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Question:

September 7, 2022

Abandoned eggs


My budgie abandoned her first clutch of eggs due to me not doing my research. I moved the pair to a new, bigger cage. Now they both will not go near the nest. I tried moving them back to the original cage. They still wouldn’t go near it. The first egg has hatched. I’ve been hand feeding the baby every 2 hours when it starts to cry. It seems healthy. I keep it and the remaining 6 eggs all in the nest box with a heating pad around it. It stays at about 92 degrees. The eggs are all alive and moving when I candled them. My question is, is there any chance that the parents will go back to the nest? Should I keep them close to it? They hear the baby cry and don’t do anything. Will they know that they are their babies when they start exploring? I know I messed up. I feel so bad. But I work from home and am going to do everything possible to get these babies to grow into healthy buggies.


Answer:

Hi Veronica,

Unfortunately it is not very likely they will go back. Possibly if all they chicks had already hatched and they were caring for them. But generally if a nest is interfered with, they will either abandon the eggs and chicks or destroy the eggs and kill the chicks. Their instincts tell them a predator did this, so it’s all about surviving. At this point, I’m afraid the parents might be a danger to the chicks. Parrot parents seem to be much more aggressive and not as easy going as song bird parents.

You need to have some humidity in the nest box, but don’t get the chick wet. You can try a small container in the corner with wet cotton balls. If it is too dry, the eggs won’t hatch. They may not anyway, because 92 is much too cold. The eggs should be at 98 -110 degrees. The variance depends on the incubator. So I’m really not sure what to tell you. Eggs won’t incubate and hatch in a makeshift incubator, but since they are at the due date, you can give them the chance. You also need to carefully turn the eggs a few times a day. As for the chicks’ survival, they also rarely survive when being fed from day 1. But you have no choice without the parents doing their job, and with one chick hatched already, so you may as well try. If this was a clutch of eggs they abandoned, without the one live chick, I would advise discarding the eggs to avoid suffering on yours or the chicks part, but it would be too hard to do at this point, and the little one at least needs to be given a chance. I hope he makes it even if the eggs do not.

Take care,

Brenda

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