Suppose you have a female bird in your aviary; it is unquestionably natural for the bird to lay an egg. It is also not necessary that the egg will hatch, and you will have a young chick.
If your female bird lays an egg(s) despite being unexposed to a male bird, it is possible that the egg(s) will not be fertile. So, are you anxious to know whether finches lay unfertilized eggs?
Yes. Finches, too, lay unfertilized eggs. Like other birds, it is a natural, seasonal process for a female finch to lay an egg. If a female finch lays eggs during the breeding season, even in the absence of a male companion, the eggs will be infertile, and even after incubation, they will not hatch.
Gosh! That was totally unknown that female pet finch or other female birds can lay eggs without a male companion.
Let us explore more to know why female birds or your female pet finch lays unfertilized eggs?
Why Do Finches Lay Unfertilized Eggs?
Finches reproduce by internal impregnation, during which the egg fertilizes inside the female.
It happens as the male deposits his sperm in the female cloaca, which is the only entrance for sperm, and exit for eggs and waste.
The male sperm fertilizes the egg, and a hard-shelled egg develops within the female, containing fluid-filled amnion, a thin membrane that forms a closed sac around the embryo. It provides protection and a constant temperature for the embryo to grow.
Unfertilized or unwanted egg laying is a problem noted among pet birds living in captivity.
The prime reason in most cases is the pet bird is not meant for breeding, and it starts laying eggs in the absence of the male companion.
In other cases, the pet owner may be unaware of the bird’s sex and its ability to lay eggs without mating.
Okay! Now that you know the reason why female finches may lay unfertilized eggs.
The next question that may come to your mind is, will by any chance a female finch incubate an unfertile egg?
Do Finches Sit On Unfertilized Eggs?
Female finches will lay eggs even in the absence of a male finch. Although these unfertile eggs will not hatch, female finches will sit on these eggs to warm and prepare them to hatch.
As a pet breeder, if you are sure that the eggs are infertile, you may remove them immediately.
If unsure, allow your pet finch to incubate for 12-14 days for the eggs to hatch. In case there are no signs of hatching, remove them from the cage.
Alright! Now you know that your pet female bird may incubate the unfertilized eggs to warm them. Let us also look at what will happen to the unfertilized finch eggs that do not hatch.
What Happens To Unfertilized Finch Eggs?
If you already know that your pet finch has laid infertile eggs, it is better to throw them immediately. If you allow your pet bird to sit on infertile eggs, they will rot.
The longer you take to discard them, the more unpleasant smell it will discharge.
Let’s also look at what female finches do with unfertilized eggs.
- Eating: Some pet owners have witnessed female finches eating unfertilized eggs. It may look weird at first, but it clearly indicates calcium deficiency in the bird’s diet. Even after an improved diet, some birds, out of habit, continue to eat eggs.
- Tossing: It is also known that the female finch may try to push unfertilized eggs out from the nest. Many times, they even push fertilized eggs from the nest if the conditions are unsuitable for breeding.
- Incubate: Some pet owners have also observed their pet finches sit on the unfertilized egg in an attempt to warm them for hatching. Although, it is still unclear about this behavior, as they can recognize dead eggs.
Okay! Now you know what female finches may do with their unfertilized eggs. Let us also explore if there is any way to determine whether the egg laid by your pet finch is fertile or dead.
Interesting Further Reading:
- Do Finches Like Music? + Are Finches Happy When They Sing?
- Why Do Finches Puff Up? (What Are The Possible Reasons)
- How Long Do Finches Live? + How Long Do Zebra Finches Live?
How Can You Tell If Finch Egg Is Fertile?
There are several ways you can determine the fertility of the egg. Identifying the fertility helps the pet breeder know if the eggs are viable for breeding and others who want to ensure that the eggs are infertile, and no young chicks are hatching.
Let us understand how to identify whether the eggs laid by your pet finch are fertile.
- Candle an egg: It is a way to check the fertility of the egg. Remove the egg from the incubator or the female finch incubating it. Hold the egg in front of a candle or strong light to observe for any signs of fertility. A fertile egg will clearly show a blood vessel network; an embryo formed that resembles an opaque shape will be clearly visible. You may even find some movement. An infertile egg will have no networks of the blood vessels and will look fairly clear.
- Put the eggs in water: When you put your egg in water, it will either float or sink. Infertile eggs will float on the surface of the water due to the low volume inside. On the other hand, the one with an embryo formed inside will be heavier and sink to the bottom. Use warm water and be gentle while handling, as the eggs are fragile.
- Break open the egg: You can break open the egg to find fertility if you do not plan to breed. After few days of incubation, on breaking the egg, if you find a blastoderm, it indicates fertility, and if you see the blastodisc, it indicates the egg is infertile.
Let us also look at how you can ensure the eggs are infertile.
- Keep male and female finch separately: You can separate your male finch from the female finch. If they live in a separate cage and cannot mate, the eggs laid by your female finch, without any doubt, will be infertile.
- Allow them to incubate: You can allow your female pet to incubate the eggs for 12 to 14 days. The finch eggs will hatch by that time; if there is no hatching sign, remove them from the cage as these eggs are infertile.
Great! So, as a finch breeder, now you know how to identify a fertile egg. Simultaneously, if you do not want to increase the count of birds, you may follow the above guidelines to ensure the eggs laid are infertile.
Recommended Further Reading:
- Do Zebra Finches Kill Each Other? + Why Do They Bully?
- Do Zebra Finches Mate For Life? + What If It Loses Its Mate?
Points To Remember
A female finch can lay eggs even in the absence of a male finch. But these eggs are undoubtedly going to be infertile.
Sometimes, pet owners keep female finches together, and it is invariably done to discourage breeding.
Finches can recognize dead eggs. At times, they eat them to overcome calcium deficiency or toss them out of the cage or aviary.
Finch breeders can check whether the egg is alive or infertile. You may dispose of the eggs if they are infertile before they discharge a horrible odor.
Hi, I am Rex Graham, An Avid Bird lover and an Avian Expert; BirdsNews.com is here to help you learn and care about pet birds. and this blog is a journal of everything I’ve learned.
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