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Old 09-01-2018, 10:06 PM
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Mating budgies question..Soft egg

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Hello! I have four budgies. Three male and one female. They have all lived together in a big cage for about 3 years now with no issues whatsoever. This morning when I opened up their cage, I found an egg on the bottom! I was absolutely shocked and was not expecting it. I realize who her possible mate is but I never thought she would start laying eggs. So I decided to put a nesting box in her cage and sheís been in there all day. I also noticed there was a little bulge on her lower abdomen so Iím not sure if sheís going to lay another one. She has a vet visit this upcoming Tuesday but I have a few questions that maybe you can help me with. The first one being is her diet good enough?

I feed all of them fortified seed with no pellets. Iíve tried for years to feed them pellets with no luck. I have a mineral block and a cuttle bone in the cage at all times and she is always nibbling on it. I also decided to put a cuttle bone in her nesting box. They also get Greens daily which they love. Will this diet be enough for her?

My other question is this morning when I was examine the egg, it had already been cracked. (Probably because she laid it when she was on the perch). But I also noticed that what was left of it was really soft. Should I be concerned? Do you have any advice for me on this topic? I need all the help I can get until Tuesday! Thank you!!
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Old 09-03-2018, 02:29 AM
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Re: Mating budgies question..Soft egg

sounds like whoever laid the egg may be lacking some calcium, try scraping the cuttle bone so it flakes off over the food bowl so bits of bone mix with the food which should hopefully help out a bit. Also try adding some calcium rich greens like Kale and any other safe ones, you never know they could go crazy for the stuff
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Old 09-03-2018, 08:36 AM
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Re: Mating budgies question..Soft egg

Miss.Maddi, did you re-post this? How was the vet yesterday?
Was everything okay (I hope)?
For future reference, if you want to bring a post back up to the "new posts" page, all you have to do is reply to the original post, and the old one will automatically show up on the active topics/new posts pages. That way, you don't have to make a duplicate.

I hope I didn't cause undue alarm, but when I said egg-binding can cause a swollen abdomen, I was basing it off of all of the things that I have read about it in the past. One of those things is that egg-binding is more common in birds fed all-seed diets and it is sometimes due to calcium deficiency (which also can cause soft eggs). I hope I was wrong, but this is something to be on the look-out for in the future. It is more common in birds like cockatiels and budgies. (see quotes below):

"Seeds are deficient in many vitamins and minerals, especially calcium, vitamins D & E and selenium."
"Egg binding occurs when the female bird is unable to expel the egg from her body in a timely fashion. There are numerous factors why this may occur. Many birds are fed an improper diet by their owners, and eat nothing but seeds. Seeds are deficient in many vitamins and minerals, especially calcium, vitamins D & E and selenium."
"Soft eggs and other egg deformities, from improper levels of dietary calcium, may also lead to problems. Obesity (from an all seed diet), lack of exercise, heredity, senility, and improper environment are other causes of egg binding."
"Budgerigars, canaries, cockatiels, finches, and lovebirds most frequently have problems related to egg laying, although any bird can become egg bound."
"distended abdomen"

Last edited by noodles123; 09-03-2018 at 08:51 AM.
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Old 09-03-2018, 02:20 PM
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Re: Mating budgies question..Soft egg

I guess the vet visit already happened, I hope it was either a Certified Avian Vet or an Avian Specialist...let us know how it went.

If the egg was "soft" or at all "rubber" feeling, that's an indication that your female has low calcium levels. It's good that she has both a Cuttlebone and a Mineralblock, that's necessary...And all the fresh, dark, leafy greens she'll eat is also good, like Romaine, Mustard Greens, Turnip Greens, Collard Greens, Dandelion Greens, Swiss Chard, Arugula/Rocket, Bok Choy, etc., as they are high in Calcium...

***Kale and Spinach both have high Calcium content, but unfortunately they also both have a very high Oxalate content, which is counterproductive, as it will bind to any Calcium she eats, and then be excreted in her droppings, so avoid feeding her any types of Kales or Spinach.

***What can really help her is making sure that she also always has a bowl of Egg-Food available. You can buy a bag of Egg-Food at any Petco for $10, or you can make your own by cooking eggs and grinding up the shells very finely and mixing them into the eggs too. Either way, this will provide her with a great amount of Calcium, as well as extra calories and fat that she'll need, because they tend to lose quite a bit of weight when they are laying eggs.

Now what you need to do is to try to knock her out of breeding season and get her to stop laying eggs, as if she is housed with 3 males, or even just the one male that she has bonded with and is mating with, they have a tendency to keep chronically laying eggs over and over again, which is very bad for her and can actually kill her, either due to eventual egg-binding, like Noodles mentioned, or from malnutrition and just the horrible stress that it causes on her body.

What you need to do is to boil any eggs she currently is laying on for 20 minutes, let them cool, then put them back in the nest-box for her to continue to lay on. This will ensure that they will not hatch, and it will allow her to be able to lay on the eggs for as long as she needs to until she realizes that they are not going to hatch. Then she will become bored and lose interest in them, and stop laying on them, at which time you need to immediately remove the entire nest-box and dispose of the eggs. Hopefully this will stop her laying.

If she lays another egg, DO NOT PUT THE NEST-BOX BACK IN HER CAGE!!! The nest-box, as well as any "nesting material" inside of her cage, such as bedding, wood chips, soft towels or cloth, shredded paper, etc. will serve to actually trigger her hormones and keep her laying the eggs. So if she lays another egg after you get the nest-box out and she's done laying on the current eggs, then just let the egg be on the cage of the floor, but only after you again boil it for 20 minutes. Then just put it back on the floor of the cage. Make sure to boil any other eggs she lays for 20 minutes, and then just put them back on the floor of the cage. And again, allow her to lay on them until she loses interest, then dispose of them.

If she again continues to lay eggs, then you need to really get the female out of that cage, and get her a totally separate cage with her own toys, dishes, cuttlebone, mineral block, etc. and set the cages next to each other. But she can't continue to be bred to death, because that's exactly what is going to happen. Sometimes you just can't snap them out of it once they start, and at that point you need to protect her health and well-being. They will still talk to each other and entertain each other being next to each other, and you can let them out together supervised, but they can't be housed together anymore because he'll just continue to breed her and breed her until she either becomes egg-bound and dies from that, or she dies from malnutrition, undernutrition, etc.
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Old 09-07-2018, 08:55 PM
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Re: Mating budgies question..Soft egg

Thank you guys so much! I took her to the vet and she is okay right now. I did decide to separate her from her male friend. I let them fly together when they are out of the cage but when it’s time to go back in, I make sure they are separated. I was really afraid for her and I was so scared that I might lose her. I will do everything I can to put her health first
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Old 09-23-2018, 02:35 AM
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Re: Mating budgies question..Soft egg

I would recommend reading over this thread and trying out some ideas. Having had budgies before, I know how tricky it can be to get them to try new foods, but once they do, they become pretty adventurous! (usually!)

Converting Parrots to a Healthier Diet - Tips
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