Ask Lafeber

Question:

February 8, 2021

Egg


My pineapple Conure laid an egg that was darker than the others (greyish) , she has moved it out of the clutch and this evening I was checking on my babies while sleeping and I noticed that there is now a decent size hole in it.
Why would they do this?


Answer:

Hi Elaine,

Sometimes a discolored egg is laid. It can be just a fluke, or it can be caused by a health issue like an infection or poor nutrition. She may sense that something was wrong with the egg, and she decided to abandon it or eat it. The hole could be an accident – eggs can get damaged when she turns them or when she is going in and out of the nest box. If this is their first clutch, then it is very common for the first clutch to fail. If this is a breeding pair that has produced before, how many clutches are you allowing per year? An over bred hen will often lay inferior eggs. A pair should be limited to two clutches per year, which is one more than they would have in the wild. The nest box should be removed after the chicks leave the box or if the eggs are past due and no good. The pair should be rested for 6 months before returning the box to them. The pair needs to be old enough – if you start breeding when they are too young, they tend to make mistakes or develop bad habits like eating eggs. Green Cheeks should be around 3 when you start breeding them. They also need a nutritionally balanced diet like pellets or our foraging diets. A loose seed mix is not adequate for breeding birds. In addition, you should offer dark leafy greens, chopped veggies, and a small amount of fruits. When you have them set up for breeding, they also need some type of egg food – cooked eggs with the shell washed, crushed and cooked with them is good. Offer the egg food until the chicks are weaned. If you are confident they are old enough, have enough nutrition and haven’t bred too often, then the egg is likely a fluke. But if it keeps happening, you should take her to an Avian Vet for a check up.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,

Brenda

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