Green Cheek Conure Egg Laying

 Green cheek conure egg laying is a common behavior of green cheek hens who have reached sexual maturity - at about one year old. However, unless you, as a conure owner, are willing to breed and hand-raise green cheek babies, conure egg laying should be stopped.

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

How to Stop Green Cheek Conure Egg Laying

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
Step two in the conure egg laying process: find a nesting site or box. Conures in the wild, including green cheeks, sun conures, and Nanday conures, nest in the dark holes of trees, so eliminate any dark secluded areas she could finding a nesting site in. This means taking out of the cage any nest boxes, happy huts, and not allowing your conure into dark secluded places on her own. Any place dark and private enough could be perfect for laying eggs.

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
Good breeding practices lead to healthy chicks and hens.

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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  1. My Green Cheek has laid eggs for the first time, and three of them have hatched. The babies seem very healthy, and the mom gets out and eats plenty of food during the day. The problem is the smell: the nesting box started to stink horribly, and I want to clean the inside, but I'm not sure how to take the babies out of the cage, since they are 1 week old and fragile (not to mention the mom would go ballistic). Should I clean the box out, and how?

    1. Sorry for the late reply (didn't notice your comment) did you solve the problem? Baby green cheeks should probably have an incubator to keep cozy warm in, if you're breeding the birds. Just place mom in another room for a second, clean the nest box of droppings and yuck, and put the babies in an incubator. When you're done, replace the mom and the babies. But you should take out the babies soon anyways, if you want to start getting them socialized with humans. Do you know how to hand-feed baby green cheeks?

  2. I've had my conure since she was 2 weks old. (recently found out about the slight gender mistake) I hand fed her. Now she and my cinnamon conure are you know is the chicks will hatch healthy?

    1. Hi there, thanks for the reply! Does she have a nest box to lay eggs in? If there's a nest box where she can incubate them, they'll probably be okay. Also, take the eggs away from her if she looks like she's not taking care of them properly. Green cheeks (especially first time moms) can accidentally break their own eggs. If she has a nest box though, and she looks like she's being a good mom (plucking feathers from her tummy to help line the nest, not leaving the eggs alone for to long) they should hatch healthy!

  3. My gcc were mating yesterday they are only 10 months old. I have had them since birth. They are brother and sister... I don't have a nesting box in the cage. What should I do? The winter also just started and I though it was my imagination but after they changing they behavier and been agresive I start to think they are mating. Also after mating when would she lay her egg? Can I go to the vet immediately so he can stop her of having the egg. Health at first!

  4. I have two gccs and I think they mated. Today I saw the female push an egg halfway out. The next time I looked there was no egg in sight. What happened and should I be worried? this is her first time.

  5. So my GCC just laid an egg for the first time today...but it sort of got stuck inside of her (egg binding?) I sort of like, pushed on her vent to help her get the egg out, but I think it broke inside of her. She was leaking stuff that looked like egg. How do I help her push out the broke egg? Should I take her to the vet?

  6. My female green cheek was stepped on and her pelvic bone was broke. And now if she goes to lay an egg the vet has to remove it. So I do not want her laying eggs. I have two green cheeks, ensuring the second one was female also. But will the first one still lay eggs without any mating. I have no nest box for them and I haven't noticed any plucking.

  7. Hi, My GCC has just laid her first eggs (2). I haven't seen her outside the nesting box for 2 days- I am worried that she is not eating and drinking. Should I take her out of the box and try and get her to eat and drink?

  8. from Malaysia. I have gcc and the first owner side it is a male and Malaysia we dont have DNA so what should i do to make sure they are pair. But i can see they are bonded.

  9. hi i have a proven breeding pair of green cheek conures both of them have been in and out the nest box its daylight savings and the days are cold and short its december will they breed i notice the female lies down flat on a perch and screams loudly and the male stays close by sometimes i notice hes trying to get on top of her but when i come he flys off and goes into the box. The box is deep with 2 inches of bedding that i noticed the male has shredded along with some soft tissues they both arte in and out when can i expect them to breed and have eggs?

  10. My Green Cheek Conure pair just got 4 new chicks and for some reason the male has plucked his chest, belly and back. Should I be worried about it.

  11. My green cheek died today she had an egg sat and one yesterday ... I don't know what happened

    1. We had the same thing happen with ours. She layed an egg and was gone in about 24 hours. We have no idea what happened either

    2. Lost my girl today too .. She was on three eggs & fine .. 4 hrs later when I went to put them to bed she was gone :-( So upset for my boy! She was only 6 ...

  12. My sun conure is laying for the first time and she is at least 12 years old. She has pulled the blanket through the bars of her cage and is making cooing noises. She plucked the feathers from her breast. I'm so worried about her. If I take the banker she is cooing on, will she stop laying. She has no mate. And I don't believe in breading birds for captivity. She is a rescue.


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