sitting on eggs

Do birds know when to quit trying to incubate eggs?  In other words, when the normal incubation period is long past it's average time, does the bird know that the eggs are not going to hatch and quit sitting them or will they just continue to sit and try?

Yes, even females without mates will lay eggs and brood them and they do that as long as the natural incubation time for their eggs would  be to hatching.  If no young emerge at the end of the natural incubation time they will get off the eggs and ignore them.  This is the time when eggs need to be removed.  Sibylle


Wed, 04/01/2015 - 20:23 Permalink

What species of birds are they?


There is no "absolute" hatching day, only a good idea as to when chicks may emerge based on the species.  The incubation period is affected by temperatures (the cooler the ambient temperatures are, the longer the incubation will take; warmer temperatures will speed incubation  up).   So if the estimated incubation for a species is 23 - 26 days; during colder periods it may take 26 days; when it is warm 26 days. The average might be 24/25.


The incubation time is also affected by the parents dedication to brooding. If they get off the eggs a lot, the eggs will cool down - which will slow down the development of the chicks (or even potentially kill them, if they go below a certain temperature).


Thu, 04/02/2015 - 17:04 Permalink

Have you candled the eggs yet?


That is important to assess fertility and status.  Sometimes we have to help with a hatch if a chick has problems getting out (which might be the case if the humidity levels are too low).   Therefore, it is important to keep on top of that.  Days before hatching is expected, it is particularly important for birds to have access to bathing dishes.   They will wet down their feathers and brood their eggs with a damp plumage; this will increase humidity levels inside the egg and facilitate hatching.


Thu, 04/02/2015 - 19:43 Permalink

My lovebird laid four eggs and began sitting tight after the third egg. 23 days after the first egg I found an empty egg in the seed bowl with the top broken off. All evidence of the other eggs vanished. Do lovebirds consume their own eggs?
Sat, 05/14/2016 - 23:36 Permalink

Yes, some are not good breeders and will consume their own eggs. This typically happens with inexperienced birds / birds that have been handraised by humans. They didn't have the benefit of watching their own parents and, as they get older, watch other flock members incubate eggs and raise their young. The sad thing is that once they have gotten the taste of their own eggs, this habit may be difficult to break and they may not be suitable as breeders.
Sun, 05/15/2016 - 10:48 Permalink

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