Most people think of eggs as just ovoid shells filled with yummy. The only sound they make is when the shell is cracked over a cake mix or frying pan. But that’s where most people are wrong.
First of all, there is the sound my sun conure, Sunny, makes when she thinks she is going to lay an egg. It sounds like a dozen crickets on acid holding an auction. The first time I heard it, I thought she was having a seizure. She didn’t make it the first time she laid an egg, but probably because it nearly killed her to do so.
Right now, Sunny has one egg in a plastic box in the bottom of her cage. I let her keep the egg as long as she wishes. I have seen her mating with her male companion, Zazu, so there was a chance it might have hatched. But recent candling shows no growth. So I am just letting her sit on it. She keeps making that egg sound, but so far no more eggs have emerged.
Quail eggs pip when they are close to hatching. When my hens sit tight for a couple weeks, I start to listen for that sound. Chicks in the shell have a sweet sound that warms my heart. The more frequent the pips, the closer to hatching they are and the more active.
Knowing when to expect quails to hatch is very important as they will be killed by the male if not gathered quickly. In some of my cages, they can walk through the wires where my cat waits patiently for her snacks. Also, button quail moms are the worst. They don’t usually chase the babies away but they don’t make sure all the littles are snug under the protective adult feathers. Until they are 3 days old or so, baby buttons can’t regulate their own body temperatures. So gathering them and putting them in a brooder with a heat source is key to their success.
Cockatiels are very protective of eggs and chicks. Hen or cock, they will spread their wings and fluff up to look bigger. They hiss and sway side to side. Reach in a hand to the nest box and you are likely to get bit. Luckily, they will let you can count eggs early on and will both leave the nest to feed when the chicks are a few days old. It’s not easy to keep up with voracious baby bird appetites.
Thanks for reading, I’ll be back next Sunday.