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Thread: Hen not sitting on egg

  1. #1
    Brand New Egg Karuley's Avatar
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    Hen not sitting on egg

    Greetings,
    To my surprise this night I found an egg inside the nest box, this is the first time one of my parakeets has laid an egg in my 2 years of having them.
    I did not expect them to lay an egg because even though I had seen the male mating with some hens, and the hens had stayed in the nest box no eggs where layed, I just assumed my male was infertile or something like that (which was fine) or that they had no desire to breed since they were hand tamed and just liked playing house.
    I am caught completely off guard, it is winter where I am now and it is very cold for parakeets, with temperatures under 15c (around 55f) during the day and even colder at night, and the nesting box has no nesting material in it, to make things worse my hen is not sitting on her egg, she is very protective of the nest box but she is not sitting on it. She was around the box during the day but at night she went back to her cage as usual, their cage door is always open, they come and go as they please and at night once it's dark they all go by themselves inside, however the box is outside the cage as I have no way to attach it to inside, and since the door is always open, I never felt the need to.
    I am concerned about the egg, the nesting box was very cold to the touch, for now I put some paper shavings under the egg so it's not touching the floor of the nesting box, and put the box close to the heating lamp that I use to keep the birds warm at night, the egg is half exposed to light (using the lid of the box to let a gap of light through).
    What else can I do to help the egg? Even if it is too late for this one there are bound to be others soon.
    Thank you for your time.
    Cutesy Parfait~
    Playfull Sushi~
    Lady Juliette~
    Shy Pixel~

  2. #2
    Tailfeather maxollie's Avatar
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    Re: Hen not sitting on egg

    Hi, Maria, and welcome to the community. I have bred a pair of budgies, in the past, and I too was not expecting any eggs. It was very cold here as well, because it was January. Here is some information for you. I hope it will be helpful.

    The nest box protects the hen and eggs. I would not allow light into the box. if it were me. Also, when I bred my budgies,I went on line and learned about breeding. I found a credible article that said to not put nesting material in the box, because the hen, shaves off tiny pierces of the bottom of the box and then uses that as nesting material. I chose to not pur any nesting material in the box, and that worked out for me. You can leave the shredded paper in the box, but do not be surprised if the hen pushes it to the side of the inside of the box.

    The eggs are laid every other day. A hen can lay up to 7-8 eggs. Usually it is about 4-5 eggs. It is recommended to not disturb the nest in any way. You can remove one egg carefully in about a week and candle it, using a small flashlight to see it is fertile. You should see tiny red veins and the embryo inside. Carefully remove the egg, and immediately put back into the box after candling it. I ended up with four precious babies.

    It is not unusual for the hen to not get serious to nest on her eggs as yet. It is normal for her to stay on the perches most of the time right noiw, but after she has laid a few more eggs, she will spend most of her time in the nest, other than coming out to eat, drink and poop. The male will not be allowed into the box, until the first egg hatches. Then, he will help the hen to feed the babies. The purpose of the box is to protect the eggs. from any air, light, or other environmental chemicals that might be airborn. The hen will be very protective of her eggs, and does not want the caregiver to be looking into her nest all the time. So, try to refrain from doing so. You can check on her a few times a day. I did not provide extra outside heat for my nest box, but, if you wish to do so, just be sure to not provide too much heat. Being so small, budgies can get overheated easily.

    The eggs will begin to hatch in about 21-25 days if they are fertile, and will hatch every other day. Your first sign of a hatch will be the male jumping into the box. I could hear the new baby softly peeping, and the mom and dad were attending to the baby and feeding it.

    Do a Google search......breeding budgies, and egg laying, mating, and hatching eggs. The web has many great websites to get valuable information.

    Nature is awesome, and it is so exciting and fun, to watch the nest and pair, and the eggs hatching.

    I hope the eggs are fertile. Be sure to feed p!enty of cuttle bone to the pair, especially the hen, so that her calcium levels are at tip top shape. They lose calcium when they are laying eggs and nesting. It is very stressful for the hen. We will welcome your updates and questions anytime. Good luck on the journey with your precious budgie pair. Irregardless of whether the eggs are fertile, it is imparitive that you let the hen keep her eggs, for st least 30 days, or until tbery hatch, because if you throw eggs away, she will just lay more, and that would be too stressful for her. She needs to rest her body after laying this c!utch.
    Last edited by maxollie; 11-10-2018 at 10:56 AM.

  3. #3
    Brand New Egg Karuley's Avatar
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    Re: Hen not sitting on egg

    Thank you for your reply Ellen.

    It has been more or less 20h since the first egg was laid, I can keep a close eye on them since their cage is in my bedroom.
    A second egg has been laid, there is a soft smudge of blood around the second egg, I'm assuming this is ok since the hen is still flying around happily and shows no signs of pain in her body language, however she is still not incubating them, she is around the box alot but shows no interest in sitting on them, she is out of the box 80% of the time.

    I am worried she has no instict to incubate them as she was hand raised, she also shows no signs of agression whenever I approach the nest box, she will perch on my finger and sing to me as if nothing was wrong, even though she is very agressive towards another hen of the same age just for getting close to the box. (curious one)

    I hope that by tomorrow she will have more interest in taking care of the eggs otherwise I might have to take matters in my own hands, I imagine eggs don't last very long without proper care.
    I am prepared for whatever comes nontenless, there is plenty of mineral block for the hen to eat and "egg food" too, ocasional slices of apple or pear and of course, daily greens.
    I also have food that can be used to feed baby budgies, so I can hand raise them should I need to, though I hope it doesn't come to that.

    Is there any way I can encourage her to stay inside the box more? The only thing I can think of is separating them, but that would probably cause them more harm than good, they are too used to being together, whenever even just one of them is missing they cry out in a frenzy.

    Thank you for your time.
    Last edited by Karuley; 11-10-2018 at 02:38 PM.
    Cutesy Parfait~
    Playfull Sushi~
    Lady Juliette~
    Shy Pixel~

  4. #4
    Tailfeather maxollie's Avatar
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    Re: Hen not sitting on egg

    You do not need to worry about her not nesting yet. The eggs will be fine. It is best to just let nature take its course. Eggs do last along time, even not being set on by the hen. You do not want to take her eggs away and try to incubate them yourself, nor do you want to separate the pair. Other than observing them, let them procced as they are now. She will get serious about setting on the eggs. It is early on as yet. It is awesome she will allow you to interact with her. Some hens would not allow it. At this point, my view is everything is going well! Continue giving the egg food and mineral block. The blood on the egg, is probab!y the result of a bigger egg to push out. It is important to give the egg protein, and the minerals, so the egg shell will be hard and strong, so she can easily push out the egg. Also, on occasion the hen may lay an egg at night.
    Last edited by maxollie; 11-11-2018 at 11:30 AM.

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