Using dummy eggs to stop your bird from laying more eggs

What are dummy eggs? 

Dummy eggs are solid plastic eggs that are specially designed to match real bird eggs. The eggs have a realistic shape, weight, color and feel.

We currently have dummy eggs suitable for peach-faced lovebirds, cockatiels and other similar sized birds (approximately 2.5x2cm)

Why will dummy eggs help to stop my bird from laying more eggs? 

Dummy eggs helps to trick your female bird into thinking that she has completed laying all her eggs.

Huh? How?

Every bird species have their own average clutch size. Hens are able to count exactly how many eggs they should lay! Hens will start building their clutch by laying one egg every other day. So, by providing her a full clutch of eggs, she will think she has finished laying all her real eggs. This is what signals her egg-laying hormones to turn off and she naturally stops laying more eggs. 

I have a small parrot, what are my birds' average clutch size?

  1. Parrotlet: 5-6 eggs
  2. American Budgie: 5-6 eggs
  3. English Budgie: 6 eggs
  4. Lovebird: 5-6 eggs
  5. Lineoleated & Bourke's Parakeet: 5-6 eggs
  6. Cockatiel: 6 eggs
  7. Quaker: 6 eggs
  8. Green cheek conure: 5-6 eggs

Taking into account the maximum average clutch size of these small parrots, we have packaged our dummy eggs in sets of 6. If your bird lays more than 6 eggs in a clutch, contact us at info@parrotfunhouse.com!

How do dummy eggs benefit my birds?

Laying eggs take a lot of energy and calcium from a female bird. Birds deplete their calcium reserves to produce eggs, and there are many life threatening conditions that can arise from calcium depletion, such egg-binding, prolapse and retaining the egg (possibly leading to egg peritonitis). There have been cases of female birds laying deformed, soft and thin eggs or even eggs without a shell!

So how do I use the dummy eggs?

The trick is to use ALL the dummy eggs at once. 

If your female bird is exhibiting nesting behavior (e.g. building a nest, shredding more than usual or is extra hormonal) BUT has not laid any egg yet, place all the eggs in a bowl on the bottom of her cage or in her existing nest. 

If your female bird has already laid one or more eggs, remove the real eggs and replace them with a full clutch of dummy eggs. Take away any real eggs laid after placing the dummy eggs.

Must I put the dummy eggs in a bowl? Can I put the eggs at my birds' usual nesting spot?

Yes, you can. If your female has a favorite spot where she usually lays her eggs, it is fine to put the dummy eggs there, inside or out of a bowl. A bowl just keeps them together, but may frighten your birds if they have not seen the bowl before or get scared of new things in their cages.

If I follow the instructions above, will my bird not lay anymore eggs? 

Yes, it should stop her from laying more eggs if you provide her the number of eggs that she usually lays in a clutch. If you are reading this, chances are that your bird has already laid clutches before. Try to remember how many eggs your bird has laid consecutively. Do not count eggs that are laid a week or more later. 

However, it may still be possible that your bird might lay 1 or 2 real eggs even after putting the full clutch of dummy eggs. This is because your bird was already making the real egg(s) during that time. It takes about a week for their egg factory to shut down.

When should I remove the dummy eggs? 

Method 1

Remove the dummy eggs after your birds' average incubation days. Count the days from the time your bird starts sitting on the eggs. 

We have dummy eggs for small birds such as budgies, lovebirds, doves and other similar sized birds, and cockatiels, conures and quakers and other similar sized birds. The average incubation days of these birds are:

  • Dove: 14 days
  • Budgie: 18 days
  • Cockatiel and quaker: 18 - 21 days
  • Parrotlet & lovebird: 23 days
  • Conures 24 days

Method 2

You can also try removing them at any time your bird has lost interest in sitting on the eggs. Usually, they should lose interest in 2-3 weeks. If you think she may have lost interest, try removing the eggs and watch to see if your bird starts acting upset by crying or running back and forth. If this behavior does not stop within 60 minutes, put her nest back in the cage as she is not ready to release her eggs yet.

Do not remove the dummy eggs too soon as it will stimulate her to start laying to replace them. 

Also, do not leave the dummy eggs longer than 4 weeks because your bird might "figure out" and the dummy eggs will be ineffective for her next clutch. 

I have a small bird that isn't on the list above / my birds' eggs are of a slightly different size than the eggs you have. Will the dummy eggs still work? 

It should work, as most birds will not notice a slight difference in size, color, shape, or texture. If it looks close to their egg they will accept it. I have heard of some bird owners who successfully used pebbles as fake eggs!

I am afraid my bird will reject the dummy eggs. What can I do to prevent that?

  1. Make sure to wash your hands before handling the dummy eggs and do not leave them exposed to room odours before being introduced to your bird. A common reason birds may reject dummy eggs is due to a human or foreign scent passed onto the eggs. 
  2. Do not replace your bird's real eggs with the dummy eggs in front of her. The effectiveness of dummy eggs lies in whether it can successfully trick your bird to think that those eggs are hers. When she thinks she has finished laying a full clutch, then she will stop.

Is it normal that my bird lays eggs continuously for weeks and months? 

No, she is likely a chronic egg layer and she is very likely calcium deficient because of all the laying. Chronic egg laying is a very serious matter. You can find more information here.

My birds peck and destroy their real eggs, and then they lay more to replace the broken eggs! What can I do?

Dummy eggs can help prevent your birds from laying more eggs to replace the ones they destroyed.

Are the dummy eggs reusable?

Yes of course! Our dummy eggs are made of solid non-toxic plastic that is virtually indestructible, washable and reusable.

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