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Munchie's Mum

2 Females Nesting In The Same Box?

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Has anyone had this happen before? I have 2 female budgies on their own eggs in the same box. It's a standard sized budgie box. They seem to be quiet happy with the arrangement. There are at least 2 spare unused boxes so its not like there's a shortage of space.

 

The previous owner told me they are sisters. They seem really bonded, but at some point must have mated with males I already had.

 

My question is, does anyone know if them nesting together is going to create problems later? Especially when the eggs hatch?

 

Thanks :D.

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Yes you are asking for trouble. I assume you are not breeding you just put it in there for sleeping quarters? Birds don't need nests to sleep (at least budgies don't) nests are only for breeding purposes in their minds. If they are young they will cuddle up in the nesting box reverting back to their young behavior but as they get older and start to get hormonal they will get territorial and you may find one of your hens bloody or dead. Hens can get very nasty during molting and breeding season.

 

Remove the box. :D

 

By the way, good question, glad you asked it.

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Interesting behaviour, I've never seen it happen before and can only imagine that it will eventually cause problems.

 

I stopped colony breeding because of a hen I had once that killed a few of my other hens in their nest boxes and their babies if they had some over a weekend while I was away. Hens usually don't tolerate other hens near their nests in my experience.

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How many eggs total ? Those nestboxes arent meant to take many more than 5 - 6 including Mum and Dad. At hatching two clutches of eggs there will be problems. Also nestboxes get mucky enough to stop eggs hatching once you are past 6 hatchings and often the last eggs dont hatch due to becoming poopy and contaminated.

As cute as the arrangement seems to be, I would have intervened before now. I think you will have some "issues" :D

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I assume you are not breeding you just put it in there for sleeping quarters?

Remove the box. :P

I'm breeding them- the boxes aren't for sleeping. I have had plenty of clutches from this aviary before. This is the first time these 2 hens have had eggs. If I remove the box I'll be killing however many babies are in the eggs they're sitting on.

 

How many eggs total ? As cute as the arrangement seems to be, I would have intervened before now.

I didn't leave them there because it's cute. I only just discovered the second hen in there. I thought it was one hen until a few days ago. I don't know whose eggs are whose so I can't move only those from one hen.

 

Are you guys saying I should take out that box and throw away the eggs that might have babies in them? Even if I did that, the hens would just take over one of the spare boxes. If I removed all spares they'd start attacking the hens with babies.

 

What to do? :D

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Sorry, I agree with the others! Perhaps remove one of the hens for now and let the other hen bring up the chicks, that way you won't be losing any eggs. Put the other hen in a seperate cage for now if she becomes a problem. Just my thought!

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I would count the eggs, candle them, throw away any duds and let one hen raise the rest and remove the other hen out of the aviary. If you have more than 6 fertile eggs you may have to consider fostering some.

Edited by KAZ

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Sorry I agree with the others :wub: I think it will end in disaster

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Maybe you could get another box in a separate cage, and then take out half the eggs and put them in there and see if the hen will sit on them. If not then at least you saved half the eggs with the other hen. Otherwise they will most likely lose a lot of chicks anyway if not all.

 

It sounds very sweet, I would love to watch those two together and see what makes them tick! I've never heard of that before! But i guess we have to be careful of their natural instincts even when they are acting out of the ordinary.

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Maybe you could get another box in a separate cage, and then take out half the eggs and put them in there and see if the hen will sit on them. If not then at least you saved half the eggs with the other hen. Otherwise they will most likely lose a lot of chicks anyway if not all.

This kind of disruption 99.9% of the time will result in hens abandoning the eggs.

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^ That's a shame... would even the one who got to keep the box abandon the rest if half were removed?

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^ That's a shame... would even the one who got to keep the box abandon the rest if half were removed?

no. Not usually.

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I've tried candling before using a torch but I can't see a thing, even in eggs that turned out to be fertile. How do you do it properly?

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I've tried candling before using a torch but I can't see a thing, even in eggs that turned out to be fertile. How do you do it properly?

Make sure the hens are both out of the nestbox and put your torch in the nestbox behind the eggs. Any that look white and yolky if older than 6 days will be clear eggs and not fertile. Any that have a pinkish glow to them, spidery veins in them or a more solid pink mass will be fertile. Also looking at the outisde of the egg, fertile eggs go white where infertile eggs stay peachy coloured.

Like this ?action=view&current=efbb5fee.jpg fertile egg on the left, infertile egg on the right.

 

You will need small strong torch.

Edited by KAZ

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Okay, will do, thanks. The picture you posted didn't work.

Edited by Munchie's Mum

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Okay, will do, thanks. The picture you posted didn't work.

eee50319.jpg

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Ahh interesting. I have noticed that some are white and some cream. I get mostly white, and almost all of these hatch.

 

All 6 of these hatched 2 weeks ago:

 

230320091039.jpg

 

 

These all hatched too:

 

nacho_eggsg.jpg

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Okay today I managed to get a few photos of the 2 hens in their box. Got quite a surprise, the first of their 9 chicks hatched. Don't know whose it is, but there aren't any problems yet. In fact the lilac hen is rather protective of the nest.

 

They were cranky cause I was taking pics with my phone, and they aren't the best quality. But you get an idea of what's going on.

 

hens2.jpg

 

hens3.jpg

 

hens5.jpg

 

hens6.jpg

Edited by Munchie's Mum

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I guess you will have to guage the situation on a day by day basis. Really important to check the babies crops to see if they are all being fed. All eggs look fertile too. ;)

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Guest DrNat

I used to colony breed and had this situation occur once, where two hens were in the nest box together. It does happen occasionally, and sometimes in the wild. They seem to make an agreement. But monitor them closely in case the rules of the agreement change.

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Yes I will be keeping a good eye on them. So far they have a very happy agreement with nesting together. I have no idea who the daddy budgie is, because I've only ever seen the hens cuddling and nesting with eachother. Weird. I'll be checking on them several times a day.Here they were today:hens10.jpg

 

:lol: The position and colouring of the hens in that last picture reminds me of this :D .

Edited by Munchie's Mum

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Very cute :D

 

 

Did you figure out how many eggs were fertile ?

Edited by KAZ

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I didn't know budgies shared like this...it'll be interesting to see how they go as their babies appear.

They do seem quite content in that photo though. :D

All the best with them I hope they continue to be good.

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That's amazing, I really diddn't think it would work out but looking at the pictures, who knows. Good luck :D I hope all goes well. They look so cute together, I can't wait to see how it all progresse. Keep us up to date :lol:

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Did you figure out how many eggs were fertile ?

Not for sure- Georgina was going to come over to help with candling, then had to cancel. But from the outside, they all look white and shiny rather than the cream colour. Fingers crossed! Wonder what I can do for room if all 9 hatch.....eek! :D

 

I didn't know budgies shared like this...it'll be interesting to see how they go as their babies appear.

They do seem quite content in that photo though. :lol:

All the best with them I hope they continue to be good.

Thanks :). Yes they are very happy with their arrangement. They're not sitting at opposite ends of the box and just tolerating eachother- rather they're bonded and cuddle up together in the nest, sharing the job of egg sitting.

 

I'll keep you guys updated on how they go :).

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