So your budgie has laid eggs
Some have hatched but others haven’t
Question is – When do you remove unhatched budgie eggs?
Normally, budgies are born after 18 days of incubation. However, the female budgie broods on a clutch only after the last egg has been laid. And so, you should wait at least 24-26 days of incubation to remove any unhatched eggs.
In this article we will go into more detail about unhatched eggs
You’ll discover the following
- Should you remove infertile budgie eggs?
- Why your budgies eggs may not be hatching
- What happens to unhatched eggs?
- Should you remove unhatched eggs?
- How you can assist your budgie during brooding?
- Can you touch your budgies eggs?
Basically this article is going to cover pretty much everything about unhatched eggs
So if you’re interested in what to do with your birdies eggs that have not been hatched yet – you’re going to love this article
Let’s get started!
Should I Remove Infertile Budgie Eggs?
Only if you are certain of their infertility.
However, checking for viable eggs requires the eggs to be incubated for at least two weeks.
Otherwise, both fertile and infertile eggs seem almost alike. But,
“How would I know that my budgie’s egg is infertile?”
Well, here are a few of the ways:
1. Single Budgie
If you only have a single female budgie, so her eggs won’t be fertilized.
Consequently, those will not be viable and won’t hatch.
2. Candling the Eggs
During the incubation period, the fertile egg will go through a series of developmental stages.
You can see these by candling the eggs.
For this, gently hold the egg against a torch and observe.
The egg should be at least 14 days into incubation.
If you see that,
- A portion of the egg is black against the light, then your egg is developing and is viable. You may even see the blood vessels originating from the growing blastoderm.
- A portion of the egg is clear with yellow yolk on one side, then that egg is probably infertile.
- The whole egg is black. Then that egg was viable and going through developmental stages. However, it died somehow and is now a rotten egg.
3. Floating Test
As the fertilized egg grows into an embryo and then a chick, the egg becomes heavier.
And so this denser egg will sink to the bottom when introduced to a bath of water.
Meanwhile, an infertile egg will float.
However, using this method may be risky as,
- You may accidentally shake your budgie’s egg too much that even the viable embryo may end up dying.
- Dipping in cold water or for prolonged periods may damage the egg. Always use lukewarm water and take out the egg as soon as you can.
- Sometimes a fertile egg may also float and so, this method may give you inconclusive results.
4. Break the Egg
This is the last resort.
Breaking the egg means that even if that egg was not infertile, now it will not grow into a chick.
That said, an infertile egg will have no blood vessels around the yolk.
Why Are My Budgie Eggs Not Hatching?
There could be several reasons, including:
1. Unfertilized Eggs
Like other birds, female budgies can lay eggs with or without a male.
- Your female budgie laid eggs in absence of a male.
- A pair of budgies laid eggs after mating however, the eggs were not fertilized for some reason. This is most common when some eggs from the same clutch don’t hatch, while others do.
- The pair wasn’t compatible, and the female budgie laid eggs on her own.
2. Inadequate Incubation
If the eggs are not given the right temperature, their chances of survival lower.
This may happen when:
- A female may stop caring for her eggs because of stress. This is most common in an overcrowded cage. Besides, other female budgies in the area may poke the eggs to nest in the same spot or to secure nutrients.
- A cold temperature may trigger the female budgie to not brood at all.
3. Damaged Egg
Sometimes the eggs don’t hatch as they have been damaged.
This can happen when,
- A female budgie accidentally kicks her own eggs.
- The eggs shells were not properly formed and were too fragile.
- You unintentionally broke those eggs when you tried to clean the cage or held those eggs.
Now you may wonder,
What Happens To Unhatched Bird Eggs?
Usually, they become rotten and start to smell.
The unhatched eggs are of the following types,
- Unfertilized eggs that only contain the female genome. Such eggs normally have a clear solution and a yolk even after 24 days of incubation.
- Abnormal eggs with double yolk, no liquid solution, or odd shape.
- Eggs that were viable but died during their development for some reason. Such eggs may have rotting blood vessels and possibly, even a dead embryo.
Female budgies tend to abandon all those eggs she deems dead.
However, don’t assume any egg is abandoned as some budgies like to be secretive about brooding.
This leads me to my next point
Should I Remove Unhatched Eggs?
Eggs that have not hatched in a period of 4 weeks, should be removed.
Well, if you don’t confiscate them,
- Your female bird may become depressed or overly attached to the eggs after a while. This may cause her to lose both her health and energy.
- The eggs may break spilling their contents. This mess may attract all kinds of predators and insects.
- If your budgie develops a taste for the yolk, it may start to lay eggs just to eat the babies. A sort of fetal cannibalism.
Though, don’t eliminate the eggs at once.
I recommend you remove them after 24-26 days of incubation and one egg a day.
It’s not like your budgie can count the eggs.
However, losing all the eggs suddenly may distress your female budgie.
It may even trigger her to lay more eggs.
Some budgie parents suggest that you replace the real eggs with fake ones.
In my opinion, that’s not necessary unless your vet advises you to do so.
But if you do use fake eggs, make sure they don’t have oil or lead-containing harmful paint coatings.
How Can I Assist My Budgie During Brooding?
Well, reproduction takes its toll on female budgie’s health, especially her calcium levels.
So, you can help your budgie by:
- Providing a cuttle-bone, mineral block, or crushed eggshells to replenish her calcium.
- Give your budgie a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Don’t let your budgies lay eggs more than twice in one breeding season. To discourage reproduction strictly follow a 12-hour-dark to a 12-hour-daylight period. Also, see a vet for any concerns.
- Clean the cage daily as a dirty environment poses contamination risks.
- Supplement the cage with clean wood shavings for nesting, but don’t disturb an already established nest.
Can I Touch My Budgie’s Eggs?
You shouldn’t unless you have to.
Touching your budgie’s eggs is not a good practice because,
- If your hands are dirty or oily, you may end up leaving traces that may block egg pores. And so, the viable embryo may not be able to breathe.
- Your scent may trigger the female budgie to abandon its viable eggs, as it no longer smells familiar to her.
- You may accidentally roll it a little too much. Such eggs die within the shells. Besides, budgie eggs are more delicate than chicken eggs, so there is always a risk of you crushing them with your fingers.
Hence, you shouldn’t touch eggs unless they exceed the incubation period.
Wash your hands before touching the eggs, or better still use plastic gloves.
I go into more detail in my article – Can I touch my budgies eggs?
Unfertilized or damaged eggs don’t hatch.
You can remove unhatched budgie eggs after 24-26 days of incubation.
Such eggs become rotten with time.
However, you should be considerate of your budgie’s feelings and remove only one egg at a time.
Make sure to never touch the eggs with unclean hands.
Related article you may find interesting
Do budgies eat their own eggs?
Do budgies lay eggs without mating?