I had my female cockatiel for three years before she began laying eggs. After she began laying eggs it became an almost monthly occurrence. The accumulation of eggs and frequent episodes of unfertilized eggs eventually turned into a nuisance. I began seeking methods I could use to try to discourage her from her persistent egg laying. While you can not stop nature, there are certain changes you can make to try to prevent your female cockatiel from laying eggs so often. Not all methods will work for your bird. You will have to find which method works for your bird thru trial and error.
The Right Diet
It is important to ensure your female cockatiel is consuming the proper diet for two reasons. First, your bird needs the correct diet because if she is frequently laying eggs and is not receiving the proper nutrition her chances of becoming egg bound increase due to a depleted calcium supply within her body. Calcium is needed to keep the bird healthy and for healthy eggs to develop. Without adequate calcium levels the bird can quickly become egg bound, which is often deadly.
Secondly, your female cockatiel needs correct and balanced nutrition because if your bird’s diet contains too much protein, it can actually cause her to lay eggs. High levels of protein encourage breeding in cockatiels. Therefore, make sure your bird’s diet consists of the correct amount of protein.
Change the Environment
Certain environmental issues are known to trigger female cockatiels to lay eggs. Typically, cockatiels begin to lay eggs during the year when days become longer, such as in the Spring. You can try to trick your bird into believing the days are shorter by leaving her in total darkness for about 12 hours. Sometimes, this makes the bird believe it is actually Winter and the egg laying will stop.
Discourage the Behavior
You can also try to stop your bird from laying eggs by discouraging the behavior. To discourage the behavior remove the eggs whenever you have the opportunity. While she will be on the nest quite often, notice your opportunities to remove the eggs. Eventually, she will realize she has no chance to maintain a nest to raise her young.
While you can try to stop the egg laying, if your bird is determined, you won’t be able to stop nature. But, you can try to take her mind off of egg laying by keeping her busy. Increase her activity level by increasing the number of times she is out of the cage per day. Give her new toys to play with and encourage her play time. You can hope this will work to take her mind off of the egg laying habit.