A lovebird is one of the species of parrots that comes in a smaller size. They are kept in houses as companion pets. As their name suggests, lovebirds are famous for forming a loving and close bond with their partner.
These birds come in pairs and do not enjoy interacting with people. But if you have only one lovebird for some reason, the bird will need plenty of toys and social interaction.
One of the distinctive characteristics of a lovebird is that they mostly break their eggs. This is somewhat mysterious behavior to understand for people who like to keep these birds as pets. Let’s shed some light on this and find out more.
What causes love birds to break their eggs?
It could be baffling to see the small, loving parrots destroy their own eggs. The eggs could be destroyed by either the mother or the father. The parents could break eggs right after the mother lays them or could wait a few days before destroying them. They usually break eggs by one of the following ways:
- Stomp or walk over the laid eggs
- Destroy and eat the contents of the eggs
- Throw the eggs out of the nest
- Accidental breakage of eggs
Although it is a confusing and tricky concept, there are a few common reasons why love birds break their eggs.
Stress, Anxiety, or Fear
Love birds may destroy eggs due to some external stimulus that causes them fear, anxiety, or any form of stress. The stimulus could be anything such as:
- Loud, sudden noises or sounds may be cause of fear
- Bright, flashing lights flooding the area around love birds
- Change in surrounding environment like adding or moving furniture
- New pets in the house like other parrots
- Sudden crowd of people like when you have guests over
- Other threatening creatures like cockroaches or mice
These sudden changes make the parents take the drastic step of destroying their eggs. It is also that love bird parents prioritize their own security over the eggs and so if they feel that having eggs around is a cause of danger, they are likely to break them. This preference is for several reasons.
One being that if the parents are fine, they can always lay more eggs. Eggs usually attract other preys and so destroying them keeps the attention away. Also, it’s hard to take care of the eggs first and then the newborn baby. The parents might not feel like taking up the responsibility.
All parrot species choose their nests carefully but pet parrots don’t have this choice. If you haven’t built a safe nest for the birds to lay eggs, chances are the parents will figure out that the eggs are not in a secure place and destroy them.
There are certain essentials for providing an adequate nesting space. The nest should be at a higher place from the ground, have a deep cavity of about 1.5 to 3 feet deep, and there should be hole for the parents to enter and leave from. Make sure to set up a proper place in the corner of the nest with all the prerequisites to provide a secure place for laying eggs.
Lack of entertainment channels
When you set up a bird cage, filling it with proper toys and stuff to keep the birds entertained should be on the priority list. This is because most birds will display aggressive or unusual behavior if they are bored.
Similar is the case for love birds. They may choose to destroy their eggs simply for the lack of things to do around the cage. If there is no source of entertainment or socialization, things get dull and parents may break their eggs for entertainment.
Love birds are active creatures that tend to jump around, peck, and tear or gnaw at things around the cage. If they don’t have any other channel, they may start to peck at, gnaw, or throw around their eggs which will destroy them.
Love birds don’t always break them intentionally. Sometimes the eggs break accidentally. The parents could break them by chance in a number of ways:
- Cleaning the eggs too energetically
- Bump them while rotating them
- Accidental breakage while sitting over the eggs
- Breaking them by chance while trying to protect them
Do they break their eggs if we touch them?
There is a high chance that the lovebirds will break their eggs if you touch them. This is not because of human scent as some suggest. The mother could also proceed to break her eggs if she sees you near or around the nest. She may get scared and destroy them in stress.
It is a complete myth that the baby bird or eggs touched by humans will be abandoned by the parents. There is no lingering human scent that will force the parents to do so. It is solely fear, anxiety, and the possibility of contamination that leads the parents to break eggs if humans touch them.
How to stop lovebirds from breaking eggs and hatch them?
Several methods could be appointed to prevent or discourage parent lovebirds from breaking the eggs.
Avoid creating any sudden noises or movements especially around the nest or the cage. Don’t go too near them when the eggs have been laid so as not to frighten the mother. Minimize sudden and overt stimulations and disturbances around the nest.
Make sure there are no pets or insects to scare the birds. Keep the area around the nest clean and free of any roaches or if you have other pets, keep them away from the birdcage.
Fake eggs and sufficient entertainment
To prevent the lovebirds from breaking their eggs due to boredom, make sure to provide plenty of entertainment in the cage. You can hang toys, feed them through creative ways, and even put fake eggs around. These fake eggs have soft shells and if the parents are feeling bored, they could push around the fake ones.
In artificial incubation, eggs are provided controlled environments outside the nest which allows them to hatch. But it is not an easy process and should be carried out by an expert.
Lovebirds are loving creatures but they need space, calmness, and entertainment to give birth. Eggs or no eggs, these birds make for very chirpy companions.
Hope you found this article helpful. Share it with other bird enthusiasts and comment if you have more tips.