A typical lovebird egg clutch is between four and six eggs. More than this is quite uncommon though not unheard of. They might lay eggs every other day or so, for up to a week, until they have a whole clutch. How many eggs they lay can depend on their age, too.
So, if you’re breeding lovebirds, you should prepare yourself to be dealing with around six eggs at most.
They will need a space to be incubated by their mother, so be sure you’ve provided a nesting box big enough for them.
Let’s find out more.
How many eggs do lovebirds lay the first time?
The first time your lovebird lays eggs, it may well lay fewer than it will in the years to come.
That said, this is not a guarantee, and in most cases, your lovebird’s first clutch of eggs has the potential to be just as big as any other clutch it lays.
Of course, though, the vital question is how old the lovebird gets before you try to breed it.
At the very least, you should let the lovebird grow to around 18 months before you try and breed it—ideally, though, you should wait until around 24 months.
Assuming you have waited until the lovebird is properly mature and ready for egg laying, then you can expect an ordinary clutch of around four to six eggs on its first time.
As I said, you may end up with fewer than this, but there’s no guarantee or necessarily even likelihood of this.
On the contrary, you may even end up with more.
In general, then, how many eggs will a lovebird lay once it’s full mature?
How many eggs will a lovebird lay?
So, again, the best rule of thumb is that your lovebird will lay four to six eggs in any given clutch.
Later on in life it may well lay more in an average clutch—some report that their lovebirds end up laying clutches of as many as 12 eggs!
This, of course, is very rare, and in a clutch of 12 eggs it’s virtually impossible that all of them are viable and fertile.
The average lovebird will lay four to six eggs in a clutch, and may lay as many as five clutches in a year, even if you aren’t breeding them.
Any eggs laid without breeding will, of course, not be fertile, but they may still lay them.
So, you can expect around 30 eggs per year from a strong layer.
However, you really don’t want to breed a lovebird more than twice a year or so. Raising so many chicks will end up taking a big toll on them, as opposed to just laying the unfertilized eggs—which, again, they may not necessarily do.
Breeding lovebirds is notoriously difficult, so you really shouldn’t expect this kind of constant laying to be the norm. It’s nonetheless something you should be prepared for.
How long will it take the eggs to hatch, then?
How long after lovebirds lay eggs do they hatch?
Generally speaking, lovebird eggs will take around 18-24 days to hatch from the point that the mother starts to incubate them.
Because your lovebird will lay the whole clutch over a period of days, sometimes as long as a week, it can be longer from the time that the first egg is laid as she might not start incubating right away. In most cases, though, she will, but that individual egg will likely hatch earlier than the others.
So, from the point that each individual egg is laid, it will take somewhere around three weeks for it to hatch. 18 days is the least amount of time a healthy chick will take to hatch, and after 24 days you should start checking for signs that the chick in the egg is not viable or that it was not fertile to begin with.
Why do lovebirds lay so many eggs, then?
Why do lovebirds lay so many eggs?
Lovebirds lay so many eggs for a few reasons, but chief among them is quite simple.
Indeed, it’s the same reason that the vast majority of animals nurture multiple young during any given pregnancy or egg laying.
Lovebirds, you must remember, are still wild animals—they have a natural disposition to docility which, when nurtured, makes them great house pets.
But every individual still has to be tamed, unlike domestic animals.
Dogs have to be trained, but not tamed.
So, your lovebird is laying eggs as if it was still living in the wild.
In the wild, the more offspring you are able to raise, the greater chance that any one of them will endure to adulthood and continue to pass on their genes to their own young.
Certainly in the wild, any given clutch of lovebird eggs will likely not all grow to adulthood.
The more you have, the better chance of continuing to pass on your genes.
Why do lovebirds push eggs out of the nest?
Many species of bird, including lovebirds, sometimes employ what is known as egg tossing.
This is when selected eggs are removed from the nest.
There are many reasons birds do this, particularly when you are dealing with species that lay eggs in large groups.
For some species, it is a strategy for clutch coordination, tossing eggs until every bird in the common nest is ready to incubate or brood.
Lovebirds in the wild do sometimes nest in groups, so there is, to some degree, just an instinct to egg toss.
On the other hand, there may be any number of reasons a lovebird would toss a specific egg.
They have remarkable instincts towards the eggs, and will very often know if the egg is infertile or inviable, while knowing the other eggs are indeed viable.
So, the chick may have died, or the egg may just not have been fertile to begin with.
It can even just be a strategy of optimizing the incubation of the healthiest eggs.
So, there’s nothing unusual about pushing eggs out of the nest. If your lovebird does do this, take the egg and check it against a light.
If there are blood vessels reaching to the embryo, and no clear signs of death like a black “eye” or retreated blood vessels, then try to put the egg back with the rest.
If the lovebird removes it again, then just take the egg away.
How many clutches can a lovebird lay in a year?
This will vary a great deal more between individual lovebirds than the amount of eggs they lay.
On average, a lovebird will lay five or six clutches of eggs per year, though it may lay much fewer than this.
It is unlikely to lay more than six.
This will really happen regardless of whether you are breeding the lovebird.
A lovebird that has never met a male may indeed continue laying unfertilized eggs in clutches each year.
On the other hand, a lovebird that you’ve tried hard to mate might never lay an egg at all.
Unfortunately, it’s hard to give a straight answer on this one.
Your lovebird should start laying eggs by the time its 18 to 24 months old.
If it doesn’t, though, it’s nothing to worry about necessarily—inclination to breed and lay eggs can vary a lot between individuals.
How long will it take them to lay a clutch—can they lay more than one egg per day?
Can a lovebird lay two eggs in one day?
It’s not very likely, but it could happen.
As I said, generally speaking, your lovebird will lay a clutch of eggs over the course of about a week.
During that time, they will typically lay one egg per day, until they have a clutch of four to six eggs.
In the vast majority of cases, this will be limited to one egg per day—though laying two eggs in a day is not impossible.
However, even for much larger animals like chickens, who have been bred over millennia for egg laying, two eggs in a day is only a remote possibility.
Be patient—your lovebird will lay its eggs over the course of a few days.
Lovebird breeding is a sensitive and frankly difficult thing to do.
Everyone will have a different experience of it depending on their individual lovebird.
Just be prepared for as many eventualities as you can, and be sure to do your homework before you embark on this goal.
Expect four to six eggs in a clutch.