Third egg, third location. What to do? Please help!

HowdyDoDee

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Jan 18, 2020
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Twila laid her third egg from her first fertile clutch today. She’s three years old. This egg she laid on the bottom of the cage.

I put the two previous eggs together after she laid them close to one another, but not in the same place. She’d laid them in a cart with plastic drawers, in separate drawers.

Tried making the drawer more comfortable for her. But she has apparently rejected that since the most recent one is on the cage floor?

She has a box as a nesting box, should I just leave them in there to guide her to the box, and try to persuade her with millet or something?
She’s not sitting on the eggs yet. She’s been laying one every two days, and “checking in” on them.

Is it a lost cause at this point without an incubator?

Any advice or sharing experiences greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance.
Laura
 

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HeatherG

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Apr 25, 2020
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I don’t know. You could move all the eggs to the cage floor and see if she will sit there.

Eggs can be ok if not incubated at the beginning. Development is just delayed. But once they’ve started to sit on them they have to sit all the way through, for about 3 wks I think.

You might think it would be fun to have baby budgies, but what are you going to do with them? There are lots of baby budgies in the world. Maybe it would be better to try to stop the egg laying. (And that can be difficult.)
 
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HowdyDoDee

HowdyDoDee

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Yes, I am taking on a challenge- now and going forward. Twila really is boss lady. She can be a feisty little one. But now she’s so nice! Not nipping at me and even more peaceful with Tess, no recent squabbles. Leave it to her to be the opposite of what to expect.

It’s not difficult to tell when she’s hormonal. I’ll have to plan accordingly.

Seems that leaving the egg on the bottom of the cage is a rejection of the current situation.
 

HeatherG

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Apr 25, 2020
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They are both cute little birds. You never know what will happen until you try it.

I thought she was going to nest in the drawers.

If you really want babies, you could buy a wood nest box and hang it from the side of the cage. Those boxes are a cube; they only have the round entrance hole and then a sliding door on the back for access to the babies.

In the beginning, fertilized and sterile eggs look the same. So you see in that egg there are no blood vessels or growth of any kind. You can’t tell an embryo is growing for a while, and towards the beginning you’d have yo open the egg to see just a tiny spot.

I miss having my Gouldian finches. It was a lot of fun to watch their babies grow up. Lucy (Quaker) thought the babies were really exciting, too.
 
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HowdyDoDee

HowdyDoDee

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Yes, I understand that about the egg candling. Thank you. I saw them mating, several times during about a 24 hour time frame.

Basically, I am trying to support momma bird as I follow her lead. Although she’s never had a clutch of eggs before, I trust that her nature guides her in whatever she is doing. I just don’t want to interfere, causing hinderance to her nature, as she’s living in captivity. Nor do I want to cause her stress. Her body is working hard enough as it is.

As for the potential babies, it is a miracle, but it is a huge responsibility. Ultimately, I will have to place them in good homes after getting them ready to go to a good home. That will be a lot of work, but they will be lucky birds going to good homes. And their owners will be lucky too, as the parakeets available around here are basically wild birds when brought home. It is up to the owner to tame them. I’m sure you know that is a major time investment.

I’m concerned that I could be the cause of her abandoning her eggs, and need to prevent that if at all possible. Why does she keep laying them in different places? It doesn’t make sense to me, but this is not my expertise, and I have zero personal experience with this.

Avian vets are few and far between here, expensive, and that’d definitely be a set up to stress out an otherwise healthy bird.

So, I guess we’ll just take it day by day. I’m a school bus driver, with time off work now. So we lucked out in that sense! I’ll have to find my reference books asap. Guess this was inevitable. But so close to the winter solstice? Didn’t see that one coming!

Thanks for your insight!
 
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HowdyDoDee

HowdyDoDee

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Update-
Twila has chosen a banker’s box that was about halfway full with files and papers as her nest box. The handles were folded in, providing an entryway through which she squeezes. She tore up newspaper into itty bitty pieces and prepared her nest with this material.

After laying one egg inside the box, and several days of leaving her and the box alone, I have removed the papers inside and added a perch near her entryway. Perches added on top right away using branches and clamps.

5 eggs that she sits on most of the day now! I’m afraid she may not be done. Fascinating to see both her and Toby’s behavior (Papa bird). He’s feeding Twila, although she does come out to eat, drink, poop, and stretch her wings. She’s slept in the box now for several nights.

Oh boy! I’m wishing there was an easy way to snip snip the Mister Tobs after this. Will need to have a chat with the pair here soon about natural family planning.

If the babies survive, I’m guessing they’ll be ready to go to a forever home around the end of February/beginning of March. Sound about right?

Not yet seeing any blood or an heartbeat inside the eggs. So we’ll see. There was a 3 day gap between egg 3 and 4, and she only started sitting on them with egg 4 in the chosen nest box. Egg 5 laid this afternoon.

Here are some recent photos. 😍
There’s momma bird squeeeeezing in to her nest box, and papa bird looking after his lady while momma takes a break to stretch her legs.
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