Parakeet breeds, the most popular of which is the budgerigar, or "budgie," can lay eggs often. For this reason, you should know the signs that your bird is going to lay an egg so you can be on the lookout for it and help care for her properly. Make sure she has a healthy diet full of nutrients and space for a parakeet nest box where she can sit on her eggs. However, if this behavior happens frequently with unfertilized eggs, it's a good idea to discourage it.
Egg laying in parakeets can be caused by your pet bird being pregnant — or not. Not all eggs have a baby budgie in them, and a bird does not have to mate to make or lay an egg. Similar to ovulation in other animals, birds sometimes lay eggs as they produce eggs regardless of whether a male is present to fertilize. Parakeet breeds do not need to mate to make an egg, though if it is not fertilized, it won't have a baby parakeet in it.
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Indication of imminent egg laying
Signs of egg carrying and pregnancy in parakeets are similar to the way they may act when ill, so if you notice your bird acting strangely, a visit to the veterinarian is important. Watch to see if your pet bird is eating less food, showing minor changes in behavior, and gaining weight.
They might also exhibit breathing trouble and changes to their feces. Pregnant birds may sit on the floor of their cage rather than a perch. They may act defensive if you come near them. If you notice any of these issues, contact your veterinarian to get your parakeet a checkup and professional diagnosis.
Caring for parakeet chicks
If your parakeet ends up being pregnant, it's important to provide her with a healthy, nutrient-rich diet. As long as the mother is healthy, she will take care of the chicks completely, nursing until they wean at 4 weeks old, and she only needs your help to set up a nesting box and provide clean water and food.
If the mother becomes ill, seems uninterested in caring for her babies, or dies after their birth, you'll need to take over and hand-feed the chicks. You can make formula and feed it to them with a syringe. Ensure that your hands are clean before handling and caring for them since they do not have a strong immune system at this age.
Parakeet breeds' egg-laying issues
While it may seem natural, frequent egg laying can lead to health problems and nutritional deficiencies in pet parakeets. Birds who lay unfertilized eggs often can become low in calcium and develop lethargy or dystocia, which is a serious condition common in pet birds, including parakeets. Beyond birdseed, it's important to make sure your bird gets enough vitamins and minerals in her diet. Various calcium supplements can be added to prevent illness in parakeets, especially among those who lay eggs frequently. The best way to prevent dystocia is to stop them from laying too many eggs.
There are various ways you can discourage your parakeet from frequent egg laying. Keeping your bird's cage clean is crucial to her overall health, but it can also curb the habit of excess egg laying. Removing toys that birds use to imitate mating can lower unfertilized egg production. An early bedtime is important as well as keeping her space free of bonded birds.
- Animal House of Chicago: Unwanted Egg Laying in Pet Birds - Causes & Prevention
- For The Birds: Discouraging Breeding Behavior In Pet Birds
- Avian & Animal Hospital: Bird Nutrition
- Tampa Bay Animal Hospitals: I Think My Parakeet is Sick or Pregnant Help!
- Pet Place: Will My Bird Lay Eggs?
- VCA Hospitals: Budgies - General