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Go Back   Talk Budgies Forums > Budgie Talk > Budgie Breeding

Budgie Breeding Before breeding any species, it is important to learn as much about the animals, their personalities and the best practices to follow for responsible and ethical breeding prior to making the commitment to take on the responsibility.
Thread Description:Struggles with brooding

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  #1  
Old 12-28-2016, 10:31 AM
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Default Breeding Parakeets

Hello. My name is TJ. I have two pairs of budgies. One pair is currently breeding right now and they have 5 eggs in total. First egg was laid December 12th so hatch date is coming soon.. But over the Christmas holiday (Saturday-Tuesday) my partner and I were away with family and left them alone with extra food and water. Plus a heat lamp over the breeding pairs cage. But when I returned Tuesday night she was out of the nest box and would only return if I went near the cage but would come out once I'm away.

I've tried to give her a bath just in case she needed more humidity to brood but that didn't work. And now I don't know what else to do.. I'm afraid that by now all the eggs won't be viable anymore to have any babies. Has anyone else gone through this problem and can explain to me as to what happened or why she is now neglecting so close to hatch dates?

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Old 12-28-2016, 11:07 AM
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Hi TJ and welcome to the forums! You have certainly come to the right place as you will find all you need to know on budgie care here.
The information on the several articles and sticky threads at the top of each section of the forums will be extremely useful.

If you don't mind, I will start by asking a few questions:

Is this your first time breeding budgies?
Are you relatively new to the species?
How old are your budgies and have they been properly conditioned to breed?

Before taking the breeding route and in order to do so more safely, a person should have a very good grasp of the species (this comes with real life experience in budgie ownership) and to do the required research into the subject.

The decision to breed comes with a whole lot of responsibility and commitment, the lives of the breeding pair(s) and the chicks are depending on you and the response you give if/when faced with adversity.
Things like being able to tell if your breeding pair is in good health and top physical condition to go through breeding; when a hen is expecting an egg or if she is showing the first signs of being egg bound; when a chick is having developmental problems, not being fed or showing signs of dehydration;
when there is aggression, abandonment and neglect of the chicks and it's solely up to you to feed and raise the chicks. The ability to detect early on and solve these issues can truly make a difference on the outcome of your breeding journey.

Please read this link: A heartfelt plea to forum members new and old

As for the current problem you are experiencing and from your description it does seem that your hen has abandoned her clutch and at this point if she hasn't been incubating the eggs for the past few days, then the chances for any egg to hatch is slim to none.
There are a number of factors that can contribute to clutch abandonment (this can happen when the pair isn't on a stable and stress free environment, when the hen perceives a potential threat on her safety for example when there is a night fright). In this particular case it was most likely due to your 4 day absence.
It's never advisable nor recommended to leave a breeding pair unattended for so long.
Even by placing extra food and water, it's not guaranteed that it will be sufficient, especially for a breeding pair who eats larger quantities of food.
I'm not even mentioning potential accidents where the water or food could be dumped onto the cage's floor.
Your breeding pair, especially your female has determined the conditions not safe nor ideal to carry on with breeding and she abandoned her eggs as a consequence.
At this point, you can candle the eggs to check for life. If they are no longer viable, then discarding the eggs, removing the nest box an giving your pair the required time to rest from their fruitless breeding attempt will be the best thing to do.
In the meantime you can take full advantage of the information found here so that you are better prepared if you choose to later on allow your pair to breed. It's extremely important to plan ahead when breeding is involved because the pair and the eggs/chicks need the full support from their owners and this is done on a daily basis to provide everything they need in order to succeed.
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Last edited by aluz; 12-28-2016 at 11:19 AM. Reason: Fixing typo
  #3  
Old 12-28-2016, 11:29 AM
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Hello TJ and to Talk Budgies!

I'm sorry to hear of your problem. It does seem that the female abandoned her eggs due to your absence; it was not in her best interests to have her with a clutch when you were going to leave.

Aluz has given you the best possible advice, and be sure to read through the link she provided.

Additionally, please read through the forums to ensure you're up to date on all the best practices for budgie care. If you have any questions afterwards, be sure to ask as we'd be happy to help.

I hope your budgies are doing well.

Best wishes!
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Old 12-28-2016, 02:51 PM
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Hi! to Talk Budgies

aluz has offered you excellent advice.

Please take the time to read through all of the How To Guides, the FAQs and the stickies located at the top of each section of the forum.

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Old 12-28-2016, 04:15 PM
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TJ, I can't add to the advice you have already received, I just hope you will think about any factors that may have contributed to your budgies abandonment of the eggs and make sure you can ensure that you will be there if you go forward with breeding again in the future.
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Old 01-22-2017, 08:26 PM
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Hey TJ,

I just saw your post and while there was a lot of good points and potential reasons for the abandonment of the clutch given in responses, I noticed another potential reason the hen may have left the nest box. You say you left a heat lamp over the cage... I have had a few breeding pairs over the years and I have never used a heat lamp and would be cautious of doing so. The reason being that it is hard to regulate how warm it would make the nest box and may overheat the hen, causing her to have to abandon her clutch or overheat.

The space heater I use accidently got set too high one day and my hen didn't want to be in the nest box with her chicks until I fixed the problem. Fortunately I was around and quickly noticed and remedied the problem... and most of her chicks had pin feathers when it happened so they didn't need mom to keep them toasty.

Without you having been there to see if she had actually showed signs of overheating when she initially abandoned the clutch there is no way to be sure. However, in the future I would recommend the use of a space heater if you feel the room the birds are in is too cold for them (this allows you more control of the temperature).

Your post caught my attention in part because I currently have chicks that are only days behind when yours were due to start hatching (my hen started laying on Dec. 14th) and I also left them for about the same time during the holidays. I don't know if that was your first time leaving your birds on their own for a few days, if so, then it isn't a bad idea to get them used to the additional food and water dishes that are added to their cage - just in case. It was not the first time I had left my birds for a few days and they were fine when I returned (although I was slightly anxious about leaving them since they did have eggs).

I hope that things work out for you.
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