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Egg laying and aging

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pineview01

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Thanks to some great people here, I now know my 10 year old "male" tiel is a hen.:faint:

Now that I know he is a female.:D Can anyone tell me if it is common for a female to go ten years and never lay an egg? Which I am so glad for by the way!

Can she start laying at this age? What is the oldest anyone has heard off? Now that I know she is a female I worry about egg binding. If she isn't to old what do you have to watch for?

Any help would be GREAT!
 

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Renae

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She definitely is a she, the pearl hens keep their pearls, whereas, the males lose them. ;)

Some females can go years without laying, then suddenly start, it's not uncommon, and usually when they do it can be brought on by breeding hormones. (warmer weather, increased daylight hours) Also, "petting" her on the back, under her wings and stomach can stimulate her as well, this is why it's best to only pet her head/neck. If you have anything in her cage she can use as a nest is something else that could have caused her to lay an egg, such as a happy hut.

Has she got AN egg or EGGS right now? I would highly suggest leaving them with her, they're obviously not going to be fertile, but she will abandon them after awhile, should you remove any, she will lay more to replace them.

As for egg binding, you can read about it here: Egg Binding in cockatiels, Egg Bound birds, what to do for an egg bound bird, symptoms of egg binding, treatment for egg binding in cockatiels, parakeets, canaries, finches, parrots, Emergency Medical treatment for egg binding birds

With her being 10, I would provide her with a lot of extra calcium in order to help her along so that she doesn't get egg bound (if she's on a good diet too then that's even better).
 

pineview01

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She has NEVER laid an egg. She has a happy hut but hates it and has never been in it. She has only ever been touched on the head.

I just am wondering if it is still possible for her to lay eggs at her age and if I should be looking out for it.

"He" always had a cuttle bone in his cage and was feed the same fresh foods as the big birds. "He" did amost only eat a seed diet as when I tried to change it "he" just stopped eating. Now she is getting pellets as the main course.


Thank You for the link!
 
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Anne & Gang

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yes remove the hut for sure....consider yourself lucky that she doesnt and has not laid an egg.REnae gave great advice and links.
 

Monica

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For the smaller species, it's not recommended to keep pellets as more than 50% of the diet. There's been some studies shown that smaller birds kept on a primarily pelleted diet will suffer from kidney problems... so *SOME* seeds are good! Or a 50/50 along with plenty of fresh foods.

Can she still lay eggs? Yes. I have hens of unknown ages, one that's at least 12, and the others, well who knows! All have laid eggs before I got them, and at least one still continues to.

I have another hen who is almost 9 years old, and she still lays eggs.


Cockatiels can live up to 35 years, although the average lifespan is probably 15-20ish. The best thing for a hen is to make sure she gets a healthy diet and lots of exercise. A hen who is on a poor diet and/or is overweight is more likely to have egg-laying problems than a healthy hen who gets daily exercise.

I recently watched one of my hens lay an egg (one of undetermined age, an escapee who was then kept in a not so great home). Well, I had gone in the room to grab the water dishes, everything was fine, and as I went back in to put the dishes back, she was clearly stressed, wings opening, panting, tail fanning, etc. I immediately knew what to expect. Sure enough after watching her for a few moments, she laid an egg. After that was done and over with, she started preening her foot. The egg cracked (she laid it from 4' off the ground) so there was no point in leaving it with her. That said, I never leave eggs with any of my hens.

Although cockatiels are supposedly prone to chronic egg laying if you remove their eggs, I've never had this issue with any of my hens. Perhaps I'm just lucky? One hen always lays her eggs in a spot she deems as a nest. I remove her eggs and the 'nesting site' and she stops laying eggs. The other hen(s) always breaks her eggs so there's no chance in leaving the eggs with the hen... and usually only 3-6 eggs are laid max per hen, per year. Out of the 4 hens here, only 2, maybe 3 hens decide to lay.
 

pineview01

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For the smaller species, it's not recommended to keep pellets as more than 50% of the diet. There's been some studies shown that smaller birds kept on a primarily pelleted diet will suffer from kidney problems... so *SOME* seeds are good! Or a 50/50 along with plenty of fresh foods..
I read ten years ago a seed only diet is bad. Stewy was getting seed and fresh foods with way to much seed. Now she is getting about a T. seed and a T. Zupreen fruit pellets and natural pellets free choise. She gets veg mash put seldom eats it.

Can she still lay eggs? Yes. I have hens of unknown ages, one that's at least 12, and the others, well who knows! All have laid eggs before I got them, and at least one still continues to..
Well, I will be keeping an eye on her than. Maybe I've lucked out as she isn't around any small birds and has never been mulled. Just skretches on the head. And will never lay


Cockatiels can live up to 35 years, although the average lifespan is probably 15-20ish. The best thing for a hen is to make sure she gets a healthy diet and lots of exercise. A hen who is on a poor diet and/or is overweight is more likely to have egg-laying problems than a healthy hen who gets daily exercise..
The problems with "healthy" diet is the experts have changed the requirments just in the ten years I've had Stewy.
She has the OWA old cage all the herself. She has ladders and toys and is almost always on the move. Even though she has gotten heavy in the last year or so.

I recently watched one of my hens lay an egg (one of undetermined age, an escapee who was then kept in a not so great home). Well, I had gone in the room to grab the water dishes, everything was fine, and as I went back in to put the dishes back, she was clearly stressed, wings opening, panting, tail fanning, etc. I immediately knew what to expect. Sure enough after watching her for a few moments, she laid an egg. After that was done and over with, she started preening her foot. The egg cracked (she laid it from 4' off the ground) so there was no point in leaving it with her. That said, I never leave eggs with any of my hens..
Now I know what to watch for. I have seen similar behavior before but thought it was just have self fun.;)

Although cockatiels are supposedly prone to chronic egg laying if you remove their eggs, I've never had this issue with any of my hens. Perhaps I'm just lucky? One hen always lays her eggs in a spot she deems as a nest. I remove her eggs and the 'nesting site' and she stops laying eggs. The other hen(s) always breaks her eggs so there's no chance in leaving the eggs with the hen... and usually only 3-6 eggs are laid max per hen, per year. Out of the 4 hens here, only 2, maybe 3 hens decide to lay.
I hope mine decides to never lay:D
 

Monica

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One cockatiel owner was told that seed only diets were bad so he put his cockatiel on a pellet only diet. Unfortunately, this led to the cockatiel getting gout, so he had to be on allopurinal for the rest of his life. Roudybush fortunately makes a pellet diet (by prescription only) that is good for birds who suffer from high uric acid levels. At $10 a lb (including shipping), well I can say that it works. (and works over Zupreem Natural which is not formulated for birds with health issues) Harrison's foods are supposedly good for birds who suffer from liver and kidney problems as well, but for the time being I remain skeptical.

Even single hens lay, but you have been furtinate indeed that she hasn't become an egg layer and I hope that continues! Since the hen I last mentioned laid an egg, I've had another hen, a bourke parakeet, that laid an egg yesterday. She's 12-15(?) years old, too... she's hit the approximate age mark of life expectency already! (well, 10-20 years, probably not longer... her parents died at about her age, the hen surviving about a year longer than her mate, lost both due to different issues however)


I've heard of budgies who have lived to 18 years on seed only diets, and others don't make it past 6 years at best. Could be due overbreeding, under-age breeding, inbreeding, breeding genetically "unhealthy" birds, etc. So life expectency certainly does vary. We've gone from seeds and monkey chow for the larger parrots constitutes as a good diet, to pellets are best, and now into pellets are good but *maybe* not so great for some species... so yes, we are still figuring things out!

I'm sure I'm just repeating info here that you already know... but here's some videos of various species laying eggs!



So what exactly does egg laying look like? Well, I've searched Youtube for some videos to show you the process!
YouTube - Budgie laying an egg
YouTube - Lineolated Parakeet hen seen laying an egg
YouTube - Budgie Laying An Egg
YouTube - Hyacinth macaws laying first egg.
YouTube - Poquito's Egg laying
YouTube - Bella laying an egg part 2 (what one should not do.... stroking, petting, touching etc of hens in a potentially sexual way)
YouTube - Parrotlet Laying Egg


This video goes to show why it's important to know the sex of your bird. Even if you never plan on breeding, some health issues can be discovered much faster if you know for sure if you have a male or female parrot.
YouTube - sick cockatiel
 

jmfleish

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I agree that you do not want to feed these smaller birds a whole lot of pellets, if any. You have to remember that these birds are primarily seed eaters in the wild. The problem with seed is that you don't want it to be "all" of their diet. They also need a healthy dose of veggies. Fruits aren't bad either but most of them don't have enough taste buds to want to even bother with fruit. Pellets aren't bad, but too many can really do a number on their liver and kidneys.

As for laying eggs, it is not uncommon for them to wait until 10 or later to start. Anything you can do to discourage this is a good idea. My Ekkie breeder just lost her hen to egg binding yesterday, a bird that is used to laying eggs. A friend lost one of her 'tiels to an egg that was malformed and didn't come out correctly about a month ago. It can be a very serious situation and makes me really thankful that I have all males with my token male grey that I call a female...this is one of the biggest reasons why it is so important to DNA sex.
 

Monica

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As for laying eggs, it is not uncommon for them to wait until 10 or later to start. Anything you can do to discourage this is a good idea. My Ekkie breeder just lost her hen to egg binding yesterday, a bird that is used to laying eggs. A friend lost one of her 'tiels to an egg that was malformed and didn't come out correctly about a month ago. It can be a very serious situation and makes me really thankful that I have all males with my token male grey that I call a female...this is one of the biggest reasons why it is so important to DNA sex.
In cases of egg-binding, I always wonder what the birds diet is like, as well as exercise. Both, as well as vitamin D play essential roles in a hens egg-laying cycle. To add in even more factors, how often are these hens laying? Are the hens genetically predisposed to any factors that could effect egg-laying?


My cockatiel hen that recently laid an egg, when I got her, she was laying malformed eggs. She was also on a diet of seeds.

Here's a picture after her cage was upgraded to nearly 3 times the size of the old one - before I got her... (and before the egg laying began)



And the night I took her home, minus perches, toys and dishes. You can see her 'abnormal' eggs. Oh, and she also weighed 56 grams, give or take...




Now, since I've had her, I've always figured that Kiwi (another hen) had been laying eggs. They were a bit on the large side but nothing abnormal other than the eggs have always been cracked. After seeing Tomi Girl (hen above) lay that egg, now I don't know if it's been her this entire time or if it's been both girls. What I do know is that this latest egg is a good size and shape.

I'm glad that I do not have chronic egg layers (even though at least one hen was given to me as a chronic egg layer), just hens that if they do decide to lay, only lay 1-2 clutches a year, no more than 3-6 eggs per clutch.
 

atvchick95

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all my birds get pellets, including rosy Bourke, tiels, lovebirds, budgies All of them. they are perfectly healthy, our vet (when he's in town and he is avian) never has to tell me "less of this, more of that" like he tells people in front of us or that were behind us, he tells us "keep up the great work your birds are perfect"

but to answer you question birds can lay eggs at any time, Gumby My Quaker didn't lay her 1st egg until she was 20

on the same note Some females NEVER lay eggs

Even with other birds in the house,

I have a female Tiel, who wants nothing to do with the boys - She came with a boy she laid eggs when I first got her they never mated though she just laid them every time I changed anything in her atmosphere around(that is supposed to make them not lay eggs by the way - she's a bit backwards lol)

she's lived with the 3 boys for over a year now, only female in the cage, They gave up trying to "woo" her She totally ignored them She stays over to one side of the cage minding her own business doesn't even want to interact with them - she did the same thing when she was in a cage full of females - she is a loaner of a bird! she gets excited when we walk in, but we're not allowed to touch her (her rules) but we are allowed to talk to her (specially if you talk in a baby type voice she loves that) but she prefers to be on her own alone - Hmm maybe that's why I like her so much I prefer to be alone too LOL


P.S. if she pays no mind to the happy hut and hates it, I don't see a point in removing it unless you wanted to - to free up space or something, I highly doubt she'd just out of no where decide she'd want it if she really doesn't like it now or for the last several years she's probably never going to

but if she ends up liking it- keep an eye on her (it doesn't bother all females Gumby's happy hut never made her lay eggs she only sleeps in it and pays no mind to it the rest of the day) she laid eggs before she ever had one.
 
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pineview01

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Thanks for the great vidio links Monica.:thumbsup:
I loved reading every bodies thought on the topic.
I will watch her now. I also will give her some seeds back in her diet. Took me 10 years to get her off. I was so proud of my self.:headsmack:
 

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In cases of egg-binding, I always wonder what the birds diet is like, as well as exercise. Both, as well as vitamin D play essential roles in a hens egg-laying cycle. To add in even more factors, how often are these hens laying? Are the hens genetically predisposed to any factors that could effect egg-laying?
With my Ekkie Breeder, I know the diet was better than I feed my own birds but exercise was probably minimal and she was one of those hens who is constantly laying. She would have to "take vacations" every year and shut down the pair. She never had problems until about a year ago and it's been downhill ever since. This was a complete surprise though and devestating. She also lost a pet M2 to an egg that broke inside her several years ago. It was only the second egg she had ever laid. As I said, it makes me grateful that I have all males.
 
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