First of all, budgies do not get pregnant. They reproduce by laying eggs. The term “pregnant” describes the gestation period in which the budgie carries the egg inside of it.
So, is there anything you can do if a budgie dies while pregnant? Unfortunately, no, there is nothing that you can do. There is no embryonic development that occurs when the eggs are in the budgie, so even if we were to save the eggs, they would not be viable.
Like any pregnant organism, budgies can also have complications when “pregnant.” These complications are fatal and could lead to death. This article will look at how to tell your budgie is pregnant and how to care for your budgie when pregnant, among other things.
Is There Anything You Can Do For A Pregnant Dead Budgie?
No, there is nothing you can do. You can only bury the dead bird. Female budgies lay eggs whether a male budgie is around or not. If the budgie lays eggs without mating with a male budgie, then the eggs will be unfertilized and will not hatch into chicks.
However, if mating occurs, fertilization happens, and the eggs are viable to become chicks. When a budgie dies pregnant, the egg formation stops, and the eggs can are no longer feasible.
Complications such as egg-binding budgie can lead to the death of your pet birds while they are pregnant. Budgies are prone to egg binding due to their small nature and other reasons such as stress, lack of calcium, and obesity.
Prevention is better than cure, right? So how do you know that your budgie is pregnant?
Signs Of A Pregnant Budgie
The surest way of knowing if your budgie is pregnant is when you see your budgies mating. Budgies will mate several times, and the female budgie will eventually lay fertilized eggs. The gestation period takes about 30 hours.
However, as I previously stated, a female budgie may lay eggs even without the presence of a male budgie. Pregnant budgies, also called gravid, show no visual notice that they are pregnant.
Nevertheless, there are some signs or behaviors you can look for that will tell you that your budgie is about to lay an egg. Some pregnancy signs are similar to those of infected birds. So, differentiating whether the budgie is sick or pregnant is challenging.
Signs that your budgerigar is pregnant include;
Budgies will mate, and after 28-30 hours, the female budgie will lay fertilized eggs. The budgie lays 4-8 eggs and then stops to lay on them until they hatch into young ones.
Mating is the only way a budgie will lay fertilized eggs.
Change In Color Of The Cere
Cere is the area above a female budgie’s beak where its nostrils are found. This area is usually light blue or off-white. When the female budgie is ready to breed, the cere becomes brown. This is an indication that the female budgie is prepared to become gravid.
Less But Larger Poop
This is one of the main signs, but it requires you to pay close attention. Normally, budgies poop every 15-20 minutes, but when pregnant, they poop less often. Why? Because as the egg develops, it takes up more space in the abdomen.
The budgie has only one vent through which both poop and the egg pass through, so when the budgie is gravid, it will poop less often, and the poop will be enormous because of accumulating in the cloaca.
You may notice the poop is a bit discolored because the budgie intakes more protein and calcium to help form the egg. However, large discolored poop could be a sign of illness, so if it continues consistently even after the budgie lays its eggs, contact a veterinarian.
Spend A Lot Of Time Near The Nesting Box
If you have provided your budgie with a nesting box and spend most of its time around the area, it is most likely that the budgie is pregnant. Budgies want a safe soft space for their eggs to hatch in.
You may notice the budgie tearing paper or picking up feathers and taking them to the nesting box as bedding. The budgie also becomes overly protective over its nesting box and isolates itself from the other budgies.
The budgie might look a little fatter than usual when it is gravid. Many budgie owners miss it because it lasts only a day or two. Also, measuring it is the only way to know that the budgie has gained weight.
When your female is about to lay eggs, you might notice that its abdomen grows a bit. You can only see this if you are keen enough.
A brood patch is a featherless spot that appears near the egg-laying vent. This alone might not be a sign of pregnancy, but its shows that your female budgie is ready to mate.
Change In Behavior
The female budgie may start being aggressive towards you and other budgies. So you should leave the budgie during its breeding period.
You may notice that your budgie spends much of its time on the bottom of the cage rather than perching.
Another sign is showing more affection to her mate. You may notice that the budgies spend their time grooming and regurgitating into each other’s mouths.
How Long Are Budgies Pregnant?
Budgies are pregnant for 28-30 hours, after which they have an egg. They lay a single egg at a time until there are 4-8 eggs in the nest. The female budgie then lays on the eggs for 18 days until they hatch into chicks.
If your female lays unfertilized eggs, wait for it to lose interest in them and throw them away.
Also read: My Budgie Died Overnight
What Is Egg-Binding?
Egg binding, also called dystocia, occurs when a female budgie cannot lay an egg. The egg does not pass through the reproductive system in time, making it stuck in the budgie’s vent. Egg binding is fatal, and if not attended to, it can lead to death.
Budgies are often egg-bound because of their diminutive nature and can only be egg-bound for 24 hours. The common cause of egg binding is lack of calcium, vitamins, obesity, stress, exercise, and dehydration.
Signs of egg binding include;
- Swollen abdomen; because the egg is stuck in the vulva.
- Inability to eat.
- Vocal pain when trying to lay the egg.
- Inability to pass stool.
Egg binding is dangerous because it can damage the budgie’s kidneys due to the pressure from the stuck egg. It could also cause the budgie to have a damaged cloaca, making it unable to lay eggs in the future.
If the budgie is not taken to a vet promptly, it will die.
How Can You Prevent Egg-Binding?
Better to be safe than sorry, so how do you prevent your little feathered friend from becoming egg-bound?
- Feed your budgie a balanced diet of vitamins, calcium, and mineral supplements. Calcium strengthens the budgie’s egg-laying vent and ensures proper contractions and expansion.
- Ensure your budgie maintains a healthy weight by giving it daily exercises.
- Provide your budgie with a stress-free environment, especially when it is breeding. Stress can make a budgie refuse to lay the egg because it does not think the environment is safe.
- Avoid inbreeding; inbreeding could cause congenital issues that will make the budgie unable to lay the egg.
- To avoid unfertilized eggs, reduce the amount of light for the budgies. Female budgies will breed when exposed to 12 hours a day, so if you reduce these hours, the budgie is unlikely to lay any eggs.
- Some budgies get egg-bound because of excessive laying of eggs, so if that’s the case with your budgie, ensure you separate the male and female budgies in the cage.
Here are some frequently asked questions.
You can not treat an egg-bound budgie; the only thing you can do is make it easier for your budgie to endure the process before getting it to a vet. Here’s what you can do;
1. You can provide your budgie with calcium supplements
2. Ensure there is an ambient room temperature
3. Lubricate the budgie’s vent with cooking oil.
Many signs of pregnancy are similar to symptoms of illness. The primary way to know the difference between pregnancy and sickness is that signs of the disease last longer. Budgies are only gravid for 30 hours, so if the symptoms persist, the budgie is likely to be sick.
Related: Do Budgies Need to be in Pairs?
So, is there anything you can do if your pregnant budgie dies? No, the only thing to do is to prevent your budgie from dying in the first place. Look for signs of pregnancy and if the budgie is gravid, ensure you take care of it well.
Ensure you take egg-bound budgies to a veterinarian before it is too late. I hope you now know what to do to prevent the death of a pregnant budgie if it is already dead; sorry for your loss.