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Question:

September 30, 2022

Sun conure not sitting on egg


Hi, i have sun conure pair and she laid 3 eggs and i start to incubate them in incubator and now she has laid her 4th egg but we did not incubate it. We just leave the egg with sun conure. So my question is that it has been 2 days and she has not started incubating it.. so what should i do? And it seems that she is going to lay her 5th egg. So should i let the egg with her or should i just incubate it?


Answer:

Hi Habib,

There are several concerns with taking eggs to artificially incubate them. If this is just the first or second clutch for the hen, she is still learning. Taking the eggs makes her less likely to ever learn to incubate them herself. It can also cause her to lay too many eggs, which will risk her health. Sun Conures have the tendency to become chronic eggs layers, and without veterinary intervention, she can lay eggs to the point that it kills her. She is really only intended to lay eggs once a year. In the wild they get environmental signals to stop breeding, but in captivity, due to the ideal environment we provide, some hens do not stop laying eggs without major changes in her environment and in some cases, hormone treatments by a Vet. Chicks do not always develop properly in an incubator and some never hatch, or die shortly after hatching, or within their first year. They grow much slower once hatched, and often remain on the small side. It very hard to hand feed a chick from day 1. Sun Conures do have a better survival rate than smaller species like budgies or cockatiels.

Some hens do not incubate their eggs until they have a full clutch or nearly a full clutch. If she lays a 5th egg, this is more than normal and she may be starting a second clutch. I would leave these eggs with her to see what she does. If you decide to remove them, then remove her nest box also, and make some changes to discourage her from laying eggs again for about 6 months. This gives her time to rest and rebuild her resources. You should do this after each clutch even if you artificially incubate the eggs.

You need to do all of these things to discourage egg laying. Keep in mind that to lay eggs, she needs longer daylight, warmer weather, abundant food, and a quiet, private environment. Your goal is to reverse these conditions.

Limit her light to 8-10 hours by covering the cage early each evening

Do not give her anything to shred such as paper or cardboard.

Rearrange the toys in the cage frequently.

Move the cage to a different place in the room. Move the cage about once a week, or whenever she shows signs of nesting – settling on the cage floor for example. This disrupts her idea of having a stable place to lay eggs and raise chicks.

If you feed a lot of fresh foods, stop offering any for a couple of weeks, and then only offer them in small amounts about 2 or 3 times a week. You can resume normal feeding later when the birds aren’t being hormonal.

If there is no metal floor grate, then do not use any bedding or paper in the cage tray – leave it bare and clean it daily.

All of the above can apply to the pair, not just the hen.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,

Brenda

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