Can I Touch My Parakeets Eggs?

Egg Candling Budgie Eggs Infertile

Parakeets, with their vibrant colours and charming personalities, are beloved pets in many households. For those fortunate enough to witness their parakeets’ natural breeding behaviours, seeing a pair of these beautiful birds caring for their eggs is a truly awe-inspiring experience.

However, it’s essential to approach this process with care and responsibility to ensure the health and well-being of both the parakeet parents and their potential offspring.

Yes, you can touch your parakeet’s eggs, but it’s generally best to avoid unnecessary handling. Parakeets are sensitive birds, and disturbing the nest can cause stress, leading to potential issues with egg incubation and the overall breeding process.

Take extreme care if you must touch the eggs for a valid reason, such as determining fertility or assisting with a hatching problem. Wash your hands thoroughly beforehand to remove any oils or contaminants that could harm the delicate embryos. Use gentle, steady movements and avoid excessive handling.

Will Touching the Eggs Cause My Parakeet to Abandon the Nest?

It is possible, but not in all cases. Parakeets can be sensitive to disturbances during the nesting process, and handling their eggs may lead to stress and, in some cases, nest abandonment. However, the extent to which a parakeet reacts to human touch depends on various factors, including the bird’s personality, the stage of incubation, and the level of trust between the bird and its owner.

  • Early Stages of Incubation: Parakeets are more sensitive to disruptions during the initial stages of egg-laying and incubation. At this point, the hen is likelier to perceive any disturbances as potential threats to the nest and her eggs. It is crucial to avoid excessive handling or peeking into the nesting area during this period to minimize stress.
  • Mid to Late Incubation: As the incubation progresses, parakeets become more accustomed to the presence of their owner and the regular activities in their surroundings. In some cases, gentle handling of the eggs might not lead to nest abandonment. However, it is still advisable to limit disturbances to a minimum.
  • Trust and Bond with the Owner: Parakeets with a strong trust bond with their owners may be more tolerant of human interference. Hand-raised birds with regular positive interactions with their human caregivers are generally less likely to abandon their nests due to minor disturbances.

How Can I Determine if the Eggs Are Fertile or Infertile?

Whether you have a pair of budgies, parrots, or any other type of bird, determining whether the laid eggs are fertile or infertile can be an essential aspect of responsible breeding or simply understanding the reproductive health of your feathered friends.

1. Observe Breeding Behavior

If you have a male and female bird in the same enclosure and they have been mating, there’s a good chance that the eggs are fertile.

Observe the birds’ breeding behaviour, such as courtship displays, mutual preening, and mating, as these are positive signs of fertility.

2. Candling

Candling is a popular and reliable method used to determine the fertility of bird eggs. It involves shining a bright light through the shell to observe the internal contents without disturbing the embryo. Here’s how you can handle eggs:

  • Choose a dark and quiet room to enhance visibility during candling.
  • Use a small, powerful flashlight or a purpose-built candling device.
  • Hold the egg gently but firmly against the light source, covering the entire egg with your hand to block out ambient light.
  • Look for distinct structures within the egg. A fertile egg will show signs of development, such as blood vessels and a dark shadow indicating the embryo’s presence.
  • An infertile egg will appear translucent and uniform, lacking any visible structures.

3. Wait for the Incubation Period

If your bird has been diligently incubating her eggs, you can wait for the typical incubation period to pass. For most bird species, this is usually around 18 to 21 days. If the eggs remain unchanged, they are likely infertile. However, be considerate and avoid disturbing the nesting process, as some birds may abandon the nest if disturbed frequently.

4. Seek Professional Expertise

If you are unsure about candling or cannot accurately determine the fertility status, consult an avian veterinarian or an experienced bird breeder. They can offer expertise and use specialized equipment to assess the eggs’ fertility.

What Should I Do if I Accidentally Touch the Eggs?

How to Give Your Budgie a Bath


If you accidentally touch eggs, handling the situation carefully is essential to ensure food safety. First, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. This step helps remove any potential bacteria or contaminants from your hands.

Next, examine the eggs for any visible cracks or damage. If the eggs are intact, they should still be safe to consume. However, if you notice any cracks, discard those eggs immediately, as they can pose a risk of bacterial contamination.

When handling eggs in the future, it’s best to use clean utensils or gloves to prevent direct contact. Additionally, store eggs in the refrigerator at 40°F (4°C) or below to maintain their freshness and reduce the risk of bacteria growth.

Why Won’t My Budgie Sit On Her Eggs?

Witnessing the miracle of egg-laying and incubation in budgies (also known as parakeets) can be an exhilarating and heartwarming experience. The anticipation of new life emerging from delicate, speckled eggs is a captivating aspect of avian care and a testament to the beauty of nature’s wonders. However, what happens when your beloved budgie refuses to sit on her eggs?

1. Insufficient Mating Behavior

To incubate their eggs, budgies must first engage in mating behaviour with a male budgie. If your female budgie hasn’t mated with a male, she may not recognize the eggs as something to be incubated. This situation is common in single-budgie households, where no male counterpart initiates mating.

2. Young or Inexperienced Budgie

Young budgies or those experiencing their first breeding season may lack the necessary instincts and experience to handle their eggs properly. They might abandon the eggs out of confusion or uncertainty.

3. Stress and Disturbances

Budgies are sensitive creatures, and stress can lead them to neglect their eggs. Stress can arise from various factors, such as loud noises, frequent handling, sudden environmental changes, or predators (including other pets).

4. Infertile Eggs

Sometimes, budgies lay infertile eggs, which means the eggs will not hatch regardless of whether they are incubated. The female budgie may recognize this and decide not to waste energy incubating non-viable eggs.

5. Uncomfortable Nesting Conditions

Inadequate nesting conditions can deter budgies from sitting on their eggs. If the nesting box is too small, cramped, or lacks suitable materials, the female budgie may reject it.

6. Health Issues

A female budgie may abandon her eggs if unwell, as she might prioritize her survival over breeding.

What Precautions Should I Take When Touching the Eggs?

Breeding parakeets can be a rewarding experience for bird enthusiasts. However, when it comes to interacting with parakeet eggs, it’s crucial to take certain precautions to ensure the safety and well-being of both the birds and the eggs.

  • Observe from a Distance: Parakeets can be sensitive creatures, especially during their nesting period. It is essential to give the nesting parakeet parents space and privacy. Avoid touching or moving the eggs, as excessive disturbance can lead to stress and abandonment of the nest.
  • Clean Hands: If there’s a legitimate reason to handle the eggs, ensure your hands are thoroughly clean and dry. Human hands carry natural oils and dirt that can harm the eggs’ delicate shells. Washing your hands before touching the eggs will help prevent any potential contamination.
  • Use Latex Gloves (if necessary): Disposable latex gloves can be helpful in emergencies where you need to move the eggs. This extra layer will protect the eggs from direct contact with your skin and reduce the risk of transferring unwanted substances.
  • Limit Handling Time: Limit the time you spend touching the eggs. Even with clean hands, prolonged contact can cause the eggs to cool down, potentially harming the developing embryos. If you need to handle the eggs, do so quickly and gently.
  • Avoid Rotating the Eggs: It’s a common myth that rotating bird eggs helps their development. This can disturb the embryo’s positioning within the egg and interfere with normal growth. Unless you are a licensed avian veterinarian with specific instructions, refrain from rotating the eggs.
  • Keep the Eggs Warm: Temperature is crucial for developing parakeet embryos. If you accidentally find abandoned eggs or need to move them, place them in a small, warm box filled with soft nesting material. Use a heating pad set on low or a warm water bottle wrapped in a cloth to maintain the eggs’ temperature. However, avoid direct contact between the eggs and the heat source, as extreme temperatures can be fatal.
  • Seek Professional Advice: If you encounter situations where you are unsure how to handle parakeet eggs, it’s best to seek advice from an experienced avian veterinarian or a bird expert. They can guide you on the appropriate steps based on the specific circumstances.
  • Do Not Attempt Hatching on Your Own: Hatching parakeet eggs without proper knowledge and equipment can be hazardous for the eggs and the chicks. Incubation requires precise temperature and humidity control, best handled by the parent birds or experienced breeders.


One of the primary concerns when handling parakeet eggs is the risk of contamination. Our hands may carry bacteria or other pathogens that can be transferred to the eggs, leading to infections or developmental issues in the embryos. Additionally, touching the eggs too frequently or for extended periods can disrupt the incubation process, potentially affecting the survival and development of the chicks inside.

Furthermore, excessive handling of the eggs can cause stress to the parent birds, which may result in them abandoning the nest altogether. This is particularly true for first-time or inexperienced parents who may be more sensitive to disturbances during this critical period.

Written by Justin Michaels

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