When Do Green Cheek Start Laying Eggs?
Green cheek hens can produce 5 eggs a year after sexual maturity at a year old occurs. Conure eggs may be fertile (have a baby chick inside the shell) or infertile, if your green cheek conure doesn't have a mate.
Signs of sexual maturity include adult colored plumage, a successfully completed molt, and nesting or breeding behaviors. However, like newly sexually mature human teenagers, hens might not be mentally or physically prepared to lay eggs at the first sign of sexual maturity.
Green cheek conures will pair and lay eggs after they've found a compatible mate, and chosen a nesting site. These small birds will also begin egg laying when the days get longer in the spring season, and when "soft" foods, such as yogurt or cheese are available.
Who could their mate be? It could possibly be you. Be careful of letting your green cheek conure over-bond with her owner. Vent rubbing, a casual wing pet, or cute regurgitation could be a sign your bird is ready to lay eggs. Never pet your bird any place other than the head, and if you notice regurgitation, vent rubbing or other sexual behaviors, discourage the behavior and put her back in her cage immediately.
|Green Cheek Nesting in Happy Hut|
Discourage soft foods like cheese or yogurt in the spring. "Soft" foods, rather than dry seeds or nuts, mean in the wild that food is abundant, and the time is perfect to lay an egg. During the spring and summer season, the days get longer, triggering your conure's instinct to pair with a mate and breed. Cover the cage earlier at night in Spring and Summer season time to eliminate the instinct to breed or lay.
Chronic Egg Laying in Green Cheeks
If the above doesn't work, your green cheek conure might be a chronic egg layer. Chronic egg layers are birds who, for whatever behavioral reason, will lay themselves to death, in and out of breeding season. This happens commonly with conure species, especially Sun Conures. Chronic egg layers are common, and can't be stopped once started. But feeding plenty of calcium, hemp seeds, veggies and fruits, along with pellets, will make sure even a chronic egg laying conure stays in good health.
How to Get a Green Cheek Conure to Lay Eggs
Okay, so you want to get your green cheek conure to lay eggs. For your bird's health, the best time to mate your bird is a year or more after first molting, adult plumage, and breeding or nesting behaviors. When you see signs your bird can physically and mentally handle egg laying for the first time, it is okay to pair off birds and encourage green cheek conure egg laying.
To start egg laying, rather than stop egg laying, flip the behaviors I've stated above. Get your green cheek conure a sturdy nest box, size large. Let your green cheek conure hen bond with a male bird. Feed as many soft foods as possible, and let her get as many long daylight hours as possible. Her body will tell her it's time for egg laying, and she will turn into an egg laying machine.
Please be responsible before encouraging egg laying, however. Remember not to breed young birds, feed plenty of hemp seed for breeding stimulation, and a varied diet full of calcium, fruits and nuts for a smooth egg laying experience. A diet full of nutritional hemp seeds, fruits, nuts and calcium will make the egg laying process easier, especially the hen's first time.
Signs a Green Cheek is Ready to Lay
|Green Cheek 'pregnant', Ready to lay - signs of plucked chest and stomach egg pouch|
Whether it's a hen's first time laying eggs, or she's laying for the 10th time, green cheek conure behaviors are predictable when successful breeding has occurred. Green cheek conures "pregnant" isn't the right term, since the eggs incubate outside the hen's body. Parrot pregnancy doesn't happen, so a better term is "with egg."
Green cheek conures will often pluck their chest and stomach feathers bare to make a nest for their coming eggs. This is different from other self-mutilating chest and stomach plucking, however, since the plucking usually stops after the eggs are laid.
A green cheek who is ready to lay will also display a bulge in her stomach. It looks like a pair of human male testicles, except that the bulge is quite large. A large bulging area in the stomach or vent area is normal, and is a sign that a green cheek (or Sun Conure, or Nanday Conure) is ready to lay within days.
Green Cheek Egg Binding
|Egg bound chicken hen - egg stuck in vent|
But when breeders or owners are irresponsible, or a hen is too young to breed and lay, egg binding occurs. An egg bound conure is the worst outcome of egg laying, and needs immediate veterinary attention, and surgery. An egg bound green cheek conure will be puffed up and lethargic, unable to lay her egg.
The bound egg shell is soft like leather, and unable to get enough traction in the bird's vent to pass. The egg then gets stuck in the vent, rather than being laid.
An egg bound green cheek conure could die without vet attention, if the egg breaks inside her vent. Don't attempt to remove an egg from an egg bound green cheek hen yourself - your green cheek conure could die from the stress and shock of an improper egg binding removal surgery.
In you want to encourage, rather than stop a green cheek conure egg laying habit, breed your parrot responsibly. Calcium is essential for all laying hens of all conure species, including green cheek conures and Sun Conures. Calcium includes pre-formed bagged pellets, but also egg shells mixed with hard-boiled chicken eggs, and calcium supplements like cuttlebone. By providing a cuttlbone, and calcium egg shells to eat, your green cheek conure can stay healthy during the egg laying season.
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