Last Updated on by Catherine Tobsing
Mary J. is concerned about her cockatiel,
I was wondering if I could ask your advice? My cockatiel has laid 9 eggs in the past two months–no mate. Do I need to be concerned enough to take her to the vet? It’s $185 a visit….thank you. She is healthy and happy and energetic as always.
Mary and Kukla
Is your bird’s cage in a dimly lit area? If so, that is likely encouraging her to lay eggs. If your bird is in a Playtop cage with a tray instructed above, remove it, forever.
We control our bird’s hormones with strong lighting placed on top of the cages. A strong daylight bulb mounted directly on top or within 6 inches on a timer set 12 hours on and 12 hours off daily, all year long makes a bird feel like it is in the summer in Australia. Birds don’t mate, build nests or lay eggs in the summer.
You may need to give your bird a light treatment to stop this egg-laying. If you are not already, you should get your bird on some Calcium daily too.
You would set the light up over the bird’s cage and leave the light on for 72 hours straight (3 days and nights) with the bird in the cage under the light. This will reset the Circadium Rythem in the bird’s brain and after 72 hours, the bird should abandon all interest in egg-laying.
We did this ourselves with our own prolific egg-laying cockatiel.
You also need to remove all eggs, nesting material, bedding, huts, and anything that the bird can use to nest on or hide under.
Especially when the light treatment is going on.
Please take a look at the article and the Lighting Category then let me know if you have more questions.
Thank you for this info. She does sit by a window with light and she is rarely in a cage. I will review all this….thank you so much!!
If you rely on a window for the light for her, it isn’t enough to keep hormones at bay. If you put up a light for her over her cage or her play area, you may find her start to spend more time there.
Of course, cockatiels LOVE windows. Ours does and we have to shoo him back to his cage or he would never eat.
Ok. I will def look into it! Can you recommend one for her?
There are numerous options to check out in the bird cage lighting category.
Below are just a couple
- Economy Bulb One simple bulb to put in your own fixture (aiming down, no shade between the bulb and the bird)
- Bulb, fixture and timer combo
- Floor lamp
- Featherbrite swag lamp
Thanks for the helpful info you sent.
I would like to order the Full Spectrum floor lamp so that I will put it over her cage for three straight days in hopes she will stop laying eggs. Do I need to purchase anything else? Do I need to buy fake eggs as well? (I threw out her eggs because she never paid them any attention.)
I did have her by a window about four hours a day and maybe that is what started the egg assembly line? Lol. I don’t know but that’s my only thought. I have stopped the little massages I gave her but I can’t think of anything else.
When I set up the lamp how much above the top of the cage should it be? I don’t want to “burn” her.
Thanks so much. You are the best. Thanks!
Mary and Kukla
A timer would be helpful so you can set it and forget it.
No eggs, no fake eggs, if she lays more, just pull them and toss them right away.
You can find the timer here
There are other colors available too, Black, Woodgrain, and Silver/Chrome.
It comes with a bulb that does not need to be replaced for a year or more.
It would be mounted with the arm facing down over the top of the cage or play area.
6″ above is best. Higher than 12″ and you lose a lot of the effectiveness.
The window light is fine, but it is not strong enough to help with hormone control and no, the window light did not start her laying.
Although the little massages may have stimulated her to start laying. Let her enjoy head and neck scritches all she wants, just nothing below the neck.
Once you have the lamp, put it together and set it so the arm is directly over the top of the cage. As you will be keeping her closed inside for 72 hours (3 days and night) you should try to have it as close to the top of the cage as possible with no real gap. She will be shut up inside so she cannot get near the bulb. Once you complete the treatment you can raise it to 6″ or so.
If you have any hanging toys that might be laying on her back, they have to be removed or moved to the cage sides so she cannot let them lay on her back. That is stimulating.
Also, no toys, etc that can block the light, so they all should be pushed to the sides during the light treatment.
Also, if you are feeding her a huge full dish of food daily, you should cut it back to a couple of tablespoons in the dish. Too much food can make a bird feel that times are good, let’s raise a family.
While she is under the lights for 72 hours she may eat more because she will be awake more during the night, but don’t worry, she will nap was needed. Expect to hear her call out to you at all hours.
At night you can pin a sheet or towel around the cage sides to let her have privacy and allow her to try and rest in the light better. During the day, it is best to leave her in the cage under the light. Yes, you can visit her and talk to her often. Just, if you take her out, put her back inside under the light as much as possible for the 72-hour period.
If you have other questions, please let me know.
Thank you so much,