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Breeding Cycle

MOzgaf

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  • Hello,

    I have very tame hen cockatiel for 2 years. last two weeks she started laying eggs on the bottom of the cage with no nest box or dietary change or anything to emulate breeding season. now we are at 6 eggs.

    She was paired with another tiel in the same cage. who supposedly is a pied cock yet to confirm the gender. Anyway, he is way too young for breeding he is 7 months.

    So, I built her a nest box and at the time she had only two eggs. I put the eggs in the nest box, hoping she would sit on them. she wouldn't go near the nest box until I put a millet stick in front of the entrance and she went in and laid all the other eggs.

    The young cock likes to sit on the eggs but after I put in the nest box the hen won’t let him go near it. up to the point that she is attacking him and I had to separate him to another cage. after the 4th egg was laid I candled all the eggs and they all were blanks. They seem not to be compatible at all.

    I hope that's enough background details. Now my problem/dilemma. I got another mature 3-year-old cock. Putting the new pair next to each other didn't raise any red flags. my question is should I wait until the hen sits on the eggs for the 21 days and remove the eggs or remove the eggs now and put the new pair in the same cage? If there are other options please let me know.

    Thank you,
    MOe
 

expressmailtome

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Bump.
 

blewin

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Don't do anything until the end of the 21 days. After that remove the eggs, etc. I would not do anything that would encourage more egg-laying, as a hen should not lay more than 1-2 clutches per year.
 

Garet

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Please don't remove the eggs. One of my female lovebirds was pulled off of her clutch of 7 by her old owner, and she immediately started laying again. This is very dangerous, and her eggs should not be pulled too early.
 

MOzgaf

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Don't do anything until the end of the 21 days. After that remove the eggs, etc. I would not do anything that would encourage more egg-laying, as a hen should not lay more than 1-2 clutches per year.
This is her first clutch ever. How do I make her stop laying eggs? is it by reducing sunlight hours?

Please don't remove the eggs. One of my female lovebirds was pulled off of her clutch of 7 by her old owner, and she immediately started laying again. This is very dangerous, and her eggs should not be pulled too early.
That was exactly my fear. That if I removed the eggs she would start laying again straight away. The other fear is since she is the only one sitting on the eggs she is getting very little time to eat. Just by looking at her she has lost a lot of weight.

Should I introduce the second cock into the cage to maybe help her sit on the eggs?

Thanks for all the help. This is my first time breeding Cockatiel and it took me by surprise. I am used to breeding Canaries, but they didn't fight and injure each other.
 

Monica

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This is generally what I recommend for egg-laying hens. (X-post) :)

  1. Remove Eggs
    • Rearrange the cage
    • Move the cage to a new location
    • Use a cage grate
    • Get a new cage/Use a different cage
    • 12-14 hours of complete darkness (may require as much as 16 hrs for 2 weeks - or try providing the opposite, as little as 8 hrs of sleep)
    • Full Spectrum Lighting/Better Lighting
    • Lower the indoor temperature
    • Decrease calcium and protein within the diet (if she is on a high calcium & protein diet prior to laying eggs)
    • Remove anything that could be taken as a nest
    • Remove anything that could be used as nesting material
    • Don't allow her in any dark place or enclosed area
    • IMPORTANT: save the eggs in the fridge
    • If she lays more than 3-4 eggs, put them back in the cage
  2. Leave the Eggs
    • Leave the eggs alone in the cage
    • [Optional] Replace with fake eggs (prevent eggs from breaking)
    • Increase calcium
    • Let hen sit on eggs for 3-4 weeks or until she gets bored of them
    • Once done sitting, toss



Generally speaking, there are triggers to hens laying eggs, and if you can remove the triggers, you may be able to stop the egg laying. Triggers can include toys that she can lay in, a plastic base to a cage, nesting material (i.e. cage bedding), a diet high in protein and fat, too much or not enough light, quality of light, etc. All things that should be considered. Removing the triggers to egg laying should be considered *FIRST* before any drastic measures should be taken. You never know, it could be something simple!
 

Monica

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She was paired with another tiel in the same cage. who supposedly is a pied cock yet to confirm the gender. Anyway, he is way too young for breeding he is 7 months.
Do you want to breed her? The male is old enough to breed, but he is still a baby...

The young cock likes to sit on the eggs but after I put in the nest box the hen won’t let him go near it. up to the point that she is attacking him and I had to separate him to another cage. after the 4th egg was laid I candled all the eggs and they all were blanks. They seem not to be compatible at all.
Many hens can be like this. It certainly doesn't sound like a true pair. Generally speaking, they are supposed to take turns sitting on the eggs... i.e. mom sits on them during the, dad sits on them at night.

You *must* candle the eggs ~1 week *AFTER* the hen has been sitting on the eggs to know if they are fertile or not. (this can be done as early as 5 days, but easier to tell at 7 days)

I got another mature 3-year-old cock. Putting the new pair next to each other didn't raise any red flags. my question is should I wait until the hen sits on the eggs for the 21 days and remove the eggs or remove the eggs now and put the new pair in the same cage?
Is the cage large enough for 4 cockatiels? Adding more birds could cause stress and potentially aggression between them.


This is her first clutch ever. How do I make her stop laying eggs? is it by reducing sunlight hours?
You need to first figure out what's triggering the behavior. Having a nestbox is not helping.... even having the male around could be triggering it.

The other fear is since she is the only one sitting on the eggs she is getting very little time to eat. Just by looking at her she has lost a lot of weight.
Can you weigh her in grams? Losing weight is not good for her!

Should I introduce the second cock into the cage to maybe help her sit on the eggs?
Is the second male cockatiel and her bonded? If the answer is no, then the answer is no. Again, you could be causing more stress.
 

Garet

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Please listen to @Monica and don't put in the second male. I'm not a breeder by any stretch of the imagination, but Triss' old owner put Geralt in her cage while she was sitting on eggs. She would bully him away from food and water.

They get along fine now, but you have to think of your bird less like a bird sitting on eggs and more like a mother watching her babies, because that's what she is. Imagine yourself in that situation; you're a single mom in a room. There's a decent enough guy next to you, but you don't know him that well. You're not eating or sleeping that much because you're taking care of your babies and they need constant, round the clock monitoring. Then, someone puts the guy you don't know too well in your room and locks the door. Now you're stuck in there with a guy and you don't know what he wants from you.

Would you let that strange guy babysit your kids? Probably not. For all your bird knows, he's going to try and eat her eggs or something.
 

MOzgaf

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@Monica @Garet, Thank you both for your replies. That is a lot of valuable information.

So @Monica I have done what you have stated in your first post about stopping the egg laying. It seem to have worked. The Hen did stop laying eggs and has gone back to its normal routing. she is happy in her cage. She has regained her weight and form.

I also reviewed everything about the triggers. I looked at the diet, the cage location and direct sunlight hours. I have found the trigger. It was a new transport cage that I bought for her. This cage is made of cloth and is very dark and cozy. She started laying eggs about two and half weeks after I bought her the cage. If was snowing here so I let her sleep in the smaller cage for warmth and that is the trigger. This is where she laied her first egg.
48259_PLA.jpg

Now I have 3 cocktiels, 2 hens and 1 cock all in two separate cages getting along together.

The 7 month old cock is actually a hen (Becco). She is making the mating call/dance on her own. I am thinking of breeding her with the 3 year old cock(Sonny) around the June/July time frame. What is the correct way to bond these two?

Thanks for the help.
 

Monica

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I would not recommend breeding her until she is 2+ years old. This helps for her to allow not only physically, but mentally as well.
 
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