There are many different causes of death of embryos in the egg.
- If embryos of
our cage birds were not so small, we could examine them for
possible causes of death.
are often present.
impairment of growth may be due to deficiencies in the yolk
which nourishes the embryo
improper diet/nourishment in hen when eggs being formed.
- or to
- Certain beak deformities have been found to be
- A good
reason to keep Breeding records!
- The embryo
may be in the wrong position within the egg.
- Cooling of
eggs is less often the cause of D.I.S. than once thought.
embryos can stand quite a bit of cooling before being injured.
around of eggs by young of the previous clutch is a common
cause for the failure of eggs to hatch.
- Too much
moisture in the air prevents the egg from "breathing"
- However - An
atmosphere which is too dry will dry out the egg and toughen
within the shell and the hatching chick will not be able to
pierce it with it's "Egg Tooth".
- The homeland
of our budgies, Australia, is a dry continent and it is perhaps
not surprising that these birds
do not prosper in an atmosphere
which is too humid.
- If the hen
feels the eggs need moistening, she will dampen her breast
feathers on wet greens if available in her cage or in
the water dish/bath.
If the embryos were fully developed when you
opened the eggs, the hen isn't having trouble incubating.
fact, if the embryos develop at all, the hen isn't having
incubation problem would be if the hen didn't sit on her eggs.
if she let them cool down too much while she is outside the nest
for too long,
feeding and doing her business etc.
One problem may arise if they hen has a lot of eggs and maybe an
odd one will be pushed out from underneath her and get chilled
and therefore die. (D.I.S.)
if the base of the Nestbox is too big/spacious for the breed
of bird using it
- the eggs may become scattered.
The neater-sized the base of the Nest box the better the hen
also the Deeper down she is the more secure she feels.
the nest is too spacious, light and not deep enough the hen may
not feel secure and not sit
as tightly on her eggs, as she should.
if there is nothing on the base of the Nest box to stop the eggs
rolling around i.e. substrate
("Easibed" - a fine wood chip, shavings, peat etc.)
Don't use too much bedding tho., cos then the eggs/chicks can
get separated semi-buried/buried
and once again become chilled.
If the chicks
gets separated from the hen, it can die 'cos the hen isn't feeding
it and/or it gets chilled
esp. if the weather is on the cold-side.
the chick gets
chilled then it's metabolism slows right down
it doesn't beg for food
nor is it able to digest it's food out of it's crop, cos the
digestive tract has slowed right down too.
So, it slowly dies from hypothermia.
bases should have a concave shape (like a saucer) to help
prevent the above problems with the eggs rolling away from
under the hen.
shape helps to keep all the eggs together and under the hen.
very warm weather the hens poss will "sweat" and not sit tightly
enough on their eggs
very cold weather the hens may poss. sit too tight
Inexperienced first-time young hens may stand on the chicks or
sit either too tightly or sporadically allowing the chicks/eggs
Both situations can be detrimental to the development of the
Other Hens may go into the Nest and upset the sitting hen and
disturb her incubation.
Chicks from previous rounds may also go back in the nest while
the mother is sitting a new clutch
and once again disrupt the sitting regime or may scatter the
Eggs are rolled or moved round "violently" or quickly in their
early stages of development
this can damage or kill the embryo.
the hen is disturbed while she is sitting she may panic and
damage the eggs in her haste to exit the Nestbox - Below are
some things that may disturb her:
Night Frights can be responsible.
Human interference - always speak before approaching Aviaries to
warn your birds u r coming.
Cats (esp. on Aviary roof) can frighten the hen out of the nest
Sparrow Haws and other "Raptors" around the Aviary can cause the
hen to come off the nest in a panic and scatter her eggs.
Alarm calls of other birds may panic the hen.
Human going into the Nestbox to "check how things are going" may
upset the hen and if she comes off the nest she may take some
time before she feels secure enough to go back in and in this
time the eggs/chicks may chill.
Other birds, esp. other Hens looking for a Nestbox for
themselves, may chase the hen out.
you breed in cages you shouldn't have as many problems with
interference from other birds but a lot of birds are bred
There are many reasons babies do not hatch/die in their shell and
why eggs are not fertile.
wouldn't always attribute these problems to the hen.
eggs can become contaminated and the embryos die
egg shells are
porous and bacteria/virus, etc., can seep inside...
them with your bare hands, unless you have washed thoroughly
Don't over-calcify the Hen,
prior to laying the eggs, with a
Calcium supplement (liquid or powder)
You can end up
with shells that are too thick for the chick to chip its way
You can also
end up with Hens that have a prolapse - trying to lay the
Egg-binding can be a problem as the egg is too
this is a
specific problem with Budgies
NEVER give Budgies extra Calcium supplements i.e. liquid or powdered calcium.
is ample - they MUST have IODINE blocks tho.
GOOD REASON for following supplementation directions on
Over-supplementation of any product can often cause more
problems than you are trying to prevent.
Calcification can be just as bad:
then the egg can be laid with soft shell which is no good
the egg can be very porous which allows it to lose weight too
allow bacteria in
it can create egg-binding
A very good, high protein diet should be provided prior to
laying the eggs to help produce the healthiest
Don't forget once
the eggs have been laid to just provide a basic seed and water
The Hen goes into a semi-hibernation state (broody) to allow her
to incubate her eggs
She therefore doesn't need anything more than a maintenance
The protein levels are only upped again when the chicks are due
become exhausted during the 24-48 hour hatching process and
die trying to hatch out.
when the human has, sometimes, to step in and help them out.
sometimes aren't healthy enough and don't develop
the embryos looked fully formed but actually had some
type of problem you can't see/identify.
shell is too hard or covered in hard droppings or
hardened dirt off the hens' feet.
You may have over-supplemented the hen b4 she laid the eggs esp. over use of Calcium supplements.
I usually give a vitamin and mineral supplement with extra protein while the hen is "brewing" her eggs but rarely a calcium supplement.
If your hen is fit and healthy then she shouldn't need extra calcium
However, AFTER the hen has laid her eggs, I do give calcium supplements (following the directions
on the tub carefully) to replenish the calcium that creating eggs have taken out of the hen's system.
If you really
want to know what is going on, you should take the
un-hatched eggs to an Avian vet for evaluation
course, only after you are
absolutely sure the hatch
date is passed).
lot of birds don't start to incubate until their 3rd or
4th egg is laid
they don't start to incubate until the full clutch is laid
make sure you take this into account before you
presume the worst!!
be over a week over due - this is where knowing your
birds or breed of bird helps.
at least 10-14days passed the "due" date you think it
should be b4 you break open an egg.
With parrots - not every egg that is laid
Parrots and birds in general have a high mortality rate...this
is why they lay multiple eggs at a time.
There's just so many reasons eggs don't hatch and so many
variables that play into the equation.
recommend you consult with an avian veterinarian for more
specific, expert advice relating to each
Eggs which show caked droppings of the birds on the shell will
is better not to wash them since the shell may break,
the washing may remove a natural coating on the shell which
prevents germs from entering the egg.
times, however, the caked droppings are so thick that the young
bird inside cannot break the shell with its egg-tooth.
When the eggs are so heavily coated with droppings that the
pores are sealed and bacteria can enter
the young bird may die long before hatching.
Gentle washing in lukewarm water may be tried,
but it is better to check on care and feeding of the parents to
find the cause for the sticky droppings.