Donavan is now officially Donna

BeatriceC

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And we found out because she laid an egg. It's not fertile, since she's our only lovebird, so that's good. I have no interest in raising baby birds.

But this leads me to my question. I really don't know anything about normal behavior for a hen that's laying eggs. She's acting somewhat different from her normal self, but I have no idea if this behavior is normal for egg laying or what I should keep an eye out for, in case of problems. For now I've left the egg where she laid it, but she has no interest in it, so I'm not sure when to take it out. Can y'all please give me a crash course on what I should expect?
 

SilverSage

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Good job leaving it there; don’t take it away and PLEASE don’t give her a nest box :)

She may want to sit, she may not. What’s her diet like? Calcium is CRUCIAL. They strip the calcium from their long bones for egg production; it’s important that her diet be high in calcium to prevent not just egg binding from soft eggs but also bone fractures.

Is she clipped? It’s better if she can fly. Her overall muscle tone will be much higher if she can fly than if she can’t which will help her safely pass eggs, which prevents the often deadly egg binding.

This is my article on hormonal behavior in general, a lot of it applies and some of it doesn’t but I’m particularly glad to hear she is your only lovebird; it’s probably best if you keep it that way :)

And congrats on finding out Donna’s gender :)


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BeatriceC

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Goofy (YNA), Oscar (Goffin 'too). Foster bird Betty (RLA). RIP Cookie, 1991-2016 ('tiel), Leo (Sengal), Charlotte (scarlet macaw). Grand-birds: Liam (budgie), Donovan (lovebird), RIP Angelo (budgie)
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She's not clipped. I let the little birds out to fly around the house several times a day. We put the big birds in the dining room with MrC and just let the little birds have the run of the house for 30-60 minutes at a time at least twice a day so they get exercise without having to worry about irritating the big birds.

The egg is in her food bowl, because that's the only thing in her cage that could possibly be used for egg laying. She's not interested in it at all, but she is hanging out in what looks like could be a brooding posture on the bottom corner of her cage more than she usually does. She seems otherwise fine; eating and drinking well, and generally active, she's just hanging out in that spot instead of her favorite perches when she's not playing and redecorating (she likes to move toys around). She is trying to pile bits of her toys in that corner, but they keep falling through the grate at the bottom. I have no plans on making it easier on her.

Her diet is primarily Roudybush pellets, with daily offerings of the chop and birdie bread that the big birds eat. She's hit or miss on eating it. She's got a cuttlebone in her cage as well. She's never been particularly interested in it. Do you know of a good supplement I can add to her food to make sure she's getting enough calcium?
 

GaleriaGila

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Sometimes, when I have no useful information to add, I just opt for sentiment.
[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45Dqwg7sgt8"]Ritchie Valens - Oh Donna lyrics on screen - YouTube[/ame]
 

SilverSage

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I just realized I never actually attached the article!

http://www.silversageaviaries.com/handlinghormones

You can give her cuttle bone and dark leafy greens. DO NOT add any vitamin drops/powders as they often do more harm than good.


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noodles123

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Jul 11, 2018
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Lol-I like this title.

Good advice so far. You will want to leave the eggs in there until she gets sick of them. As others have said, no nest boxes.

Other things to consider (if you haven't already):

Make sure that she doesn't have more eggs inside of her (that she can't expel)---lots of birds lay more than one in series and egg-binding can also be a very serious issue.

You should probably get her access to a cuttlebone or leafy greens because of the nutrient load that is spent when forming an egg (plus, this is one way to lessen the risk of egg binding if you know your bird may lay)

Make sure that you remove all hormonal triggers from the environment. Pet on the head/neck only and do not allow access to blankets, bedding, snuggle huts/tents, piles of paper, shadowy places (like under furniture, under your shirt, in pillows, paper tubes, boxes etc etc). To trigger hormones, the shadowy portion doesn't have to be very large...honestly, if they can even stick their head into a dark space, that is often enough.
Sometimes, proximity to other birds can also cause issues (even if they aren't the same species and even if genders are the same).

Encourage 10-14 hours of dark, quiet sleep and avoid excessive sunlight.

Avoid warm/mushy foods, as these can mimic regurgitation and trigger hormones.
 
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noodles123

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Jul 11, 2018
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Umbrella Cockatoo- 15? years old..I think?
Sometimes, when I have no useful information to add, I just opt for sentiment.
Ritchie Valens - Oh Donna lyrics on screen - YouTube


Funny how Donna is a popular name in songs. When I hear the name, this rather odd song pops into my head immediately...I went through a weird "Hair" obsession in high school (LOL!)


[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkN3WoO84lI"]03 Donna Hair 1979 - YouTube[/ame]
 

SilverSage

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To clarify an above point, sunlight is very important, but lengthening days are a hormonal trigger ;) so sunlight=good, extra hours of daylight=bad


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BeatriceC

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Goofy (YNA), Oscar (Goffin 'too). Foster bird Betty (RLA). RIP Cookie, 1991-2016 ('tiel), Leo (Sengal), Charlotte (scarlet macaw). Grand-birds: Liam (budgie), Donovan (lovebird), RIP Angelo (budgie)
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The birds are on a solar schedule. I set my alarm for sunrise and uncover and feed them, then put them to bed at sundown. I don’t go into that room after it’s dark. I’m in San Diego, so that works year round, as we don’t really get any extremes of day length like there are in more northern locations.
 

EllenD

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It's good that you have them on a Natural-Light Schedule, that's exactly what you want to do...As SilverSage already mentioned, a lot of people mistakenly actually lengthen their daylight each day, thinking that that's what will ease their hormones, when it actually only makes them worse and worse...Natural Sunlight is good for them, though they won't absorb any UVB light at all through a window because all clear plastic and glass blocks 100% of the UVB light from the sunlight coming through the windows (bummer), but it's necessary for them to actually see the sunrise/sunset each day as a part of keeping them on a Natural-Light Schedule...

As already mentioned, Cuttlebones and Mineral Blocks made for birds are great sources of extra Calcium and Phosphorous, along with lots of dark, leafy Greens...But NO Vitamins at all, not the drops or the powders, as they actually do more harm than good. You're much better off with just the Cuttlebone, and Mineral Block, and lots of dark, leafy Greens each day.

****Usually they don't start actually sitting on the eggs until they lay at least 2, sometimes even 3. Then they'll start laying on them typically. So for now just let the egg in the food bowl where it was laid, because she wouldn't be laying on it even if it was on the grate, they just don't typically lay on the first egg laid...However, after she lays the second egg, which should be today or tomorrow (might be later, so don't worry if it doesn't show-up today or tomorrow, but it likely will), it will probably be laid on the bottom grate and not in the food dish, just due to space constraints in the food dish...So after she lays the second egg, you might want to think about moving the first egg down with the second egg, because you actually really do want her to lay on them, the idea being that you allow her to lay on the clutch for as long as she wants and until she realizes that they are not going hatch, gets bored with them, and completely stops laying on them. Once she goes a day or two without laying on them at all, then you can throw them out..

I've been in the situation before where one egg was laid in a food dish and the rest on the bottom of the cage, and I decided to leave the egg in the food dish, allow her to lay on the rest of them that were together on the floor of the cage..But she was preoccupied with getting that first egg out of the food dish once she had laid another egg or two, I'm assuming because she wanted them all together so she could lay on them. I think this distracted her and actually just pissed her off, lol, and she ended-up laying 12 infertile eggs in total!!! So after that happened I started moving any eggs laid in the food dish down to the bottom of the cage with the rest of the infertile clutch, but only after she laid another egg or two on the bottom and started laying on them. Once she started laying on them then I moved the egg down and put it with the rest of the clutch, and everything went as planned...

Sounds like you're doing everything right to discourage hormones and egg-laying, and hopefully she'll lay this clutch and then she'll be knocked out of breeding-season...
 

Sharky34

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That is why I always do genetic testing before I purchase a Lovebird chick. My experience is that males are less aggressive more cuddly and they never ever bite plus I can train them for a free flight. With females it was a disaster like there are not the same species. Totally different behavior.
 
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BeatriceC

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Feb 9, 2016
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San Diego, CA
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Goofy (YNA), Oscar (Goffin 'too). Foster bird Betty (RLA). RIP Cookie, 1991-2016 ('tiel), Leo (Sengal), Charlotte (scarlet macaw). Grand-birds: Liam (budgie), Donovan (lovebird), RIP Angelo (budgie)
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Hey, sorry if I missed this... do we know how old Donna is??


She's about 2.5. I actually bought her as recently weaned baby, but not DNA tested, because my youngest son fell in love with her. I don't normally buy baby birds, but I couldn't actually tell my kid no at that point (long story). I'm not sure of her exact hatch date, but she'd been weaned within a month of me getting her, and I got her in February of 2017. This is her first breeding season as an adolescent/young adult.
 
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BeatriceC

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Feb 9, 2016
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San Diego, CA
Parrots
Goofy (YNA), Oscar (Goffin 'too). Foster bird Betty (RLA). RIP Cookie, 1991-2016 ('tiel), Leo (Sengal), Charlotte (scarlet macaw). Grand-birds: Liam (budgie), Donovan (lovebird), RIP Angelo (budgie)
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That is why I always do genetic testing before I purchase a Lovebird chick. My experience is that males are less aggressive more cuddly and they never ever bite plus I can train them for a free flight. With females it was a disaster like there are not the same species. Totally different behavior.


She's actually super sweet and loving to my 16 year old son, who's the reason I got her. She's really not a fan of anybody else.
 

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