Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Love Bird Care
Name: Pamela
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A 


Question:
I have 2 lovebirds. Their 1st clutch had only one egg out of 5 that had a fully developed baby in it. I opened up the egg because it was 10 past the "due date". When I called my local vet, they said there should have been SOME kind of life when I opened it,which it did not. (which I did very gently with a toothpick). My question is, I have seen my birds mating alot!!!! since I took the other eggs out. (they only had yokes in them and they were over a month and 1/2 old). The very day I took the old eggs out, she laid another and they bred all day. she has now laid 3 eggs and I don't know wether they are fertilized or not? HOW IS THE EGG FERTILIZED? Does it penetrate the "shell" while inside the "hen" or does the "hen" have to be fertilized by the male first and then the eggs grow inside her. Please respond quickly as I don't know WHAT to do.



Replies:
I can't help witht he details of incubation etc. but I can tell you that fertilization in birds takes place pretty much the same as in mammals, there is courtship and intercourse, after which the fertilized egg develops. If there is not successful fertilization after intercourse the eggs may develop sterile - this is how we get chickens to keep laying sterile eggs.

John Elliott



Click here to return to the Biology Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory