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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I recently posted about putting my bird, Princess, on a diet. Well, her weight is fine after getting her diet just right along with exercise. She’s at a great weight.

Well, she just laid an infertile egg. I can tell she’s tired and hungry. I’m wondering what to feed her and get her to stop laying them.

I just gave her some Leferber’s Premium Daily Diet pellets, seed, and a bit of crushed oyster shell for calcium. Is there anything I should be giving her for extra nutrition?

Oh, I’ve been putting her to bed earlier. She used to get 10 hours of night. Now she gets 12 hours of night to try to keep her from getting so hormonal. I apparently failed at doing this and she’s now laid an egg. What else should I do to get her to stop? I don’t want her to have complications, but I desperately want her to not lay eggs as I’m not breeding her.

Any help from anyone that has gone through this or knows what to do would be much appreciated. Thank you!
 

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Firstly: please don't give her grit. If they eat enough of it, it can impact their crop and cause serious problems. They don't need it as they husk their seeds and grains so they don't need the help from grit to digest their food. Grit is only essential for birds that don't husk their food (such as poultry and pigeons). You can give her a cuttlebone for calcium instead. Pellets also have added calcium.

You can give her up to 14 hours of darkness each night to reduce her hormone levels. It can take a couple of weeks to have an effect.

In case you haven't seen it, here is the Sticky article on hormone control.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Okay, I’ll stop the crushed oyster shell. She has a cuttlebone, but I don’t think she’s really interested in it. I’ve started to make sure she gets 14 hours of darkness and is covered. Hopefully that helps.

This is actually the first time I got a bit worried about her in awhile. I’ve just never been in this situation before at all. I just want to make sure she has enough nutriention.

Thank you for the link. I may have seen it awhile ago. I’m going to go over it again. Do you have any suggestions that may not be in the link for me? Thanknyo
 

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If she is very persistent on laying you may need to set up a nest for her and give her some dummy eggs to trick her into thinking she has a full clutch and thus preventing her laying any eggs herself. If this works (sometimes the fake eggs don't fool them), she will eventually lose interest in them and her hormone levels should tame down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Okay, I’m hoping the 14 hours of darkness helps soon. She’s still making her mating sounds although she hasn’t laid an egg since I wrote this post.

I have taken your advice and purchased some fake eggs just in case. I figured that I’m going to have her for the rest of her life, so I might as well have them in case I ever need them. If it comes to the point I have to use the eggs, I hope they work. My vet contacted me as I called her office before posting. She basically agreed with what you said about the fake eggs as well. She also told me that the last resort is a medication that’ll lower the hormones. However, she doesn’t carry it, because she hasn’t had anyone besides me asking for it. It would cost me about $1,000 if she ordered it as she can’t get it in individual doses. I have money saved up for her in an emergency, but the medication isn’t going to be an option as that’s a bit out of my price range. So, again, I hope either the 14 hours of night or the fake eggs work.

I have a few questions for you still, if you don’t mind.

The first is, what would be the best way to make a nest for her if needed at some point? I have some newspapers and even some of that shredded paper that is often on bird toys. They’re thin strips of paper. It was bought for her toys, but thought that I may be able to use it for nesting material if I had to.

The second is that I want to give this 14 hours of night a chance to work. I heard it may take awhile though from what I read. If she lays another egg (it’ll crack with no nesting spots), should I still continue to try the 14 hours of darkness before giving her a nest? What would you do if in this scenario? Sorry if I’m a bit too “what if” at the moment. I tend to get like that when I come things I'm not experienced with.

The last question is about nutrition. She gets the Leferber’s Premium Daily Diet pellets, broccoli, access to a cuttlebone (she doesn’t appear interested), and Vita-Sol Multi Vitamin drops in her water everyday. I have stopped giving the crushed oyster shells as you’ve suggested. My question was, do you think that it would be a good idea to give her any other source of calcium in her food like crushed eggshells? I don’t want her to have too much calcium, yet I don’t want her to have a lack of it. I was wondering if you think what I’m giving her is sufficient or if I should add something else to her food, even if it was just once a week or so. I can get a bulk of sterilized crushed eggshells. I just didn’t want to buy it and give it to her if you don’t think they’re really necessary to give her them. After all, I don’t want her to have too much calcium.

Again, thank you for your help. I hope I haven’t been too much of a bother. She’s just my little baby, and I worry about her like crazy when something happens to her for the first time.
 

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The hormone shot is usually given to chronic egg layers that do not stop laying no matter what you do and therefore is a very dangerous situation for the 'tiel as it increases the risk of nutritional deficiency and egg binding. Since Princess isn't laying consistently I don't think a shot is necessary but it's good to keep in mind in case she ever develops into a chronic egg layer.

I have a hen who is laying without a mate at the moment and she chose one of the stainless steel round food bowls as a nest. So I emptied the food out of it, put some wood shavings in and left her eggs in there. She only has two but hasn't laid another one since I set up the "nest" for her. She is starting to lose interest in it and when she does completely I will remove it. You could set up something similar for Princess if she starts laying again. I need to replace all of the stainless steel dishes with some smaller plastic ones so the food dishes are no longer viewed as nest sites. My hens' logic is this: if she can fit in it, it's good enough to lay in!

Do the 14 hours of darkness regardless if she lays again or not. It'll calm her hormones down in time and trick her into thinking it's not breeding season.

Her diet is great but yes you can give her crushed egg shells and even boiled egg to eat (once or twice a week). Make sure to crush the shells into a fine powder and then sprinkle it on her food. You can get a mineral block for her to chew on if she isn't interested in a cuttle bone; a couple of my girls prefer these over cuttle bones as they are usually naturally flavoured and a bit softer.

I give this food to my flock as it's a good supplement especially when egg laying is concerned.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you for the help. That helps a lot. You’ve answered just about everything I was worried about.

Sorry for all the questions. Whenever I find myself in a situation I haven’t been in, especially when it comes to my pets, I tend to get a little more concerned and worried than usual. This actually gave me a lot of answers I was needing. Thank you again so much!
 

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Hey you're welcome, this is what this forum is for! Helping each other out to the best of our ability.

If you have any other queries or worries please don't hesitate to post!
 
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