The simple answer is it depends on the parrotlet. Smaller parrots do tend to lay eggs more frequently than larger ones, so you might expect your parrotlet to lay a clutch of eggs 2-3 times a year. At the same time, many parrotlet owners report their parrotlet never laid an egg after maturity.
How often your parrotlet lays eggs is going to depend a lot on the individual bird, then.
If you are not making active efforts to breed the parrotlet, then there’s a good chance you’ll very rarely see any eggs at all.
On the other hand, some parrotlets are more inclined to lay eggs frequently.
Let’s find out more.
How many eggs will a parrotlet lay?
It depends, really.
Parrots generally lay eggs a few times a year, in clutches.
The rule of thumb, while not a hard and fast certainty, is that smaller parrots tend to lay clutches of eggs more frequently than large parrots.
Amazon parrots, for example, generally only lay eggs once a year, in clutches usually of two or three and up to five.
Budgies, on the other hand, might lay eggs two, three or even four times a year, in clutches of up to eight eggs.
This is similar with parrotlets, in many cases.
They will lay large clutches of eggs multiple times a year, in similar frequency that you might expect from a budgie.
They will also generally lay clutches of four to five eggs and perhaps more.
These clutches will be of four to eight eggs although they might lay as many as ten in a single clutch.
But the fact is that this depends greatly on a lot of factors.
For one thing, it just comes down to the individual parrotlet.
Some will lay a lot more eggs than others for reasons you can’t necessarily anticipate.
Some parrotlets might never lay an egg after their first clutch—some might never lay a clutch at all.
Some might lay large clutches four or five times a year.
Ultimately, your parrot laying eggs shouldn’t really be a problem.
Your parrot may have the instinct to incubate them, in which case you should let her.
But after a few days or weeks she should lose interest, and you can dispose of the eggs.
Don’t do this too soon, though, or your parrotlet will just lay more.
You can make use of false eggs which are used to satisfy the parrotlet’s inclination to incubate, while getting rid of the real eggs.
If they aren’t fertilized, though, there’s no chance of them becoming baby parrotlets—so do parrotlets lay unfertilized eggs?
Do parrotlets lay unfertilized eggs?
Yes, parrotlets will lay unfertilized eggs.
In the wild, parrotlets and parrots in general do not tend to lay eggs unless they have a mate.
In captivity, though, they often will lay unfertilized eggs—although this, again, is not a guarantee.
But the important point is that, just because your parrotlet has laid eggs, does not mean those eggs are fertilized and you need to worry about baby parrotlets hatching from them.
Naturally, if your parrotlet shares space with a male parrotlet and they have unsupervised access to one another, then your parrotlet laying eggs is a different story.
If you don’t want to breed your parrotlets, then the fact is you need to keep them separated by sex.
For the most part, opposite sex parrotlets generally won’t get on very well anyway—unless they were raised together from a very young age.
But if this is the case, it’s really only a matter of time before they attempt to breed with one another.
But, yes, any eggs laid by a parrotlet without access to a male is going to be unfertilized.
How do I stop my parrotlet from laying eggs?
Is there any way to stop the egg laying, then?
In short, no.
As I said, some parrotlets won’t lay many eggs at all after their first clutch.
However, for those that do, there’s really not a great deal you can to curb the behavior.
It’s a natural part of their annual cycle, and something their body tends to just do.
While it is, as I’ve tried to stress, a mixed bag, if your parrotlet doesn’t lay eggs, it’s very unlikely that’s due to anything you’ve done.
Laying eggs is essentially the equivalent of ovulation in mammals. It’s just a natural part of the bird’s cycle.
Of course, you can stop them from laying fertilized eggs by just keeping them apart from any males.
But other than that, at some point they are almost certainly going to lay a clutch of eggs.
Again, though, there’s really nothing to be concerned about with these eggs.
In the vast majority of cases, your parrotlet will incubate them for a few weeks before ultimately losing interest.
Give them the time and space to be with their eggs while they remain interested, and then you can quietly remove them.
Can a parrotlet lay an egg without mating?
Yes, parrotlets can and do lay eggs without mating.
As I said, laying an egg is almost like ovulation for a female bird.
They plainly don’t “ovulate” as frequently as humans do, but the mechanism of what’s going on is essentially the same.
Female birds ovulate follicles from their ovaries, and while this doesn’t lead to menstruation, it does lead to egg laying.
So, there’s no requirement on your parrotlet to have mated before it lays an egg.
Indeed, if your parrotlet does lay an egg after mating, you’ve got a fertilized egg on your hands and that is a whole other issue.
As I said, though, getting parrotlets to breed successfully has been a big challenge.
So, it is quite unlikely that you should accidentally breed two parrotlets and end up with a clutch of fertilized eggs.
That said, you should always exercise the utmost caution and avoid this situation happening in the first place.
Is egg laying random, then?
Do parrotlets randomly lay eggs?
It might seem random, but there’s nothing truly “random” about it.
As I said, your parrot will go through cycles each year, and in most cases, this will mean laying clutches of eggs two or three times a year.
The cycles should be pretty regular and you should be able to track them across the year.
At the same time, the captive environment can cause some fundamental changes to their cycles.
They might end up not laying eggs at all due to various factors, or they might lay eggs apparently “randomly” after having not laid eggs for years.
Reproductive health is a complex question, in birds as well as in humans.
Ultimately, just remember that parrotlets laying eggs shouldn’t be a major problem and so it’s really nothing to worry about.
How long after mating do parrotlets lay eggs?
As with any aspect of this, how long your parrot will take to lay eggs after mating will depend.
If you are actively attempting to mate the parrotlets, then you can usually expect a week to two weeks between mating and laying of the fertilized eggs.
However, it can take longer, sometimes up to thirty days.
Once your parrotlet does start laying, they will typically lay the whole clutch over the course of a few days.
They’ll usually be done in two or three days though it may take four or five.
At what age do parrotlets lay eggs?
The general rule of thumb is that smaller parrots are generally fully mature at a younger age, and thus they can lay clutches of eggs at a younger age.
Parrotlets, and similarly sized birds like parakeets and cockatiels, generally start laying eggs at around a year old.
Naturally, it can take a lot longer, though it will very rarely be any earlier than this.
If you are trying to breed your parrotlet, it’s best to wait until they are at least 18 months old, just to be sure it is safe for them to breed.
By the time they’re four they’re usually done laying and you should stop trying to breed them at this point.
It’s a somewhat complex question, then.
Anyone will tell you that breeding parrotlets is a pretty difficult thing to do, and so if you aren’t trying to do that, there’s a good chance your parrotlet might never lay any eggs at all.
On the other hand, you might get a parrotlet with an overactive egg-laying capacity.
Either way, it’s usually fairly easy to manage and doesn’t give you a great deal of extra work to do.