Last Updated on by Mitch Rezman
Hello, I’m writing this because I have a 10-year-old Cockatiel female.
I’ve had her since I was 14 and she’s the most important thing in my life.
She’s gone through a lot though and has had to survive 2 emergency surgeries to save her life.
Becoming egg-bound and near-death both of these times due to chronic egg laying.
I don’t know what to do to help.
I put fake eggs in when she starts to get hormonal and she sits on them for weeks at a time.
Then nearly as soon as she abandons them and I remove them she’s back to masturbating and trying to lay again.
I’m scared of losing her and I’ve tried everything I can think of including limiting her sunlight to winter hours and removing anything she rubs on. It doesn’t help. Is there anything I can do?
We have been through this ourselves and also many customers have had these issues too.
1) Get liquid or powdered calcium into her daily if you have not already.
2) Get a light set up above her cage on a timer for 12 hours on and 12 hours off.
Please read our blog posts on the topic of lighting
Get rid of any nesting material, fluffy toys, dummy eggs, huts.
No petting her below the neck anymore.
The cage must be lit up 12 hours a day on a timer, forever.
You most likely will want to give her a 72 hour light treatment which will help reset her brain.
Please check this out and get back to me.
We can help.
We received your order. The new batch of lamps are coming in by Friday and I will ship it out when in hand.
Thank you for your order.
We had a cockatiel that was a big problem that way, Popcorn.
The light treatment worked perfectly for her.
Perhaps you read about her in one of the blog posts.
Three days under the light.
Then normal 12 hours on and 12 hours off.
On the 4th day, she appeared like she was looking for nesting material again and I freaked but by the end of the day she was back to normal and didn’t masturbate, or lay another egg.
She did pass early due to the hormone levels doing damage to her before we were able to help her. But the last year of her life was unfettered by hormones.
Please let me know how it goes for you.
I can’t wait to get it!
I also got a seed bowl from your site which should hopefully help since her food bowl is actually on the bottom of the cage, which might not be helping.
Thank you so much for being so extremely helpful with this. I was really starting to worry about her health overall.
I have received the light set and got it all hooked up!
Her light therapy began yesterday and will continue for 72 hours. Wish me luck!
Great! Please let me know how it goes.
After the treatment, be sure to put the light on a timer 12 hours on and 12 hours off forever.
We like 7:30 am to 7:30 pm currently and disrespect daylight savings time so the birds don’t get confused with changing sunrises and sunsets.
It may take a bit before you notice the changes in her behavior.
Some behaviors that became habits may take longer to stop.
If needed the treatment can be repeated a week later for as long as a full week.
It may seem harsh, but it requires no medication, just a little time and patience.
I look forward to your story.
Pictures are great too!
Cinnamon has officially reached 72 hours of light therapy and was able to come back out today!
And I’m thrilled to report she hasn’t shown any hormonal signs yet!
She laid one egg during the therapy but she abandoned it quickly and put up no fuss when I removed it.
I think it worked!!
She’s playing, preening, and acting much more like herself.
I’ll be sure to keep you updated.
I’ve set the timer for a 7:30 – 7:30 range.
That all sounds great.
She looks terrific and up to the usual cockatiel shenanigans.
If you see her backsliding into broody behavior again you can repeat the treatment.
Be sure to watch and make sure she doesn’t go into hideouts, gets cozy in towels, the closet shelves, etc.
I hope this simple treatment gives you many more years with her.