Egg Laying Birds without Mates

My Bird keeps laying eggs without a mate.

Is that normal?

Actually it can be considered normal for some species.  Laying eggs without a mate tends to happen more often with certain species of birds such as Love Birds, Budgies, and Cockatiels.  However it can occur with any bird, big or small.  Some birds may only lay an egg or two during the lifetime, others may lay a few times a year, and on occasion a female who never lays an egg. I have an Yellow Naped Amazon who laid an egg at age 10 and is now in her 30s and has never laid another. 

Some of the triggers for causing a breeding cycle can include longer days, warmer days, an abundance of food, and that perfect nesting areas as determined by your bird. It's just natural because in the wild birds most often breed when the days are warmer and food is plentiful and nesting sites are available just about everywhere. 

Some tips to help disrupt the breeding cycle:

Try putting your bird to bed very early so the days are shorter for her. That may mean covering her cage "completely" with a dark cover and making sure her cage is located in a very quite room for sleeping. You may have to shorten her days for several weeks to break the cycle.

If she has a favorite toy she feeds, or a sleeping hut or bed she thinks of as "nesty" spot, or even a favorite food dish she likes to sit in as if she is using it as a nesting spot, it might be a good idea to remove these. In fact you should really consider removing all of her current bird toys and replacing them with different ones as well as moving her perches around and even food dishes. You are then helping to distract her from the breeding cycle. Provide lots of interactive busy foraging type toys, and it may also be helpful to move her cage from one side of the room to the other for a new non-breeding environment.

If your bird is sweet and cuddly, hold off on the cuddles for a while. Snuggling, petting, and such, can encourage breeding hormones. So stick to little feather scratches around the cheeks and such and stay away from any snuggles that she might incorrectly interpret as love is in the air. If she tries to feed you, carefully replace her in the cage until she is distracted.

Most birds have an internal number of eggs they will lay and if you keep removing the eggs as soon as she lays them, she may keep laying in an attempt to reach her "number". Sometimes leaving the eggs for her to sit on or roll around, will allow her to reach the number she thinks she needs, and her laying may stop. Letting her sit on them for a week or two is fine, and often the bird will loose interest after a while and desert her eggs which is the perfect time to then remove them.  Of course if an egg get broken during this time, you should remove that one.

Smaller birds usually lay their eggs every day or every other day until their clutch is complete. So if your bird has not laid an egg in several days, she may have reached her egg quota, and just let her sit a while.

Make sure your bird always has plenty of water as when laying she may drink a lot more water to stay well hydrated.  This simple step is very important to a bird in a breeding cycle.  Providing baths or bathing dish is also important during this time.

It's also very important to make sure your bird is getting sufficient calcium that she may need during this time. Providing cuttlebone, a calcium supplement, or calcium enriched bird pellets and fresh foods will usually provide the extra calcium she will need while laying eggs. An older bird or a bird with other health issues may not be able to absorb calcium easily and may require a liquid form of calcium for better absorption.

If at any time your bird lays a soft shelled egg, she will need to see her veterinarian as soon as possible. Soft shelled eggs can be a sign of a serious calcium deficiency or other health issue not allowing her to absorb calcium correctly in her diet. A soft shelled egg that does not pass or that ruptures inside the bird's body can cause egg peritonitis which is very serious life-threatening health emergency and usually requires antibiotics.

Egg binding is another serious medical condition and requires veterinarian care quickly. Egg binding is when the bird is unable to pass an egg because of the size of the egg, a shell that is too soft or too hard, or other health issue.  Egg binding can quickly lead to an infection or internal organ damage, and even death. If your bird looks like she is straining, or is sitting all puffed up and not eating and moving around, her droppings have declined or stopped, call your vet for assistance. Your bird will need assistance of a specialist to help her pass the egg successfully and to try and prevent the egg from rupturing inside the bird.

I hope this helps give you some ideas on how to help a bird that is laying eggs without a mate.

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