View Full Version : HELP! MY BIRD LAYED AN EGG!!

01-19-2001, 04:33 PM
We have two love birds. Samson and Delilah. http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/smile.gif I hope that someone out there knows something about breeding birds. This was not our "plan." http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/redface.gif I believed people when they said, "they will not breed unless they have a nesting box."

Well, you guessed it, we now have two eggs at the bottom of the cage. http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/eek.gif I put in a shallow bowl and some timothy hay and cotton in it. Then, placed the (then only) one egg in the bowl. Within the hour they had rolled it out. So, I am afraid to get them a nesting box. I don't have a clue what to do. :clueless: I am afraid that they will roll the little eggs out of the box and crush them. http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/frown.gif

Delilah has been very good sitting on the eggs. But, she has become VERY mean. http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/mad.gif We walk near the cage and she comes running up to us, chattering and pecking her beack on the bottom of the cage. She tries to bite me every time i give them food and water. I am afraid to change their cage. I need to but don't want her to bite me. I never realized how powerfull that little beak is. http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/eek.gif

I am afraid and don't know what to do. I have a feeling that there will be more eggs. Once the egg hatches I won't have a clue as to what to do. PLEASE HELP ME!!!

01-20-2001, 11:38 PM
Hi HowieDawn,

Well, I know a fair amount about birds. I have raised them and I love them. First of all, are you sure both birds are not female? Sometimes (and it's not that uncommon) birds of the same gender will bond, and even mate. Did you get the "male" DNA/blood tested so you are sure he is truly a he? If he is a he then, if they are truly a bonded pair, they will mate many times a day and appear so in love with each other that they can hardly even seperate.

If this is the case, they are proven opposite sexes, they mate all the time, they snuggle and preen and obviously adore each other to no end, then there's a good chance they will continue to breed, although the first two or three clutches may be unsuccessful (unfertle or destroyed eggs due to lack of experience). This is not uncommon. Let the female sit on the eggs for several weeks. She will probablly destroy the eggs if they are unfertil.

If you wanted to breed them, there's nesting boxes sold at many pet stores. They will need a nesting box, not a bowl on the bottom of the cage. Most of the poops fall to the bottom of the cage, and if the eggs are fertil (which is not likely because it's probablly their first attempt) then those hatchlings will need a clean, quiet, dark, warm, private environment in which to grow. Nesting boxes can attach either to a nesting box opening in the cage (alot of cages have this feature) or to the cage door. If you do plan to breed them I suggest you get a cage with an opening on the side or back for a nesting box attachment. Bowls may work for finches canaries and other non parrot species, but the parrots need a box attached to their cage in order to breed successfully.

If they do end up hatching chicks, the parents will do all the hard stuff, not much for you to worry about. But please keep in mind that birds need a huge variety of foods for proper health, especially when rearing chicks. If you give them a strictly seed diet, it's not only uninteresting and incomplete to the parents, but it may effect the growth and health of the chicks. In the wild they feed on many fruits, veggies, berries, grains, nuts. The healthier variety of cooked and raw fruits, veggies, pastas, rices, grains, and nuts (try to do organic as much as possible, they are more sensetive to chemicals then people) the parents consume, then the healthier and more vibrant both the parents and the chicks will be. I suggest getting a good book on parrot breeding if you want more tips. I am not sure if you already give them a varied diet, forgive me if you already knew that, not many people that I talk to are aware that birds should not be on a strict seed diet.

When a bird bonds to another bird, you are no longer an important part of that birds life...if you used to have a good relationship with the bird, then you got a bird friend, and the birds ended up bonding, you are kind of like an "ex-spouse", and therefore, they want their space and privacy. It's the unfortunate part of owning 2 bonded birds instead of one who is bonded to you. Also the mom bird will protect those eggs to no end. She's going to give her 100% into the protection of those eggs, they are, after all, her future children. There's not much you can do about that, accept get a cage that has food and water dishes that slide out without you having to stick your hand inside, and get a nice, thick pair of gloves. I know all too well how bad it hurts to be bit by a parrot. I raised green cheek/maroon belly conures (until I could no longer keep dodging the attacks from the male who was VERY protective of his cage.) and also worked in a pet shop that specialized in hand fed baby birds of all types and also did bird boarding. I have been bit so many times I am surprised I still love birds!

I hope I have been informative. Please forgive me if I gave you information that you already knew. I have no idea what you do and do not know about birds. If the attacks are so bad that you can't take it anymore then you have the option of throwing out the eggs as soon as she lays them. I never had the heart to do this but some people will do this because their birds become so aggressive when they have eggs.

I don't have any advise on good bird books. I have read a whole bunch of bird books but I don't remember any authors or good titles to suggest. If you have any pet stores that specilize in hand fed babies, that would be a great place to ask about book recommendations, as well as any other questions on breeding love birds.

My last bit of babble is this: dont get your hopes up about the last remaining egg hatching. Being that this sounds to be their first attempt, and also that they don't have a nesting box the odds of that egg hatching is slim. It's not your fault if it does not hatch so don't feel bad or take blame.

Enjoy, good luck, and go out and buy a real nice, thick pair of gloves for future cage changes http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/smile.gif


01-21-2001, 03:38 PM
Oh, Leslie, you have helped me so much. WE NOW HAVE EGG NUMBER 3. I did realize that the birds cannot be on a strictley seed diet....BUT, do you have any pointers? I have tried to get my birds to eat veggies and pasta. (They love old stale bread...will not eat it fresh) I don't have any luck though. I still give them broccoli, peas, carrots, cooked/uncooked once a week. But all they ever do is play with them. My lovebirds are the worst. They are so messy. My husband calls them the pigeons. So, do you think that if I get a nesting box for them, they won't try to roll the eggs out? I will try to follow your advise. THANKS SO MUCH FOR RESPONDING!

01-21-2001, 03:42 PM
P.S. I Definately know that i have a male and female. They have been doing the "dance" http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/eek.gif for about a month now. And they carry on so much when they do it.
again thanks for your help. and keep it comming http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/smile.gif

01-21-2001, 08:28 PM
Hi again HowieDawn,

I am not sure if you have seen the nesting boxes but there's about a 7 or more inch drop to the bottom of the box. There's absolutely no way to roll the egg out. They may roll it around the nesting box a bit, but the only way that egg will come out is if they poke a hole in it so it can be grabbed with their beaks and lift it out of the enterance hole, or if you open the nest box yourself. No worry about them taking that egg out themselves.

And as for the feeding, I adopted a cockatiel who was pretty set on a seed diet, I started slowly adding pellets to his seed (for healthy variety) and every day offered him more wet food (cooked and raw stuff) and eventually he caught on and started eating more fresh stuff. He was never as good of an eater as my goffins cockatoo and my green cheek conures though.

As for the "dance" that they are doing. I have seen birds proven to be the same sex fall in love and mate, just like birds of the opposite sex would do. They seem to know how to do it, do it often, and it seems they enjoy it. It's strange but it does happen. but I guess time will tell for sure. It sounds that it truly is a male/female match though, because birds of the same sex mating on a regular basis is not quite as common.

I wish you lots of luck. If you decide to go ahead with this breeding, and get a nesting box, I suggest you (and the books will tell you this also) block off the opening to the nesting box and trap the parents out every day and try to hold the baby(s) for at least a few mintues every day as soon as they open thier eyes to get them tame. If they are hand tame you have increased their value, and their chances of finding better, loving homes by at least double. It's alot more tricky to hand feed, and there's alot to learn about it. If you have the time and care to learn about it you could sell those babies for so much more and they would be as tame as they could possibly get. Something to think about when the time comes. Just try to at least get those babies to gain your trust, learn that a human voice is a good thing.

Although lovebirds can be nippy, they are such lovely birds. I hope you enjoy this whole experience. It's so much fun and also very rewarding. Best of everything http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/smile.gif


01-23-2001, 09:25 AM
Well, we went; out yesterday and bought them a new cage at PetSmart. We got a really nice cage, and it is bigger than the first. http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/smile.gif The parakeets got upgraded to their cage. We bought a cockatiel nesting box. We also bough one of the bird baths for the cage. One of the Nice big ones. They love to take baths.

I thought that i would have a hard time getting her to stay in the box. At first i did. http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/smile.gif So i put her in the box and put a sock in the hole. Left her in there for about 10 minutes, and then unplugged the hole. Actually, I think that she really likes the idea.

Number 4 was layed yesterday.


01-23-2001, 12:36 PM

I found this site. I would like to hand feed the babies, but I am afraid to do something wrong. (I hope i am not getting my hopes up and the eggs not hatch.)

What types of food do you suggest in feeding the lovebirds?

01-23-2001, 01:24 PM
Hi HowieDawn,

If you have the time then handfeeding is the most beautiful experience. There is alot to learn about it, and it will take some getting used to. If it's at all possible, try to find someone who handfeeds and watch them do it, so you can get some good pointers. I am very visual and watching it done by a veteran helped me feel confident enough to try it myself. I handfed 2 clutches of babies, (and I also fostered many orphaned wild bird babies, but don't think that counts) and it's truly wonderful. The only downsides, becides needing the time to do it, are these:

1) you have to take the babies away from the parents. It always broke my heart. I felt horrible doing it but I always did it anyway.

2) you get so attached to those babies, getting homes for them is so much harder, they really become a part of you, almost like your very own offspring.

I suggest alot of cooked rices and pastas for the parents now. When the babies hatch (but don't get your hopes up to high on this since it's the first attempt) you really will want to limit the seed and increase daily cooked stuff.

As for brands of foods that I recommend: I am taking a wild stab at the spelling...Lafebers Nutri-Berries is a good food. It's shaped like a little ball and it's got honey, grains and seeds all stuck together. It's fun and interesting for the parents and it's nutritious. I always mixed Lafebers Nutri-Berries with Topper Bird Ranch Diet seed. The better feed stores will carry both brands. Topper is so loaded with nutrients, the ingredients go on and on. It's just a seed diet but it's a seed diet packed with vitamins and minerals. With mixing both of those seeds together you will have a great base diet.

Gosh, I wish I could see those babies when they are hatched http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/smile.gif I miss baby birds so much and I will always treasure having the opportunity to hand feed. You are in for such a treat. If you have any more questions or problems please feel free to email me or post on Pet Talk anytime.

The best to ya,


02-01-2001, 12:42 PM
welp, she layed #5 the other day...when will she be finished?

02-02-2001, 03:09 PM
#6 last night... they have been comming in two's

02-16-2001, 09:59 AM
Howie Dawn - so what happened - or were you just "egging" us on?

02-16-2001, 11:45 AM
haha well, she has layed seven. i don't think that she will ever stop. I am guessing that they are unfertilized, considering the first one was layed around Jan. 16th.

02-21-2001, 10:47 AM
Howie Dawn, I am sorry. Wouldn't it have been fun (and a lot of work) to take care of the young ones?

Years ago we inherited a parakeet from family who were moving out of town. His name was Tico and he was so dear. But then one day Tico started laying eggs. I think there were only a couple - but not another bird within miles. We changed our minds and decided SHE was so dear.