If you happen to see a bird egg in the wild, the first instinct is to assume that it is abandoned and needs to be rescued and hatch at home. However, the assumption might be wrong as the eggs without the parent do not mean that they are already abandoned. Some parents are just looking for food and will possibly return in due time. However, there is also a possibility that these eggs are abandoned if predators kill the parent bird or the nest is infested with insects.
If you are sure that the bird eggs are indeed abandoned, then learning how to hatch a bird egg must be learned from your end. This action is to help you with the knowledge to rescue abandoned bird eggs and help them continue with the life cycle. However, please be reminded that it is illegal to possess bird eggs under the migratory bird act without a permit because some people collect birds’ eggs illegally.
Caring for an Unhatched Bird Egg
If you have found an unhatched bird egg, the practical thing that you can do is contact a local wildlife organization in your area. I feel that they are more capable and equipped to take care of the egg with all the knowledge and experience they have. However, for the sake of information, if you really know the things to do to hatch a bird egg on your own, just make sure first that the egg is indeed abandoned in the wild before taking the drastic action to bring it to your home and personally take care of it.
Once you are sure that the eggs are indeed abandoned, you need to take care of them and handle them cautiously. The first thing is to keep your hands clean before touching them. It will be an excellent idea to wash your hands before picking the eggs from the ground. Never attempt to wash or rinse the egg with water as it might damage the egg’s protective layer and might affect its development.
The best action is to have an incubator to keep the eggs the exact temperature it needs to hatch. The precise temperature is around 100℉ and should be maintained at all times inside to give a chance for the egg to hatch. The need to rotate the eggs at regular intervals is also needed at least five times a day for the whole day. The time frame for an egg to hatch is around 14 days. However, it can be a challenge if you do not have an incubator, but hatching the egg can also be done without the said equipment.
How to Hatch a Bird Egg Without an Incubator
The incubator helps in hatching the bird egg by providing the correct temperatures, evenly heating the surroundings, and keeping it slightly humid. The absence of this uniform heat will have an impact on the ability of the egg to hatch and may contribute to the failure of the bird to survive inside the egg. If you do not have an incubator in your home, you can actually emulate an incubator’s effects and still give the egg a chance to hatch.
What You Will Need:
- Microwave Oven
- Ceramic Bowl
- Hand Towel
- Heat Lamp
The first step is to put water into the bowl while microwaving it medium heat for a few minutes. After that, you can now remove the water and make it empty. This action aims to have the ceramic bowl at an ideal temperature for the bird eggs.
Make the hand towel slightly wet with warm water. The next thing to do is to wrap the egg in the towel while moving the egg into the ceramic bowl. Put it carefully to avoid the egg from being shaken.
After that, you will need to place the ceramic bowl from six to 12 inches beneath the heat lamp, depending on its size and height. Then, you will need to turn the lamp on, which means only one side of the egg will be warm. However, the heat coming from the towel and the bowl should also help equalize the heat, while the lamp will help keep the heat distributed equally to the egg.
You will need to flip the egg every 6 to 8 hours. But you will need to gently and slowly rotate the egg and expose the egg’s other side to expose it to the lamp. Maintaining it can be challenging, but it must be dome for the heat to be evenly distributed to the eggs. To keep the humidity in check all the time, you can also put water from time to time.
Learning how to hatch a bird egg is excellent knowledge for you, but you must be aware that there are disadvantages to doing it. For one, it is illegal to keep an egg in your home, as stated by the Migratory Bird Act. Also, there is a low probability that the bird will hatch under your care because there is still a big difference if the egg hatches naturally to having it hatch under your care.
Should the eggs will successfully be hatched, then the difficult challenge of taking care of the hatchlings will be your next problem. You will need to feed the young bird every five to fifteen minutes for the whole day. If they are not fed regularly, expect the birds to be underdeveloped as they grow. Also, only the bird can teach their young to survive in the wild such as looking for food, finding water, and defending themselves from predators.
So, if you release them in the wild, they might not survive for long. Otherwise, give the young bird to a licensed rehabber to give them the highest chance to survive and have them live to the fullest.