Hello, Last Mother’s Day, I purchased a green pied love bird…. She turned one at the end of January/06 and is thought to be a boy.
My issue is that she has deposited 22 ‘proud’ eggs since last August…. The eggs are firm and properly developed, and my bird is OK, however, she is clearly more of a breeder than the pet I expected…. She is highly territorial (understandably so) and not as affectionate as previous owners have told me.
The cage is cleaned regularly, and I rotate everything for variation as recommended in all the manuals, but she still persists in producing eggs.
I spend as much time as I can with her, and she is free to fly anytime I am home….
Is there anything I’m missing?
…Should I get another love bird to keep me company?…
Should I consider selling her to a breeder, and who should I contact?
Any information you can provide would be much appreciated. Thank you ahead of time….
I’m sorry to hear you’re experiencing problems with your lovebird. I hope I can provide some advice that will be useful to both you and your bird.
Of course, your lovebird’s constant egg-laying tendencies are the most concerning. This is concerning since she may unwittingly deplete her body’s calcium reserves. Soft eggs, egg binding (a potentially catastrophic problem), or both may result. May I inquire as to what you have done with her eggs? Some pet females that lay eggs are OK with their owners tossing out the eggs they deposit straight away. My personal pet masked lovebird produces eggs on occasion, and she doesn’t mind if I toss them away as she does. However, some ladies object to this.
Most breeders will inform you that their female lovebirds lay a certain number of eggs in each clutch. Every female seems to have her own specific quantity of eggs that she will lay every time she has a baby. This looks to be automatic. If you toss your lovebird’s eggs away as she lays them, she may continue to lay eggs in order to attain her target number. She has shown that she will not stop producing eggs at this time. I would suggest taking a small container (maybe an old butter container that has been cleaned out), putting some tissues in the bottom, and placing it on the bottom of your lovebird’s cage. If there is an egg on the cage floor, put it in this “nest” for her. She’ll immediately realize this is a nice area to deposit her eggs. She will deposit her eggs in this container in the future. Allow her to lay her eggs and sit on them for as long as she is interested. When the final egg deposited is around 25 – 30 days old, females normally lose interest in unhatched eggs. Fertile lovebird eggs hatch between 22 and 23 days after they are deposited. Female lovebirds seem to understand this instinctively, and after this time period has passed, females will discard unhatched eggs. This full-fledged “effort” at establishing a brood often satisfies pet females enough to enable them to resume their pre-egg-laying lifestyle.
There are a few more things you can do in the future to reduce your lovebird’s urge to produce eggs. Rearranging the cage on a regular basis is a good place to start. Additionally, extended daylight hours (marking spring) often cause this hormonal change. Increasing the number of dark hours she receives each night may help her suppress her desire to deposit eggs. This may be performed by completely darkening the room she is in or covering her cage for 10 – 12 hours each night. Some females are less likely to deposit eggs if they can’t discover regions that may be perceived as nesting sites. If you observe that your lovebird prefers specific tiny, gloomy spaces while she is not in her cage, you should discourage her from spending time there. If you have a nesting box, happy hut, or anything else in her cage that may be misinterpreted for a nesting location, you should remove it. Lovebirds should avoid nests and pleasant houses (both females and males, who can also exhibit different types of mating behaviors). There are even a few female lovebirds that are so “in love” with their human owners that they actively execute mating behaviors in response. This is how my female masked lovebird behaves. When I or my spouse are around and she is in a hormonal mood, she displays herself in a seductive manner (dropping her head, raising her wings and tail, making a specific noise). If/when these improvements occur, they must be discouraged. If you make eye contact or touch your lovebird while she is doing this, she will think you are returning her approaches and want to have a family with her.
In terms of your lovebird’s pet qualities… That is something we can talk about more. It is impossible to give you advice on this subject without knowing more about your connection with your lovebird. It’s acceptable if your lovebird gets possessive about where she lays her eggs during this time of year. Most females (even pets) guard their eggs. For obvious reasons, this is also innate. Our personal experience with pet lovebirds has shown that when their wings are clipped, they are more affectionate and make better companions. Many individuals do not believe in wing trimming for their birds, which is perfectly great – it is entirely up to the owner. However, it has shown to be quite useful for lovebirds. Lovebirds are flock animals, and in a flock environment, they struggle to find their position. Of course, each bird wants to be the most prominent bird in the flock so that it may receive what they desire in the future. Establishing yourself as the flock’s leader (even if it’s just you and your solitary pet lovebird) is crucial in the human-lovebird connection. Because your bird is completely flighted, she can do anything she wants, whenever she wants. If you attempt to force her to do anything she doesn’t want to do, she will flee. This power has elevated her to the top of your flock. When you try to do anything she doesn’t like or that requires her cooperation, she is more likely to bite you or flee from you. You are breaching flock norms since the “lower” flock member should be obeying the flock leader’s directives, and females are more inclined than males to attempt to be the flock leader. Most breeders will also inform you that their ladies are more domineering than their male counterparts.
Step-up training is critical for pet lovebirds. This establishes and maintains the human as flock leader since it is a straightforward order that the bird must obey. When your pet lovebird has finished her egg-laying cycle, I urge you to start working with her to develop a new bond with her. This may take some time, particularly because the bond is already formed in her mind, but the work will be well worth it in the end.
I wish you and your lovebird the best of luck! Please let me know if there is anything more I can do for you.
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