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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I meant to post some tips on the subject earlier so here it goes. I know it can be pretty scary to find an egg in your 'tiel's cage, especially when you weren't expecting it. It's normal for females to have a clutch sometime during their life. It usually will happen when your 'tiel is happy and comfortable around her environment, therefore making the breeding conditions right. From what I've seen it usually happens more during the ages of one to two, but it can happen anytime. For older hens it's much more dangerous, although being young doesn't mean there can't be complications. Either way, familiarize yourself with the signs and know your bird so you can provide help if and when she needs it.

There are things you can do during this time and after to bring her out of condition and lessen the chances of it happening again. Some hens go into chronic egg laying mode where they are laying eggs clutch after clutch. This becomes very dangerous and a trip to the vet is recommended since she is draining her calcium supply. Also, during this time it's especially important to provide with calcium, phosphorus and vitamin D3. Calcium and phosphorus can be found in many foods. Vitamin D3 is available as a supplement in some foods however the best source is pure sunlight. Short exposures of non filtered (no window) sunlight help the skin produce vitamin D3. Without this vitamin, calcium and phosphorus is not absorbed and distributed properly, therefore they become useless.

So now that she has an egg, it probably won't be the last. There can be several eggs in her clutch, between 3-11. Most first time layers will have a small clutch of maybe around 4 eggs. She'll usually have one every other day until she completes her clutch. You'll know when she's getting ready to lay another as the day before their poop is huge. They hold it and go about twice a day. Also, her vent area may be swollen. Read http://talkcockatiels.com/showthread.php?t=2539 to understand the process of egg laying and know what problems can arise.

She'll most likely not sit on the very first egg, but some do. Most will wait until the second or third, or even until the clutch is complete. She'll sit on them for about 2-3 weeks until realizing their duds. At that time, and only then do you start removing them one by one. You'll know when the time is right. NEVER take away the eggs until she's lost interest. Doing so will cause her to drain her calcium supply by replacing them.

Things you can do during and after this:

Provide 12 hours of dark *night time* to simulate winter (non breeding conditions) Do this during her incubation and after.

Change around her cage location and cage items *perches, bowls, toys, etc*. This will take her a bit out of her comfort zone and bring her out of condition. You should do this about once or twice a month on a regular basis. It's also good idea to do it after you've removed the last egg.

Limit high fat/high sugar/high protein foods such as egg, seed, and millet. Replace those items with healthy things like veggies, beans, etc. Be careful not to take away essential foods in her diet. The idea is not to deprive her, but to make sure food is not available in abundance.

No petting on anywhere but her head. SO many owners make the mistake of rubbing their female's back and she ends up thinking you're her mate. Yes, she will try and lay eggs for you.

Do not provide any nesting material and remove any toys that she might be getting *frisky* with.

Don't let her go searching for dark spots-they're looking for nesting spots. *under couch pillows, book shelves, cupboards, etc*


All these things combined should bring her out of condition. Hopefully understanding what happens and knowing what to do will make it a less scary experience. If you think something is not right, don't waste precious time looking it up online. Call your vet!
Good luck!
 
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