Ask Lafeber

Question:

September 10, 2020

sun conure eggs


My bird has layed several eggs, looks like she’s pecked three, what do I need to do with the others to incubate them.


Answer:

Hi Corine,

Does she have a mate? If she is a single bird, the eggs won’t hatch because they won’t be fertile. However, you need to take steps to prevent her from continuing to lay eggs. A single bird can become a chronic egg layer and will literally keep laying eggs until it kills her. If this is the case, please post again and let me know so I can give you detailed information on how to stop her from laying eggs before it is too late.

If she has a mate and they have a nest box, then it is best to leave the eggs with the parents and hope they figure out what to do. If she has laid more than 4 eggs, then she is doing what is called double clutching. A typical clutch size for a sun conure is 2-4 eggs. If this is their first time breeding, it is normal for them to make mistakes. But you need to let them work it out or they will never be good breeders. And some birds never breed well in captivity.

Trying to incubate the eggs yourself isn’t really a good option. It’s much more involved than putting the eggs under a light bulb. You have to buy an incubator that is made for incubating parrot eggs. The temperature and humidity has to be just right or the eggs will not develop. If either setting is off, the chicks can end up stunted or deformed. If the humidity isn’t right, the chick can’t break out of the shell and will die while trying. The eggs also have to be turned regularly, and the incubator usually has this feature. But if a chick hatches and you aren’t around, the chick will get crushed. If you did manage to hatch any, the chicks need a special formula and have to be fed every hour or two around the clock for the first 2-3 weeks. They must be kept in a brooder during this time, and it also must have temperature and humidity controls. The chick and the formula have to be the right temperature or the chick can’t digest the food. The formula also can’t be too thick or too thin. It ends up being a lot of expense and work and is more likely to end in failure. Only parrot breeders who breed for profit, or centers that breed endangered species will attempt to hatch eggs in an incubator.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,

Brenda

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