It’s an exciting time for a bird owner when its pet begins laying eggs. The prospect of little baby birds filling the nest is something to look forward to. Most budgies will lay their eggs in a cozy nest. But what does it mean if your budgie lays its eggs on the bottom of the cage?
There can be many reasons that a budgie might lay eggs on the bottom of the cage. Several of them have to do with her living environment. There could be a problem with the amount of space the bird has in the cage. It needs to be large enough that the female and her mate have room to be together but can seek out privacy when they want it.
The temperature of the room might not be comfortable for the budgie. A budgie only has a light layer of feathers to protect it from cold temperatures.
The bird might also feel anxious or fearful about conditions where it lives. The environment might be so loud it spooks the bird and it is unable to get comfortable. Budgie owners will usually install a nesting box in the cage so that the bird has a cozy spot to lay eggs and sit on them when she is ready.
But a first-time mother bird might not know she is supposed to use a nesting box and may deposit her eggs on the floor. The budgie might also be trying to create her own nest using materials that line the cage and may stay there to lay her eggs.
A mother bird might throw her own eggs out the nesting box and onto the cage floor if she suspects that the egg is damaged or infertile. Another bird in the same cage might toss eggs out of the nesting box to make room for herself or her own eggs.
There also might be an underlying health condition that has changed the budgie’s normal behavior. If your budgie shows outward signs of distress, you may need to consult an avian veterinarian.
What are Budgies?
Budgerigars, also known as Budgies or Parakeets, are the most popular pet birds in the world. They are members of the parrot family and come in a variety of shades of bright blue, green, and yellow as well as white. Budgies are native to Australia and still live in the wild there.
Budgies are social creatures that are playful and they love to eat seeds and plants. Budgies are talkative and like to chat and whistle. They are capable of developing very large vocabularies.
Some pet owners will pair budgies in a cage in the hopes that they will mate. Give the pair time to get used to sharing a living space and they will bond with each other before mating.
If you have a pair of budgies to breed, they should be in a cage that is at least 20 inches x 20 inches x 20 inches. Budgies need enough space to lay their eggs. The cage should also have its own nesting box.
The box should be clean and the mother bird should have time to get used to it before she lays her eggs. Breeders usually use wooden boxes that are 12 x 12 inches and have an indentation to old the eggs in place. These boxes are filled with soft nesting material.
Unscented pine shavings and torn pieces of paper are two common kinds of nesting box materials. Once the baby birds are born, the mother will use the nesting filler to keep the chicks warm and dry.
Sometimes the mother bird will begin preparing her own nest by moving to the floor of the cage and shredding any available paper. She might wait there for several days while she is laying eggs. Budgies lay an egg every other day or so. Usually, there is a total of four to six eggs.
To encourage your budgie to be comfortable in her cage and use her nesting box for her eggs, set her up in an ideal environment.
Conditions in the Room
Pay attention to the conditions inside the room where you have placed the budgie’s cage to make sure they are optimal for your pet’s health and comfort.
The budgie that lives in your home is probably not near its native tropical weather zone. It is also tiny and has feathers and not fur. That means it is easy for your bird to get too cold.
The optimal room temperature for a budgie is 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep the cage away from windows that may allow cold drafts to get inside. When the heat is running in the home the lack of humidity in the air can dry out budgie skin and lungs just like it does in humans.
It is possible to add a heated perch or a bird warmer that attaches to the cage. A fleece cage cover at night may help keep the bird warmer.
A bird that is suffering from the cold may be lethargic and stay close to the bottom of the cage. It may lose its appetite or have difficulty breathing. A budgie in distress from the cold should be checked out by a veterinarian.
Noise in the Home
Some budgies are sensitive to the noises in their environment. They might be affected by continuous noise like a television with the volume up high.
They may also be affected by sporadic loud noises like a doorbell or a vacuum. A budgie that is stressed by noise may sit on the bottom of the cage instead of on a perch.
It might also pluck its own feathers. Some budgies respond to noise by going silent while others will chatter incessantly.
If your budgie show signs of stress from noise, try moving the cage to a quieter spot or adding a cage cover that muffles sounds.
Budgies like the option of privacy. Sometimes they want to get away from other birds in the cage and maybe their humans, too.
A bird that is stressed by too much interaction might lay her eggs on the floor of the cage while searching for her own spot.
A young budgie laying eggs for the first time might leave them on the floor of the cage instead of depositing them into her nesting box.
If you move the eggs into the box she will learn that’s where they go and won’t lay them anywhere else in the cage. Be sure to wear gloves when you handle the eggs so that the mother doesn’t reject them later because they have a different scent.
Falling from a Perch
A budgie egg may wind up on the floor of the cage because the bird was sitting on a perch and the egg simply fell to the bottom. This is especially common in young birds that don’t have other egg-laying experience.
Thrown from the Nest
Sometimes a budgie will intentionally throw an egg out of the nest and onto the floor of the cage. The bird may klnow that there is a problem with that particular egg being infertile or damaged.
The egg may have been handled by a human and the budgie knows that her scent is no longer on the egg. A hen that is reacting to environmental stress may also throw her eggs out of the nest and onto the floor of the cage.
And sometimes a bird in the same cage will throw another mother’s eggs out of the nest to make room for herself. Animal experts say it isn’t a sign of aggression.
The other mother may be making room to lay her own eggs or she just might be looking for a warm place to sleep.
If your budgie is not a novice mother and there are no apparent signs she is upset by her environment, it could be a health concern that is influencing her behavior. Have an avian veterinarian examine her to rule out any health problems.