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I got my hen, Bibi, from a bird rescue organization in September 2019. In December 2020 she started laying eggs. The first few she laid from her perch and they fell to the floor of her cage and cracked. I cutout the end of a tissue box and fashioned a nest for her (the rim was maybe an inch high) and she eventually learned to lay her eggs there. Her first clutch was four eggs. I let her keep them until she no longer sat them (about three weeks) and then got rid of them. In March she started another clutch so I went online and bought some dummy eggs. I gave her four and she ended up laying two more - so she ended up with a clutch of six. It's April and she has started another clutch. (I gave her the dummies, but she's still laying.)

She is in a dark, quiet room, covered, everyday from 8pm until 8am. She eats a pellet diet, with very little snack food. (If I have crackers, she might get a piece about the size of a dime.) When I scratch her I only scratch her head and neck - not her shoulders or the rest of her body. I'm trying to accept the fact that I seem to have a hen who feels a strong need to lay, but I also want to minimize the effects it will have on her health.

An interesting thing about her behavior: There are two rooms in the house where she sits on her eggs - the room she sleeps in and the family room. In the living room, a corner of which is my "office", she gets out of her cage and spends time flying about and engaging in otherwise normal cockatiel behavior. Her cage sits next to my desk when we're there and I guess she figures I'm sitting on them, so to speak.

Please, keep your replies kind. Life is hard enough as it is.


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