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Sometimes I feel that the only thing I write about Georgie is about her laying eggs. Since it is such a common occurance I decided to count how many eggs Georgie has laid in her life so far. I keep a record of her egg laying in my little pigeon notebook (see: Pet Pigeon Book).

The first egg Georgie ever laid – back in the day when we thought she was a boy! – was on the 17th October 2008 (when she was 1 year old).

Georgie and her first egg

Georgie with her first egg!

Here are the numbers:

  • 2008 – 2 eggs
  • 2009 – 16 eggs
  • 2010 – 7 eggs
  • 2011 – 8 eggs
  • 2012 – 20 eggs
  • 2013 – 2 eggs so far

All together that makes 55 eggs.

Last year Georgie laid 10 pairs of eggs, almost a pair a month, which is definitely not what I want for her since egg laying is so energy and calcium draining (please read my previous post: The problem of chronic egg laying). I hope 2013 is the year she takes it easy (although we’re not off to a good start with 2 eggs already). I’ll have to try harder not to encourage the behaviour, but it is hard since Georgie is the one that comes to me for affection. How can I deny her a cuddle when I’m all she has?

I just have to ensure that Georgie is healthy enough to handle the egg laying. I have already taken away her nest to discourage nest building, but with the absence of her nest she goes looking for another:

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Georgie sneaking up on Elmo in his nest


Yesterday I wrote that we were expecting Georgie to lay an egg any minute now, and lo and behold, she did!

The whole day George was restless. She didn’t want to nest in her guinea-pig nest, nor even in the pink and white fleece! For some reason Georgie was rejecting them. I didn’t know what she wanted and nothing I did seemed to please her. Georgie kept moving about without settling.

In the end we found that she’d laid the egg on the floor. She didn’t seem interested in it at all. Poor dear.

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We left the egg in Georgie’s cage today when we left for work and returned to find her incubating it. Hooray! (By the way, Georgie’s eggs are never fertile.) We now await the appearance of the second egg, which should happen tomorrow.

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This is a video of Georgie laying an egg earlier this year:

Georgie has had an 8 month break since the last time she laid eggs, which I think is good because as you can imagine, egg production and laying takes a lot of energy and calcium. It can take its toll if birds lay eggs continuously, a condition called “chronic egg-laying”. I’m happy that George made the decision to not lay eggs for a while, thus giving herself a break. Now, however, an egg has appeared and who knows if she’ll continue to lay eggs every month from now on. I hope she doesn’t.

Chronic egg-laying can cause a number of serious health problems for birds, and can ultimately lead to the death of the female if left untreated.

“Chronic egg-laying in the pet bird poses a significant threat to the health and behavioral well being of many pet birds. When a hen lays repeated clutches or larger than normal clutch size without regard to the presence of a normal mate or confined breeding season, a myriad of secondary problems can follow. Ultimately, functional exhaustion of the reproductive tract poses risk of metabolic and physiological drain on the bird, particularly on calcium and energy stores. All of these ultimately predispose the hen to egg binding, dystocia, yolk coelomitis, oviductal impaction, oviductal torsion, cloacal prolapse and osteoporosis.” Ask an Expert: Chronic egg laying by Dr. Brian Speer, DVM.

This article – Chronic Egg Laying from AvianWeb – has some good advice on how to combat chronic egg-laying (mainly aimed at parrot species). Please go to the article to see the full explanation of the points below.

Things you can do to discourage / stop your bird from laying eggs:

  • Do not remove eggs which she has already laid.
  • Remove possible nesting sites and nest-making material.
  • Mimic “Shorter Days”.
  • Limit food access.
  • One vet recommended turning day into night.
  • Discourage breeding behavior in your bird.
  • Rearrange the cage interior and change the cage location.
  • Give your bird optimal nutrition.
  • Provide full spectrum light.
  • If necessary, separate from “mate”.
  • Ask your veterinarian about hormone injections.

The following article has good advice about egg-binding (one of the problems of chronic egg laying):

“Calcium is used by the body to not only form the shell of the developing egg and maintain strong bones, but is also crucial in the proper functioning of the muscles. While it does take a large amount of calcium to form an egg shell, the hen also needs calcium for the muscle action needed to expel the egg.

“Vitamin d3 is crucial in the absorption of calcium. Without it, all that good calcium we offer our birds passes right through the body without being absorbed. In outdoor flights, our birds are able to produce d3 via a chemical reaction to sunlight. In indoor flights, they are unable to do this. Sunlight through a window is not sufficient. The ultraviolet light needed does not pass through window glass. Full spectrum lights can help but some studies have shown that the ultraviolet is only at sufficient levels at less than one foot from the light source. For inside birds, a d3 supplement is almost always helpful.” Egg Binding by Carol Heesen


After Georgie laid her first (of the normal 2) egg on Saturday, we managed to capture her laying her second egg on Monday on video! :)