we have had 2 masked lovebirds for about 15 months now. In September we bought them a nesting house, and on October 7 we found the first egg. We were very excited and saw them mating (one bird on the top of the other several times over last month). So, we had no doubt that they were male and a female. Besides, the female always takes all the spray millets we place in the cage to her nest and builds a nest with them. The male comes in and out of the cage, and the femal sits on the eggs. Everything was fine until today when on October 25 we found 8th egg in the nest and began suspecting it was very unusual. We read that the usual number of eggs is 4-6 with maximum of 7. Many people write that if there are 8 and more eggs, then both birds must be females. We were so sure that they were male and a femal but now we are just puzzled about so many eggs. How can we check if the eggs are fertile and they will hatch. We are afraid to touch the eggs as the birds may decide to abandon them after that.
Thank you for your help.
Well, if both birds happen to be female then the eggs won't hatch. But if the female laid a clutch that were "duds" perhaps she's starting on a second clutch. Do you know the incubation time for lovebird eggs? At this stage you probably can't tell which eggs are fertile and which aren't unless you have a way to candle them. We do that with Peregrine eggs at work.
I doubt the female would abandon the eggs just because you touch them. Most birds don't have a great sense of smell so touching the eggs or even the babies won't put the parents off from caring for them. If they feel threatened, that's a different story.
Today I checked the eggs and there are nine of them. If the eggs were dud's wouldn't she just have left them aside or destroyed? The eggs are altogether and she is sitting on them. We were 100% sure that these are male and a female unless the female can act like a male during mating, which I think it is not possible.
I am just worried about the birds' health. If she is laying all these eggs alone, it can be harmful for her health. We have put a caddlebone in their cage, but I don't think this is enough. Is there any way to stop laying eggs without taking out the nesting home?
I'm sorry I don't have more to offer. I know there are others on this forum that have lovebirds. I read that the female doesn't start to incubate the eggs until the 3rd egg is laid. Also the incubation time is 23 days. That means they're not due to hatch until 2 November or so.
As for dumping the non-fertile eggs, birds in the wild will do that or leave the nest and build a new one. I don't know what's normal for lovebirds.
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