You got your parrots settled at home and they are just beautiful. They bring you a lot of fun time. Now you get to the time when your lady parrot decides to lay an egg. You are very excited and worried at the same time. You as a caring guardian have to make sure that new member of your parrot family comes to life. So the question is always what to do. Here are some guidelines for you.
First of all, the best way is nature's way. It means that the best is if their parents sit on their eggs for themselves. Will it happen all the time? Probably most of the time it won't happen. I've watched chicken at my parents' house – they would lay eggs every day and very rarely one or to hens would decide to sit on eggs. And even if they sit on eggs they wouldn't be good sitters most of the time. My grandma said that best egg sitters are ducks. Unfortunately you can't use that with parrots and therefore if you decide to support your parrot's family you have to make a plan. Make for them a nest that will be warm enough and have good ventilation – rest is up to you loved birds.
Second make a backup plan. Remember that parrots as most of birds hatch in about 3 weeks. Therefore if you see that little mommy starts abandoning eggs too early be prepared to incubate them by yourself. Some breeders even suggest taking those eggs into incubator after 2 weeks of their mom sitting on them.
Third and almost forgotten – if you have only one female parrot and no male partner then your egg is not fertile and there will be no chicken. You bird can sit on it for a while and then realize that nothing happens.
Forth – mysterious and simple incubation. If you decide to incubate eggs artificially then you have to get a good incubator. When we are talking about good one we are talking about the one that can make conditions close to natural. So far I know that incubated chicks have far more mortality rates than naturally hatched. And that is true even for professionals. Most of mortality happens first two weeks after hatching. It just means that we are far away from parents' care. But don't be discouraged because it is doable and there is high chance of good chick coming out of the egg. So what to look for in incubator:
1. Good thermostat that can hold temperature in the range 98.7F to 100F
2. Good ventilation without vibration
3. Autorotation of eggs every ½ to 2 hours
4. Humidification from 38% to 50%. It is better to keep it around 45% and close to 50% when chicks are hatching.
So you got eggs and incubator – what to do next. First of all check incubator that it works – supports all the life supporting factors described above. After that put eggs into it as soon as you decide to take charge of the process. Turn on incubator and watch that temperature doesn't go too high – remember after 104F protein gets broken, therefore don't exceed 100F. The best try to keep it around 99.3F. Turn off incubator and open the lid to cool down eggs for about 10 minutes couple times a day. It is natural that they parents go to eat sometimes. At the same time turn eggs 180 degree by hand to make sure that egg isn't always sitting on the same side down. Of course your incubator already has this function but usually they don't do full turn – so it won't hurt to do additional turn. Check level of water regularly so that eggs don't get dehydrated. It won't be a problem at the beginning but closer to hatching it could be detrimental. So good luck and see your newborns soon.