Sunday, February 21, 2010
Brand New Eggs Can Wait ...
This is Rivka, a Scarlet-chested parakeet hen, better known as a Splendid parakeet. Rivka has laid her first egg in this clutch. She doesn't seem very protective of it, does she? When I opened the box, she didn't cover and protect the egg. Why not?
The truth is, all parakeet eggs can wait a few days before being incubated and still be viable. Many hens will immediately start to incubate and just as many will wait until they've laid all their eggs.
Don't worry if your hen leaves the nest and appears to abandon an egg, or her eggs, overnight. Once they're all there, she will return and begin to protect and incubate them. It's common for hens to wait. For this reason, if you've seen a pair successfully mating, but she lays her egg on the bottom of the cage, (can happen with a 1st time young pair) even if it's been there for a couple of days and is cold, it will still be good if not damaged or infertile. You can foster it under another hen, or attempt to incubate it yourself. See section in my Archive about incubation.
When a hen waits to incubate her earliest eggs, this may cause them to hatch closer together since the chicks don't start to grow until the eggs are warm and cared for. Typically, Splendid eggs hatch one each day, whereas Bourke eggs hatch every other day (both at 18 to 21 days...timing can vary with room or day warmth). They also lay the same way: one a day for Splendids and one every other day for Bourkes. Of course, this is the norm ... variations aren't unusual.
If you have questions, don't hesitate to contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a wonderful February ... all our trees are in bloom and it's gorgeous on the south coast of Oregon.
Love & Blessings.