Ask Lafeber

Question:

March 1, 2019

Eggs and actions


Laverne and Shirley are my 2 blue parakeets , Thought they were females , I got them pretty young Shirley’s nose is white and Laverne gray . Well every time I come in the room Laverne is mounted on Shirley. There are now 6-7 eggs in the cloth cage . I finally separated them , even though it looks like Love , Laverne tries to jump her every time she comes out and tries to keep her out of the food and water dishes . They do the face to face wiggling up and down . I know they get the shells out of each others mouth . I took Shirley out tday and put her in a cage by herself but next to the big cage so they can still be close . It all started about a week ago when I wondered why Shirley was in the nest , found the 1st egg , now there’s 6-7 eggs . Laverne’s not drawing blood , but poor Shirley needs a break . I was told they are Tom n Jerry . How long does it take to hatch an egg . I read that even males can give birth . ??? I just hope I’m doing the right thing . That’s where u come in . Should I put Shirley back in the big cage . Just gotta give the poor girl??? a BAAAREAK . TY Lafeber for being there for us .


Answer:

Hi Patty,

Please refer to my first reply to you on February 25th to answer most of your questions.

Do these birds have a wooden nest box or one of those bird tents that are made out of fabric? You said something about a cloth cage? If this is one of those tents, this will not work for a parakeet nest. Parakeets need a large wooden box to nest in – keep in mind that before they fledge, there could be 4-6 full size parakeets in the box along with at least one of the parent birds at a time. If they just have a bird tent, I would go ahead and throw that and the eggs away. It is unlikely they have incubated correctly at all, and if they did hatch, the chicks are not likely to survive – they will likely fall out or could get crushed or smothered in the soft fabric – it is not stable enough for a nest. As I mentioned in my previous response, Birds do not need a nest unless they are breeding, and then only during breeding season. Adult birds do not sleep in a nest in the wild. This goes for those bird tents – anything a bird can get inside or or sit in can represent a nest and can encourage breeding whether you want them to breed or not.

If by chance they do have a wooden nest box and you want them to keep the eggs, then you need to put the birds back together. The female can’t incubate the eggs and raise chicks alone. The male helps by feeding her or sitting on the eggs while she eats. You also need to give them privacy because being around them all the time will cause territorial behavior and aggression.

However, as it sounds, I don’t think you really want breeding birds. And in that case, again it’s time to discard the nest and eggs, split the birds up for a bit and when they seem to have settled down, put them back together without a nest or tent or anything that could be used to lay eggs in.

When doing research, be careful of your sources as there is a lot of wrong information out there. No, males cannot lay eggs. You have at least one female since there are eggs. With as many as you have, possibly both are females and both are laying eggs. If there is a new egg every day, then you have two females because it takes 2 days for each egg to form, so one female can only lay one egg every other day.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,

Brenda

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