A Good Egg displayed at 40% of viewport width
May 2019 by V. R. Duin

LAY AN EGG

An airborne engine screamed and roared
as over the fence that speedboat soared.
Dolly squawked and dove under her stool
as that errant boat landed in the pool.

To lay an egg or build a nest egg it helps to know a good egg from a bad egg, how birds make an egg and signs of an egg-laying hen.

Shop Guy? Male birds are known as cocks. Game and domesticated males, used for meat and eggs, may be given other specialized names, such as drake, gander, tom, gobbler or rooster. All female birds are known as hens.


Making an Entrance? Birds are not the only animals to hatch from eggs. Monotreme mammalian species and most reptiles, amphibians, crustaceans, fish and insects lay eggs. The young are not born live.


Acid Wash?Beaked monotremes likely evolved from birds. Hind webbed limbs of male duck-billed platypuses have venomous spurs. Echidnas, or spiny anteaters, sport quills, hair and hind venomous organs with weak toxin.


Dreamscapes? To lay an egg also means to make a bad performance. This act may not be brought to immediate attention. Like the bad omen of a bird flying into a house, bad actions may continue to haunt an individual.

Do Birds Build a Nest Egg?

Flight to Remember? Some parents push reluctant chicks out of the nest to send them on their way. Birds do not build a nest egg of assets for future purposes. Their production is expected to gain independence and fly away.


Pastel Play? Avian species cannot employ locks or security devices. They can band together to protect their flock and nesting areas. Parrot parents take turns sitting on eggs. The chicks hatch in about 20 to 30 days.


Net Worth? Parrots practice restraint before launching attacks. The cost to life may not be worth the effort. Parrots are responsible for their offspring for at least one year. Some chicks take four years to reach maturity.


Basic Instinct? Outside reactions or self-awareness may guide change. Why sit on eggs that cannot hatch? Why try to incubate unfertilized eggs of other hens? Why lay eggs in nests of other species? Birds do all of the above.


Divine Intervention? Flocks are vulnerable to predators. To build a nest egg takes precaution, effort, time management and diligence, all of which are attributed to nesting birds. Human intervention may restore an injured flock.


Wild Country? Flocks may resettle in unspoiled territories. It is difficult to move forward with repeated setbacks. This may be why humans put effort into holding onto property of value. Birds live and work in the present.

Know a Good Egg from a Bad Egg?

Hot Seat? There can be a bad egg. Bad eggs can result from illness, genetics, pollution and internal or external forces. This also defines unwelcome intruders in nests, homes, offices, restaurants, stores or vehicles.


Peak Form? Birds can suffer deadly egg binding. Obesity, malnutrition, stress or small body size may result in egg failure to exit the reproductive tract. Massages, warm baths, lubricants or calcium may help eggs pass.


Bad Break? If eggs break in the oviduct, Resulting blockages can lead to bacterial infections in the bloodstream. Untreated, the toxins cause sepsis, a deadly inability to fight progression of illness, ending in organ malfunctions.


Fresh Takes? Birds have a poor sense of smell. They cannot detect scents left by humans on nests, babies or eggs. They do not recognize a good egg from a bad egg. Artificial or natural eggs encourage hens to stay in place.


Higher Ground? Eggs are associated with new beginnings and spring. Domestic and wild fowl lay fertile and infertile eggs. Infertile eggs will not hatch. Parrots typically lay from two to eight fertile eggs each nesting season.


Soapbox? Poultry breeders test for fertilized eggs. They confirm eggs are good and fresh to eat. Someone considered a bad egg may perpetually relive the experience or performance resulting in their good-for-nothing status.

How Birds Make an Egg

Uniform Look? Males and females have a cloaca for sperm or eggs, urine and feces. Males release sperm into the female cloaca for egg fertilization. Bird eggs are fertilized internally. Unfertilized eggs are avian menstruation.


Beauty Awakens? Birds are Oviparous, meaning they lay eggs. Embryonic development happens within the egg. It hatches outside the parent. Not all eggs are incubated. Many eggs hatch without any adult involvement.


High Tide? External fertilization takes place in water. It occurs when male sperm connects with female eggs outside adult bodies. Most fish and all crustaceans, squid, mollusks, frogs and toads “spawn” to reproduce.


Beach Day? In Ovoviviparous species, egg embryos remain within a parent. Stingray, manta, snake and insect eggs develop inside females. Seahorse males incubate eggs in pouches until they hatch for live delivery.


Current Affair? Parrots mate for life. Breeding seasons vary. Care for young is consistent. Nestlings are too young to develop flight wings. Fledglings receive continuing care while practicing flight at about 4 months of age.


Forward Thinking? Chicks require close care during the first two weeks. They are blind during this time. Adult avian species identify predators. They know when to be quiet for danger avoidance and when to squawk in warning.

Signs of an Egg-Laying Hen

In Full Bloom? A hen ready to lay an egg will have a swollen abdomen. She will pick a quiet spot, then prepare it by shredding materials or digging out obstructions. She will stay there, without eating, for as long as it takes.


Finest Hour? As the egg exits the vent in the cloaca, her tail may wiggle back and forth. She may strain. The narrow end of the egg must exit first, or it may get bound. This can be life-threatening for the mother and the egg.


Manual Override? Egg laying is very hard on birds. Exotic bird breeders discourage breeding behavior to stop it. Removal of stimulating toys, other birds and nesting areas may work. Hormone injections may be required.


Dream Team? Parrots only lay eggs with mates in the wild. Hilary S. Stern, DVM, For the Birds, discusses Discouraging Breeding Behavior in Pet Birds in depth how egg laying can be prevented to reduce the health risks.


Stripe Back? Birds are hormonal and territorial. They lash out to protect nests. These may be the world's most expensive culinary ingredient. Parrot nests are not harvested for the bird's nest soup market.


Go with the Flow? Birds faced with danger become anxious. Anxiety over nests in trees, tunnels or rock crevices may lead to acquisition of skills or avoidance of errors. Learning also comes with eating expired eggs.


Shore Leave? Learning about eggs laid by others can be fun. This is especially true when the outcomes are amusing. The world welcomes people, animals and things that are pleasant, agreeable and trustworthy.


Behind the Music? In the video below of V. R. Duin's “grand chicks”, provided by her daughter, hens sing to announce the arrival of eggs. Chickens tend to remain chatty throughout the incubation period. (11 seconds)


EGG SONG