Egg laying in pet parrots

Egg laying in pet parrots


Egg laying in pet parrots can be a surprising event for many owners, especially for those not intending to breed their birds. Understanding why pet parrots lay eggs, the potential health implications, and how to manage this behaviour is crucial for ensuring the well-being of these feathered companions. This article, informed by scientific research and avian veterinary insights, aims to guide pet owners through these aspects with a light and warm approach.

Understanding Egg Laying in Pet Parrots

Egg laying in non-breeding parrots occurs due to various biological and environmental triggers. Scientifically, it's known that factors such as increasing daylight hours, an abundance of food, and the presence of nesting materials can stimulate the reproductive behaviour in birds, including egg laying (Roosth, 2011; Pollock, 2014). Hormonal changes also play a significant role, with estrogen levels rising in response to these triggers, leading even solitary female parrots to lay eggs without the presence of a male parrot.

Health Implications

While egg laying is a natural process, it can pose health risks to pet parrots. Complications such as egg binding, where an egg becomes stuck in the reproductive tract, can be life-threatening and require immediate veterinary care (Jones, 2002). Chronic egg laying can also lead to nutritional deficiencies, notably calcium, increasing the risk of osteoporosis and other health issues (Bavelaar & Beynen, 2004).

What to Do When Your Parrot Lays an Egg

If your parrot lays an egg, it's essential to handle the situation thoughtfully:

  • Consult an Avian Vet: Seek advice to ensure your parrot is healthy and to discuss potential complications.
  • Do Not Remove the Egg Immediately: Removing the egg right away can stimulate more egg laying. Instead, wait until your parrot loses interest in the egg.
  • Provide a Nutritious Diet: Enhance your parrot's diet with calcium-rich foods and possibly supplements as recommended by your vet to counteract nutritional depletion.

Preventing Unwanted Egg Laying

Preventing unwanted egg-laying involves modifying the environment and managing your parrot's health:

  • Limit Daylight Hours: Mimic winter daylight hours using artificial lighting or blackout curtains to discourage hormonal changes.
  • Rearrange the Cage Regularly: Changing the cage's layout and removing nesting materials can reduce nesting behaviour.
  • Encourage Foraging and Play: Engage your parrot in activities that divert attention from nesting behaviours.


Understanding and managing egg laying in pet parrots requires a blend of scientific knowledge and practical care strategies. By recognizing the triggers and implementing preventive measures, pet owners can ensure the health and happiness of their feathered friends. Always consult with an avian vet for personalized advice, ensuring your parrot receives the best care possible in these situations.

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