Should You Spay or Neuter a Bird?

Spaying or neutering some exotic pets can make them healthier, live longer, prevent behavior issues, and control their population. However, that’s not the case with pet birds.

Feb 26, 2024byMonika Dimitrovska
can you spay or neuter bird

Should you spay or neuter a bird? This is one of the most debated topics in the avian world. The short answer is no. You shouldn’t spay or neuter a bird unless necessary.

Spaying or neutering birds isn’t common because of anesthesia and surgical challenges and limited behavioral benefits.

In this article, we’ll explain in detail why spaying or neutering birds isn’t a good idea, so let’s dive right in!

Can Parrots be Sterilized?

colorful macaw at the vet
Image credit: thịnh nguyễn xuân from Pixabay

Parrots make good pets because they’re intelligent and somewhat low-maintenance, but they’re not the same as mammals. Therefore, we can’t control their population or unwanted hormonal behavior by spaying or neutering.

The issue of too many baby birds isn’t caused by stray birds breeding uncontrollably. It’s actually caused by irresponsible people who intentionally pair birds, provide nest boxes, and allow eggs to hatch.

Owning a bird isn’t immoral as long as you take good care of your feathery companion and adopt birds instead of buying them from pet stores.

Moreover, proper care doesn’t include clipping your bird’s wings, spaying or neutering them, and breeding them for your benefit.

Avian experts agree that spaying or neutering birds isn’t necessary unless there’s a medical reason for it. This is because performing a complete reproductive tract removal in female parrots is a challenging procedure.

three blue and yellow parrots in a cage
Image credit: Bipul Nath from Unsplash

While removing the oviduct (similar to a hysterectomy in mammals) can be done at a veterinarian’s office, taking out a bird’s ovaries requires a high level of precision, usually available only in university veterinary facilities.

Bird ovaries spread out like grapes and get a lot of blood, unlike mammalian ovaries; they’re enclosed organs and easier to remove.

The only justifiable reason for removing a parrot’s reproductive organs, or any bird’s reproductive organs, for that matter, is treating diseases like testicular cancer or tumors of the oviduct.

Even if a skilled bird vet does it, this surgery is risky and involves invasive procedures.

How Do You Neuter a Bird?

white parakeet in a cage
Image credit: Nina Zaychenko from Unsplash

Spaying or neutering birds is a risky surgery. The proximity of the reproductive organs to the vital parts in birds increases the risk of bleeding out. In contrast, mammals have a simpler neutering procedure with minimal risks and great benefits for their health and well-being.

For both large and small birds, spaying or neutering is often reserved for extreme or life-threatening cases because surgical techniques aren’t perfected. Additionally, they may not effectively control undesirable reproductive behaviors.

In fact, neutering male parrots for aggression control has shown up to a 50% mortality rate. Studies suggest that, within 1-2 years, other organs may compensate for the lack of testes. This results in a resurgence of testosterone, associated aggression, and even regrowth of the removed gonads.

As for females, veterinarians occasionally perform hysterectomies (spaying) on parrots with a history of chronic egg laying that doesn’t respond to hormone therapy or in cases of life-threatening reproductive conditions.

two parakeets in a cage
Image credit: pavan adepu from Unsplash

Generally, spaying or neutering a bird isn’t a good idea. Instead, care for your pet bird properly and limit their chances of breeding.

If you provide a spacious cage, bird toys for mental stimulation, a balanced diet, and enough exercise, your feathery friend will also have less chance of developing common health issues in birds.

Can You Spay a Bird at Home?

african grey parrot in a cage
Image credit: Ziyuan Gao from Unsplash

No, you shouldn’t try to spay any bird at home, regardless of whether it’s a pet pigeon or parrot because spaying a bird involves complex procedures. It’s not a simple task you can do without the right skills and tools. Trying it at home might seriously hurt your pet bird.

If you’re worried about your bird’s reproductive health, talk to a trained avian vet. They know the ins and outs and can offer good advice. If necessary, they will spay or neuter your bird in a safe, professional place.

Remember, taking care of your bird’s health is crucial, and it’s always better to rely on the experts for spaying and ensuring your feathered friend stays happy and healthy.

Can You Neuter a Bird at Home?

green parrot eating seeds
Image credit: Renan Brun from Unsplash

Neutering bird at home isn’t safe because it’s complex and requires specialized skills and tools. Without proper knowledge, you can harm your pet bird.

If you want to spay or neuter your pet bird, consult avian experts because they have the expertise and can give you professional advice. If necessary, they will neuter your bird safely within their clinic, ensuring the well-being of your feathery friend.

Final Tips

parrot sitting on a shoulder
Image credit: Nina Zaychenko from Unsplash

Spaying or neutering a bird isn’t common because it’s risky. If your bird is dealing with hormone-related issues, make the following practical changes:

  • Give your bird head scratches rather than petting their body.
  • Limit fresh food to a few times a week.
  • Control light exposure to 8-10 hours a day (cover the cage at night).
  • Move the cage around the room weekly.
  • Rearrange perches and toys inside the cage for a more balanced atmosphere.
  • Avoid providing materials for shredding or anything the bird could use as a nest.
  • Keep the temperature moderately cool.

If these environmental changes don’t solve your bird’s issues, contact your local avian vet for help.

Monika Dimitrovska
byMonika Dimitrovska

Monika is a pet enthusiast and seasoned copywriter with a tech degree. She loves writing, but her heart belongs to her two mixed dogs, Buba and Bono, a mother-son duo. Bono’s siblings found loving homes, sparking Monika’s advocacy for neutering and deepening her curiosity about animal care.\n\nBut Monika’s pet family doesn’t end there. She also has two cockatiels and two rescue cats, proving her home is a haven for creatures big and small.