Home » Can Female Parrots Lay Eggs Without A Mate? [Unfertilized Eggs]
can parrots lay eggs without mating?

Can Female Parrots Lay Eggs Without A Mate? [Unfertilized Eggs]

(Last Updated On: January 21, 2023)

Most parrots won’t lay eggs when it’s not the breeding season and there’s no nest or mate. However, there are times when other factors are right for egg-laying, aside from the absence of a male.

A female parrot can lay unfertilized eggs, even if no male is present. These eggs will never hatch, so they must be removed before they turn bad. It’s rare for wild parrots to lay eggs without a mate. However, pet parrots can develop a habit of laying clutches without a male companion.

If your parrot regularly lays eggs without reproducing, this can be damaging to her body. This can be life-threatening if she’s old, lacks calcium, or is sick.

Can Parrots Lay Eggs Without Mating?

Female parrots lay eggs with no mate because egg production is triggered by the following:

  • Warmer temperatures
  • Light exposure that exceeds the 10-hour cycle
  • Access to nests and nesting materials
  • Hormones naturally activated at certain times of the year

The most important element is hormones, which activate mating instincts in parrots and cause females to begin developing eggs. These hormones can be initiated by:

  • Getting touched along the tail and back.
  • Exposure to longer daylight hours.
  • Tearing apart paper or fabric into nest-appropriate pieces.
  • Exposure to more bird calls.

Individually, these factors won’t cause a parrot to lay eggs. Combined, if most of these factors are in place, they can be misinterpreted.

Consequently, a female parrot will start developing eggs. The fact that there’s no mate present may not be enough to discourage the female’s biology. Instead, she’ll produce eggs that aren’t fertilized.

do female parrots lay unfertilized eggs?

Parrots Laying Eggs Without a Male

Female parrots only create eggs to reproduce. However, sometimes the parrot’s body grows confused. When this happens, a female will lay eggs, regardless of whether they’re fertilized.

For a parrot to form fertilized eggs, sperm must travel to the ova through the oviduct tube. From there, the fertilized ovum travels back through the oviduct tube to an area where the outer shell is formed.

According to Physiological and Biochemical Zoology, the eggs will be more solid once the shell has been formed than other altricial or semialtricial species. At this point, the parrot will be ready to lay her eggs.

If the sperm isn’t introduced, the eggs will still be laid, but they’ll be unviable and won’t hatch.

Do Female Parrots Lay Unfertilized Eggs?

Egg production is a multi-step process. The albumin (egg white) is formed around the ovum to protect it from drying out. Then, the shell membranes start forming in another part of the oviduct tube.

The shell forms further when the ovum nears the end of the oviduct tube. Before the vent (where the egg is released), the bloom is created around the egg. The bloom is a protective layer that:

  • Prevents bacteria from entering the shell
  • Closes the shell pores
  • Aids moisture retention

A parrot’s shell gland prepares itself for the arrival of a fertilized ovum. If this doesn’t happen, the parrot lays a non-viable egg. The shell is formed around the ovum in case it’s fertilized.

However, while most humans with a uterus expel these non-viable eggs every month, female parrots don’t. Parrots won’t create eggs unless they receive certain biological signals.

Is It Dangerous for Parrots To Lay Unfertilized Eggs?

Many complications can arise from egg-laying, such as:

Calcium Deficiencies

When a female parrot develops eggs, it takes this calcium from its body to make them.

Egg forming and laying is a demanding and time-consuming process. When a parrot’s calcium levels are depleted, it can cause health issues, such as weak bones and fractures.

Egg Binding

Egg binding occurs when a parrot can’t lay an egg that has already been formed internally.

If the egg remains in the body too long, it can cause impaction and organ damage. The egg can also break inside the parrot, with the shell shards scratching the oviduct tube, leading to infection.

Hostility

Parrots that lay eggs can become defensive and protective. The caring, lovable bird that would never hurt you won’t hesitate to lunge for your fingers if you get close to her eggs.

Stress

Parrots become hostile after egg-laying because they don’t want anything to happen to their clutch.

The stress of caring for eggs can cause behavioral problems aside from hostility. Lethargy, unwillingness to eat, and feather plucking are all things that result from a parrot getting stressed.

Egg Yolk Peritonitis

Egg yolk peritonitis occurs when the ovum passes through the body cavity instead of the oviduct tube. This happens due to illness or excessive egg-laying.

Egg yolk peritonitis can cause the parrot’s abdomen to fill with liquid and inflammation.

Strokes

Nutrients that circulate through the bloodstream to assist with the development of the egg can thicken the blood. Eventually, circulation issues can arise.

How To Prevent a Parrot from Laying Eggs

Bringing egg-laying to a stop depends on how many parrots you have and their species. It’s also important to understand how often, how many, and when a parrot can lay eggs.

Parrot SpeciesBreeding Periods Per YearClutch SizeGestation PeriodBreeding Season
African Grey parrots1-25 eggs30 daysJuly-January
Parakeets (budgies)14-8 eggs17-20 daysOctober-March
Cockatiels26 eggs20 daysMarch-September
Cockatoos1-22-3 eggs29 daysAugust-January
Hyacinth macawsEvery 1 to 2 years1-4 eggs24-28 daysNovember-April
Sun conures23-5 eggs22-28 daysFebruary-June
Ringnecks12-4 eggs23 daysDecember-February

If the parrot is single, you can discourage egg-laying by doing the following:

Early Bedtime

The breeding season is usually during the spring and summer, as the days are longer at that time of year. Trick your parrot’s body into thinking it’s winter by getting it to sleep early in a dark room.

Mating Behavior

Parrots form strong attachments to humans, sometimes believing their owners are their mates. Avoid mating behavior, such as touching your parrot in places other than the top of the head.

If your parrot displays mating behavior, such as regurgitating food in front of you, discourage it. Give your parrot a time-out in its cage until you can train the habit out of it.

can parrots lay eggs without mating?

Open Spaces

The female’s job is to find a suitable nest to lay eggs in the breeding season. Most parrots like to lay eggs in enclosed spaces, so if your parrot finds a cozy spot, that could lead to egg-laying.

Certain Toys

Parrots get attached to toys and can become substitute mates when sexually frustrated. If you notice your parrot behaving inappropriately with its toys, remove them until breeding season is over.

Move The Cage

Parrots dislike having their cage placed in different areas of the house, and the discomfort they feel from this change discourages egg-laying.

If you have more than one parrot, you can discourage egg-laying by keeping them in separate cages, at least during the breeding season. Even parrots of the same gender can trigger egg-laying.

Females only require males to fertilize their eggs, not create them. If you arrange its cage appropriately, reduce light exposure, and avoid touching certain areas, it’ll stop laying unfertilized eggs.