Most nesting budgies will break their eggs occasionally, especially new parents. Egg breaking becomes more worrisome when you find a budgie eating the shells or yolks afterward.
Budgies break their eggs when vitamin or mineral deficient. Then, the parents will eat the eggs and their shells to improve their health and increase the chances of future reproductive success.
Budgies may sense disease or defects in the eggs, smash them, and start again.
A female may break her eggs in a shared cage due to a lack of room, and new budgie parents may smash their eggs out of confusion and restart with a new batch.
Some budgies accidentally kill their eggs, knocking them out of the nest at night when they can’t see well.
Why Do Budgies Kill Their Eggs?
These reasons can cause a budgie to smash, crack, or throw out its eggs:
- Fear or anxiety due to stress or predatory animals.
- Depression that’s 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?
Let’s examine the reasons budgies destroy their eggs in more detail:
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. A budgie will never allow a diseased egg to remain with the healthy eggs.
You’ll know if a budgie believes that an egg is diseased because it’ll only discard 1-2 eggs.
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.
A new laying cycle ensures that the budgie isn’t pulled in two directions: caring for chicks and incubating eggs simultaneously. 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 the breeding pair to a separate cage, they may destroy their eggs before they hatch.
4/ Calcium Deficiency
Budgies may destroy their clutches due to a mineral deficiency. According to Cornell University Veterinary Medicine, calcium is an essential mineral in a bird’s diet.
Without sufficient calcium, a budgie will break its eggs as its body needs this vital mineral. If it lacks a well-balanced diet, budgies will grow ill and produce deformed eggs.
Also, misshapen eggs with weak eggshells increase the chances of egg binding.
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.
The existing clutch becomes food to preserve the species.
5/ Infertile Eggs
Experienced female budgies can identify infertile eggs. Perhaps the breeding process was unsuccessful, or the fertilization process had problems along the way.
Even if the budgie were to sit on the eggs, they wouldn’t hatch. So, the female will destroy her infertile or defective eggs to keep them from rotting and infecting 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’re 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 need privacy, especially when breeding. Keep the breeding pair in a separate cage, even if there’s currently adequate room.
If the female budgie notices there isn’t sufficient privacy, she’ll likely destroy her eggs.
8/ Nesting Problems
Budgies are picky regarding their nests. 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 you’ve provided.
9/ Inadequate Food
Female budgies may destroy their eggs due to food scarcity. 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 die.
Why Do Budgies Break Their Eggs At Night?
Budgies may break their eggs at night by accident.
Even though budgies have good eyesight during the day, they can’t see well in the dark. So, a budgie may 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 produce a more successful clutch.
Since budgies don’t mate for life, the male may destroy a rival’s offspring. Egg breaking will encourage the female to mate again, hopefully with him, furthering his genes over 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, which means the male will see them as a good source of this mineral.
How To Prevent Budgies from Breaking Their Eggs
There are various ways to safeguard budgies’ eggs:
Feeding budgies a high calcium diet, especially during the breeding season, will reduce the likelihood 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 keep out bacteria and fungi. Stronger eggshells reduce the chances of your budgies killing the eggs due to disease.
Infertility rates will also be lower as the female will be healthier.
If there are space problems, keep the breeding pair in a separate cage. The new parents won’t feel threatened and be less likely to compete over food.
Position 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 noise.
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 enables you to hatch the eggs successfully on your own.
Budgies destroy their eggs intentionally and accidentally. While egg breakage will happen, meeting budgies’ care needs reduces the likelihood of this happening.