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Thread: Canary threw her eggs out of the nest

  1. #1
    Brand New Egg Dana'sKidsChicks's Avatar
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    Canary threw her eggs out of the nest

    I apologize in advance for my very long post. Iíve been trying to find someone who can help me. Maybe thereís no good answer, but I thought Iíd ask the experts.

    I bought a pair of red factor canaries two months ago from a lady who has about 40 canaries. They are about 18 months old. She said this pair had previously hatched two clutches, they were a bonded pair and had been together since they were very young. I didnít particularly want babies, thatís not why I bought them, but I liked the idea of having two birds. Perhaps it was a bad idea on my part. Iíve never had canaries. They are in my very busy living room, and seem to like it there.

    She told me if I didnít want babies not to put the nest in the cage, but after Iíd had them about 2 weeks they seemed very anxious and unhappy. The male stopped singing, and the female was pulling on every loose string she could find. When I put the nest in the cage they settled right down happily working on the nest.

    At some point I realized there were broken eggs in the pan of the cage under the grate. She must have been laying them while on the perches! I think this might have started before she had the nest too, and I didnít realize what they were. The shell was like tissue paper. I started leaving the fabric cover off the front part of the cage at night thinking she needed the light earlier in the day to go to her nest. Thatís when she laid an egg in the nest. She sat on the egg great during the day. The male fed her, and if she got off to get a drink or eat he would go to the egg and either watch it or sit on it.

    The first problem I noticed was when I covered the cage in the evening. She immediately got off of the nest and roosted on the perch at night. I knew that was not going to work. The next morning she laid another egg and the same thing happened that night too. After she laid the third egg I took it out hoping I could give that one and future eggs back hoping she would start staying on them at night. I know I should have given her a dummy egg, but I didnít have any. I have since purchased some.

    She didn't lay any more eggs, so I put the one egg I had taken back in the nest one morning thinking I would try and not cover the cage that night in the hope that would keep her on the nest. She acted normally, sitting on them all day. The cage was a mess after not cleaning it after several days, so I cleaned out the cage in the evening. We went to dinner. When we got home she was off the nest and the eggs were broken on the bottom of the cage.

    In the days after they are systematically tearing the nest apart.

    The eggs were not going to develop with her not sitting on them at night. I'm assuming me cleaning the cage was too much, but why was she not sitting on them at night? I cover the cage in the evening when it gets dark, because the next connecting room is very bright where Iím always working late. She would jump off the nest each night as I covered the cage. Nothing else in the busy room during the day seemed to disturb her. Iím looking for advice for next time.

    I feed them a constant diet of Volkman Super, ZuPreem Smart Select for canaries, Quiko Special Red Egg food, treats of organic chia seeds, romaine lettuce, sweet potato, carrot, apple, boiled egg, etc.

    I know this was a tremendous amount of information, but I didnít know what bit would be helpful. Thank you for any input you have.
    Dana

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    Re: Canary threw her eggs out of the nest

    First off, no worries about the length of the thread, it was very specific on all accounts.

    It sounds like you have a very normal, good mated pair from all accounts. Both are doing what they should be. You are correct, a broken egg on the floor is just that, she laid it outside of the nest and boom down it went.

    Paper thin, well that is usually not enough calcium. You can get liquid calcium at most pet stores or on line. Even if you do not want babies, she could get egg bond and die, so giving her a little in the drinking water works well. He can drink it also no worries.

    Your biggest problem or obstacle is the covering of the cage. Sounds like her fear factor is higher than her maternal instincts. Birds will abandon their nests and even babies to save themselves. If the room is unoccupied at night, but still has some light from the adjoining room, question is, do they still go to sleep without the little bit of light from the adjoining room bothering them. If they do go to sleep, don't cover them. If they cannot see their surroundings and get nervous do to it, you have to let them see. Birds need structure and repetition, which builds a sense of stability and safety. This also includes being able to see what is around to adjust to any noise they want to insure is not a threat. Cover the cage but leave an opening.

    Letting her lay is good, swapping and placing fake eggs is good. She can get it out of her system, and you don't get any babies. Birds will lay eve without a nest. If they come into season she is going to and usually in the food dish if she has no nest.

    Everything else sounds good that you're doing. Just give them a chance to see what's happening around them. Worst case scenario for you is if it continues, all you can do is move them to a place quieter where you do not need to cover the cage.

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    Brand New Egg Dana'sKidsChicks's Avatar
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    Re: Canary threw her eggs out of the nest

    Thank you for the encouraging words. They quickly rebuilt the nest and she laid the first egg this morning. It's business as usual for them. He's feeding her and she's mostly staying on the nest. I swapped out the egg for a dummy while she was off it this morning and put it in a tiny box with some cotton balls so it can't be jostled and put it in a cool place. I'll continue to do that each day until she's done until she's finished laying and then give them back and we'll what happens. I won't cover the cage and hope that solves the problem.

    If I don't give them back when will she stop laying on the fake eggs? Also, Is it normal for her to be off the nest off and on throughout the day? I would think she would either stay off it or stay on it.

    Your advice is so helpful about the calcium. I didn't wan't her to continue laying eggs because I know that could deplete her calcium. I give them a half of a boiled egg with the shell left on, and I give them a separate dish with ground up egg shell, but I don't know if she eats enough of it.
    Last edited by Dana'sKidsChicks; 03-19-2020 at 04:56 PM. Reason: Forgot a question

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    Re: Canary threw her eggs out of the nest

    It is common for a hen to not be set until usually the 2nd or 3rd egg. "Being Set" is the term we use to say she is now triggered to sit and stay sitting. A hen will build a nest and then get broody. She will then start laying, which is one a day. You will see her bouncing around in the cage until usually again the 2nd or 3rd egg is laid. At that point she goes to sitting solid. The average number of eggs laid is usually 3 to 4 but can be up to 6. The male will feed her and tend to her while she site, THAT IS, if he is a good male and mate, some do, some don't. She will sit solid, coming off every now and then to eat but more likely to evacuate. Do not fret when you see either a big poop or even what can look like a huge explosive diarrhea plop, this is normal, she is holding it until she can't anymore. Some good males will also sit while she is off, but don't fret if not. No two birds are the same, so these are generalities and best case scenarios. Now if you do not give her the eggs back and leave the fake ones in, she will continue to sit until she feels something is wrong and abandons them. Normal gestation period for eggs to hatch is 14 days from WHEN SHE IS SET, not laid. When you see her sitting tight, count 14 from there. Now it could be 13 or 15 so again generalities. Lastly do not worry about how much of the egg shell she eats, she her system will tell her what she needs. Think human women and carvings during pregnancies, same thing. The body will tell you what you need and thus you crave it and search it out.

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    Re: Canary threw her eggs out of the nest

    She has laid her third egg. I haven't covered the cage and gradually darken the house. She seems to be staying on the nest. Your description of an attentive male describes mine to a tee. She had to yell at him to get him off the eggs yesterday to let her back on them. It was rather humorous. She literally pushed herself under him to make him get off. Hopefully he is careful with the real eggs when I give them back! He feeds her regularly throughout the day, and she gets off occasionally to eat and evacuate, but since yesterday she is tight on those eggs! It's really cute to watch. I've had a camera on her so I don't have to get too close and make her uncomfortable.

    When you remove the eggs do you wait for her to leave the nest or do you reach under to get them? I hate to scare her, but I don't want to leave them too long. They will start to develop, and then when I remove them the embryo will die. Am I wrong? I read that the last egg will be darker and that's how I know she's finished and I should put all the eggs back in the nest. What advice do you have? Is there a method you use? Is there a time of day you put them back? Maybe it doesn't matter, but I get curious about these details.

    I appreciate your wisdom so much. I've searched online for the information I need and couldn't find it.

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    Re: Canary threw her eggs out of the nest

    You're confusing me a bit. I am having trouble understanding if you want babies or you don't want babies. I originally was under the impression you DID NOT want any, so I am going with that. It doesn't matter either way, just gently put your hand in the cage, take out the nest, remove the eggs, place the fake one in and put the nest back. Now if you want babies, gently place the eggs in a holding container, (small Tupperware dish with bird seed works) place the eggs in there and place them in a dark stable (any place that stays around 70-75 degrees) and leave them alone. Now if you want babies, turn them 3 times a day and when you get the last egg, which will be when she stops laying and you come in one morning and there is no new egg. Birds lay one a day, when that stops their done. The color thing for the last egg is true but all birds are different so that is not a good gauge to use. Again, if you want babies, after the last egg, again just grab the nest gently and put all the real eggs back and let her go for 14 days and hopefully you'll have babies, which will start a whole new bunch of things to do. If you do not want babies, just throw the eggs out, it doesn't matter what you do with them since you're not keeping them anyway. Just leave the fake eggs in for her to incubate. No worries, she'll do her thing and in about 16-17 days remove them, pull the nest and all done. She probably will want to go again so watch for that and let her repeating everything all over again.

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    Brand New Egg Dana'sKidsChicks's Avatar
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    Re: Canary threw her eggs out of the nest

    I'm sorry, you're right. I did confuse you. When I bought them it was not with the intention of having a breeding pair and producing babies. But now that she is laying eggs and and wanting to sit on them my nurturing nature is taking over. I know it's a lot of work and a huge process getting them independent and re-homed, so that's why I originally did't want to go this far but I am willing to do what it takes. I have a lot to learn. Thank you so much for your patience. We'll see how this goes. I'm sure I will have more questions. Should I start a new thread since my questions will most certainly be on a whole new topic assuming any eggs hatch?

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    Re: Canary threw her eggs out of the nest

    No worries, remember nature generally takes care of itself. So give them everything they need and let them do their thing. I suggest putting the eggs back in and leaving her to do her thing. Make sure you give them plenty of good seed and what we call soft food. A simple soft food is get Quinoa from the store, cook it per direction and then put it in a Tupperware bowl in the refrigerator. You can also get Couscous and do the same thing and even mix them together. Hard boil eggs and have them ready and feed a little bit right now but have them ready for the young, so the parents can feed it. (Make the hard boiled eggs, smash them up completely and feed or mix in the soft food). When the babies are about 5 days start adding greens to the mix. Kale, Broccoli, Spinach any or all of those. Just pulverize them in a food processor, mix them in the soft food mix and feed. You do not want them eating greens right now, it will make her poop loose and you don't want her soiling the nest, so wait. Additives to get the soft food dryer, meaning the mix can be pretty wet and wet can go bad quickly if not changed often. Use Polenta, Quick Oats, Chia even some flaked potato from a dry/quick mix potatoes box, any off these or multiples of them. Key is when you make the soft food to use a colander to drain any excess water. Now one of the best things ever to feed is a product called Perle Morbid. It is a sprout seed alternative manufactured specifically for birds. Look it up and you can by it at most bird stores or on line at Laraine's Lady Gouldian or Amazon. Get the green and Yellow. You simply make as much as you want. Take 1/2 cup of Perle Morbid to 1 cup water and let it soak for 2 hours, done -feed- refrigerate. This product is also a great way to give vits, mins or anything you wish. Add the vitamins to the water, let it dissolve, then use that water to soak the Perle morbid, two birds one stone.

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