conure egg-laying behavior

by Susan
(Duluth, MN)

Dusky conure

Dusky conure

My 10-year-old dusky-headed conure laid her first egg two days ago. She is a very good mother to this sterile egg, but I'm worried about her. She doesn't come out of the box very often on her own. I go in every few hours and get her to come out, which she will for about 2 minutes. Her poop is very runny and her vent is a mess. She tries to clean it a bit, but gives up to go back in the nest. We regret allowing her to "play" in the recycling boxes and will know better in the future. Right now we just want to keep her healthy as she goes through this cycle. Is it normal for a conure to stop at one egg? Is it normal to have such a messy vent or is she in trouble?

Comments for conure egg-laying behavior

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Sep 25, 2012
Conure laying eggs- any bird laying eggs
by: Shelly

Hi, I own a conure, a cockitiel, and an Amazon. They all have Pet tents to play in. I would never deny them the fun they have from the Boxes, pet tents, etc... Yes, if they lay eggs it would most likely be in the pet tent, next box, etc...but TAKING IT AWAY WILL NOT stop them from laying. Your dusky would have laid an egg anyways. Box or no box. So the best thing to do is wait it out. Let her sit on them. At some point, could be a month maybe two, she will tire of it and stop sitting on the egg (eggs, Then and ONLY then, will you take the egg away. Otherwise she would continue to lay. Next season she will do it again, however, there are things YOU can do to help prevent it. During the Months of February to June or July, be sure to Cover her cage by 6 pm. Make her go night night. Simulate the time when it gets dark early. Also there are products over the counter at the bird store to help with this. You can place them in her water.

Editor's note: Sorry, I just have to add that our avian vet says not to put things in the bird's water and to always have your avian vet check the ingredients in things before giving them to your bird. I personally killed a bird by putting something in the water that a pet store "expert" told me to put in the bird's water.

Dec 07, 2011
first egg from Nanday Conures
by: Linda Moore

I've had 2 Nanday conures since they were chicks and that was almost 15 years ago when I got them. They are clutch mates. I hadn't intended to keep both of them but I did (long story). Never had them sexed, never had eggs until this morning...

...my husband brought me one cracked egg & one empty egg shell that he'd found in the tray at the bottom of the cage w. the feces & wasted food. We were both shocked, to say the least! I opened the cracked egg & there was albumin & yolk.

I put some paper on the grid at the bottom of the cage in case there are any more eggs on the way. We've never given them an enclosure and everything has been fine.

I assume this is an infertile egg? Could they both be females (assuming if they weren't we'd have seen eggs long before this)? I know what egg binding is and we're watching them closely.

I've read all about letting them have an egg vs. not but other than that and egg binding, should I be concerned??

Still kinda shocked, I have to admit! Thanks for any advice.
Editor's note: If you want people to see and answer, you need to post a question, not an answer here to another question, at Parrot Questions

Jun 28, 2011
eggs
by: Marian

My pineapple conure just laid 3 eggs, I have 3 conures in a huge cage..and... they all go in and out so I don't know who's the father. need some kind of advice. I bought them all at the same time but they are not related.

Editor's note: If you want people to see and answer, you need to post a question, not an answer here to another question, at Parrot Questions

Jan 11, 2011
Boil eggs and replace them
by: Tracie

Dr B recently suggested that you can boil the eggs and then place them back in the nest. He also mentioned that it is very rare that a bird die from Albumin poisoning. Birds often when laying eggs because they are not on a healthy pellet diet like Harrison's.

Dr B has never seen a bird with egg binding that ate 80% Harrison's pellets.

Jun 28, 2010
Leave or take away eggs
by: Tracie

Leaving the bird to sit on eggs or take them away is a "hot" topic. My vet and Linda are on opposite sides of the issue, and I can't say either is right or wrong because both have good reasons.

Our avian vet suggests that you let the bird sit on the eggs until she abandons them. The reasoning is that the bird may just keep laying eggs if you keep taking them away. That is why I suggested that you purchase fake eggs for the future.

Linda had a bird die from eating a cracked egg, I think, so she is an advocate for taking the eggs away.

You do what you feel is best for your bird.

Jun 26, 2010
take away the nest box now or wait?
by: Anonymous

Hi Linda,
Thanks for your help. Believe me, we do not want her to nest. We feel a little silly about the whole thing. We didn't even know (for sure) if she was a female until four days ago. I have now read up on how to discourage nesting and will be instituting that advice as soon as possible. The question is when is it possible? Most websites say not to take away the nest box/eggs and high protein diet until she decides by abandoning her eggs. That advice jibes with how Scoopie is acting. She is very interested in her eggs and is anxious if parted. When she eats outside the box her head is always bobbing up and down and looking back at the box. So I don't want her to stress by taking her box and eggs away from her before she is ready. I personally would love to take it away, but I'm guessing she would be very, very distressed. What do you think? If her distress would be short-lived, I'd do it. (Also, no avian vet in our area.)

Jun 26, 2010
The poop issue
by: Tracie

Probably the runny poop was due to the egg due to be laid. My conure did that too the time she laid 4 eggs. They lay every other day or every 2 days. Mine laid every 2 days, but could care less if she sat on them. Our bird was on Harrison's so I wasn't concerned about egg binding.

If your bird is not on a really healthy pellet, then you DO need to watch your bird for egg binding. Your bird will fluff up, look miserable and will die quickly if you don't get the bird to an avian vet quick. Our vet says that his bird patients on Harrison's have NEVER had egg binding problems.

Jun 26, 2010
conure egg-laying behavior
by: Linda

I'd like to add a comment to Tracie's. Please take the nest box out or she will continue to lay eggs. She may lay eggs in the bottom of the cage, and it is very important to throw all of them away immediately. Albumin poisoning is what Tracie was talking about, and it is a severe case of botchulism which attacks the central nervous system and kills in a short period of time with no intervention to be found.

If she does not want to breed, then don't force her. If she is by herself, there is NO need for a nestbox.

Thanks for writing,
Linda

PS the messy rear end is one of the signs of a bird with a bacterial infection, so do take her to an Avian Vet ASAP

Jun 26, 2010
conure egg-lying behavior is better
by: Susan

Thanks, Tracie, for your advice. She laid the second egg last night and somehow managed to clean up her vent and her poops are more solid. She looks much better.

As I have been reading up on conures during egg-laying, I notice calcium is key. She has never been big on broccoli, spinach or her cuttlebone. So in addition to trying those again, I've tried giving her eggs, both scrambled and hard-boiled with the shell. She's not much interested in any of it. I put powdered cuttlebone on her orange bell pepper. She wouldn't eat it until I wiped off the powder. I did notice that before she laid the first egg her sudden weird interest in eating the dirt of my houseplants. What is she looking for and why isn't she interested in calcium if her body needs it?

Jun 26, 2010
Conure with messy vent
by: Tracie

I would say the messy vent and runny poop says, take this bird to the avian vet ASAP. Also, you should consider purchasing fake eggs in case she lays eggs in the future. If she cracks the egg and eats it she could die. Consider purchasing from http://theeggshop.com - the Egg Shop Solid Plastic Fake Bird Eggs website.

Please read the Chronic Egg Laying article written by an avian vet for more understanding of this problem and proper care for your bird during this time.

Please let us know how things go. Hopefully everything will turn out fine and your bird will not lay again.

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