Saturday, December 29, 2012

A Splendid Question Regarding a Surprise Egg

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Sharing another Reader Question Below:

Female and male Scarlet-chested parakeets,
also called Splendid parakeets.

I just discovered an egg on the cage bottom of my pair of scarlets. I've had them for several years and they have never produced an egg. I read that if they don't have a nesting box they will probably not produce eggs. Well, they don't have a nesting box but now we have an egg. What do I do?
Neither the male or female seem concerned about the egg so my thinking is that it must be infertile. Should I remove it from the cage or just leave it for a while? Should I get them a nesting box?
Looking forward to your reply... thank you.
Future dad outside his nest box.
Hello Tamara,
I would get them a nest box. If she's laying, I suspect they are breeding, or she wants to. This egg isn't likely to be looked after by them, but fertile eggs remain good for several days after being laid. I'd put it in the box anyway even though it's unlikely to survive. You've nothing to lose if you do. Or, if you know anyone who has parakeets on eggs, you could try to foster it out.
I assume these are scarlet-chested parakeets, right? Also called Splendid parakeets. If so, they will need a parakeet sized nest box or larger...don't get one too small. Add some pine shavings to the bottom of the box. They sell pine shavings for hamster cages and such. My Splendid hens usually throw some (or most) of them out of the box. Then they form a bare area in the shavings, either in the middle, or in a corner. The pine shavings help keep the eggs from rolling away and absorb the babies' droppings.
Hen is on cuttle bone.

If you give your pair a box now, they may or may not go into it right away. It should stimulate them to want to continue mating and probably to try to raise a clutch. It's great fun seeing babies hatch; and where I live there's a demand for Splendid parakeets that goes unfulfilled. So, I suggest you let them breed.
Be sure she has enough calcium. She should be chewing on cuttle bone. I also have a mineral block and add oyster shell for mating hens. There are calcium supplements you can get for their water, but I've not used them before. With three other sources of calcium, I believe they have enough. However, if you have access to that instead of the others, then it's fine too. Be sure to carefully follow the instructions and change their water at least daily, with or without calcium supplemented in it.
Hens that are laying need lots of fresh water. They will drink and drink and usually also bathe in it.
A sister and two brothers.
Good luck. I hope you get to experience this fun-filled adventure. However, if they lay and brood and still nothing happens...well, first time parents aren't always successful. My first pair of Splendids hatched their first clutch, but didn't know to feed them. It was years ago and I wasn't hand feeding yet and lost all of them. Their second clutch, however, they did fine and raised the three they hatched very successfully. Best of luck.
Peace and Blessings! Happy New Year!

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