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First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

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Wessel Gordon
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First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

Post by Wessel Gordon » Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:39 am

Hi everyone

I have a 6 year old female (with plucking issues) who I found out on Friday is sitting on her first ever clutch of eggs. Since she's basically featherless I placed a nestbox with some material at the bottom to provide heat for her during our winter season never expecting her to lay eggs since she had access to nestboxes during previous years and never showed any other interest in it other than keeping warm. I'm in South Africa with spring arriving in a few weeks so it's breeding season for our birds for those of you that might find this timing a bit out of season. So far there is 3 eggs in the clutch but I cannot say when they were laid. I have a few questions I'd like to ask:

a) From my research from 3-6 eggs can be expected...how far apart are they normally laid?
b) I noticed her male every now and then joining her in the nestbox to help incubate the eggs. Is this normal behavior?
c) The male also regurgitates food to the female when she's outside the nestbox like they would to the chicks. Is this all part of the breeding process? (I noticed in the past that very infrequently the pair would regurgitate food for each other when there was no nestbox in the cage but lately there's a big increase in the male doing it for the female).

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Re: First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

Post by ellieelectrons » Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:58 am

Congrats on your first clutch!
Wessel Gordon wrote:c) The male also regurgitates food to the female when she's outside the nestbox like they would to the chicks. Is this all part of the breeding process? (I noticed in the past that very infrequently the pair would regurgitate food for each other when there was no nestbox in the cage but lately there's a big increase in the male doing it for the female).
I am not a breeder but I can answer this question from reading other posts on this forum over the years. A really good male will spend an awful lot of time feeding the female when she is sitting on eggs. Some will do this so much that she may not need to leave the nest at all.

As for your other questions, you will need to rely on breeders.

I'm really happy for you though, this is lovely news!

Ellie.

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Re: First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

Post by Wessel Gordon » Mon Aug 15, 2011 1:12 am

Thanks Ellie

It is lovely news, but I have to admit it took me a good night's sleep to get over the shock, lol.

The male will sometimes go so far as to eat first and when the female appears for a short break and eats a few bites the male will actually regurgitate some of his food for her while she's still perched on the food bowl. Seems like he's a very devoted partner.

Wessel

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Re: First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

Post by Wessel Gordon » Mon Aug 15, 2011 2:46 am

Hi again

Just thought of another question:

Is any supplements/fruits etc especially needed while a hen is busy incubating a clutch?

All my birds diet consist of a good quality parrot mix for medium parrots.

Wessel

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Re: First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

Post by rod038 » Mon Aug 15, 2011 7:40 pm

The male will feed the hen like you described.

The eggs are generally laid 2 days apart, sometimes 3. She will start setting on the eggs after the second egg is laid. So the 1st two eggs will hatch on the same day and the rest a day or so apart.

I would feed additional fruit and vegetables. Corn is good when they are raising young. 1 cob per pair per day.

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Re: First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

Post by Lauren » Mon Aug 15, 2011 11:53 pm

Hi and congrats on your 1st clutch! very exciting! :D Eggs are laid every other day, mine seem to hatch 1 day apart??? I have 5 x 7 week old olds, so eldest and youngest are about 5 days to a week apart. Males do help out. My 2 shared much of the duties until I took the babies at 2 weeks. My male liked to sleep in the nest box overnight, but he would eat and then feed my female (and chicks) all day... and still does. :roll: haha (he doesnt need to as Im hand raising, but he seems to think they are newly hatched and doesnt give up!) :?

For suppliments I just provided extra vegies also calcium helps the female. I found that they prefered food that was easy to eat (didnt require much chewing) for quick snacks. Like mushed vegies, boiled egg, even a bit of grain bread. They seemed like they didnt have time to munch on things for long before they were back in the nest.
"Jibby aka Gilbert" Indian Ringneck 13 years "Charlie" Rex Rabbit 1 year

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Re: First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

Post by Wessel Gordon » Tue Aug 16, 2011 12:15 am

Thanks Lauren and Rod038

Checked the nest again yesterday so there's 4 eggs in the clutch at the moment. I'm in a wheelchair and the nest is placed at an odd angle from the seat so every time I want to check the nest I have to find someone tall enough which makes for less disturbance for the birds which is a good thing. Doesn't do a lot for my impatience, lol...but it's not like there's any major changes in the coming 2-3 weeks anyway.

Lauren, I did notice the hen seem to throw out food I just replaced looking for something specific till she finds it, take a quick bite or two of it and dive right back into the nest. What it is she actually eats is very hard to tell since she makes a point of eating it so fast. Thanks for all the tips about the boiled eggs etc.

I had a pair of Sun Conures that had 2-3 clutches of 3 chicks and every night all 5 would disappear into the same nest box. Makes one wonder how 5 birds squeeze themselves into a space meant for 2 at most. With their bright colors it must have looked like an explosion in a paint factory, lol.

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Re: First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

Post by ellieelectrons » Tue Aug 16, 2011 2:01 am

Hi Wessel

Thanks for sharing so much about your bird and her eggs... I think I might be almost as excited as you about it! Please keep the updates coming.

Ellie.

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Re: First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

Post by Wessel Gordon » Tue Aug 16, 2011 2:30 am

Hi ellie

I am very excited about it so I will definitely keep the updates coming.

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Re: First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

Post by Wessel Gordon » Wed Aug 17, 2011 8:41 am

Checked the nest earlier today and no new eggs but I'll be happy if even one of them clutch actually hatches. The eggs aren't close together but in various spots...not sure if that's normal for an IRN. The male is in the nest with the female quite often so I don't know if he's helping to incubate one of the eggs which could explain why they're not clustered together.

The female seems to be a bit cranky today, luckily past experience taught me to approach her with caution even on a good day, lol.

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Re: First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

Post by rod038 » Wed Aug 17, 2011 1:53 pm

The eggs should be together touching each other. What may of happened is when the hen has left the nest for you to inspect in her rush out she may of scattered them. She should pull them back together. What I would do if I saw this is just put them together for her. I make a bit of noise when I am going into the walkway to feed or inspect the nests and this gives the hens time to leave the nest if they want to and doesnt startle them. You can even softly tap on the side of the box tolet her know you are there. Unless she is tame she should be out the box when you inspect.

Also maybe being her first clutch she may be unsure of what to do. I had a first time hen lay an egg and then bury it. Most of my hens stop digging in the box once they lay an egg.

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Re: First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

Post by rod038 » Wed Aug 17, 2011 1:58 pm

4 eggs would be the average. If all goes well you should have some chicks in the first week of September.

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Re: First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

Post by SCB -SA » Wed Aug 17, 2011 11:11 pm

Question one - Generally lay one every other day.
2 - Most males are very helpful, my male spends every free moment in the box with her, and on guard, then feeding her,
then he will sit on the eggs while she is out to eat...
3 - Yes the male will feed the female (and chicks) while they in the box.

Average clutch is 4, i got lucky and have a clutch of 4 and 5, what i do for my breeding pairs is give them fresh fruit and veg in the morning and then seed and cooked mixed in the late afternoon...

My birds love it! I also add a supplement to their water...

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Re: First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

Post by Wessel Gordon » Wed Aug 17, 2011 11:55 pm

Thanks rod038 and SCB for all the advice.

Putting the eggs together sounds sensible, but the problem with that is that the hen is incredibly aggressive when it comes to guarding her nest and "her" food. She would charge at anything approaching it and try and inflict as much damage as possible on the intruder. The cage they are in are also not a walk-in cage so I can't go into the cage and use my entire body to keep her from reaching the nest while the eggs are re-arranged. Having said that their cage is right next to my window so I can hear her occasionally turn the eggs over so at least she's getting that part right.

Her male is quite fun to watch while he stands guard. He'll sit with his back to the nest to watch for danger, every now and then turn around and peek into the nest and start a long conversation with the female.

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Re: First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

Post by Wessel Gordon » Thu Aug 18, 2011 2:36 am

Is it common for a male IRN who's female is incubating a clutch of eggs to physically attack another bird in the same cage?

The father-to-be attacked my other male (he had a female friend but she died a few months ago) this morning and pinned him to the bottom of the cage while biting and kicking at him. He even seemed a bit aggressive towards his female although she made it clear she won't tolerate it so he stopped. Luckily I was around the cage when the fight broke out so I managed to distract the attacker before serious damage was done. The two males were having verbal disagreements the whole morning but when the female appeared from the nest to take a quick snack her male physically attacked the other bird. Any suggestions from more experienced people?

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Re: First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

Post by rod038 » Thu Aug 18, 2011 3:54 am

Remove the other bird straight away. Very risky to have more than the one pair in a cage at breeding time. I am surprised the Hen hasnt attacked it also as they are normally the aggressors.

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Re: First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

Post by Wessel Gordon » Thu Aug 18, 2011 4:23 am

Thanks rod038.

The female doesn't even seem to notice the other male most of the time except when he tries to eat while she does and then she'll just warn him off with a quick bluff.

The only other available space for the unmated male is in another cage with another IRN male that has never shared his cage with any bird so not sure how well that move would work either.

Both the cages are right next to my window so it's easy to hear any tension brewing...I'm just lucky that I happened to be busy around the birds when the fight broke out.

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Re: First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

Post by rod038 » Fri Aug 19, 2011 5:29 am

It can happen very quickly. Like in less than 30 seconds. Specially if there are chicks it will get worse. I would just get him another small cage to keep him in till after breeding season. What happens is it will put these birds under stress which is what you dont want at breeding time.

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Re: First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

Post by Wessel Gordon » Fri Aug 19, 2011 8:39 am

Thanks for the advice, Rod038

Seems like things have calmed down for now. When I thought about it the attacking male did warn he's up to something by pinning his eyes, screeching and pacing restlessly.

There's still 4 eggs in the clutch so it seems the clutch is complete. The male seems to help out a lot more with incubating when he's not acting territorial.

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Re: First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

Post by Wessel Gordon » Tue Aug 23, 2011 4:12 am

I noticed that my IRN's were eating a lot more when the female were laying her eggs but over the last few days it dropped back to normal. She and occasionally her male is actively incubating the eggs...is this normal IRN behavior or is it something to keep an eye on?

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Re: First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

Post by Wessel Gordon » Sun Aug 28, 2011 12:32 am

At last I got hold of a cage and moved the male that shared the breeding pair's cage into it. Seems like he's adjusting well so far.

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Re: First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

Post by rod038 » Sun Aug 28, 2011 12:52 am

That will be better. The eating is fine, just make sure they always have at least seed on hand. Add Fruit and Vege each day. If they dont eat the whole lot cut it back till they are eating it all.
I had my first 2 babies of the season hatch this morning in the same nest. Exactly 30 days from the date of the first egg being laid.

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Re: First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

Post by Wessel Gordon » Mon Aug 29, 2011 2:26 am

Thanks rod038.

All my birds have access to a good parrot mix at all times. Are there specific fruits/vegetables I need to add to the diet during the breeding season?

My first babies should hatch anywhere between this coming weekend and the next. Is it common for eggs to be incubated as long as 30 days? From what I read on here and other sites the average incubation period is between 23 and 26 days.

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Re: First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

Post by rod038 » Mon Aug 29, 2011 2:09 pm

With young in the nest I give mine corn on the cob (1 whole corn cob per pair per day), soaked seed and plenty of normal seed. They will mainly eat seed.

The incubation is usually 23 to 24 days. Most hens will not start the incubation till they have laid the second or third egg (Thats where it gets confusing). So the first egg and the second egg will normally hatch the same day at around 28 to 30 days. The rest of the eggs dont take as long because they were incubated from as soon as they were laid. With my pairs if they have 5 eggs they will all hatch within 3 or 4 days of each other.

When I used to breed canarys you wanted all the eggs to hatch on the same day otherwise the parents would only feed the largest chicks and the little ones would die. So you removed all the eggs as they were laid and returned them the morning of the last egg being laid, that way they all hatched the same day. With parrots they feed all their young no matter how small they are. The only problem is if some hatch a fair bit later than the rest they maybe squashed by the bigger chicks.

I now have 1 pair with 3 chicks and 1 pair with 1 chick. I will check again soon when I feed them.

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Re: First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

Post by Wessel Gordon » Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:07 am

At the moment I'm doing nest-inspections every 2-3 days but from this weekend I'm going to increase it to every day so I'll know when the chicks hatch and to get the hen used to me checking on the babies. I have to admit I can't wait for the eggs to start hatching.

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Re: First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

Post by ellieelectrons » Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:55 am

I'm looking forward to it too. I'm living vicariously through you!
:D

Best wishes.

Ellie.

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Re: First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

Post by rod038 » Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:39 am

I now have 6 chicks. 4 in one nest and 2 in another.
I am happy because my pair of violets are the ones that produced the 4 chicks and there is one egg still to hatch.

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Re: First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

Post by ellieelectrons » Tue Aug 30, 2011 6:04 am

Nice. Will you hand raise or let the parents do it?

Ellie.

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Re: First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

Post by rod038 » Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:48 pm

I either let the parents or foster parents raise them.

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Re: First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

Post by Wessel Gordon » Wed Aug 31, 2011 5:33 am

The hen on the clutch of eggs has no experience of raising chicks...any tips on how to remove the chicks without getting bitten to pieces by the hen if she can't cope with raising them herself?

The best idea I have is to place a net over her after she left the nest but I don't want to traumatize her too much.

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Re: First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

Post by rod038 » Wed Aug 31, 2011 2:55 pm

She will know what to do. I had 1 first year hen last year raise her 5 young and 1 this year raising 3 so far.

Doesnt she leave the box when you inspect? Mine always leave the box when I go in to feed them each morning and thats when I have a look. They hear me coming.

The problem if you go to put a net over her in the nest box is she will flap around and may hurt the chicks.

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Re: First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

Post by Wessel Gordon » Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:15 am

Rod, she does leave the nestbox. What I was thinking was putting a net over her while she's outside to prevent an attack if I need to intervene. I'm going to leave the chicks with her to raise but was thinking in case something does go wrong.

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Re: First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

Post by madas » Thu Sep 01, 2011 2:16 am

Wessel Gordon wrote:Rod, she does leave the nestbox. What I was thinking was putting a net over her while she's outside to prevent an attack if I need to intervene. I'm going to leave the chicks with her to raise but was thinking in case something does go wrong.
She doesn't come back into the nest until you leave the room. So don't be afraid of her.

greetings.

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Re: First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

Post by Wessel Gordon » Thu Sep 01, 2011 3:05 am

Madas, I am not afraid of her but I know her well enough to know there is a large possibility of her drawing blood from me if she sees me as a threat to her eggs/chicks. I have to re-emphasize I do not plan to remove the chicks for handraising, but having said that it would be foolish not to have a workable plan to not get bitten if for whatever reason the chicks aren't taken care of by the parents.

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Re: First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

Post by madas » Thu Sep 01, 2011 4:53 am

Wessel Gordon wrote:Madas, I am not afraid of her but I know her well enough to know there is a large possibility of her drawing blood from me if she sees me as a threat to her eggs/chicks. I have to re-emphasize I do not plan to remove the chicks for handraising, but having said that it would be foolish not to have a workable plan to not get bitten if for whatever reason the chicks aren't taken care of by the parents.
btw: If your hen can bite you when checking the nestboxes then you have to revise your aviary design. Normal is nest box within the aviary and "check-door" outside. So the hen can't reach you.

Image

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Re: First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

Post by ellieelectrons » Thu Sep 01, 2011 5:09 am

Wow, that's a great design Madas.

I think Wessel's situation may be more difficult because I think he said he is in a wheelchair?
(although I may have misremembered)

Ellie.

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Re: First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

Post by Wessel Gordon » Thu Sep 01, 2011 6:35 am

I agree, Ellie...that is a great aviary. You're right: I am in a wheelchair so I use indoor cages for all my birds although the one that houses the female and her male was custom-made for me by a family-member but it's still an indoor cage, not aviary. The cage is shaped rectangular and is about 90 cm's long by about 60 cm's wide and about 90 cm's tall.

Because it's a cage and not an aviary the nest sits at the bottom of the cage. Unfortunately that means the hole is about eye-level which makes it impossible to check the nest on my own. Fortunately my sister's son lives here and it's become part of the routine during food-changes to get him to check in the nest for me.

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Re: First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

Post by rod038 » Thu Sep 01, 2011 3:36 pm

It will be alright. At least it will be your Sisters son getting bitten and not you. :lol:

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Re: First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

Post by Wessel Gordon » Fri Sep 02, 2011 3:18 am

LOL, rod.

It takes a bit of teamwork to check the nest: I lift the lid with a metal-pipe after the hen left the nest while my nephew stands close to the nest and checks the eggs but he's learned the painful way to keep all body-parts out of striking range, lol.

I decided to use the metal-pipe as a lever since the nest is at the back of the cage and that would mean putting most of my arm inside the cage if I wanted the nest checked. At least the female seems to start associating the pipe with the idea of staying away from the nest while we're checking on it but that's still a work in progress.

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Re: First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

Post by Wessel Gordon » Fri Sep 02, 2011 11:35 am

Had my nephew check the nest earlier and there's no chicks yet.

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Re: First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

Post by rod038 » Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:49 pm

Is there a way of attaching the nest box to the outside of the cage and maybe putting a door in that can be opened to allow the hen access to the box during the breeding season. This maybe something you could look at for next season. You could remove the box when not in use.

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Re: First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

Post by Wessel Gordon » Fri Sep 02, 2011 1:20 pm

That's a nice idea, rod, but since I use indoor cages I don't see any way of attaching it to the outside...there's not even slots for extra food/water that can be converted to to house the nestbox on the outside.

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Re: First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

Post by Wessel Gordon » Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:52 am

Had the nest checked this morning and still no chicks, although my mom (that checked the nest for me) said one egg has an odd shape. Does the egg change shape as the chick work it's way out or is it an unfertilized egg? Just curious because if all the eggs are fertile the chicks should start hatching any moment.

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Re: First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

Post by rod038 » Wed Sep 07, 2011 1:06 am

The eggs stays the same shape, but a faint line appears around the middle of the egg, circling it and this is how the chick breaks out when it has weaked the shell enough. Its called pipping. The fertile eggs about to hatch appear darker and quite glossy. Usually the first 2 chicks will hatch at the same time.

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Re: First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

Post by ellieelectrons » Wed Sep 07, 2011 2:37 am

Wessell, you can candle the eggs to see if they are fertile. Search the forum for candling. I know I've read about it on this forum.

Ellie.

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Re: First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

Post by Wessel Gordon » Thu Sep 08, 2011 6:50 am

Thanks ellie, I'll have a look at the topic.

There's no chicks in the nest yet and the last of the clutch was supposed to hatch today/tomorrow plus the female threw one of the eggs out of the nest yesterday. I'm beginning to think the eggs weren't fertilized to begin with.

What's the best option: leave the remaining eggs for a few more days (I'm thinking until about the middle of next week) and then remove them or remove them now?

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Re: First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

Post by rod038 » Thu Sep 08, 2011 9:31 pm

Did you look at the one that was thrown out and see what was in it? This will give you an idea of what has happened. If it is just a yolk like the chicken eggs you get from the shop then it was more than likely not fertile. How many days is it since the first egg was laid?

Candling them is a good idea but you do this when they are about 10 days old and you need to know what you are looking for.

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Re: First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

Post by ellieelectrons » Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:06 am

Thanks Rod. Sorry for the bad advice about candling, Wessell.

Ellie.

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Re: First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

Post by Wessel Gordon » Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:50 am

No problem, ellie. Candling looked a bit complicated so I decided not to attempt it anyway.

Rod, I only found the broken shell of the egg that was discarded. The shell was so dry and thin that pieces I held between two fingers simply disintegrated if I pressed my fingers together. There was no sign of yolk either around the pieces before I picked them up or on what would have been the inside of the egg, judging by the curve...so it seems the egg was just an empty shell.

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Re: First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

Post by rod038 » Fri Sep 09, 2011 5:34 am

A discarded shell like that has usually hatched. The shell will be in 2 pieces. You sure theres no chicks in the nest? They are small and pink.

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Re: First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

Post by Wessel Gordon » Fri Sep 09, 2011 6:28 am

I can't see the entire inside of the nest and my nephew insist there's 3 eggs and no chicks...if he's lying I'm feeding him to the female, lol.

All joking aside: I can't hear any chicks inside the nest. I had budgies, cockatiels and sun conure chicks in the past and I could always hear the chicks and in this case I'm hearing absolutely nothing.

One of the remaining eggs had a dent in it (according to the description I heard) so it wouldn't have hatched anyway. When we did a nest-check earlier today that egg was cracked. The female is still trying to incubate the two remaining eggs although it seems the male has given up. Not sure if it's habit keeping her in the nest or if she knows something I don't know.

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Re: First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

Post by Wessel Gordon » Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:53 am

The only way to find out for sure is to check the nest myself. Will be a bit tricky considering the nest is about the same height as I am and it's an indoor cage it's in but I'll find a way.

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Re: First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

Post by rod038 » Fri Sep 09, 2011 1:45 pm

Your right you can definately hear them after a few days. They just keep getting louder as they grow. The female will stay in the box until the eggs are gone or she has had enough time waiting.

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Re: First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

Post by Wessel Gordon » Sat Sep 10, 2011 5:35 am

Checked the nest again: the remaining 2 eggs are in the back of the nest where there's no way the hen could comfortably incubate them (could easily spot them myself even at the awkard angle I am in relation to the hole of the nest). Looks like my best strategy to remove the eggs is to wait till the hen leaves the nest then place my net over her (since she's got plucking issues she can't really fly which makes getting the net over her easier) and remove the nest completely so I can remove the eggs and clean the nest while I'm at it before putting it back in the cage. The tricky part is going to prevent her male from escaping but if a heavy towel or something covers the cage and door as much as possible that should help.

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Re: First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

Post by rod038 » Sat Sep 10, 2011 4:05 pm

Check the eggs when you get them out and see if there is anything inside. This may give you an idea of whats going wrong. I would not put the nest box back in as I dont think she will go down again as this will be her third clutch. It hasnt been a good start to the breeding for you but at least you are learning.

In my first year I had 6 pairs and 3 pairs layed, all were young 2 year old Hens and all had fertile eggs. 13 in total from them and all except one hatched which was dead in the shell. But then 2 of the hens killed all their chicks and I was left with 5 babies in 1 nest. So I had 5 young from 6 pairs.

I would try and find a way for next season to get that nest box on the outside of the cage. It may be disturbing the pair too much by having to check it the way you do, specially if she is a bit nervous.

Can you take a photo of your set up and we may be able to advise of any changes?

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Re: First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

Post by Wessel Gordon » Sun Sep 11, 2011 12:55 am

Rod, I'll see if I can organize a few pics.

I keep my birds as pets so the fact that she decided to lay eggs was a bonus.

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Re: First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

Post by Wessel Gordon » Tue Sep 13, 2011 5:02 am

Rod,

I don't know what you mean with her laying a third clutch of eggs if I removed the nest for cleaning and putting it back. We only noticed the first eggs over the weekend of August 15 so it's been roughly a month with not enough time to lay a clutch in between.

We're going to move the birds to a better spot for summer in the next day or two so I haven't removed the nest and eggs yet...thought it would be less stressful for the birds if everything is done in one go. The hen is also spending a lot more time outside the nest than she have been over the past few weeks so it seems she lost interest in breeding for now.

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Re: First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

Post by rod038 » Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:53 pm

Sorry I thought you said that she had laid before this round and the eggs were no good and this was her second round. Yes best to do all the moving in one go.

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Re: First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

Post by Wessel Gordon » Wed Sep 14, 2011 4:29 am

No problem, rod.

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Re: First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

Post by Wessel Gordon » Wed Sep 14, 2011 8:42 am

Just moved the cages and removed the unhatched eggs.

Of the two that was still in the nest one had a cracked shell on the bottom so the egg dried out. The other egg was intact...when I opened it all I found was the yellow and white yolk (or whatever it's called) so the eggs was obviously not fertilized.

Needless to say the hen is a bit upset that I dared to touch her eggs and from being moved but she'll settle down soon.

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Re: First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

Post by rod038 » Wed Sep 14, 2011 3:55 pm

Yes it sounds like they werent fertile. She may lay again. Some pairs will lay 2 clutches if the eggs are removed or even if the chicks are removed for hand raising at up to 2 weeks of age. I removed 5 eggs from one of my pairs on the 14/08/2011 and she layed again on the 8/9/2011. She now has 4 eggs and I will let her raise this clutch. I put in some fresh nesting matierial in between clutches.

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Re: First clutch of IRN eggs - Any advice appreciated

Post by Wessel Gordon » Thu Sep 15, 2011 6:34 am

I cleaned the nest and replaced the nesting material (wood shavings). Since the nest and the cage-door is roughly the same dimensions I had to clean the nest inside the cage...luckily my nephew helped to distract the female so I managed to do it without getting bitten. Will have to wait and see if she decides to lay another clutch, but since I'm not a breeder it won't matter if she doesn't.

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