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why do budgies destroy their eggs?

Why Do Budgies Break Their Eggs?

Most nesting budgies will break their eggs occasionally, especially new parents. This becomes more worrisome when you find the budgies eating the shells or yolks afterward.

Budgies will break their eggs when vitamin or mineral deficient. Then, the parents will eat the remains to improve their health and raise the chances of reproducing successfully next time.

Budgies may sense disease or defects in the eggs, smash them, and start again.

If you have several budgies in a cage, a female may break her eggs due to space problems. New parents may smash their eggs out of confusion and restart with a new batch.

Some budgies kill their eggs by accident, knocking them out of the nest at night when they can’t see well.

Why Do Budgies Kill Their Eggs?

Any one of these reasons can motivate a budgie to smash, crack, or throw out its eggs:

  • Fear or anxiety due to stress or predatory animals
  • Depression due to a restrictive cage, a lack of enrichment, or overcrowding
  • Inadequate privacy, with a cage in an overly busy part of the home
  • Nutritional problems due to poor diet or illness
  • Sensing problems with the eggs (diseased or defective)
  • Inexperience (new parents or poorly socialized budgies)
  • Realizing the eggs are infertile
  • Displeased with the nest
  • Lack of food or competing for food

Why Do Budgies Throw Eggs Out Of The Nest?

Of course, those aren’t the only reasons for a budgie destroying its eggs.

Let’s explore the different explanations, so you can prevent this from happening in the future:

1/ Egg Diseases

Experienced budgies can identify and separate diseased eggs from healthy ones.

Identifying diseased eggs is a skill that budgies learn over many years of breeding. An experienced budgie will never allow a diseased egg to remain among the good, healthy eggs.

You’ll know if a budgie thinks an egg is diseased because only 1 or 2 eggs will be discarded.

2/ New Laying Cycle

Budgies sometimes destroy their eggs before they hatch if they want to start a new laying cycle.

Some eggs may be less developed than others due to disease, infertility, or unbalanced incubation. Instead of hatching the eggs in a random order, the budgie will start a new laying cycle.

This ensures that the budgie isn’t pulled in two directions: caring for chicks and incubating eggs at the same time. That would be dangerous for all involved and likely unsuccessful.

Starting over, or killing off the less-developed eggs, is usually the right choice.

3/ Space Problems

Budgies are social birds that thrive in flocks, but this changes when breeding.

Budgies about to breed need space since they view other birds as rivals. If you don’t relocate your breeding pair to a separate cage, they’ll likely destroy their eggs before they hatch.

4/ Calcium Deficiency

Budgies may destroy their clutches because of a mineral deficiency.

According to Cornell University Veterinary Medicine, calcium is an essential mineral in a bird’s diet. Without sufficient calcium, your budgie will break its eggs as its body needs this vital mineral. If they lack a well-balanced diet, budgies will grow ill and produce deformed eggs.

From a survival standpoint, your budgie understands that remaining healthy and producing better eggs in the future is more important than protecting the current eggs.

To preserve the species, the existing clutch becomes food.  

why do budgies kick their eggs out?

5/ Infertile Eggs

Experienced female budgies can spot infertile eggs. Perhaps the breeding process was unsuccessful, or the fertilization within the mother had problems along the way.

Even if the budgie were to sit on the eggs, they wouldn’t hatch. So, the female will destroy the infertile or defective eggs to keep them from rotting and contaminating the other eggs.

6/ Inexperienced Breeders

Inexperienced budgies are more likely to break their eggs because they’re new parents.

They may not know what to do after laying their eggs, let alone how to brood or take care of the chicks once hatched. For this reason, they are likely to destroy their eggs.

Parents may even leave the eggs without incubation for long periods, letting the eggs die by accident.  

7/ Inadequate Privacy

As much as budgies thrive in flocks, they like privacy at certain times, especially when breeding. Keep the breeding pair in a separate cage, even if there’s adequate space in the cage.

If the female budgie notices there isn’t sufficient privacy, she’ll likely destroy her eggs.

8/ Nesting Problems

Budgies are choosy when it comes to the type of nest where they lay their eggs. Wild budgies normally choose spacious but deep nests, as they’re less vulnerable to predation.

Since domesticated budgies can’t pick cavity nests and rely on owners to provide them, they may dislike the nesting box or nesting materials that you’ve provided.

9/ Inadequate Food

Female budgies may destroy their eggs due to the scarcity of food in their cage. A mother budgie needs to know that there will be enough food for herself, mate, and chicks once they hatch.

If you fail to feed your budgies regularly, the mother will understand that she’s likely to starve when the eggs hatch. At the very least, her chicks will.

Why Do Budgies Break Their Eggs At Night?

Budgies may break their eggs at night by accident.

Even though they have good eyesight during the day, they can’t see well in the dark. This makes it easy for your budgie to knock its eggs out of the nest when moving around at night.

Why Is My Male Budgie Breaking Eggs?

The male could destroy the eggs to begin the mating process anew to create a more successful batch.

Since budgies don’t mate for life, the male may want to destroy a rival’s offspring. This will encourage the female to mate again, hopefully with him, furthering his genes rather than other males.

Male budgies may break eggs due to poor nutrition or lack of calcium in their diet. Egg shells contain up to 40% calcium, so the male will see them as an essential source of this essential mineral.

How To Prevent Budgies from Breaking Their Eggs

There are various ways to safeguard budgies’ eggs:

Calcium-Rich Foods

Feeding budgies a high calcium diet, especially during the breeding season, will reduce the chances of them seeing their eggs as food. Also, it helps them produce stronger and healthier eggs.

The shells will be thicker and more resilient, able to fight off bacteria and fungi. This will reduce the chances of your budgies killing the eggs due to disease.

Infertility rates will also be lower as the female will be healthier.

Separate Cages

If you want to deal with space problems, keep the breeding pair in a separate cage. The new parents will feel less threatened and be less likely to compete over food.

Privacy

Place the breeding cage in a secluded part of the home and ensure the nesting box is well hidden. It shouldn’t be exposed to too much light, activity, or sound.

Also, stop predatory pets, children, and strangers/guests from going near the cage.

Incubate Eggs Separately

If inexperienced or stressed budgies don’t allow the eggs to survive, you can nurture them separately. Using an incubator will allow you to hatch the eggs successfully on your own.

Budgies destroy their eggs intentionally and accidentally. By ensuring that budgies’ needs are met and they don’t feel distressed, the chances of this happening will be much reduced.