What are the signs birds are expecting chicks?

Dr. Spira, Can you tell me about birds who are expecting chicks?

BY DR. SPIRA, our Emeritus veterinarian with special interest in avian care, and decades of experience

When female birds are ready for breeding, you can tell by changes in their behavior. Small parrots can become aggressive. Some females want to go and sit in places other than their usual spots. You may find them in a drawer, or on a shelf. This is nest-building behavior.

Cockatiels are bred to breed, and can go on and on. This can get them in trouble. If they don’t stop laying eggs, they can lose calcium. Owners need to be sure to give female egg-laying birds calcium supplements to insure their female birds remain healthy.

Sometimes female cockatiel owners take their female birds’ eggs away, especially if there has been no male present to make the viable, to save them upset when their eggs don’t hatch. However, this can actually be counter productive; if there are eggs in the nest, the females will keep on sitting on them, and not lay new ones. But if the eggs are removed, they will keep on laying more, and become exhausted and calcium depleted.

Please check the general info on the bird care “When is it time to go the vet?” page for more information on signs of health and behavior to watch for in all birds, including canaries, that mean your bird may need to go the avian professional, or vet.


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