Egg-laying and sitting behavior


Gracie is my only bird – a 15 year old Indian Ringneck whom I have had for 4 years. For the past 3 years in the Spring she lays 3-4 eggs and wants to sit on them forever. Her favorite thing to do all year round is tear up cardboard boxes as if she’s preparing them for egg laying. I have 3 questions:  1) Should I stop supplying her with boxes?   2) How long should I let her sit on her eggs?  and 3) What’s the best way to remove the eggs without getting her upset?

Thank you in advance for your consideration.


Hello! It’s wonderful to hear about your 15-year-old Indian Ringneck, Gracie. I understand that you have some concerns about her egg-laying behavior and want to ensure you’re providing the best care for her. I’ll address each of your questions below:

Providing Gracie with boxes: Cardboard boxes can indeed encourage nesting behavior in your ringneck. If you would like to discourage egg-laying, it may be beneficial to stop providing her with boxes. However, keep in mind that tearing up cardboard boxes may also serve as an enriching activity for Gracie. You might consider offering alternative enrichment opportunities like toys or foraging activities to keep her mentally stimulated.

Allowing Gracie to sit on her eggs: Generally, Indian Ringnecks will incubate their eggs for around 21 to 24 days. If Gracie has not shown signs of losing interest in the eggs after this period, it may be time to intervene and remove the eggs. Prolonged incubation can lead to stress and health issues, so it’s important to monitor her condition closely.

Removing the eggs without upsetting Gracie: It’s essential to approach this task with caution, as removing the eggs can cause distress to your bird. One approach is to remove the eggs when Gracie is not in the cage or when she’s occupied with something else. You can also replace the eggs with dummy eggs, which can be purchased online or at pet stores. This can help satisfy her instinct to incubate without causing any harm.

Remember, it’s always a good idea to consult with an avian veterinarian if you’re unsure about Gracie’s health or behavior. They can provide you with personalized guidance to ensure Gracie’s well-being.

I hope this information is helpful to you, and I wish you the best with your lovely Indian Ringneck, Gracie!

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