Strange golden capped conure behavior

by Chris

So I've had my golden capped for about 15 years. I was told it was a male when I purchased it. For the past 2 weeks, the bird had been acting very, very strange. Was very cuddly and affectionate (Way more than normal, almost needed constant snuggling, wouldn't stay on its cage), was trying to find places to hide in, actually flew over to my bed and hid in the blankets. I couldn't figure it out but the bird didn't look sick, I let it go.

So 4 days ago it's acting even more strange, tail feathers are spread on top of its cage, and out pops an egg. Now, I have no experience with this, she's never laid an egg before, so off to Google I go. She looked fine, eating normally, lively, made a very strange "chuckle"? I guess you could call it noise for a few hours after laying the egg while in her happy hut. But now, 3 days later, the bird is acting strange again.

I've researched egg binding extensively and this does not appear to be it. The bird is moving around, flying, perching fine, right now is chewing on a toy in her cage.

There are two things that concern me right now:

1) Acting very erratically. After seeing the first egg I went to the pet store and bought vitamin supplements and a few cuttlebones for the cage. I scraped cuttlebone into her food every day to help with calcium intake as well. The bird is eating seed shells. Literally finding empty shells and eating them, never done this before. Is this a a birds way to get calcium?

2) There is a bulge near her vent. She doesn't seem to be straining, I tried a hot water bath but nothing happened, is this just another egg forming? I had read that generally 24-48 hours between eggs was normal, this is 72 hours now. Can there be this much time between eggs?

Sorry for the long post, there are no bird vets near me open until Monday morning and no emergency vets that I can find via google/phonebook. I'm trying to just stay calm and assess what the bird is doing and what's wrong but some input would be very helpful.


Comments for Strange golden capped conure behavior

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Aug 01, 2010
by: Debbie

By taking the egg away it encourages the bird to lay more. We replaced the eggs with wooden ones and then removed them after about 3 weeks and she didn't lay anymore. In nature they normally have a clutch of 2 or 3 so by giving them a substitute it has been our experience she will not lay anymore. After 3 weeks they should lose interest and if not, take them away and make sure she gets extra calcium. Hope this helps

Editor's note: You can purchase fake eggs here: Solid Plastic Fake Bird Eggs

Apr 18, 2010
Strange golden capped conure behavior
by: Linda

Hello and thanks for writing. As Tracie said, your bird needs to be seen by an Avian vet when you can get there. Your bird also needs to be eating the organic, high quality pellets, and Harrisons is the BEST on the market and Avian Vet endorsed. It takes some time for the change over and here is an article written by an Avian Vet to help you do it:

Switching Birds to Pellets article.

The chukles you are hearing is her crooning to her egg, and this is normal female behavior. The Avian vet may be able to help with the problem, but be VERY WARY of any drugs being offered or hormones or like that and ask lots of questions because chemicals and drugs to control egg laying are questionable at best. She'll probably lay at least 4 eggs. Ask Avian Vet for suggestions that don't involve giving her useless hormones as egg laying for adult females is normal behavior.

Keep us posted on how everything is going because this happens a lot with sexually mature hens, and your information will help someone else going through the same or a similar situation.


Apr 18, 2010
Possible egg binding
by: Tracie

Your bird could lay an egg every 2 - 3 days for a few days. If you see a bulge, then an egg should be laid. Egg binding will kill your bird if it doesn't get help. You may have to drive a couple of hours to an avian vet for help.

If your bird is eating Harrison's pellets, then you don't have to worry about egg binding. Please read the article on chronic egg laying even though this is the first time your bird has laid an egg. It will explain egg laying and how to care for your bird.

Vitamin supplements can kill your bird. I killed my first parrot by putting vitamins a pet store employee suggested I put in the water. If your bird is eating a healthy pellet diet, then you have no need for vitamin supplements.

I hope everything turns out okay.

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