I got up the other morning and went down to feed my lovebirds, as I could hear one of them chirping away louder and earlier than usual.
When I got to the cage, I was pretty surprised to find that one of my female pair had laid some eggs.
I didn’t even know it was possible for them to lay eggs without mating, but here I was, staring at a small clutch of eggs!
I naturally wasn’t worried that any of them might hatch, but nonetheless I really had no idea what I should do.
So, I decided to look into it.
You should leave it in the cage if you know it isn’t fertilized. She will have an instinct to incubate it, and you should let her do so for around 3 weeks. Her body shouldn’t produce any more eggs at that point. Then, you can remove the eggs from the cage.
It’s really nothing to worry about, then, if your lovebird lays an egg.
If the egg is fertilized, you may have to replace the eggs with fake eggs, if you want to avoid the eggs hatching into little lovebirds.
Let’s look further into this.
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What should I do if my lovebird lays an egg?
Firstly, don’t panic—there’s nothing to worry about if you’re sure it isn’t fertilized.
If you think they are fertilized, then you’re going to need to replace the eggs with fake eggs, once the whole clutch is laid.
Dispose of the real eggs, without the lovebird realizing.
In future, be more careful about your lovebirds mating without your knowledge.
If it isn’t fertilized, though, then all you really need to do is leave it in the cage for a few weeks.
At most, your lovebird will want to sit on it for around three weeks.
After which time, her instinct to incubate should have subsided, and you can simply remove the eggs.
Letting her incubate them for a few weeks is important for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, it will keep her from becoming stressed at the loss of her eggs.
Even though there is no way they could be fertilized, she will still feel an instinct to nurture them.
Secondly, it should also allow the hormones that encourage egg production to slow down, and she won’t just lay more.
If you simply remove them immediately, you might find she just lays more very quickly.
Another important question is whether she will let you handle them.
Can I touch my lovebird eggs?
If you try and touch them immediately, when the lovebird is watching, then they likely will not let you touch them.
They may not outright attempt to physically stop you, but if they see you touching them, she could get stressed.
She could also see them as spoilt, reject them, and lay a new clutch.
As I said, if you leave them for a few weeks, she will eventually stop incubating.
At which point, you should be able to touch them no problem.
If you’re worried about them hatching, you’re just going to have to find a time to separate her from the eggs, and exchange them without her looking for fake eggs.
Then, you can dispose of the fertilized eggs. This isn’t always easy, though, as they often will not leave the eggs.
You should do your best to ensure that the lovebird doesn’t get its eggs fertilized in the first place.
So, how long does this whole process take?
How long does it take for a lovebird to pass an egg?
It can vary, but in terms of the actual laying process, it will often happen overnight.
They will pass a clutch of eggs over the course of a few hours, without any indication up to that point that they were going to do so.
From the point that the egg is laid, it normally takes 20-27 days for the eggs to hatch. It can take longer sometimes, but this is the typical incubation period.
This is why I say that you should let the lovebird sit on the egg for at least three weeks before trying to move them.
But as far as actually passing the egg, you probably won’t even notice—it will happen apparently immediately.
But why does this happen in the first place?
Why does my lovebird keep laying eggs?
There are a lot of reasons, but the main is usually to do with environmental cues.
Typically, lovebirds breed in the spring and summer, when the weather is warmer.
They then lay their eggs straight away, since they have a relatively short incubation period.
So, it may be that you are somehow mimicking long days for them.
If you are allowing your bird to stay up late, then the long day is giving it the sense that it is spring or summer, and thus it is time to breed.
Make sure to put your lovebirds to bed at the same time each night, and they shouldn’t think its summer.
So, while it may come as a bit of a surprise, there usually isn’t anything to worry about if your lovebird lays an egg.
Assuming that you are careful and haven’t accidentally mated your lovebirds, then all you need to do is let the lovebird sit on it for a while until she has satisfied her maternal instinct to incubate the eggs.
Then you can simply dispose of them.