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Thread: help!!!! my budgie just laid an egg!!!

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    help!!!! my budgie just laid an egg!!!

    I bought a young female budgie from the pet store yesterday, for a companion for my male. she just laid an egg (bloody and pretty big) about an hour ago. at the pet shop she was in a cage with many males so i think the egg is fertile. i picked up the egg very carefully with tissue and put it in a small bowl under shredded paper towel for now.what do i do to give the egg a chance to hatch?? can i leave the female with the male even though he is not the daddy?? please help, i was not planning her to lay eggs a day after i brought her home. i have had many birds and they have never laid eggs so this is very new to me.

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    Re: help!!!! my budgie just laid an egg!!!

    Hi, April, and welcome to the community! Well, first of all, I would say this bird definitely is not a baby. Generally, budgies do not begin laying eggs until they are about a year old, although, they can lay as early as 9 months old. I have a couple of thoughts to share. There is a possibility this bird could be a "breeding hen". Wholesale breeders should never send their breeding stock to market, but many of the breeders have lots of budgies to send to the pet shops, and "maybe" this bird ended up in the shipment along with "baby budgies". A baby budgie is considered to be about 12 weeks old when they are shipped to a Pet Shop.

    Perhaps you were told the birds were somewhat older than babies. In my view, as long as the bird you purchased is healthy and was able to lay the egg with no real problems, then the only solution you need is how to proceed with the egg laying. She should lay an egg every other day. If she is quite young and new to laying, the egg laying can be sporadic, so it could be a day later, or earlier, or even at night. More than likely, she is new at laying, and as a result there was some blood mixed in with the egg. Generally that does not happen, but my thinking is it probably is her first egg experience, because if she was a breeder, and had laid eggs several times before, the blood would not be present.

    You will need to go to the pet shop and get a budgie nest box. Do not get a bigger box. The clerk should be able to tell you which ones are for budgies. When you bring it home, put it inside the cage. Clean the box slightly, with a mix of warm water and vinegar, wiping it off inside and out to get any germs or other bacteria off of it. Then place the egg inside the box.

    I have bred budgies before, and you are fortunate that budgie breeding is somewhat different than other parrot species, because the male will never enter the nest box until the first egg hatches. He sits outside on the perches, and watches over her, but will not interfere with her setting or laying. You do not need to put any nesting material in the box, because the hen will take her beak and perch (pick off small pieces of the wood on the bottom of the box) just a right amount of the slivered wood to use as her nest.

    Do not be alarmed if she doesn't set on her eggs right away. Usually it takes a couple or three eggs (every other day) before she will get more serious. As I shared, if she is a young budgie and this is her first time laying, do not be surprised if she lays eggs off of the perch (which sometime break and you will have to remove them from the cage because of salmonella), or if she lays one on the cage floor rather than in the nest box. If she does lay one on the cage floor, or one that is not broken off the perch, then you would put it in the nest box. Budgies can lay up to 8-9 eggs. Generally it is about 5 eggs with each clutch. After about a week or 10 days, you can carefully remove one of the eggs, and take a pen flashlight and shine it into the egg to see if it is fertile. If you see little red vessel lines, and perhaps the embryo attached to the inside of the egg shell, then the egg would be fertile.

    Egg laying is a stressful time for hens, so I would suggest you make sure she is eating plenty of cuttlebone, and also, you can take a hen egg, boil it, and shred the egg both white and yellow and feed it to her, and take the shell from the boiled egg and crush it up and take a small amount and put it in with her seed mix every day to help her calcium levels to remain normal, because they do lose calcium when the eggs are formed. Fresh veggies like leaf lettuce, and cilantro, are always a good veggie to stick through the cage bars.

    Budgies cannot eat any cabbage family veggies because of a phyoto chemical in them, so even though you might read on another forum or on line to feed kale, or broccoli, or "parsley", or any cabbage family veggie, please do not do so, because I lost a little male budgie a few years ago that was eating parsley every day. He got tumors in his esophagus and could not swallow and he died.

    I am hopeful that your male will accept her, and the eggs, and will not get aggressive with her or break the eggs. That "could" happen. How long have you had your male budgie? If he is a couple years or older and you have a strong bond with him, he could get jealous of another budgie invading his "only bird" status. If you see any aggression in him, then definitely put her in a different cage with her egg box, because the male does not help her in the laying process anyway, and she will be safer by herself. Hopefully he will welcome her, and treat her properly, because it really will be a "neat" and "quite different" experience to have a budgie purchased as she was, in a cage with a male that she did not even know, and soon you might have baby budgies.

    The incubation period (setting on the eggs) for her will be 18 days, from the time she first gets serious and starts setting on her eggs. That could take a few days, so when that happens you begin counting the days.

    She will spend most of her time in the nest box, once she begins to get serious about setting. She will come out to do her droppings and eat, but then go back inside. It will be interesting to see if your male budgie acts like all males should and stay out of the box. With him not being the Dad, that may not happen, and then you will need to be sure he doesn't break those eggs, because as I said, he might be jealous of them.

    Do keep us posted on how this event goes for you. I am super excited to see how it all turns out. If for any reason, you see that she cannot push out an egg, and she strains too much, she is what we call egg bound, and that would signal you would need to take her to a vet immediately. An Avian Vet is best, but if you can't find one locally, then use a regular Vet.

    Good luck, with this unexpected journey, April. I sure will look for updates to see if you have success. If you have any questions, stop by and ask them.
    Last edited by maxollie; 04-26-2016 at 02:22 PM.

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    Re: help!!!! my budgie just laid an egg!!!

    thank you so much maxollie for responding with such great advise!!! i thought she was young because she is so tiny and her eyes are still completely black like my males was when i first got him. so i did go out and buy her a nesting box and vitamins as well as cuttlebone. i have tried to make her parakeet recipes i found on google. one with quinoa and sweet potato with raisins but she wont touch any real food. all she wants is millet and seeds. i tried strawberries, lettuce, melon, banana. she wont eat any of it!! i dont think the pet store i bought her from serves the fresh fruit and veggies because my male wont touch the either and i got him from the same pet store. i have had him for a year and a half. about six months ago i bought him a female from that pet store that he was close to but she died about two months after i got her. it was weird because she was fine and one morning she seemed not her self so i took her out and examined her and she seemed very ill, i was waiting for my husband to get home to take her two the vet but she died before we could get her there. all withing about four hours. well my male was a little jealous of her yesterday for about two hours after she laid the egg and now he is good. i am a stay home mom so i am keeping a close watch. i washed my hands very well and moved the egg to the nest i bought her today. she does not seem to want to go in the nesting box. i keep trying to encourage her but she dont want anything to do with it yet. i am afraid she dont know her egg is in there. i will certainly keep you updated on everything!!!

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    Re: help!!!! my budgie just laid an egg!!!

    Hi, April. I would not be too concerned about her not paying any attention to her egg just yet. Since she only has laid one egg (I would think today she would lay another egg), sometimes they don't pay much attention to them at first. It will be interesting to see if she goes into her nest box to lay an egg, whether it be the next one, or any from that point on. If she does lay one somewhere other than the box, gently pick it up and put it in the nest box. I have to say that whatever seed and or diet she was eating before you got her had to be one full of calcium, because the egg is well formed and does not have a very soft shell. That is a real plus for sure! I would think sooner than later, she would go into the box and explore it. It is great news the male is accepting her right now and not being aggressive towards her. Also, it will be interesting to see if the male goes into the box. Normally, males don't, as I had shared above, however, this is a little different situation, since he is not the Dad.

    I would not be too concerned about the fresh veggies and fruits at this point. I have never seen any pet shops in this area ever give fresh veggies and fruits to budgies in their shops either. However, it will not hurt at all to buy some, and to keep trying them every day. You can try mixing the boiled egg in her seed cup, along with the crushed shells. I would give them two separate seed cups, one for the seeds and millet, and the other for a variety, such as the fresh veggies, and seed mixed together. About the only fruit my budgies have ever liked, and then it is rather sporadic with them as well is fresh apples. Wash an apple well, and then take a slice and put it through the cage bars. As long as you bought the bottle of vitamins and are going to use them along with the seeds and millet, the vitamins will provide some needed nutrition for them as well. I would not put the vitamins in water if that is what is recommended on the bottle. It is best to put a couple or three drops of the vitamins mixed in with a cup of the seed mix about once every 7-10 days. The vitamins being put in water can cause them to go rancid, and birds can get sick.

    Now one other thought I have for you. Since your male budgie is now 1 1/2 years old, he may very well be interested in mating with her. If that happens, then there is a chance that he will impregnate her, and she may lay some more eggs. There is no way to keep birds from mating, so if you were to see them mating, you would have to decide if you were going to put them in separate cages. If she were to lay another clutch (batch) of eggs along with the ones she has inside of her from the real dad, you could end up with many babies if they all hatched, and the two of them would not be able to take care of all of the hatchlings (feeding them), so you would need to hand feed the babies. It most probably would be the babies after about 4 or 5 hatch, because generally the parents can take care of 4 or 5, but anymore than that, it is going to be difficult for the parents to take care of all of them.

    For now, I would just play it all by ear. You are a stay-at-home mom, and can observe what is happening. You can try putting some pieces of whole wheat bread between the cage bars. And I would keep trying the lettuce. Use leaf lettuce rather than head lettuce, because head lettuce is mostly water, and also will cause watery poops. And concerning the watery poops, do not be concerned if the female's poops are somewhat loose, because that is normal with a hen laying eggs.

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    Re: help!!!! my budgie just laid an egg!!!

    okay so she laid her egg monday night around 7:00 pm and has not laid another one since. i brought her into the bathroom and sat with her about an hour ago in the steam for about 20 minutes.she looks like she is pushing now but i am not positive. she has not shown any type of discomfort or stress so i think she is okay. i am keeping a close eye on her but not really sure what to look for. do you think there is a problem??

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    Re: help!!!! my budgie just laid an egg!!!

    Will she allow you to feel her bum area, and can you feel a lump in that area? If so, then there is another egg inside and she most likely is trying to push it out. I'm so sorry I missed your post and you have waited a couple of hours for my reply. I hope by now, she has laid another egg, if you can feel it inside of her.

    Sitting with her in the steam is a great idea. Also, if necessary, you can place a small amount of olive oil o her bum area, and the oil might soften up that area so she can push the egg out. I would only put the oil in that area, because if birds get oil on other parts of their body it is hard to get it off of them.

    If this is her first time laying, then as I had mentioned the eggs can be laid sporadically, rather than every other day. The second egg should really have been laid either last night or during the night, or early this morning for a normal egg laying schedule.

    I would continue with the steam, and even the oil if necessary. Hopefully by now she has laid the egg if there is one there.

    Please let us know how things are going with her, and again, I apologize for not being able to post until now.

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    Re: help!!!! my budgie just laid an egg!!!

    yes she allowed me to feel but i dont feel anything abnormal. i dont feel an egg. and she is completely closed down there.still no egg but she looks fine. she is eating a lot today. i rubbed coconut oil on her bum a few hours ago. i am going to bring her into the steam again. how long should i have her in there?? i stayed in there with her so she would not be afraid.

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    Re: help!!!! my budgie just laid an egg!!!

    oh but i did forget to mention she is pulsing down there and her tail is down but she seems to be okay.

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    Re: help!!!! my budgie just laid an egg!!!

    Since you felt her bum area and don't feel an egg, and is completely closed down there, the egg is not formed inside of her as yet, so I don't think she will be laying an egg tonight. And another thought is that maybe she was laying eggs in the aviary at the pet shop, and this is the "last egg" in the clutch. The coconut oil also was a good idea.

    For now, I don't think you need to continue the steam. I would just leave the coconut oil on her bum. And since it is probably way past her bed time, I would encourage her to go to sleep. Does she sleep in your bedroom, and if not, can you put her in your bedroom tonight so that if for any reason she needs you, you could help her? Do you cover her with a light blanket or sheet at night? Generally, I always cover my budgies, because it makes them more secure and any sounds they might hear from outside don't seem to bother them when covered. I cover all sides, but it would be fine if you covered only 3 1/2 sides. Leave the front side 1/2 open, or 1/4 open, whichever you prefer. And be sure to put a night light of some kind in the room as well.

    Another thought is that in the aviary, since you say there were several males in the cage with her, there is a possibility that all of those males made her have hormonal feelings, but perhaps none of them mated with her at all, and this was just an egg she laid because of being excited with all of those males in the cage with her. Has your male shown any interest in her by flirting with her or wanting to mount her (mate with her)? Are they getting along OK together? Has she taken any interest in her first egg or in the nest box at all? If she gets onto the cage floor and sets in the corner, she might be going to lay an egg (I doubt that would happen tonight because you don't feel any egg down there), then watch her carefully, and if she is straining to push an egg out, do the steam and oil at that particular time.
    Last edited by maxollie; 04-28-2016 at 07:53 PM.

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    Re: help!!!! my budgie just laid an egg!!!

    yes, i will bring her to my bedroom tonight. she usually is in the living room. i didnt feel an egg, but i was very soft because i was afraid of breaking it inside of her. so i could have possibly missed it. i called the pet shop and the owneer told me he didnt see any eggs before i bought her on sunday, he is usually the one running it. the only thing that concerns me is her back is arched a little like when she had her first egg, and her bottom is pulsing. i don't know if that is normal. she does not show any sigh of egg bound. is it possible to lay an egg three or four days after her first?? and i want to thank you for your help. I am very thankful.you are the only person that has reached out to help me, and both me and my skittles thank you!!! that is her name.

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    Re: help!!!! my budgie just laid an egg!!!

    Awww! Well, I LOVE budgies, and I LOVE Skittles! I've homed budgies for many, many years, and I sure am happy to help you the best I know how.

    You are correct to be gentle in feeling her bum area, because you definitely don't want to break the egg inside of her, if she has one inside. Yes, it is possible for her to lay an egg 3 or 4 days after the first one, especially if this is her very first time laying eggs. Now if she was a breeder hen, most likely her eggs would be laid every other day. So I think with her, she is very young and the egg laying will be sporadic.

    The egg could still be up inside of her too far, and that is why you cannot feel it as yet. I would say the pulsing may have something to do with the egg laying process. I have never examined a little bum of a female, because to be honest with you, in all the years of having budgies, I always chose males, except for having one female. She started laying eggs very sporadically at first. She was in a cage with 4 males, and I thought she was a male too until the first egg was laid off the perch and broke. I was shocked to know I had a female. Soon, she paired up with one of the males, so I bought a nest box, and the pair ended up with four beautiful little babies. But a few eggs were laid out of the nest, a couple of them broke when she laid them off the perch, and she ended up with four babies. That was the only time I ever bred budgies, and really did not expect to ever do so. But I never did examine her bum, because she laid her eggs easy, and never showed any possibility of egg binding. Egg binding definitely is a red flag for any hen.

    Has she shown any interest in her first egg? Do not be alarmed if she has more or less ignored it. Being new to the process, and being so young, that is not unusual. Are her droppings more loose or watery than usual, and has she been eating cuttle bone? If so, then she definitely will be laying at least one more egg, because both of these seem to happen when they are going to lay an egg. Also, you will most likely see her drinking more water during this egg laying time.
    Last edited by maxollie; 04-28-2016 at 08:21 PM.

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    Re: help!!!! my budgie just laid an egg!!!

    I have five little girls, and they named her skittles because she is green and yellow with a little purple on her wings lol. well i will keep an eye on her. the last three days i have been up till 1:00am nervous about her. i going to try to relax. i keep seeing and reading all these horrible stories of parakeets getting egg bound and dying. so it has my very nervous. i have a feeling we will have an egg sometime tonight or tomorrow. we will see!! i will let you know!! if she has babies i am keeping all of them!! she still has not had anything to do with her nesting box that i know of. i will cover her tonight so she can get some rest.

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    Re: help!!!! my budgie just laid an egg!!!

    I can just envision how beautiful your five little girls are. I have four beautiful granddaughters, ages 27, 25, 12 and 11. They are the joy of my life. I only had one child, a son. He and his wife have been married for 28 years.

    Yes, I know the horrible stories that can be found on the web about egg binding. I would suggest you take some of the cuttlebone and either put it in a food processor, or a food chopper and pulse it so the pieces are very small, even like a course powder. Then every day when you put seed in the cup, put some of that cuttle bone in the seed cup with the see. And of course, also you can hang a cuttlebone in her cage. A suggestion I have for you is to not use the "metal cuttlebone holder" that comes in the box with the cuttlebone. They do have plastic holders you can get at the pet shop, or you can also stick some of the cuttlebone in between the cage bars. I give you this information because I had a cockatiel that once got her feet caught in that metal, and her foot got cut and she bled. Anytime a budgie or tiel get cut, you can use corn starch or flour to stop the bleeding. Just pat some on a cut. And of course if the cut is deep, you need to call your Vet immediately.

    She is in excellent hands, so I know you will watch over her and help her through this. Once we get over these few "bumps in the road", and it gets down to a normal day, when she is in her nest box, setting on her eggs, and laying her eggs in the box, if she is going to lay anymore this time around, it will really be a fun experience for you and your girls to watch the entire process. And when those little babies hatch, if there are some, you will hear their tiny peep peeps in the nest box. At that time, your male will most likely jump right into that nest box (at least we hope so), and begin helping her feed the babies.

    I will watch for your updates. And I will say a prayer tonight that all will be well with Skittles.

    And incidentally, I live in Illinois myself. I live about 35 minutes north of Peoria.

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