Q: cockatoo lays eggs

March 23, 2008 | By Barbara K. | 2 answers | Expired: 2425 days ago

Barbara K.

My friend has a beautiful cockatoo and about three times a year she lays an egg without a male. Shes about 25 or so and just started a few years ago. I was just wondering if anyone can tell me why they do this. Thanx

Readers' Answers (2)
Kelly B.

Mar 26, 2008

Sexual maturity for many species of cockatoos can be anywhere from 4 years and up. They don't always lay eggs right away. One bird I know waited until they were over 30 years old before she decided to start.

Parrots typically seem to lay eggs due to environmental stimuli, like having a nesting site, pair bonding behaviors, etc. A current hypothesis is that the human caretaker inadvertently supplies cues that trigger nesting behavior, which creates changes in hormones and promotes egg laying. Things as simple as having a dark box to play in, or playing under covers, or in a closet or other nest-cavity-like area are connected with triggering egg laying, as is petting under the wings (I'm sure the cockatoo loves this, but its safer to pet above the neck only if egg laying is a problem).

If it is a problem, you might want to suggest that they check with their avian vet, the vet might suggest a hormone injection that could help, or help pinpoint anything else that may be going on.

Visit the Association of Avian Veterinarians for a list of members, if they don't already have a vet.

Another great place to go for information is The Gabriel Foundation. They have a great online class that covers just about everything bird.

Best wishes for an egg free spring!

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Mar 23, 2008

I'm not exactly sure why. Chickens do that to. I think it is just a natural thing. It's not fertile though.

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