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Thread: My canary laid a single egg

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    My canary laid a single egg

    Hello, i have recently started breeding canaries. The hen laid a single egg and it is very actively sitting on the egg. What can be the conern here? I know that normally canaries lay 4-6 eggs. Thanks

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    Re: My canary laid a single egg

    It is not uncommon for a young hen to lay only one. It is more uncommon for a 2+ year old hen to lay only one but it does occur. Now, one egg is no big deal for the hen, she will sit and do her job and then the chick hatches and this is where problems occur. One egg no problem, one chick problems. The problem is the hen her self and no other chicks. This is the primary cause of what is called "Splayed legs". The chick hatches and the hen still does her job by sitting. If she sits to hard or the chick is situated incorrectly, the hen sitting can cause the chicks leg or legs to be caught underneath itself incorrectly. Since chicks grow very fast the leg and joints are displaced and grow incorrectly. If this occurs 100% of the time the hen will stop feeding the chick around day 7 or 8 and/or kill the chick. This is nature and the hens way of taking care of what she knows will never make it in the wild.
    Cure or preventative action; Do either one of two things. If you have a store near you that has bird things buy fake canary/finch size fake eggs. Pace two in the nest, so with her egg it makes 3. Since you only have 14 days from time of her laying it, and you have lost some days already, you could buy them on lone but I'd suggest not doing so do to timing. You want them in the nest asap so the hen settles back down. If a pet store doesn't have any go to a craft style store, Michael's and such. Ask them if they have fake eggs, again the size you see yours laid, if not buy some marbles. Birds can't count nor care, so buy a few and place them in with the egg. She will soon settle in and now you should be ok. The marbles/fake eggs work two ways. First they make the hen sit up a little bit and spread her legs avoiding crushing the chick. Second is they give the chick stability so it can press against them to feed. Again so it is said, one egg/one chick is the one thing every breeder watches for. Not for an unhealthy chick but specifically for slayed leg. Splayed leg happens 60% of the time when there is only one chick, so please get some fake eggs or marbles. We usually take the egg from a hen who does this and place it under another hen who has say 2 and let the other hen foster the chick, only if both hens are on the same schedule, otherwise fake eggs or marbles is the procedure to follow.

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    Re: My canary laid a single egg

    Thanks for the help. I places 3 zebra finch eggs and the hen sat on them happily. I will update here once the baby hatches. Thanks a mill for the help.

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    Re: My canary laid a single egg

    I hope the Zebra eggs are dud's. If they are live eggs, they could hatch before the canary. The hen will start feeding, now she makes her own bodily mothers milk so to speak , (vital elements for immunities the mother makes and feeds) for only a short while. If any chick hatches 3 or more days later, they usually don't make it. Key is to have them all hatch together or within a day. This is why you will see most hens lay an egg everyday until done, but don't start sitting solid until the 3rd egg. Chicks hatching late don't get the mothers milk and simply are to far behind to compete for food from their now much larger siblings. Mom will try but the chick will die or be tossed out of the nest 70-80% of the time.

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    Re: My canary laid a single egg

    Quote Originally Posted by 5borders View Post
    I hope the Zebra eggs are dud's. If they are live eggs, they could hatch before the canary. The hen will start feeding, now she makes her own bodily mothers milk so to speak , (vital elements for immunities the mother makes and feeds) for only a short while. If any chick hatches 3 or more days later, they usually don't make it. Key is to have them all hatch together or within a day. This is why you will see most hens lay an egg everyday until done, but don't start sitting solid until the 3rd egg. Chicks hatching late don't get the mothers milk and simply are to far behind to compete for food from their now much larger siblings. Mom will try but the chick will die or be tossed out of the nest 70-80% of the time.
    The eggs were duds but after 16 days i checked and the single egg is not fertile. I have removed the eggs from the nest. What should i do next to allow the hen for a fertile clutch of eggs. I have noticed that the male has become aggresive and it is kinda trying to remove stuff from the nest. Please help. Thanks.

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    Re: My canary laid a single egg

    The male wants to mate again that why he is doing what he is doing. The good thing is it shows he is in condition. Now check the hen make sure she is. Take the hen in hand and turn her over. Her abdomen should show a breeding patch, meaning there should be a dime to nickel size bare patch on her abdomen. Gently blow the feathers back to look. If she is in full condition the patch will be very evident, if she is still coming into condition you may have to blow the feathers back. If she shows no patch she's not ready, which would be your problem, she laid an egg but her system is not all in step yet, thus a dud egg. That could have also been the male wasn't ready at the time but now is. Hardest part of this game is getting both sexes to hit at the same time.

    Recycle them by moving the nest, sometimes just a small move becomes new to them. Add a small bit of Vit E to their diet, can come in the form of wheat germ or vit E itself. Small amount for one pair. Vit E is the fertility Vit but it also will make them agitated, don't worry that's all part of mating, but again not to much, to much moves from agitated to aggressive. If you have money buy Netron E or any of the fertility vit products on the market. Morning Bird, ABBA and others make some good ones, you will see they all contain Vit E. Linda Hogan on her site "Canary Tales" has some good recipes. Old school ones used Wheat Germ and Brewers yeast. If this is new to you, go to Larraine's Lady Gouldian site and look there, she carries multiple ones that are all time tested. Also add hemp to their diet, if you cannot find hemp seed, most grocery stores carry Hemp Hearts, which are pre-shucked hemp seed, like sunflower seeds with the outer husk/shell already removed. Lastly to be successful, your birds should be on a minimum of 13 hours of light. When does the lights come on and when do they go off, count that amount of time. If it is daylight/sun that is your lighting, well count from when the sun starts coming in and when it goes dark, Example; my house, sun cones up birds notice and start moving at 6:30am it goes down and all is dark at 7:30pm = 13 hours of light. Larger birds sometimes need 13.5 or 14 and some smaller breeds are good starting at 12-13. Light is #1 and diet is #2 on the must have breeding hit list. 13 hours is #1 and Vit E is also #1 or top of both of those aspects.

    If you are not sure, or questioning, go to Larraine's site and then call her. She's great and a dream to work with, you won't find a nicer lady. She'll point you in the right direction. Ask her if she has hemp seed in stock as well, sometimes she does.

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    Re: My canary laid a single egg

    Hi again After considering all the requirements that you mentioned i was able to successfully breed my canaries. The hen laid 4 eggs and the chicks are now 15 days old. The parents are busy feeding them around the clock. Today i noticed that the male wants to mate again and they did mate. What should be my next step to be able to allow the hen to lay more eggs but also to raise the existing chicks.

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    Re: My canary laid a single egg

    Let nature take its course. Give the hen a new clean nest, plenty of new nesting material so she won't pick the young's feathers, and plenty of food for everyone. New clean nest so she can lay and have a clean nest for the new eggs and brood. Plenty of nesting material so she won't go after and hen peck the young's feathers to line the nest. Plenty of food for everyone so they are calm and know they have everything they need. You will hear many people who will say to do all kinds of things differently than what I just said. To each their own, I am answering how and what I would do. I learned a long time ago canary's do not become good parents because of genetics or instinct, they become good parents by learning how to be good parents. Thus good parenting is a learned behavior not genetic. So young who experience and see good parenting by being raised and then watching and experiencing seeing their [parents raise another clutch is ground floor work to create god parents in the future. Now when the young from the first clutch are eating on their own, meaning you physically see them cracking seed and eating or feeding themselves you can then move them to their own cages. Babys take some time for their soft bills to get hard enough to crack seed, you must be sure they can before moving them.

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    Re: My canary laid a single egg

    I added a seperate nest along with the nesting material for the hen. The hen is now taking the nesting material to the same nest with chicks and not the new nest. There is plenty of food and they are still feeding the chicks nicely.

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    Re: My canary laid a single egg

    Congrats on your new babies!!!! I am super happy for you!!!!

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    Re: My canary laid a single egg

    As long as the parents seem fine and the young are safe, not being pestered but still fed, all should be fine. The old course of action is to add a new nest, then take the original nest, with babies and move it to the lowest part of the cage, near the floor. This allows the young from the first clutch to jump out and move around safely, as well as supplying the parents with a new nest. Sometimes this works others not so much, so this is why I recommended what I did. I will add, biggest and most deadly event is water. "IF" you use open feeders for water, change them out, and use drinkers instead. The open seed feeders that usually come with cages are dangerous to baby's. People will use one for seed/food and the pother for water. Young are not great flyers and very uncoordinated for a week or so. If one ends up landing in the water, it can't get out and will either drown or get so tired trying to get out, it succumbs to the drop in its body temp and dies for low body temp, exhaustion and stress. I don't know if you use open dishes, but wanted to say this since it is more common than people realize and happens all the time.

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    Re: My canary laid a single egg

    So far the parents and the chicks are doing very well. They have left the nest and flying and running around in the cage. The hen built a new nest but the chicks took over it and rest in it. . The only problem now is that the hen plucks feathers from the chicks time to time. I have plenty of nesting material and food but she still does it time to time.

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    Re: My canary laid a single egg

    Quote Originally Posted by maxollie View Post
    Congrats on your new babies!!!! I am super happy for you!!!!
    thanks a lot dear.

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    Re: My canary laid a single egg

    No Worries, where as it is not a good thing that she is hen pecking them, as long as its not sever, it can cause harm, defined as drawing blood. If its mild, no worries, again not good but not harmful. The babies will go through their baby molt in a while, but if she pulls their tail feathers, those do not go through a baby molt. Meaning the baby's will molt but they molt out everything but their tail feathers. If you are not showing the birds the feathers will grow back in, but can look strange. When a tail feather is lost in a baby, they start out shorter for the first year. So new ones that grow in can be longer and thus look out of sorts. They can also become damaged and grow in at strange angles and remain that way for life. So it is said, in general, for us that show birds, if we see this we immediately pull the baby's and either leave the hen in by herself and place the male and baby's in a separate cage so the male can feed them until they are good enough to fed themselves. In the show world we always move young if we see they are great to their own cage asap to avoid them being damaged. This again is only done if the hen does what your describing. Lastly, I mentioned before about learned behavior in reference to parenting. Parenting is a learned behavior not inherited or genetic so a baby who is hen pecked can indeed become one who does this as an adult. This is a personal call on your part as to what to do. For me, sfatey is first, are they being hurt physically. If just feathers being pulled, well that can be a safety issue or it can be just annoying. If she is drawing blood, move them.

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    Re: My canary laid a single egg

    It is not too bad. The hen pecking is less and now that she laid more eggs in the new nest she is busy sitting on the eggs. Out of the five chicks only one is missing the tail feathers but the rest are perfectly fine. I will continue to look after them and see any new behaviors. Some of the chicks are also trying to eat by themselves.

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