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Thread: Nigel the English Budgie is pregnant (I think) - HELP

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    Nigel the English Budgie is pregnant (I think) - HELP

    Our old and not-in-good-health English Budgie Nigel(la) is "with egg". She's about eight years old and hasn't been in great health for a year or more. She's just old and fat, basically. Can't fly. Has a fatty mass on her chest that makes breathing difficult at times. Has a kinda bum leg and basically hates everyone/everything. However, and I feel like this is my fault, WeeWoo, the keet who lives "upstairs" has taken a liking to her and during some supervised play time, I found him mating with her. I never in a million years thought this would happen as Nigel hates every thing/bird and I've never seen her go into the "take me now" birdie mating pose. I didn't think they actually "bumped cloacas" so to speak, and I saw them do it a few times, but interrupted them (obviously too late) and now I believe she's carrying an egg.

    She's been spending a lot of time on the bottom of the cage, shredding paper. Her poos are large and very messy and her, er, area seems to rather, well, it pulses. Kinda like our female Mina did years ago before she shot out some eggs. I think I can feel an egg back there, too.

    I did not want this to happen (that's why they are in separate cages), but I admit, I thought it was funny she let WeeWoo get on top of her... I didn't think they actually did the deed though. I feel bad I let this happen. I should have never let them near each other after the first time I saw WeeWoo on top of her.

    Since she's so old an in poor health, I'm worried. I've had a female lay eggs before (and then separated them), but I don't know what to do in this case. I made her a little nest box area, but the "father" is still separated from her. I admit, I don't know how egg laying works in keets - if she's going to lay eggs - how many can I expect? Should I put WeeWoo in with her so they can be in this together, or should I minimize their contact (he can still see her, but cannot be near her).

    I'm just worried that her laying eggs could kill her. I want to do what's best for her help and I need advice. So if you have some, please send it my way!

    Thanks in advance!
    Mateo (cockatiel), Chirpa (parakeet), Nigel/la (parakeet), Nico (parakeet), WeeWoo (parakeet) and Peri (parakeet).

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    Re: Nigel the English Budgie is pregnant (I think) - HELP

    I would watch her carefully. If you see her setting on the cage floor as though she is straining to lay the egg you would need to pick her up and hold her. Feel the egg area and if you see or feel it, then you need to immediately call an avian vet or if there is no avian in your area then call a regular vet immediately and take her in. She most likely is egg bound and could die without the vets help.

    Personally, I would not encourage the nesting nor put them together. Since you say she is in poor health, I feel it is not in her best health interests to be mating and laying eggs. Since this is her first time laying eggs, you may find she will lay them most anywhere in the cage, if she is able to push the egg out. She could lay them off the perch and or swing. If that happens the eggs can break. You would have to discard them and be sure to clean the broken eggs in the cage so she does not get salmonella infection. Budgies can lay as many as seven eggs. However since this is her first time I'm thinking 4-5. They are laid every other day.

    Does she eat cuttlebone regularly, and what seed or pellet mix is she eating? Lack of calcium in her diet will cause the egg shells to be soft, and then the egg is much more difficult to push out. You will need to let her have any eggs she lays for about 21 days or until she abandons them. You can boil the eggs and give them back to her, unless you candle them and find an embryo in the shell. Then you would need to decide whether to allow her to set on the eggs and see if they hatch. If you decide to do so you need to buy a parakeet/budgie nest box at a pet store and put it in the cage if it is determined she is healthy enough to hatch them. Then you would put both of them in the same cage. Personally, I have a reservation of going ahead with the possible hatching of eggs because of her age. However, you sure can take her to a vet and have an examination to see if she is healthy enough to set on the eggs and possibly hatch them.

    If she does not have a cuttle bone you need to get one immediately. Also, if she is eating seeds and no pellets you need to get a bottle of birdy vitamins and put about two drops mixed in with her seed about once a week. You can get them at the petshop. Also feed her some fresh leaf lettuce and cilantro. Also raw carrots chopped fine. Do not feed parsley nor any other cabbage family veggies like broccoli or cauliflower. You can boil a hen egg and crush the shells and put some of the shells in her seed mix. You also can feed some of the cooked egg to her. I also would be feeding the male the same foods and be sure he has plenty of calcium as well.

    I do think for peace of mind your best bet now is to get her to a vet for a checkup and discuss with the vet your options and what he feels would be best for her. Breeding birds is no easy task and many problems can surface in the process. I hope this information is helpful to you. As I always post it is always up to the caregiver to decide what is best for their birds. Do keep us updated. Good luck!
    Last edited by maxollie; 05-30-2015 at 11:01 PM.

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    Re: Nigel the English Budgie is pregnant (I think) - HELP

    I will get a cuttle bone today. I will get some birdie vitamins too. I have attempted to make an appointment for the vet tomorrow.

    So I should remove the weird little nesting box I made? WeeWoo is not in with her - he's up above. Should I take her out of the bottom part of the cage and put her in a cage by herself? We have many spares.

    She's on an all-seed diet. Sadly, they all are. I do have pellets at hand though, as my cockatiel eats them (Harrison's).

    Thank you so much for your response. I did not want to breed birds and it's only because of my negligence that she's pregnant.

    I will update this post after I get into the vet's or have any more news to share.

    Thanks again!
    Mateo (cockatiel), Chirpa (parakeet), Nigel/la (parakeet), Nico (parakeet), WeeWoo (parakeet) and Peri (parakeet).

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    Re: Nigel the English Budgie is pregnant (I think) - HELP

    Hi, Erin, For now, I would leave the nest box and the setup with him on the top of the cage and her on the bottom of the cage as it is for now, until you take her to the Vet and have her checked out. I would ask for an immediate Vet appointment, due to the possibility she has an egg inside of her. The Vet should be able to advise you what the next step may be. If it was going to be a period of time before you got her to the Vet then I would imagine you need to remove the male, but I think that just may upset her at this point, so until the Vet makes his recommendation leave everything as it is, including the little nest box you made.

    Do not be concerned that they are on an all seed diet. In my own opinion and view, I feel safer when I feed all seeds rather than pellets. There are opinions on both side of the pellet isle, but my opinion is that they are just too small of birds (budgies) to be on pellets. No doubt your vet may recommend them. If so, I would suggest you feed very few of them. I would only mix about a teaspooon of them in with the seed for starters. And when you do so, you need to make sure that the pair is getting plenty of water, because pellets are man made and have alot of corn and soybeans in them. Being so dry, they require plenty of water or the bird will dehydrate.

    Years ago I had a budgie that was 9 years old when he finally passed away. I was a child of 11 years old when I got him, and he died just after I graduated high school. In all the years I had him he only ate seeds and had his cuttlebonoe. Back in the day, very few people even knew it was a good idea to feed fresh veggies and other foods to budgies, because it was the belief that seeds were the only food they needed. That is a testimony to the fact that my Mickey lived a good, happy long life without pellets, and eating only seeds. Pellets were not even being made when he was alive. If you introduce the fresh veggies and fruits, it takes lots of time and patience for them to eat them daily, so do not be alarmed if you try feeding them and they don't eat them. Just keep putting a little of whatever you decide to give them in the cage each day, either on a plate on the cage floor, or in a separate food cup. And do not leave the veggies/fruits in the cage all day. I leave any for my birds only about 2 hours max!

    Do not blame yourself for her possibly laying eggs. You know, even if you had them in separate cages, she could start laying eggs, because any "male" budgie that is around her, on some occasion, even if he is in his own cage, could cause her to lay eggs. This is late Springtime, and often a time when hens do get hormonal and lay eggs. When you speak with your Vet be sure and tell him you now have cuddle bone, but that she did not have any otherwise. He may recommend some sort of additional calcium for her at this time, IF she has an egg and/or he can tell she is going to lay eggs.

    You still have the option to not allow the eggs to hatch if they are fertile, and can boil them, and/or also put dummy budgie eggs in the nest to replace them. Once you talk it all over with the Vet, stop back by and share what you found out. I can give some additional thoughts to you if need be.

    This happens to the best of us who are bird owners and bird caregivers. It is nothing you did purposely, and it probably is a miracle she did not start laying anyway with the male in the home, even if he was in his own cage.

    Good luck at the Vet. Keep a close watch on her and if you see anything unusual you need to get her to the Vet ASAP!
    Last edited by maxollie; 05-31-2015 at 02:19 PM.

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    Re: Nigel the English Budgie is pregnant (I think) - HELP

    I got her into the vet tomorrow. Based on some info I got elsewhere, I REMOVED the next box, and she seems to be fine. She wasn't going anywhere near it anyway. Vet appt is tomorrow at 10:30. Got her a cuttlebone and some vitamins that have been put in the food and water.

    The male still resides in the cage above her and spends most of his day frantically running back and forth looking down below at her. She doesn't seem to care one way or the other.

    I do not intend to let the eggs hatch if she has them, but my boyfriend wants to see if we can. We'll see. We have five parakeets as it is and do not need any more. I just hope she survives this. Something tells me she won't.
    Mateo (cockatiel), Chirpa (parakeet), Nigel/la (parakeet), Nico (parakeet), WeeWoo (parakeet) and Peri (parakeet).

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    Re: Nigel the English Budgie is pregnant (I think) - HELP

    Personally, I would not put the vitamins in water, because they can go rancid and make the bird sick. I know they say on the bottle to put them in the water, however, there are many of us who prefer to mix them with the seed as I had mentioned.

    Well, do not lose heart. You will find out more about her health when you take her to the Vet. Should you decide to mate them if she is in good health, then I would still suggest a regular nest box from the Pet Shop. Those boxes are made for a purpose. They are wooden, very well made, and have a lid on them as well. When you breed birds you have to be sure that the eggs and the parents are in a perfect setting. Thus the reason for the nest box. Also, you will notice if you get the box that the male will never go into the box UNTIL the first egg begins hatching. I bred a pair of budgies a few years ago and that was exactly what happened. The male goes into the box when the chicks hatch and help feed them. They are very, very tiny. I would suggest that it would be very helpful to do some homework on breeding before you decide to do try it. You can google "breeding budgies" and will find many great websites telling you all about the process.

    I know what you mean about having five budgies. I had five when unexpectedly, I had a female and male who paired up. I thought I had all males until the day mating began, so I bought the nest box, did some research on line, and ended up with 4 precious little baby budgies. So, anyone can try breeding. It is just a matter of doing your homework so you will know what to do and what not to do with the pair when they are with "egg"!! (lol) It was fine to remove the nest box. No problem at all.

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    Re: Nigel the English Budgie is pregnant (I think) - HELP

    OK, I will replace the water and just put the vitamins in the seed - thanks for the tip. I have moved her to her own cage so she doesn't need to climb as much and can be left alone. Do you think that's OK?
    Mateo (cockatiel), Chirpa (parakeet), Nigel/la (parakeet), Nico (parakeet), WeeWoo (parakeet) and Peri (parakeet).

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    Re: Nigel the English Budgie is pregnant (I think) - HELP

    Sure, that is fine. How is the male taking the move? When you put vitamins in the seed, I would put about 2-3 drops, but only about once a week or 10 days. I don't know what the vitamin bottle said as far as how often to use them, but I always had success with the once a week or 10 day approach. You do not want them to get too much of any sort of vitamin in their body either. As long as she is a good seed eater, I'm sure there is some vitamins incorporated into the seed mix. Check the sack or box of seed and read the ingredients. This additional liquid birdy vitamin is like a "supplement", meaning it is just a boost for her now that she may either be breeding or laying eggs. One way or the other she needs that boost, because both mating and egg laying are very stressful for hens.
    Last edited by maxollie; 06-01-2015 at 01:10 PM.

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    Re: Nigel the English Budgie is pregnant (I think) - HELP

    WeeWoo is rapidly pacing back and forth, like he always does. Nigel is resting.

    Thanks again for all your help and advice. I'm anxious to see what the vet will say tomorrow.
    Mateo (cockatiel), Chirpa (parakeet), Nigel/la (parakeet), Nico (parakeet), WeeWoo (parakeet) and Peri (parakeet).

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    Re: Nigel the English Budgie is pregnant (I think) - HELP

    I'll be watching for your update! I'm praying you will get a good report on her and that her health is OK!

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    Re: Nigel the English Budgie is pregnant (I think) - HELP

    Thank you. I'm going to spend some extra time with her while watching "Parrot Confidential" on PBS. She may hate me for it, but oh well.
    Mateo (cockatiel), Chirpa (parakeet), Nigel/la (parakeet), Nico (parakeet), WeeWoo (parakeet) and Peri (parakeet).

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    Re: Nigel the English Budgie is pregnant (I think) - HELP

    That sounds like a neat program!!

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    Re: Nigel the English Budgie is pregnant (I think) - HELP

    Quote Originally Posted by maxollie View Post
    That sounds like a neat program!!
    It is, but also very sad. It pushes the thought that most of the big birds (the ones that live 30+ years) really shouldn't be kept as pets.

    You can watch it here: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/parro...idential/8496/
    Mateo (cockatiel), Chirpa (parakeet), Nigel/la (parakeet), Nico (parakeet), WeeWoo (parakeet) and Peri (parakeet).

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    Re: Nigel the English Budgie is pregnant (I think) - HELP

    Well, the vet said she didn't feel an egg. So, Nigels on anti-biotics (in case of inflammation), rest, darkness and some other goop to calm down her hormones. She's in my bedroom now, away from the humpy WeeWoo.
    Mateo (cockatiel), Chirpa (parakeet), Nigel/la (parakeet), Nico (parakeet), WeeWoo (parakeet) and Peri (parakeet).

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    Re: Nigel the English Budgie is pregnant (I think) - HELP

    Personally, I feel that at times perhaps my two little birds would be happier flying free outside in nice warm weather and the habitats for which they were created. I will definitely watch the video, and thanks for sharing with us!

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