One of the biggest problems that Cockatiel owners experience with their bird is having their female lay eggs. It is perfectly natural for females to lay eggs at least twice per year even without a male present. The biological need to lay very powerful and indeed, overpowering for some birds. So much so, that they will lay clutch after clutch without a break. Make sure that your bird receives plenty of fresh foods and calcium rich food during this time.
When considering the factors that set your birds biological egg laying clock in motion, you need to look at what their body chemistry tells them. From Mother Nature’s point of view, the best time to breed is in spring and fall when water and food are plentiful, weather is warm, and daylight hours are long. When all of these conditions are aligned and a place is found to nest, the mating and egg laying ritual begins.
Now consider the average home cage. There is a plentiful supply of food and water, the house is always a comfortable temperature, and the days are long thanks to light bulbs. With all that comfort it makes you wonder “Why Not?” instead of “Why?”
So what can you do short of starving your bird and running the air conditioner? Let’s make a list.
- Remove any huts, or objects large enough to act as a nest or shelter.
- Remove any mirrors as they can fall in love with their own reflection and bring on mating.
- Shorten the number of hours of daylight to 10 or less. Cover or move the cage if needed.
- Change items around inside the cage.
- Put new toys in and take toys out if available..
- Move the cage to a new location.
- Keep the bird occupied during the day. The less time the bird is bored, the less likely it will lay eggs or exhibit mating behavior.
In general you want to make changes to your birds’ environment so that the comfort level that sets egg laying in motion is disrupted.