Un-expected egg laying

by Rick
(Juneau, Alaska)

We have a 14 yr old Sun Conure who, for the first time, just laid an egg after building a nest out of shredded cardboard boxes. After all these years, we thought she was a male and has never been paired with another bird. We have heard about female birds becoming egg-bound and the serious health risk that entails.

Our questions are whether or not this behavior is normal given that she has never been paired, whether continued egg laying is likely or a potential health risk, and, if we should discourage additional egg laying, how to go about doing that. So far, we have replaced the egg with a marble of similar size and she continues to attend to the "egg".

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Jan 09, 2011
Conure laid an egg
by: Tracie

Our conure surprised us by laying eggs too. We changed her name from Buddy to Buddi. LOL

Many conures lay eggs even though they don't have mates. You do not have to worry about egg binding if your bird is eating a healthy pellet diet, like Harrison's. Pellets need to be at least 80% of it's diet.

To discourage egg laying, you need to make sure you do not provide nest material and dark places to nest. You should also adjust her schedule so that her day time hours are only 10 hours or less. We had to put our conure in a travel cage in our spare bedroom at night to trick her body into thinking it was winter because she would just keep laying eggs every couple of months.

Here is an article written by an avian vet on Chronic Egg Laying that you should read.

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