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Thread: Abandoned lovebird eggs?

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    Abandoned lovebird eggs?

    I've got a pair of lovebirds that have laid 6 eggs in total. She started sitting on them from the day that she laid her first egg and would leave the nest very rarely. Probably for 5-10 minutes at most per day and that was just to eat, drink, and spread her wings. She's 19 days into incubation (laid her first egg 19 days ago) but for some reason she's got hardly any interest in the eggs anymore. I tried the flashlight trick to see if they were maybe infertile about 3 days ago but I only decided to check 3 of the eggs because I didn't want to stress her out. 2 eggs had veins in them, one of those 2 had a medium-sized dot in it, and the other 1 felt and looked empty. Her feathers don't seem as puffed up as usual (to make the eggs extra warm?) and she leaves the nest frequently everyday. Maybe she'll sit on them for 50 mins and come out for 7 minutes and then go back in and repeat that behaviour. Also, when I checked the eggs, they were quite cold but there still was the 2 fertile ones out of the 3 I checked. It's confusing because she was very attached to her eggs the day she laid them and would refuse to come out of her nest but now it seems like she's just fed up with incubating them. I don't think that the eggs are dead but i'm just worried that if she continues this behaviour they'll never hatch. Her and her mate have had 2 clutches before this one so they're not exactly inexperienced. I've limited my interaction with them to hardly anything at all. I only change their water dish and food and then leave them for the day. Could someone explain why she's acting this way? Has she abandoned her eggs? Will the eggs survive and hatch despite her leaving them multiple times a day?

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    Re: Abandoned lovebird eggs?

    Hi, and welcome to the community. What was the behavior of the pair the first two clutches? Did eggs hatch those times? Is there anything unusual that happened in your home that would have scared her or the mate? From what you write, you sure have not interfered with them at all, and have followed every rule of any one who would breed a pair and I do not think checking the eggs to see if there are embryos living in the shell would cause a hen to abandon the eggs. How old are the pair? Do you have cats or other pets in your home that are close by the cage on a regular basis? If so, the pair may be afraid of them. Have either of them had night frights recently? Have you changed the setup of the cage or nestbox recently?

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    Re: Abandoned lovebird eggs?

    Quote Originally Posted by maxollie View Post
    Hi, and welcome to the community. What was the behavior of the pair the first two clutches? Did eggs hatch those times? Is there anything unusual that happened in your home that would have scared her or the mate? From what you write, you sure have not interfered with them at all, and have followed every rule of any one who would breed a pair and I do not think checking the eggs to see if there are embryos living in the shell would cause a hen to abandon the eggs. How old are the pair? Do you have cats or other pets in your home that are close by the cage on a regular basis? If so, the pair may be afraid of them. Have either of them had night frights recently? Have you changed the setup of the cage or nestbox recently?
    Hi there, I'm not sure about the other two clutches because I had bought them off of a previous owner. I believe that he said that almost all eggs hatched but 50% of the chicks survived. I'd say they're about 2 years old going onto 3. I don't have any cats or dogs. For the night frights, I don't think they have. The only night fright she has had was before the eggs I believe and that was quickly resolved by turning on the lights. I haven't changed anything in the cage such as the nest box or location.

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    Re: Abandoned lovebird eggs?

    I do not think that one night fright should affect the current status of the eggs. I researched and found the first egg should hatch at about 21-25 days. Was there any day distance between eggs being laid? Sometimes pairs mate even before eggs hatch. That is considered another clutch, and the hatching date needs to be moved ahead accordingly.

    I feel that this time, about all you can do is wait and see what transpires in the next week or two. If you do have an egg, or eggs hatch, write down the hatch date or dates in a notebook or journal. Then you will have a record for the next breeding session, if any. I find it interesting that the last owner said only 50% of the hatchlings survived. Usually, that does not happen. Was this a bird breeder who had them, or just a typical bird owner.

    One other thought I have is any pairs who mate should never be related as siblings who mate can have eggs hatched that are special needs, can be disabled, or deformed, die in the shell, or die after hatching.

    Time and patience, right now, in my view, is your only option. As you always do, don't disturb the pair in anyway. If eggs do hatch, and the parents don't or won't feed them, then you will need to handfeed the babies. In the next week, read all you can on line about it, and also go to YouTube and search for handfeeding baby lovebirds. And get a plastic syringe and a can of babybird formula, which is powdered, and have it ready ahead of time.

    We will watch for your updates.
    Last edited by maxollie; 06-17-2020 at 10:06 AM.

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