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Egg Laying Umbrella Cockatoo
Posted by Catherine Tobsing on 1/9/2014 to Bird & Parrot Care
2 Umbrella cocktoos

We have a female Umbrella Cockatoo, age 26 who, despite head-only petting when she is 'broody' will lay an occasional egg or two (maybe once a year, sometimes not for a couple years). 

I have never been able to find the answer to: Is it better to let her sit on the eggs or take them away immediately? We have tried both methods. She gets a very healthy diet and supplemental calcium when she is going to lay.

I have read that if you take away the eggs, it encourages them to lay more, but I worry that sitting on the eggs for several weeks isn't good for her either. Has any research been done on this topic?

The amount of eggs your bird is producing is not a problem, but it is best to let her keep them so she does not try to lay another in its place over and over. If they crack, remove them. You can also replace the eggs with a ball of similar size.

Do you have a nest or box or cozzy she sleeps in? Take it out. Give her a shallow, open, not dark box for her eggs if she has them now, then discard it all when she is done.

I recommend rearranging her cage so it is all new to her and that will help distract her from being too comfy and wanting to raise a family.

Overall, our handling our birds like children, stroking and petting them only serves to arouse them and start their urge to lay. We have to restrict our petting to their heads. 

Is she also getting 10-12 hours of undisturbed darkness each night? A cage cover or a light blanket is a good start. Or move her to a sleeping cage at night in a quiet, dark room and bring her back out during the day.

Strange (to your bird) light cycle can trigger egg laying. Full spectrum lighting on a timer near your birds cage can help correct this

I hope this helps.
What bird owners have to say
La Date 1/12/2014
I have three pairs of different species birds. I do not want chicks! It's all about a quiet dark room with 12 hours of darkness!
Carol Fisher Date 1/12/2014
I have 2 happy parakeet pairs in a 20x24x28 cage. One pair has mated and I now have one little chick and three eggs pending. Not my idea but when I saw them mating I did put in a breeding box. Mom seems to be doing her job well. My book says to remove the babies at 6 weeks. Is this for their safety? My local pet store will take the birds so that's not a problem albiet not my intention.
Rachel Rovine Date 1/12/2014
I have a rainbow lorikeet, 19 yrs.old. She used to lay eggs every two to three months. She had some hormone injections over time at the vet but these were hit or miss. I tried rearranging her cage- doing all the suggested tips- etc. In the end I just made sure she ate well, tried to get her out of her cage when she had eggs and kept her busy. She finally stopped laying three years ago. She will still get broody and want to stay in her cage- pretends she is sitting on eggs. All in all patience and a good diet paid off the most, she is healthy and still a riot to watch and play with.
nancy meier Date 1/14/2014
let her sit on them she will lose interest eventually
mary. Date 1/15/2014
I have lovebirds,original mother and father he isn't performing she is laying,she sits on the eggs and when it's time she cracks them open and destroys them their not fertile unlike her daughter who lays every three to four months if I separate them he looks like he;s being punished so I give in.someone said once their laid their fertile but I;m not sure I know they do the deed once I walked in on them and she ran across the cage like the lone Rangers horse silver and he was the lone ranger it was so funny he;s still hanging on doing his deed.
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