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My Budgie Is Laying Eggs And Breaking Them

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Guest birdmom2a2

I am new to this forum, and have read the previous posts to try to get some help. I have a pair of budgies. I don't know how old he is, but she is about 1 or 1-1/2 years old. She started laying eggs and, of course, they just dropped through the grate. After the 3rd one, I decided to put up a nest box. She has laid 3 more, has another one inside her still, and she keeps breaking the eggs. They have big holes in them, and they look like they are intentionally broken. What do I do. Is this going to hurt her to keep laying eggs? Is there anything I can do to help her? Should there be anything in the nest box? (I was told to put some 'nesting material" in there). How much? Please help as I have never done this before. I went to Border's Bookstore yesterday and they had no books on breeding budgies. Is there anything you can recommend? and where can I get it? I don't want to breed birds, but if this pair is going to breed on their own, I want to help them out.

 

I have only this one pair of budgies, but I also have a Goffin's cockatoo (6 yrs old, male)and a Lilac Crowned Amazon (4 yrs, ? sex). I am not new to birds, but am new to eggs :sad:)

 

I sure would appreciate any advise you can give me.

 

Julie

 

:)

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Guest Lin

There is no need to have her breed at all. How old is she? How old is the male? are they related? Personally in your situation, I would limit the amount of light they get to 12 hours or less, this will stop her laying eggs. Breeding can be expensive and heart breaking, so, unless you are prepared and fully researched, it's probably best not to do.

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Guest Bec

Hi birdmom2a2, Welcome....If you don't want to breed budgies then it is probably best if you take the box out......Sometimes one of my females will randomly start laying and I have to either take her eggs and replace with fakes... or take out the log or whatever she has decided to nest in.......she stops sooner if I just take the eggs and log/pot plant or whatever out.....The replacement eggs don't stop her from wanting to lay because I often see extra eggs that aren't fakes so I would take the box out...With budgies in a cage restricting their light is easy, in an avery it is not so easy......near on impossible.... :D Good luck!!! :hap:

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Guest birdmom2a2

Thanks for your responses. I've heard it can be very unhealthy for the female to continually lay eggs. Is this true? How many is "too many." They get about 12-1\2 to 13 hrs of light a day. Sunrise is about 7-7:15 and lights off is 8:30. I cover them with a sheet at night, so this doesn't really cut out the light. Maybe I should use something heavier? I thought breeding season was in spring? It's winter here and I can't imagine that babies would survive outside of a heated environment. Why do you think they are breeding now?

 

Oh, one more thing.... how long after mating do they lay the eggs? They were mating in their cage last Friday Morning (12/9). I noticed Friday afternoon that she was carrying an egg (don't know for how long). When should she lay this?

 

Thanks again,

 

Julie

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Guest Lin

Hi. Perhaps reduce their light a bit more, and use a heavier cover. When she has stopped laying, then increase the light slowly, until you work out what is the right amount of light to stop laying of eggs. A few solid weeks of laying is too long, uses up all her reserves of nutrients, and she will probably start to look scruffy, or just not as pretty as she was.

I think it is 2 days after mating that they lay the eggs, but they can also lay eggs without mating. I have a female that will lay eggs, despite not being with a male, she is a lone bird due to her nasty nature. So, don't think because an egg is laid that it is necesarily fertile. I also have a male that appears to 'fire blanks', all eggs laid by his mate have not hatched.

The reason they are laying is because of your heated environment, so it might be an idea to turn the heat down a bit too. Budgies need plentiful food, water, temperature and light to breed. In captivity, especially an indoor environment, those things are at the best levels all the time :hap: . So, there is no 'season' to breed. Of course you can't starve them, or remove their water, the only thing you can do is regulate the amount of light and heat they get, so they think that it is not breeding season. I have a lorikeet at the moment that is down to 10 hours of light, and still laying, so you can see it can be really hard to stop a determined layer. Good luck, and, please, ask as many questions as you want

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You've been given some good tips to try, there's not much I can add to that. Budgies start to lay eggs about 10 days after the first mating, so I think yours must have been at it longer than you think. :blink: About 24 hours before she lays an egg, she will appear swollen around the vent area, but other than that budgies don't really look pregnant. Their environmental conditions must seem right to your birds to have them mating. I have trouble in the winter months too, with mating issues. This time of year is summer in Australia, so maybe there are some pre-programmed genetic factors going on. It seems like November to April are the months my birds like - they don't seem to realize it is below freezing outside... Good luck stopping the cycle.

 

Oops, almost forgot - welcome! :wub:

Edited by Rainbow

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Guest birdmom2a2

I sure do appreciate everyone's input. It is very difficult to lower the temperature as I live in Phoenix, Arizona. I keep the temp at 70 degrees at night and during the day (without any heat on) it goes up to 76. If I lower it more than that at night, the big birds (Cockatoo and Amazon) hesitate to come out in the morning - they stay on their favorite perches and look like they are keeping warm. They are not used to cooler weather here and when it goes below 70, everyone acts different.

 

She had destroyed all but the last two eggs. She didn't sit on the first one until about 2 hrs or so after she laid it, but has been religiously sitting on it for 4 days now, and there are now 2 eggs. She comes out only for very short periods of time, maybe 5 mins maximum, and he seems to be a very good mate. He feeds her and tends to her constantly, and every so often will poke his head inside the nest box. I hope they don't lay any more! It is getting colder here, thankfully, so maybe I will be able to control them a bit. Funny, why don't they lay in the summer when it's always above 77 degrees in my home, and sometimes goes higher when it's 110+ outside.

 

I don't know if they are fertile or not, but these are the first ones she's sitting on after breaking 6 eggs. (It looked like she consciously broke them as the shells were still in one piece, but had fairly large holes made in them.) Is there anything I should be doing? I don't really want babies, but I'm not going to take the eggs away from her. I will do whatever I can to help them, of course.

 

You mentioned the female doesn't 'look' pregnant - however, her lower abdomen was definitely swelled and her vent was swollen. I noticed her abdomen when she hung on to the side of the cage to say hello to me. I had never seen pink skin before, and this time, I did. Maybe this is because she is a petite girl - even for a budgie. She is the smallest budgie I've seen, more the size of a juvenile, and eats more than her mate who is larger than she is :)

 

The reason I put the box up in the first place is that when she was dropping eggs to the bottom of the cage, she was visably distressed. She was ripping up her brocolli to nothing left, when she usually only eats the tips of the flowers. She did that for 3-4 days and as soon as I put the box in, she returned to her normal method of eating her brocolli. She was also beating up on her toys, and was obviously distressed.

 

Anyway, any advice would be appreciated to help me with this pair of adorable little budgies. Thank you.

 

Julie

 

:):D

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Guest Bec

Wow it sounds like you have a situation on your hands..... :D I've never actually had a hen that breaks her own eggs before so I can only tell you my opinion(right or wrong it's just my opinion)

I can understand you not wanting to take her eggs, it seems sort of mean but when I do it I only do it for the health of my birds. If you don't really want to breed budgies it seems the right thing to do to try and control the situation so you don't just end up breeding them, I always have to remingd myself that the animal doesn't always know what's best for it and as we are their carers we must help to make decisions that will keep them healthy and happy. :D Again this is just my opinion :) I wish you luck with your girl!! :)

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well it seems that you keep saying you don't want to breed them, but at this point do not wish to remove the box or the eggs from them now, which means that the only step from here is to allow the breeding and hatching and raising to happen. If this is the step you are wanting to take (which it seems) then I think it best we give you helpful tips to better care for them. Even if it isn't the best situation not to know the age of your male. If he isn't anywhere near the age of 1 I wouldn't bother trying since the eggs would most likely be clear.

 

She was ripping up her broccoli to nothing left, when she usually only eats the tips of the flowers. She did that for 3-4 days and as soon as I put the box in, she returned to her normal method of eating her brocolli. She was also beating up on her toys,

This may have seemed to you that she was distressed but it was more the 'nesting' instinct gone a bit overboard. the hens like to rip and shred everything they can because in the wild the do this to make a nest, the only thing your's had to use was her broccoli. As to the toy to us they are toys to your bird they are other birds, so she would have been telling them to stay away from her nest area and mate.

 

I noticed her abdomen when she hung on to the side of the cage to say hello to me. I had never seen pink skin before.
Some budgie pluck they own feathers in that area to get better cover on the egg or for other reasons, but it isn't anything to worry about, mine did this while she was laying as well.

 

As to the breaking of the eggs, where you sure it was her? Some parents can get the taste of egg and continue this pattern. But seeing as she is sitting on them now you don't seem to have that problem. Since this is her first clutch I would put it down to learning on her half on how to handle these new things.

 

Nesting material can be added to the box but most hens tend to not like it and remove it all, some breeders add it so the hen come to see the box as a nest or because their birds in fact use it. Any pet safe wood shavings from a pet store will be alright to use, and if your bird lets it be it makes for a cleaner box because it soaks up the poop later on.

 

Make sure they have a cuttle fish at hand always for this give calcium, and also a mineral block. At this time they will chew through these like candy even if they have hand them before and not touched them. Up their fresh food intake now. When the young appear they will love this food over their seed. You can give them ready made egg biscuit mix from a pet shop or simply hard boil some egg and mash it with carrot to give them, while some finely crushed shell as well. This has heaps of protein in it and the calcium from the shell.

 

When to except babies? around day 18 of the first egg, the ones she is sitting on not the one broken. Then every two days another will hatch just as she laid them. Keep an eye out for the crops of the babies, you can miss it, it is right under they beaks and will have a yellow blob if the mother is feeding them. They grow fast and by the end the first will seem large compared to the last hatched baby. But unlike other bird budgie feed every one of their chicks, changing the type of food given to them according to age. Around the two week mark the dad will start feeding them more and more until he is the sole provider around the four week mark, which is when the babies are starting to come out of the box. At this stage be watchful for more eggs the parent will want to start a second round of egg laying and chick raising. Two clutches in a row is fine for a pair but need to be stoped after that to get nutrients back into their own systems. They can easily be stoped at one as well, replace all laid eggs with fake ones until all the babies are out of the box then remove the box.

 

I hope this helped and that we get to hear more about your birds. And chance of some pictures?

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Guest birdmom2a2
well it seems that you keep saying you don't want to breed them, but at this point do not wish to remove the box or the eggs from them now, which means that the only step from here is to allow the breeding and hatching and raising to happen.
------------ Yes, I want to let her hatch and raise them, if we should be so lucky. The male is over 1 year of age. When I got him (about 6 mos ago), I was told he was about a year old.

 

 

I noticed her abdomen when she hung on to the side of the cage to say hello to me. I had never seen pink skin before.
Some budgie pluck they own feathers in that area to get better cover on the egg or for other reasons, but it isn't anything to worry about, mine did this while she was laying as well. ------- She didn't pick the feather on her abdomen, but did pick them around her vent. Her 'belly' was just swollen or puffy. This, is not there anymore, by the way.

 

Are you sure it's her breaking the eggs -------- --- No, I'm not 100% sure it was her, but I think so as I never saw him go into the next box. She would lay them and would break them within a few hours. I am guessing it was either 'bad' eggs (???) or, as you said, just a beginner Mom. She has two she is sitting on (I think, as she hasn't left the box long enough for me to look inside for a couple of days).

 

 

Nesting material can be added to the box ------------------- There is some nesting material in the box, which she seems to like, as she shaped it how she wanted it. It's not wood shavings, but a nesting material that the lady who sold me the box gave me with it. It is made for this purpose.

 

---- I am praying things go well, but am ready to be disappointed. I don't even know if they eggs are fertile or not.

 

 

This helped a lot! Thank you so much. I will take some pictures this evening and post them tomorrow. I don't know if I'll be able to get her, but at least you can see what he looks like. She is called "purple," but is actually a beautiful blue, and he is green and yellow. Their colors are so florescent and I just love how they reflect the light. They are so beautiful :blush:).

 

Thanks again, and I'll post later or in the AM (at least for me).

 

Julie

Edited by Nerwen

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Guest birdmom2a2

I peeked inside the box when she came out to stretch her wings and there are now FOUR eggs! I can't believe it! This gal is an egg-laying fiend! She has now laid 9 eggs (remember, she broke the first five). She started sitting on them 12/15.

 

I know it's too late now, but I am getting nervous. I am so afraid I got in deeper than I expected. I expected one, maybe two eggs, and expected her to abandon them shortly after laying, as she broke the first five. Now, here she is, sitting on these eggs like a perfect mom, only getting up for a couple of minutes at a time and rushing right back in. I am so afraid something is going to go wrong that I can't do anything about, only because of lack of information. I only pray that if something does go wrong, I can get them to the vet fast enough. (I never hesitate to run a bird to the vet and my vet is awesome about bird emergencies. One time I ran Sydnee over there at 7:30 in the morning because he bit a hole in his chest and there was blood everywhere. His nurse brought me immediately into a room, and he came to see us immediately, leaving a surgery he was performing, to make sure Sydnee was no longer bleeding and that the injury was not life threatening).

 

I am one of those bird moms who like to be saturated with information before I need it. I am always reading about birds, their behavior, diet, psychology, and how to give them the best life possible. I feel like I am totally unprepared for this. I've tried to find books, but can't find any locally, and it's hard to tell what's a good book at Amazon.

 

I put a cuttle bone, a mineral block, and egg powder (for budgies) in the cage. I mixed the egg powder in with their seed, but they haven't touched any of the above yet.

 

Are there any websites or ?? you can refer me to so I can do more reading?

 

I haven't gotten any pictures yet, as I don't want to upset her but will snap a few as soon I see her leave the nest for a few minutes.

 

Thanks for any info you can provide --- you are wonderful! Here are the joy's of my life, my reason for living, yup, the birds.

 

Here's Kiwi - 4 y/o old Lilac Crowned Amazon

 

kiwi0s-vi.jpg?180240

 

Here's Sydnee - 6-1/2 yr old Goffin's cockatoo

 

sydnees-vi.jpg?153240

 

 

thanks for everything :D

 

 

 

Julie

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It's great to hear that he is over one.

The average clutch size is 4-5 eggs, she is doing well.

It's a good idea to get a look into the box at least once a day, twice is better but if you are worried about scaring her off the eggs one is okay. This is so you can check on the eggs and later check the chicks. Making sure they are been feed and all that. The best way to do this is tap on the box lightly to make her move hopefully out of the box, but also so she knows that someone is outside and doesn’t' get shock when the box opens.

 

Terri's website might have something (budgietalk.com) but since she is against breeding it's a small chance. Of cause read all over this site in the breeding area or do a search. This can tell of thing that might go wrong and hopeful ways to fix it so you prepared. As to book have a look in your library, they normally have books on all animals and even the thin budgie books give a small bit of info on breeding. A nice one to look out for, although not just for budgies, is The ultimate encyclopaedia of Caged and aviary birds. by David Alderton. It gives a detailed info on breeding signs, feeding, nesting, hatchlings what to expect and possible problems.

 

Hey I just looked at the dates and you might have a new year's hatching :fear

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Guest Lin

I would put the egg and biscuit mix in as a seperate dish. Mine have loved it when breeding, and it is especially easy to feed to the young. If possible, put it close to the nesting box.

Yes, a lot of things can go wrong. To be honest, the best source of information I have found is this forum, so, please ask all the questions that you want to. We consider the only stupid question is the one you don't ask :fear

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