I have a 5 year old cockatiel named DJ. Starting in April she has been laying eggs. In April the eggs were misshapen and somewhat soft. I changed her diet and cage around and during the months of May and June she laid 4 eggs that were all normal. Then in the past few days she has laid two eggs that are very soft - practically just membranes. Prior to this she was a 'tiel that laid 1 or 2 eggs once or twice a year.
Cockatiels can become chronic egg layers and a whole host of health issues can arise. That is not what I want to happen with DJ.
We had a vet visit today. The vet said DJ felt physically like she was carrying another egg but wanted to x-ray to be sure. The other reason she wanted to x-ray was to see what DJ's bone density looked like.
Well, she is carrying another egg and her bone density did not look good. We did a calcium shot and we need to return in 10 days for another calcium shot.
In the mean time I need to move DJ into a separate cage away from the hen she lives with (Larry Joe), clip her wings short, reduce her food to about 50% for the next 4 - 5 days, and in general make her feel as insecure as possible. Seriously. 'Tiels lay their clutches when the weather is warm, the food is plentiful, and they feel secure.
I also need to work hard at getting her to eat real food. She will not. My other hen Larry loves to eat whatever I am eating. Not DJ. DJ acts as though she is afraid of novel foods. The vet wants me to make mashed sweet potatoes and mash a Tums into it for calcium. Of course I also need to bring DJ outside in the sun so she can activate it with some Vitamin D.
I am also to increase her foraging activities to distract her from her hormones.
In the meantime I need to purchase a new cage to put DJ in, in a different room. I used to have a bunch of cages but I donated them all to the MSPCA. I should have remembered to keep one just in case I end up with a sick bird or one that is on an egg laying tear.
I have also ordered some plastic cockatiel eggs so that next time she lays an egg I can swap it out with the plastic one and she can sit on it for about 21 days if she so desires.
The appointment went better than I expected. Hopefully with all these changes I'll be able to break the cycle of laying.
5 days ago