go back to your CAV, or another CAV that does Deslorelin implants, and start over from scratch. And this time remember that it's not unusual for the first implant to not work for the entire period it's supposed to, stick it out with her. and get her the second implant, and so on...It will work if you stick to the program and your CAV makes sure your bird is getting the correct dosage of implant.
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