Parrot plucking!

Lauraj

Regular Member
Hello all,

I have a quick question which i decided to put in here as it is about feathers etc.

My parrotlet Fifi has had a recent egg laying period and had laid 7 eggs total, so far! She broke three of them at the start and ate them but over the past 2 weeks she has laid four eggs and is currently sitting on all four which im told is a good sign.

Fifi is going from sitting on her eggs to eating then drinking and straight back so im missing the daily contact and love with her, this evening she has left her eggs for food and a tickle from myself and ive noticed she has plucked loads of feathers.
She has feathers scattered over her floor of her cage near her eggs but she has two bald patches, one on her chest and one around her stomach area.

She seems to be in no discomfort and tonight has come for a cuddle and is playing with her toys which is more like her. I've pretended not to see her whilst sat on her eggs and kept cleaning to a minimum but concerned about this plucking behaviour and don't want this to become a habit, is this normal for a nesting bird to do?

I have tried to get some pictures the best i could but my phone currently annoys her and don't wish to stress her further!
(she is now back on the eggs after a bit of love)

I am more than happy to get her to the vets once my vet reopens for non emergency bookings, however as she is still on her eggs would it be best to continue the way i have currently? I miss my bubbly beautiful girl and can't wait for her to be back out and flying as normal!
Also any advice from anybody with a bird who has plucked in relation to what to keep an eye on, again apologies for the pictures but you can see the general area where she has done this.

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I'm sure others will be along soon who have experience with egg laying parrots, but I do believe it's normal for some plucking in hen birds as it means the eggs have contact with the skin. Just going off a hormonal female macaw, she plucks in similar areas when she gets super broody, but we alter the room/diet etc... to get her out of it as she is notorious for getting stuck in the cycle.
 

Lauraj

Regular Member
Thank you all!

Yeah it's so sad that she is trying extra hard this time and she's getting no chicks from it! But saying that i want no baby birds haha!
Fingers crossed this time she does it in her own time before destroying them and then we can snap her out of the process 😂

I tried before to change her day light hours and diet and rearranged her full cage but she still laid eggs, may have to look into other avenues to prevent haha!
 

Lauraj

Regular Member
Good evening everyone!
Just a question in relation to Fifi sitting on her eggs, i know it's not the correct section but wanted to keep it all together.

Fifi is sitting on 5 eggs now and has been sitting on them for at least 2 weeks.. how long does birds typically sit on their eggs and when will i know she has given up on them?
She hasn't come out of her cage in 2 weeks as she does not want to, her cage door is open and all this seems to do is panic her and she proetects her eggs more. im worried she hasn't flown round and concerned about the impact of this. I know this may be normal but ive not experienced her sitting on eggs before so im concerned.

She is not interested in fruit and veg, apart from a kiwi she loves them still. She is eating her pellets and seeds and that's where we put the calcium powder. Is it normal for a hen to go off their food a bit when sitting?
Any advice about her flying/sitting would he appreciated.
 

CaptainHowdy

Regular Member
Good evening everyone!
Just a question in relation to Fifi sitting on her eggs, i know it's not the correct section but wanted to keep it all together.

Fifi is sitting on 5 eggs now and has been sitting on them for at least 2 weeks.. how long does birds typically sit on their eggs and when will i know she has given up on them?
She hasn't come out of her cage in 2 weeks as she does not want to, her cage door is open and all this seems to do is panic her and she proetects her eggs more. im worried she hasn't flown round and concerned about the impact of this. I know this may be normal but ive not experienced her sitting on eggs before so im concerned.

She is not interested in fruit and veg, apart from a kiwi she loves them still. She is eating her pellets and seeds and that's where we put the calcium powder. Is it normal for a hen to go off their food a bit when sitting?
Any advice about her flying/sitting would he appreciated.
When sitting the hens are usually fed by the cock birds so don't need to leave the nest as often. As she is on her own she will come off to eat and poop and then likely go back on.

As for sitting that depends on the hen. Incubation period is around 18-21 days and i would expect her to sit for the whole 21 days as a minimum. After that some hens stay sitting for a week till they give up. Others may still sitting a lot longer. What you need to be careful of is the eggs going off. If you haven't replaced them with fake eggs then they will go off and if they get cracked can really stink a place out 🤢
If she's been sitting for 14 days id give her another week and see how she goes.

I forgot where she is sitting the eggs? Is this on the cage floor?

Ideally you want to try and completely discourage the egglaying as it will take a lot out of her for no return on her part.

Do you have millet sprays? I'd put one near to where she is so she always has a snack. When I breed my birds I actually put half a spray in the box for the hens and when chicks hatch a full spray until they wean.
 

Lauraj

Regular Member
When sitting the hens are usually fed by the cock birds so don't need to leave the nest as often. As she is on her own she will come off to eat and poop and then likely go back on.

As for sitting that depends on the hen. Incubation period is around 18-21 days and i would expect her to sit for the whole 21 days as a minimum. After that some hens stay sitting for a week till they give up. Others may still sitting a lot longer. What you need to be careful of is the eggs going off. If you haven't replaced them with fake eggs then they will go off and if they get cracked can really stink a place out 🤢
If she's been sitting for 14 days id give her another week and see how she goes.

I forgot where she is sitting the eggs? Is this on the cage floor?

Ideally you want to try and completely discourage the egglaying as it will take a lot out of her for no return on her part.

Do you have millet sprays? I'd put one near to where she is so she always has a snack. When I breed my birds I actually put half a spray in the box for the hens and when chicks hatch a full spray until they wean.
Thank you for your reply.
Yeah she has laid three times this year and broken the eggs everytime, this time it was random and she laid on the cage floor and is sat on them. We took the bars from the bottom of her cage from day one and she spends majority of her day foraging and playing with toys on the floor so it's normal for her to be on the floor of her cage.

I have placed a millet spray down for her and she has been snacking on this, ive also put her pellets into her bowl very close to where she is sitting on her eggs and this has worked a treat as she doesn't have to go too far for her pellets.
She does leave the eggs to eat drink and poop then returns, she has started leaving them longer in the morning and doesn't attack my hand when i clean out her poop but have kept the cleaning to a minimum.

I will keep my eye on her for another week and see how we get on, she has plucked as explained at the start of this and its sad but others have said normal.

I have bought so many new toys and perches for her cage for when this is over to revamp the cage fully.. thinking of moving her cage to another part of the room also to see if this discourages any behaviour. She is currently next to the living room door which goes into our hallway but tucked back so no draft, however she is opposite our window and not close enough to overheat she can see outdoors and gets a lot of light, also she gets loads of light from the front door through the hallway. I'm considering putting her at the rear of the room, although next to a window again she won't get double light from both front and back window at the same time. Really trying to switch it up this time for her.
 

CaptainHowdy

Regular Member
Thank you for your reply.
Yeah she has laid three times this year and broken the eggs everytime, this time it was random and she laid on the cage floor and is sat on them. We took the bars from the bottom of her cage from day one and she spends majority of her day foraging and playing with toys on the floor so it's normal for her to be on the floor of her cage.

I have placed a millet spray down for her and she has been snacking on this, ive also put her pellets into her bowl very close to where she is sitting on her eggs and this has worked a treat as she doesn't have to go too far for her pellets.
She does leave the eggs to eat drink and poop then returns, she has started leaving them longer in the morning and doesn't attack my hand when i clean out her poop but have kept the cleaning to a minimum.

I will keep my eye on her for another week and see how we get on, she has plucked as explained at the start of this and its sad but others have said normal.

I have bought so many new toys and perches for her cage for when this is over to revamp the cage fully.. thinking of moving her cage to another part of the room also to see if this discourages any behaviour. She is currently next to the living room door which goes into our hallway but tucked back so no draft, however she is opposite our window and not close enough to overheat she can see outdoors and gets a lot of light, also she gets loads of light from the front door through the hallway. I'm considering putting her at the rear of the room, although next to a window again she won't get double light from both front and back window at the same time. Really trying to switch it up this time for her.

Sometimes unfortunately they are just determined to lay. But moving around the toys in her cage daily and moving the cage placement around the room will help. Also get a black out cover for her cage and limit her to 8 hours of light a day for a couple of weeks to see if that helps.
 

Lauraj

Regular Member
Sometimes unfortunately they are just determined to lay. But moving around the toys in her cage daily and moving the cage placement around the room will help. Also get a black out cover for her cage and limit her to 8 hours of light a day for a couple of weeks to see if that helps.
Will look into the cover also, thank you!
I have always rotated their toys weekly to keep them busy but will do this more often now with Fifi.
 

Lauraj

Regular Member
Good morning all!

Quick update on Fifi. Fi has been sitting on her eggs for over three weeks now, could be more like a month (ive lost track of the days), she's been aggressive and only left them for a bit of food.
This morning it's like our old girl is back, opened her cage to take out her poop and she flew out, flying round the living room. Landed on us for a cuddle and she has not been back to the eggs for over an hour now, i know it's only one hour but normally within 5 minutes she's back on them.
She's grooming her bald self and attacking her toys and seems very happy.

My question is, i feel she may be over these eggs. What's the next step? Now she has come off them for a bit and seems more herself should i leave them in for a day or two incase she hasn't fully got over them or should i remove them straight away?
I have her so many new toys and new perches to revamp her cage and also her cage is going to be moved from its current spot.

Unsure of the next step and don't want to move too quickly and kick her laying off again.
 

plumsmum

Regular Member
Have you tried Fifi with dandelion leaves, the small, new leaves will be less bitter. These are a super food for parrots.

If you do visit the AV and they suggest a hormone treatment/suppression do please be aware that these can deplete calcium in the body and it isn't always mentioned.
 

Lauraj

Regular Member
Have you tried Fifi with dandelion leaves, the small, new leaves will be less bitter. These are a super food for parrots.

If you do visit the AV and they suggest a hormone treatment/suppression do please be aware that these can deplete calcium in the body and it isn't always mentioned.
I haven't tried her on dandelion leaves, will look and get her some.. is fresh best? Only asking as my bunny has a pack which are dried.

I will be taking her to the avian vet when she stops sitting on them, just for a check up.
She has started to come out of her cage now and enjoys flying round the house again but after a while goes to make sure her little eggs are still there.
I hope after she has sat on these and realised that they aren't hatching she won't lay again for a long long time!

Thank you for the advice though, i appreciate it!
 

plumsmum

Regular Member
I haven't tried her on dandelion leaves, will look and get her some.. is fresh best? Only asking as my bunny has a pack which are dried.

I will be taking her to the avian vet when she stops sitting on them, just for a check up.
She has started to come out of her cage now and enjoys flying round the house again but after a while goes to make sure her little eggs are still there.
I hope after she has sat on these and realised that they aren't hatching she won't lay again for a long long time!

Thank you for the advice though, i appreciate it!
I have used dried chickweed before so yes should be OK especially if fresh ones from a doggie widdle free area are in short supply? The dried could be incorporated easily I guess? :)
 

Lauraj

Regular Member
Afternoon everyone!

Keeping this in one thread rather than starting another thread.
Fifi my parrotlet laid her first egg on 19th May and her 5th and final egg on 29th May.
She has been laid on them since and over the last week or so she has come off them for longer and started to come out of her cage for 5 minutes at a time.

She is showing no solid signs of leaving the eggs yet and it's now been over one month, just wondering if any members can offer me any help and advice to get her off these eggs now?

I have moved her cage to another part of the room where the light can be controlled more and ive tried to reduce her daylight hours.
Other than this im at a loss, is it best to leave her to come off them herself or try help her along now?

Thanks in advance to everyone!
 

Lauraj

Regular Member
That's great, i had something in my mind that someone had said that before but couldn't piece it together 😂
When she comes out in the morning will remove the first egg, i have missed my little bundle of mayhem this past month!
 
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