Egg-cessive – what now?
It’s in the budgie’s nature to lay eggs but rather unusual when they are kept in a cage. Experts from Maxi Zoo explain how this comes about and what you can do about an egg-laying compulsion.
Budgies living in the wild have no fixed breeding season in their Australian homeland. So they breed when certain pre-conditions are fulfilled: this includes, among other things, sufficient protein and mineral rich food and suitable nesting options. In breeding situations it certainly happens that budgerigars will hatch clutches of several eggs throughout the whole year.
When budgies with no nesting facilities in the cage repeatedly lay eggs then there is mostly a behavioural disorder behind it or a so-called egg-laying compulsion. In such cases it is completely irrelevant whether a male and female are living together or one or more females on their own. If your bird lays eggs you should do something about it immediately!
How do you prevent compulsive laying?
This is mostly a behavioural disorder, when eggs are laid without nesting facilities. For this reason never keep a bird on its own – always provide for least one companion of its own species! Boredom should be avoided by offering the bird variety within the cage as well as free flight, natural toys, nibbles and the like. Apart from that, watch out that your pet has no cavity-like nesting opportunities available when they are flying free!
If your budgie has a brooding tendency, you can also counter this through the food you provide. This should be less rich for a certain time at least. That means abstaining from seed and fresh food.
What can you do?
If your budgerigar lays eggs despite the measures mentioned, you should act as early as possible! There is still no life in fertilised eggs for the first two days after being laid. You can boil the egg, mark it with a pen and put it back in the clutch. Or swap them for plastic eggs which you can buy from a specialist shop. Let the bird sit on these “false” eggs. You can only remove the eggs when it has lost interest after the normal brooding period of about 18 days. If you simply take the eggs away after their discovery without replacing them your female will probably keep on laying new ones until her clutch is complete. A budgie that lays eggs needs calcium, vitamins and minerals to keep their strength up! If the compulsion to lay eggs doesn’t stop or keeps returning, you should get the advice of a vet.
Call into your local store today to discuss your bird’s personal needs with our Maxi Zoo Pet Experts.