Cockatiel – How Can I Stop My Bird From Laying Eggs?

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.

Eggs – Nature’s Perfect Food

Eggs are one of nature’s most perfect foods. They are extremely nutrient dense and very versatile. You can eat them for breakfast, lunch or dinner or snacks. Anyway you crack them, eggs will deliver you the best source of protein you can find.

Eggs contain all the essential amino acids needed by the human body. Both the yolk and the albumen (the white part) contain the protein, however there is a bit more protein in the white part. Eggs contain all the important vitamins with the exception of vitamin C. They contain all the B vitamins, and are particularly rich in vitamins B12 and B2 (riboflavin), folate, and fat-soluble vitamins A, D and E. Eggs also contain many of the minerals needed by the human body, especially iodine. Iodine is required to make the thyroid hormones. Eggs also contain phosphorus which is required for bone health. They also contain selenium, zinc, and iron.

There are many different types of eggs, brown, white, jumbo, small… how do you know what kind to buy? Believe it or not, the shell color has nothing to do with the nutritional quality of the eggs. The eggshell color is determined by the breed of the hen. Some hens lay white eggs, some lay brown and some even lay green eggs! Hens that lay the brown eggs tend to be a larger breed, so the eggs usually sell for a greater price since it costs more to feed these hens.

The color of the yolk depends on what the hen has been given to eat. Corn feed hens tend to produce a darker yolk, while wheat fed hens produce a lighter yellow yolk. The color of the yolk does not alter the nutritional value of the egg. The yolk has most of the vitamins in it, while the white past carries most of the protein. Eggs come in all kinds of sizes from small to extra large. Most recipes call for large eggs so it’s good to have these on hand.

The quality and freshness of the eggs is determined by its’ grading. Only grade A eggs are sold for consumption. Although they are graded A or AA, there is not much difference between the two. What to look for in eggs are the sell by date and how they are stored. You want them to be refrigerated. Also, always open the carton to see if any of the eggs are cracked.

Eggs are one of nature’s best foods. Don’t be afraid to eat them for any meal. Carry a couple hard boiled eggs with you for the perfect snack to keep your hunger at bay.

Egg Laying – Why A Chicken Won’t Lay Eggs

It is always concerning when our hens suddenly stop laying. The first sign of a problem for your girls is when they stop laying eggs. When chickens are lacking something they require egg production is the first thing their bodies shut down in order to make up for what it is lacking. Most of the time it’s an easy fix, is the coop clean? Are you feeding the proper food? Sometimes it could more complicated, are my babies sick or are the molting? Let’s take a look at the common issues and see what it takes to get the girls happy again.

Age:

Chickens have a lifespan of 7 years are in their prime for the first year or two of them laying eggs, after that production rapidly declines until the 4th or 5th year when they usually stop laying altogether. It usually best to replace the laying hen with a new one after their 3rd year of laying eggs.

Habitat:

Chickens are creatures of habit, sometimes the slightest change can throw them off. Moving your hens from one location to another, adding new features or space can stress out your girls. They will not start laying again until they feel relaxed and are comfortable again. Even a dirty pen or coop could throw them off, unsanitary conditions are the best way to for the birds to contract unwanted diseases, especially if the space is too small.

Food / Water:

A dehydrated chicken cannot produce eggs make sure there is always water available for your hens. Using the nipple drinkers help conserve water and keep the coop clean. To produce an egg your girls need a special diet of calcium and proteins. This type of feed is called “layer feed” and comes in many different varieties from different feed or pet stores. Chickens will overeat so monitor the feed based on the number of chickens.

Health:

Did the chicken go broody? A broody hen will not lay until she is done hatching her eggs. The girls won’t lay when they molt either. Molting is when the chickens are losing their feather due to changes in the weather. It’s the same as when a dog shed its fur, except the chicken sheds its feathers. Mites put a lot of strain on a hen’s body, she is miserable and won’t lay for you. A good sign your chicken is ill or not feeling well is her stance. If she is hunched over instead of standing up and perky she is not feeling well and has problems she probably needs help with.

Stress:

If a chicken is stressed she won’t lay, she needs to feel comfortable. Too many roosters can easily cause stress on your girls. Is there a predator around, is she fearful? Keep your girls happy safe and fed, and she provides you with many eggs to come. Some birds are better layers than others, like the Orpington Chicken that was bread for maximum laying capacity.