Why Aren't Our Budgie Eggs Hatching?

Written by diana david
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Why Aren't Our Budgie Eggs Hatching?
Budgie eggs sometimes will not hatch. (light blue cockatiel image by Ken Marshall from Fotolia.com)

If your budgie's eggs do not hatch, don't fret. This may occur with many birds, wild and domestic. A budgie may lay as many as six eggs over the course of a few days. A new female will lay an egg every day or so, not all at once. She may not brood her eggs until she has two or three in the nest and the eggs will take any where from 17 to 21 days to hatch.

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Infertile Eggs

Infertile eggs are those laid prior to fertilisation by the male. This could occur if the female's hormones are out of balance or if the feathers around the vent area are too long, preventing insemination. Breeding season is around October through March in the United States, and the female budgie's hormones are attuned to this. If a male is not present to fertilise the eggs, she may still generate and lay eggs because it is the time to do so. If a male is present during mating season and the eggs are infertile, you may need to check and trim the feathers around the vent area. Do not remove infertile eggs immediately. Leave them for the normal length of incubation (17 to 21 days). If you remove them too soon, the female will lay more eggs. Continuous laying of eggs can cause calcium deficiency in your female. Always make sure your female has continuous access to cuttlebone to help prevent calcium deficiency.

Cold Eggs

Budgie eggs that get too cold will not hatch. Heat and humidity are beneficial to the success of developing eggs. The natural nesting area for a wild budgie is a hole in a tree. This keeps the eggs in place and prevents them from rolling out of the nest. Keep your budgie's environment between 18.3 and 23.9 degrees Celsius with slight humidity. Provide your budgie with a nesting area that has a concave bottom to keep the eggs together. This could be a hollowed-out wooden block at the bottom of the cage or a box attached to the side of the cage. Even with these provisions, some females will not brood their eggs, which is not uncommon. You could use a female that does not brood her eggs as a foster mother for other chicks.

Punctured Shell

If a female's nails are too long, she could puncture the shell of a new egg. If a shell is punctured, it will dry out and not develop. You could try to repair a punctured or cracked egg by using a non-toxic clear nail polish to cover the crack or hole. Keeping your female budgie's nails trimmed will also help prevent this situation.

Weak Chick

All species -- whether bird, mammal, or fish -- can at one time or another produce young that are too weak to survive. A weak budgie chick will not be able to break its shell to hatch. To help the embryos maintain the health needed to develop, the female needs to have a healthy diet not only during breeding, but also year-round. Feed your budgies seed mix prepared especially for parakeets. You can supplement the diet with parakeet pellets and powdered vitamins developed for parakeets. Daily fresh greens such as dandelion leaves or carrot top leaves also provide appropriate nutrition for a healthy bird. Don't forget to include cuttlebone.

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