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Parrots/egg-laying African Gray

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Question
My African Gray parrot is ten years old and laid an egg yesterday for the first time.  Up until then, I thought it was a male.  What might have caused this and can I prevent her from laying more as I do not want to risk egg binding.

Answer
-- I don't blame you and with Grey's it's a bit more of a threat since they are known to respond more acutely to low calcium levels than most other birds.  It's not that they don't process calcium well, it's just that when it's low in a Grey the results are often more dramatic.  

 Excessive egg laying can deplete calcium, so what we really want to do while she's got motherhood on her mind, is increase her calcium rich foods.  

A good pellet diet provides a healthy base and encouraging her to eat some cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, Brussel sprouts, dark greens like kale and turnip greens - carrots and carrot tops; sweet potatoes for good measure, even some ricotta or cottage cheese; bits of string cheese (try to stick to all natural and organic whenever possible) very helpful.

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When it comes to dissuading her from adding to her clutch, it's usually best to leave the egg with her and go ahead and let her nest.   That is, as long as the egg isn't cracked or broken.  

You can see more about how to handle egg laying here
     www.4AnimalCare.org/birds


You can also look over feeding options and homemade recipes too  

Parrots

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Rev. Dr. S.August Abbott

Expertise

Certified Avian Specialist; Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council member; Own animal rescue org; National Wildlife habitat #66378; bird care, nutrition & behavior consultant; International Assoc. of Animal Behavior Consultants Associate; National Wildlife Federation Leaders Club member; published bird care, info and behavior articles and guides. Ongoing education in exotic bird behavior and nutrition I can answer behavioral, nutritional, environmental, characteristic/personality questions as well as general health and health care. No animal emergency can ever be addressed on the internet. We cannot see your animal, perform an examination, provide necessary care or medication. Please value your companion for the priceless, living creature they are; not for what you might have paid for them.

Experience

Certified Avian Specialist. For more than 30 years I've worked with veterinarians, protective facilities, nature centers, preserves and on my own in providing care and education with regard to multiple animal species, including raptors (hawks, kestrals, owls, etc) and marsupials. In recent years I've focused on parrots, usually rescued from abusive or less than ideal situations and helping educate owners as to proper care. Expert in behavior studies and modification of problem behavior.

Organizations
4AnimalCare is the organization I run as an animal ministry; World Wildlife Association, Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, National Wildlife Federation Leaders Club and more

Publications
Bird Talk Magazine articles about rescued and problem macaws.

Education/Credentials
Doctorate, Ordained Minister

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