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Cockatiel breeding - help !

Discussion in 'Breeders Boulevard' started by hetswe, 8/26/19.

  1. hetswe

    hetswe Moving in

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    Hi everyone,
    I've had my two cockatiels for around two years now, Ronney (female, hand tame) and Pickles (male, not hand tame, but relatively comfortable around me). Now, about a month ago I put a nest box in their cage, and last week an egg appeared, and now there's three. Now I wouldn't really be concerned about any of this if it weren't for the fat that my cockatiels - while they get along fine - aren't exactly 'a bonded pair', meaning, they only occasionally preen each other, they never feed each other and don't particularly like being close together, and I've never seen them mate.
    I've always blamed this on Ronney being hand raised and not used to to concept of mates, as Pickles is constantly making ignored advances to her. But I've never heard of a cockatiel laying a whole clutch of infertile eggs ??(because I find it very unlikely they'd mate)
    Also while Ronney has been sitting on the eggs during the day, she hasn't been sitting on them at night??
    I've bred budgies before, so I have some idea about what to expect when breeding parrots, but I'm currently a bit clueless at the moment. Is it possible that they might've mated and I just never saw? Or is it normal behaviour for a female to just lay a bunch of infertile eggs if she's broody??

    Thanks :)
     
  2. Zara

    Zara Biking along the boulevard Celebirdy of the Month Avenue Spotlight Award I Can't Stop Posting!

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    Yes, a bird can lay eggs without mating.

    If they are not a bonded pair, then after she has finished the cycle, removing the box would be best, to reduce laying.


    Edit; If she is not sitting on the eggs at night then they won´t hatch or they were maybe infertile to begin with.
    Candle them after 8 days if you want to know whether to expect chicks. But if they are non-viable, remember to leave the eggs with her and let her complete the cycle. Remove the eggs once she abandons them.
     
    Last edited: 8/26/19
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  3. hetswe

    hetswe Moving in

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    okay thanks !!
     
  4. Laurul Feather Cat

    Laurul Feather Cat Cruising the avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    I was pet bird ignorant when I got my first tiels. I never saw my pair mating, but I would hear rather unusual vocalizations after I went up to bed at 11am... Tiels are noisy while mating. Three years after I got Grace and 14 months after I added Chip to the flock, I came home from work one morning to find a weird pink moving object on the bottom of the cage. Of course the pink thing was a chick and I felt suddenly weak in the knees...

    I was just letting Gracie play with her eggs like she used to do before I got Chip. After all, I never saw them mating...

    Famous last words!
     
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  5. hetswe

    hetswe Moving in

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    Yeah, my concern with removing the nest would be that the eggs were fertile. Because I guess even having a male and a female in a cage together can make the possibility of babies likely, regardless whether or not I've seen them mate.
    Thanks !!
     
  6. Zara

    Zara Biking along the boulevard Celebirdy of the Month Avenue Spotlight Award I Can't Stop Posting!

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    Im against taking eggs if the incubation has started too ;) (If I´m pulling eggs, I do it on the day it is laid or the next day if it was laid during the night). Hense why I said ¨after the cycle¨, for two reasons; just incase the chick is alive in there half grown but also as to not upset the hen/stress her/throw her into laying again.

    You can candle eggs at 8 days and find out whether they are viable or not. Only once I didn´t get a good reading so I kept it, just in case - it didn´t hatch and when I checked it was an early death.

     
  7. Lady Jane

    Lady Jane Joyriding the Neighborhood Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran I Can't Stop Posting!

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    Why don't you candle them to see what is inside?
     
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  8. hetswe

    hetswe Moving in

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    Okay sooooo... last night I checked on them, and Ronney was sitting on them at night, there's one question solved. And then this morning I went to check, and I happened to walk in on them mating. So I guess that solves both my questions :D
    I'm going to check in a week and candle any eggs that are there.

    Thanks for helping me !!
     
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  9. Monica

    Monica Biking along the boulevard Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    Hens will lay without a mate present.

    Cockatiels typically share nestbox duties... that is, one parent sits during the day, the other sits at night. (varies by pair)


    I'm curious though... why was a nestbox placed in the cage?
     
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  10. Zara

    Zara Biking along the boulevard Celebirdy of the Month Avenue Spotlight Award I Can't Stop Posting!

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    How did you get on candling the eggs?

    If the eggs are non viable but the hen is still tending to them, leave them be, count the cycle and remove once time is up or the eggs are abandoned. Remove the nest box and rearrange the cage.
     
  11. hetswe

    hetswe Moving in

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    So she ended up laying 4 fertile eggs, the oldest is currently around 14 days old.
     
  12. hetswe

    hetswe Moving in

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    The nest box was in the cage to encourage breeding, I just wasn't expecting eggs so soon from a pair I hadn't anticipated to have been bonded. If they hadn't had eggs for a little while after I put the box in, I was gonna take it out anyways. Also, once there were more eggs they started doing the 'shifts', I just wasn't aware of the whole 'shift' aspect of the process.
     
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  13. Lady Jane

    Lady Jane Joyriding the Neighborhood Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran I Can't Stop Posting!

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    Are you knowledgeable about the breeding process and raising of young birds, including hand feeding if necessary? If not please let us know because some members can help you along the way.
     
  14. hetswe

    hetswe Moving in

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    Somewhat yes, I've bred budgies before so I understand the basics of what to expect when breeding birds. And when it comes to hand feeding - I've hand raised a lot of budgies and lovebirds in the past so I think I'll be okay with that (Also, I have an incubator). The only really new experience is that the birds in this situation are cockatiels, and there are some things specific to cockatiels when breeding, that I didn't/don't know about.

    So if there is anything else that's specific to breeding cockatiels, it would be good if someone could help me out with those things. Thanks !!
     
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  15. Laurul Feather Cat

    Laurul Feather Cat Cruising the avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    I understand the argument of not discarding eggs after the incubation has started: it is like abortion. However, I cannot keep and raise every fertile egg my multiple hens lay! I therefore use interruption of incubation as a birth control method. I try and get to the eggs early (within the first week) so they are not very far along, but even if there is a living chick inside, I refrigerate the egg to gently abort the chick and then use the dead egg as a substitute for a live one with the hens. I would dearly love to hatch every egg, but there are so many homeless tiels in the shelters and I can only care for so many financially.

    For me, in egg abortion is the easiest and most practical way to controlling flock numbers.
     
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  16. Zara

    Zara Biking along the boulevard Celebirdy of the Month Avenue Spotlight Award I Can't Stop Posting!

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    I always destroy eggs in the first 24 hours.
    We give our birds food and water everyday, it takes two seconds to check around for eggs.
    Especially for me, I won´t destroy a week old egg. So I make sure I use a few mins extra daily to check around so I don´t have to keep any eggs that I don´t want.

     
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  17. Laurul Feather Cat

    Laurul Feather Cat Cruising the avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    Two of my hens have gotten wily at hiding their eggs and that means I have to get down on my knees and look under furniture and in all the corners. And even then they out fox me and hatch one or two a year! This year they took over the lovebird's nest box with the love bird helping to incubate the eggs... I didn't catch on to the fact Cookie was entering and leaving the nest box for at least two weeks, so I had to let her finish incubating the two eggs. I honestly didn't think a cockatiel could squeeze into that opening into the box.

    More fool, me!!!
     
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  18. Zara

    Zara Biking along the boulevard Celebirdy of the Month Avenue Spotlight Award I Can't Stop Posting!

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    What a unique situation!! It´s hard to believe that would happen! Birds are so fascinating :)
     
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  19. mat webb

    mat webb Meeting neighbors

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    It is best to take the babies out at around 3 weeks old and if you don't want to raise them, just pass them on to a breeder near you or find someone who is willing too. Just leave the birds to raise the babies themselves. They will automatically know what to do and they may not be very bonded but if they are mating that means they will raise the babies like any other pair. You will know after 21 days wether the eggs are fertile as they will hatch and they will hatch 2 days apart. If you do not want them to continue to breed, proceed to remove the nesting box when u remove the babies. You may not want to remove them so the babies will be raised normally by the adults until they arer old enough to feed and survive by themselves.
     
  20. Zara

    Zara Biking along the boulevard Celebirdy of the Month Avenue Spotlight Award I Can't Stop Posting!

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    This is never a guarantee. Even if the parents are a good age and have successfully reared chicks in the past.
    I think OP knows how to handfeed and care for chicks if I remember correctly, but having a ´Tiel breeders contact info isn´t a bad idea - just incase extra help is needed :)
     
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