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Old 09-02-2018, 02:22 PM
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Parents destroying eggs

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Hello all

I have a tame couple of parrots that keeps on destroying their eggs.
They usually sit on them for quite a while, but after about two weeks they start destroying them one by one until all of them are gone. Sometimes they will even eat them completely. This goes for both infertile and fertile eggs. I am considering removing the eggs after 1-1.5 weeks and trying to put them in an incubator. I know the chances of succesfully raising a newborn parrot are very small though, so I'm not sure if this is a good idea. And if I did try it, should I try to get the parents to take care of the babies once they are born, or should I just take my chances with handfeeding and avoid introducing them?

Sorry for the long text, just hoping to get some answers.

Thanks in advance

Last edited by Shining; 09-02-2018 at 02:25 PM.
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Old 09-02-2018, 02:27 PM
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Re: Parents destroying eggs

Are they laying a bunch of infertile eggs? I don't know if you want to keep your bird in that state of sexuality all of the time....I get it, if they mate etc...but if they are laying a lot of random (infertile) eggs, that can be dangerous for their health.
Have you had them checked by a vet and have you assessed their diet for any deficiencies?
How is their light-cycle everyday? Do they get enough sleep and sun?
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Old 09-02-2018, 02:41 PM
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Re: Parents destroying eggs

They have at least 10 hours of sleep per night and are outside during the day while I am working. It's not like they're constantly laying eggs, it has happened three times over the course of two years. The last time she started destroying I replaced the eggs with dummies. They had 7 eggs and 4 of them were definitely fertile that time, which is why I kind of think it's a waste to just let them destroy all of them. I haven't had them tested in a while since my avian vet lives far away from me, but the last time they were healthy. They are on a pellets/vegetables/fruits diet with seeds added as treat.
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Old 09-02-2018, 02:44 PM
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Re: Parents destroying eggs

Hmm...I am not sure then...I would get them tested again, but other members may be able to provide better advice.
I assume she figured out that they were tasty and fun to pick at....Aside from providing more engaging activities, I am not sure.
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Old 09-02-2018, 02:59 PM
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Re: Parents destroying eggs

Shining... raising/breeding parrots is one of the most challenging undertakings I can imagine. Such knowledge and experience is so critical. Is there a closer avian vet? Is there an experienced breeder to help you? I fear you're tumbling into this with very little chance of success, and infinite possibility of the birds' suffering.

What kind of parrots? What's your background in birds?

I know you must care for these birds, and that's why you're reaching out, so I have been very frank with you in hopes of helping.

I wish you would suspend mating altogether until you take your time and learn about the species, breeding, nestling care.

We have some expert breeders here who would love to help you avoid heartache.

Thank you for being open-minded and asking for help.
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Old 09-02-2018, 03:09 PM
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Re: Parents destroying eggs

Raising a baby from an egg is very difficult, even the most experienced breeders don't try it.

I would suggest removing the eggs and placing it with dummy eggs so they don't hatch. More than likely if the parent bird is destroying the eggs she may not be a good parent to the babies.
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Old 09-02-2018, 03:24 PM
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Re: Parents destroying eggs

That's exactly why I posted this message. I don't want to cause unneccesary suffering for the babies or the parents and I'm not sure what the right decision to make is. They are blue crowned conures. I have some experience with birds (I lived with my grandparents for most of my youth who were experienced breeders, which is how I got interested in birds in the first place), I have had green cheeck conures for about ten years and had an amazon parrot for about 3 years. Sadly enough he was quite old already and didn't live with me for long anymore. I never actually intended to breed in the first place honestly, it just happened and since I have enough time and space I thought I would let them go ahead, which ended in the eggs being destroyed. I'm not trying to encourage them to breed, I'm mainly wondering what I should do if they end up with eggs again. I'm prepared to replace them with dummies again if the chances on survival are really that low. Thank both of you for the replies btw, I really appreciate it.
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Old 09-02-2018, 03:29 PM
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Re: Parents destroying eggs

I wouldn't pull eggs without replacing them. When the bird loses interest, then you can remove the "dummies" (or the eggs), but taking eggs away without a convincing replacement can be upsetting...If you leave the real ones there, you may just be reinforcing the behavior (if the bird enjoys eating the eggs)...Just my opinion--based on chickens lol...I haven't bred birds.
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Old 09-02-2018, 03:32 PM
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Re: Parents destroying eggs

Welcome to the forum! Lots of unknowns here, so try to bear with me and my questions, lol...

First of all, what species of "parrots" are we talking about here? If I just missed where you mentioned that, then I apologize, I didn't catch it.

How much experience do you have hand-raising and/or hand-feeding baby birds under normal circumstances (meaning pulling eggs between 2-3 weeks old, raising them in a Brooder, and hand-feeding until they are Abundance-Weaned)? I'm assuming you know all about the necessary Ambient temperatures, necessary formula temperatures, feeding schedules, etc.?

Do you have experience Abundance-Weaning baby birds?

You mentioned that in addition to destroying the eggs, they also sometimes eat them...This tells me right away that your birds may very well be Calcium deficient, specifically your female, as it's very common for them to eat the eggs after laying them if their bodies do not have a high-enough level of Calcium to produce the eggs. Make sure you have both a Cuttlebone and a Mineral Block in with the breeding pair, and if you already do have both in with them, then I'd definitely either buy a bag of Egg-Food at the pet shop, or just make your own Egg-Food, which contains the shells ground up and mixed in, and make sure that they always have access to a dish of it before, during, and after laying a clutch.

Also, when a female or both parents (depends on the species of bird) allow an entire clutch of eggs to be laid, then they lay on the eggs for a time period and then start destroying the eggs, and this happens repeatedly, again, it's an indication that SOMETHING isn't quite right...This could be that they are calcium deficient, it could be a problem in their environment, it could be that they think that there is something wrong with the eggs or the chicks inside, something isn't proper for them to want to have babies hatch and be raised. So a little more information about their habitat/environment/daily diet, etc. might provide some insight...As already mentioned by Noodles, if you haven't had at least the female to a CAV or Avian Specialist within the last year and had routine blood-work done on at least her (should be both birds, but the female's blood work is a must), then I highly suggest that you do this BEFORE trying to breed them again. Not only do you always want to ensure that your birds are healthy enough to breed/lay eggs/raise chicks for the first 2-3 weeks, the blood work also may tell you right away why they are destroying the eggs. It could be that simple.

****As a parrot breeder/hand-raiser/feeder of 20 years who grew-up with a grandmother and mother who also bred for decades, I can tell you that I would never, ever even consider pulling a chick before it's 2 weeks old and trying to hand-feed it. There are a bunch of reasons why I say this (the fact that they die 95% of the time basically encompasses my reasons, lol), but the main reasons are #1) The parents do in-fact feed the babies much-needed "crop milk", for a lack of a better term to call it, it's not actually "milk", but the babies do get antibodies and antigens from the parents for the first 2-3 weeks of life, and you're depriving them of this if you don't allow it to happen, and #2) The odds of a baby you raise from hatching developing correctly, even if they do survive, are very high. They tend to be undersized and have developmental issues...And of course, the chances that you will aspirate a baby that is less than 2 weeks old is as high as it can be without it being 100%...And they die instantly when this happens, literally instantly, and if you've never had this happen to you before, let me tell you how absolutely devastating it is to experience. I had it happen one time, years ago, to a Budgie chick that was perfectly happy and healthy, and just 3 weeks old. It was just a freak thing, and they are so small they literally have a little bit of a "seizure" type of attack and fall over dead in your hand. It's awful. And the odds of this happening to a newly-hatched little baby, well, they're pretty good. And also, they can of course aspirate a little formula if they are a larger species of parrot (I don't know what you're breeding here), develop pneumonia, and suffer and then die, and it's drawn-out over a week instead of instantly...So it's just not something that I would ever do, and certainly not recommend to anyone.

There are a lot of things that you can do to knock your birds out of breeding-season and to stop them from breeding and laying eggs in the first place, so if what you said was true and you just don't want the fertile eggs to be destroyed, and that's why you're thinking of doing this, I'd actually just recommend that you work on just getting your female out of breeding season and to stop laying eggs in the first place. It's better for her health overall, and it solves the issue at hand...
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Old 09-02-2018, 04:05 PM
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Re: Parents destroying eggs

Hey, thanks for your response. They are blue crowned conures. Handraising itself is no problem, I've done it succesfully multiple times with babies of around that age and I do think I have the necessary knowledge. I abundanced-weaned my green cheecks since they didn't seem to do too well with schedules. I always add some egg food and power food to their normal diet during this period, but I haven't tried the mineral block yet so that may help. The last time they went to an avian vet was around 8 months ago and they were healthy back then and had no real defencies. I am going to go for another checkup soon, so maybe this time we'll learn something we didn't know yet. Their diet consists out of pellets, vegetables and fruits mainly. During the warmer months they're outside in an aviary, during colder months I move them mostly inside. I'm honestly also not very enthusiastic about raising newborn babies because I know I will be heartbroken if something happens and the chances of it going right are very small. I was mainly hoping the parents would accept the babies but the more I think about it the more I realize that's not a risk I should take.Thanks you for the advice.
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