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Thread: Breeding help

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    Breeding help

    Ive had my budgies for about 4 years, one male and one female. I bought one of those plastic nest boxes with the concave In the middle about 2 years ago. But shes never laid eggs before. But last week shes laid her first egg. We decided to attempt to keep them. She keeps laying the eggs out of the nest. Egg #1 in food dish, egg #2 on perch so it was cracked, egg #3 on platform next to food dish, egg#4 on bottom of cage and egg #5 on bottom also. I had put #1 in nest, then #3 but she knocked #3 out and it broke. Then #4, which she also knocked out of cage and broke. #5 cracked when shes laid it. But she stil has #1 in the nest. Im afraid shes gonna take that out of the nest also. I put some pine bedding in the cage. Is that why shes knocking them out, cuz she doesnt want the bedding in there? Is it cuz its a plastic nest box? Ive been trying to find a wood one, but Im having a difficult time finding one with the concave. Id appreciate any help and advice and want to know if Im doing something wrong.

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    Re: Breeding help

    I suggest you get a wooden nest box at the petshop. They work the best. Happy huts, or anything plastic, or made of cloth do not work well. You do not need nesting material in the wooden box. The hen uses her beak and shaves off tiny pieces of wood, and places them in the middle of the box floor, where it is concaved abit. This is her nesting material.

    It is natural for a hen, who is new to egg laying to lay eggs most any place. If you use the wooden box, that is going to help her to lay in that box on!y. If she does lay out of the box, you can add the eggs to the box as long as they are not cracked or broken.

    You have a much better chance being successful in the process with a wooden box.

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    Unhappy Re: Breeding help

    Quote Originally Posted by maxollie View Post
    I suggest you get a wooden nest box at the petshop. They work the best. Happy huts, or anything plastic, or made of cloth do not work well. You do not need nesting material in the wooden box. The hen uses her beak and shaves off tiny pieces of wood, and places them in the middle of the box floor, where it is concaved abit. This is her nesting material.

    It is natural for a hen, who is new to egg laying to lay eggs most any place. If you use the wooden box, that is going to help her to lay in that box on!y. If she does lay out of the box, you can add the eggs to the box as long as they are not cracked or broken.

    You have a much better chance being successful in the process with a wooden box.

    Thank you so much for responding. We did actually get a wooden nest box. Juliet absolutely loved the box and she barely came out of it. Unfortunately though, yesterday we had to separate both budgies because Juliet attacked Romeo so bad that we had to rush him to the vet. She ended up breaking his beak, but luckily he is still able to bite down and eat and he will heal. At this point we did not have any viable eggs anyway because each one that she laid was cracked because she seems to keep laying them from the perch. So we took the nesting box out and for now they are separated until Romeos beak heals. I was not in the room when the birds started fighting so I dont even know what initiated it, but when I heard him screeching super loud I came running down the stairs to see what was wrong. She had him pinned on the bottom of the cage. I am hoping that at some point we will be able to put them back together, because they both actually seem very miserable without each other. We have the two cages by each other so that they can talk to each other. The Two of them were a great pair for the four years that we had them, you can tell how bonded they were. But From what Ive learned, I guess sometimes the female gets aggressive during breeding thinking she needs to protect her eggs or the box. I would have loved to see what her eggs would have hatched into if she was to lay anymore, But I love my birds and Id much rather them be happy and healthy then to push them to do something that causes tension between them. It has only been 24 hours since the fight, Romeo is eating a little bit but we do have to monitor him to make sure he is eating enough. I will keep you posted on how they are doing. Oh, one more thing. If she does lay anymore eggs, do I just take them out and get rid of them? Because I read a lot of things that said if I get rid of the eggs she will keep trying to replace them and keep laying. This was the one thing I forgot to ask the vet yesterday. Thanks!

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    Re: Breeding help

    Awww!!! That was a terrible incident. I admire you completely for taking Romeo to the vet and saving him. You are correct that hens get very protective of their eggs when they lay them. After four years of being together you would think they both would be happy and excited. But the first time a hen, who has a mate, lays eggs it can get testy, usually not this bad though. This is common because for all those years it was just the two of them. And she was protecting her eggs, even though tbery broke. Her hormones are raging now. She was protecting her territory. It also is common for the male, to, on occasion, break the eggs in the nest. But, it is rare she would even allow him in the box. And it is very common for the first time a hen lays eggs for her to lay them off the perch, or most any place in her cage. The male sometimes gets into the box and breaks the eggs. He gets jealous of her and the eggs.

    I bred a pair of budgies a few years ago. In my case, I had what I thought were 5 males, until one day, I left my home for a few hours, came back home, and found the five had been fighting while I was gone, feathers everywhere in the cage, and Pete, who was about four years old had a jammed toe. I was at a loss to know why this happened until a few days later. I noticed Buttercup, who was about 1 1\2 years old mating with Nicki, who was about three years old, and then I realized Buttercup was a girl, and the other three males evidently were competing for her, and got in a fight. I put a wooden nest box in a separate cage, with those two birds only, and they hatched four beautiful babies about 3 months later. For a few weeks my pair did explore the box, before hen laid first egg in her nest box. Once that happened she kept male out of the box. It takes about 21-28 days for eggs to hatch.

    I also went on line and read all about breeding pairs. There is great info there. Just Google...breeding a pair of budgies. In my research, I found that the hen will not allow the male to ever enter the nest box until immediately after the first egg hatches, once she lays her first egg. This absolutely happened to my pair. The evening the first egg hatched, Nicki, jumped right into the box. Otherwise, for those 21 days of Buttercup nesting with her eggs and he stayed ouy of box day and night, perching next to box.

    Buttercup also laid several eggs off the perch that broke. One good thing about first clutches\batches, is that the eggs are often not fertile. Therefore, the eggsj Juliet laid may have not been fertile anyway. Budgie hens can lay 8-10 eggs in a clutch, and they lay eggs every other day, so she still could start another clutch of eggs anytime. If that happens, and she is in her own cage, I would give her the nest box, in case any eggs laid soon might be fertile. As long as Romeo is in his own cage. Take a notebook and write the date of any eggs laid. Then, after last egg is laid in clutch count about 21-28 days, waiting to see if any might hatch. The next time, after that one, if they are still separated and in their own cages, do not put in the nest box, just give her the eggs on a folded piece of paper towel, in a cage bottom corner, and leave them there for 21 days or so. You are correct that you cannot throw out eggs when laid. If you do, the hen will immediately replace them. Egg laying is very stressful for a hen. She needs plenty of cuttlebone and a good seed mix, and some fresh green veggies, except no cabbage family veggies for budgies. They have a phyto chemical that can cause esophagal tumors in budgies.

    I will be praying for a complete recovery for Romeo. We will watch for updates!
    Last edited by maxollie; 05-09-2019 at 10:50 AM.

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    Re: Breeding help

    Quote Originally Posted by maxollie View Post
    Awww!!! That was a terrible incident. I admire you completely for taking Romeo to the vet and saving him. You are correct that hens get very protective of their eggs when they lay them. After four years of being together you would think they both would be happy and excited. But the first time a hen, who has a mate, lays eggs it can get testy, usually not this bad though. This is common because for all those years it was just the two of them. And she was protecting her eggs, even though tbery broke. Her hormones are raging now. She was protecting her territory. It also is common for the male, to, on occasion, break the eggs in the nest. But, it is rare she would even allow him in the box. And it is very common for the first time a hen lays eggs for her to lay them off the perch, or most any place in her cage. The male sometimes gets into the box and breaks the eggs. He gets jealous of her and the eggs.

    I bred a pair of budgies a few years ago. In my case, I had what I thought were 5 males, until one day, I left my home for a few hours, came back home, and found the five had been fighting while I was gone, feathers everywhere in the cage, and Pete, who was about four years old had a jammed toe. I was at a loss to know why this happened until a few days later. I noticed Buttercup, who was about 1 1\2 years old mating with Nicki, who was about three years old, and then I realized Buttercup was a girl, and the other three males evidently were competing for her, and got in a fight. I put a wooden nest box in a separate cage, with those two birds only, and they hatched four beautiful babies about 3 months later. For a few weeks my pair did explore the box, before hen laid first egg in her nest box. Once that happened she kept male out of the box. It takes about 21-28 days for eggs to hatch.

    I also went on line and read all about breeding pairs. There is great info there. Just Google...breeding a pair of budgies. In my research, I found that the hen will not allow the male to ever enter the nest box until immediately after the first egg hatches, once she lays her first egg. This absolutely happened to my pair. The evening the first egg hatched, Nicki, jumped right into the box. Otherwise, for those 21 days of Buttercup nesting with her eggs and he stayed ouy of box day and night, perching next to box.

    Buttercup also laid several eggs off the perch that broke. One good thing about first clutches\batches, is that the eggs are often not fertile. Therefore, the eggsj Juliet laid may have not been fertile anyway. Budgie hens can lay 8-10 eggs in a clutch, and they lay eggs every other day, so she still could start another clutch of eggs anytime. If that happens, and she is in her own cage, I would give her the nest box, in case any eggs laid soon might be fertile. As long as Romeo is in his own cage. Take a notebook and write the date of any eggs laid. Then, after last egg is laid in clutch count about 21-28 days, waiting to see if any might hatch. The next time, after that one, if they are still separated and in their own cages, do not put in the nest box, just give her the eggs on a folded piece of paper towel, in a cage bottom corner, and leave them there for 21 days or so. You are correct that you cannot throw out eggs when laid. If you do, the hen will immediately replace them. Egg laying is very stressful for a hen. She needs plenty of cuttlebone and a good seed mix, and some fresh green veggies, except no cabbage family veggies for budgies. They have a phyto chemical that can cause esophagal tumors in budgies.

    I will be praying for a complete recovery for Romeo. We will watch for updates!

    Thanks so much! They have been separated for two days but they both seem very unhappy. I actually think they are depressed being separated. Juliet just laid another egg today, this is egg #8 and This is the first day the egg is actually not cracked. Should I put the nest box back in the cage and put egg in box? If she decides to lay on the egg, doesn’t she need Romeo to feed her while she keeps it warm? That can’t happen as he is separated at the moment. And because the vet does not want Romeo chewing on things like mineral block or a cuttle bone, I can’t even put him in the big cage with Juliet because those are things I cannot take out of the cage because she needs them. So should I put the nest box back? Oh also, This is something I couldn’t find a straight answer online when I did research, Will just one mating be enough to fertilize the entire clutch? Or do they have to mate for each egg that she lays? This is one of the only things I am not sure about.
    Last edited by Ldecarlo78; 05-09-2019 at 03:35 PM. Reason: Forgot to add something

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    Re: Breeding help

    I would say you can put the nest box back in her cage she is now using. And put the egg she laid inside the box. Do not worry about Romeo feeding her. That only happens if the eggs hatch. Juliet will eat her seeds and drink her water in her own cage. When hens lay eggs, they do not immediately set on them for long periods of time until about the last ten days or so. My thought is there is a possibility this new egg could be fertilized. Did she lay all the eggs every other day? If not, and she skipped some days, then I consider an egg laid after those skipped days a new clutch. Pairs can mate at various times during the day, and sometimes even at night. So, this egg, could be fertile.

    I suggest taking a pencil, or pen, and carefully writing A#1 on the egg she just laid. Then, any eggs she lays hereon out, also number them. 2..3..4...etc. If she skips laying for two or more days, and then lays another one, then mark that one #1 again. This way, we know that most likely the new #1 egg is not fertile, because of missing the every other day laying, and also, that she has not mated with Romeo.

    It is possible that one mating session can produce a large number of eggs. Theory do not mate for each egg. Usually, if mating sessions occur while the hen is still laying a clutch, if she skips some days, and then lays again, that is a new clutch, and they could be fertile. Since tbery have not been separated very long, the egg she has laid now, could be fertile. So she needs her nest box. It will not hurt her to have that box in the cage for the 21-28 days this time. In the future, if she remains in her own cage, and lays eggs after the box is removed, then, I suggest you put them on the cage floor corner as I wrote above. They would be infertile.

    Personally, if it were me, I would keep them separated for at least another 30 days, because I am afraid she will go after him again. We will watch for updates.
    Last edited by maxollie; 05-10-2019 at 02:32 PM.

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