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Breeding Help

BreezyTiel

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My 2 Cockatiels have bred and eggs look to be infertile. We have separated male to give female a break as she's laid an excessive clutch. Gonna wait awhile to pair them up again. Is there any tips you guys can give to increase chances of success next time?

Also can someone make sure this is the right forum? Thanks.
 

Zara

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How old are your birds?
Have you checked that the perches are nice and tight? I have a pair who like to mate on the cage floor, the youngsters however favour mating on the wobbly cotton perch.
What is their diet? Are they getting the nutrients they need.
When was their last vet check up?
Have they bred successfully before?
Where is the cage situated? Maybe if they are near a window, something is spooking them while mating..

I won´t beat the drum, but it is worth taking on board what @Lady Jane has said, be sure that shelters are not overrun with ´Tiels in your area. It is important to have nice homes lined up for the birds to go to - or stay in yours.
 

BreezyTiel

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@Lady Jane Yes, I'm aware. I've researched egg binding and other conditions, which is why I've separated the pair to give my female a break for a year or so. I really was hoping I wasn't going to get tons of 'don't breed,rescues are overcrowded ' comments.I have cuttle bones, mineral Blocks, nesting materials and gourmet seed for them to get the necessary nutrients.
 
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BreezyTiel

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@Zara , all good questions. Male is about 15 months and female is between 3-4 years, not definite. They haven't bred successfully before, but they've only been paired together since 2017. Cage is near a window but the nesting box is nice & dark.
 
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Ripshod

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Throw away the mineral block, you're aware them and cuttlefish bone provide nothing in the way of minerals. Cuttlefish is only good for grooming. The only way to provide everything they need is with a good balanced diet and proper supplements, not just a seed blend.
I really was hoping I wasn't going to get tons of 'don't breed,rescues are overcrowded ' comments.
Really? I see you've done your research. If you don't want these comments why even post queries on a public forum? It's always going to happen.
 
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BreezyTiel

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I've tried pellets before and they will not eat them whatsoever. They won't eat fruit either. They do eat egg food though. Why even post on a public forum? Looking for advice rather than discouragement
 
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BreezyTiel

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@Ripshod Alright I get it. I don't want to argue. Thanks for the replies. I'll keep them separated for a good while and keep up with socializing them. I do love them, believe it or not. I wouldn't have brought them home otherwise.
 
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Zara

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which is why I've separated the pair to give my female a break for a year or so.
With or without a male, a hen will lay. Maybe separating them is contributing to the problem? A set of dummy eggs will help you control laying while not trying to breed and allowing the couple to remain together. I have seen that people use them especially with ´Tiels in a way of swapping one egg for a full clutch of dummy eggs. Research it first to figure out how to do it :) Dummy eggs / Fake eggs

I really was hoping I wasn't going to get tons of 'don't breed,rescues are overcrowded ' comments.
One is not a ton. Dianne is free to express her opinion, and you can do as you wish with that.

Cage is near a window but the nesting box is nice & dark.
Might be worth moving the cage - my lovebirds don´t mate in the box. I´m not sure of ´Tiels. @Tiel Feathers @Monica

Cuttlefish is only good for grooming.
I agree.

I've tried pellets before and they will not eat them whatsoever
Did you try different types of pellets from different brands? What about wetting the pellets?
Have you tried warm veggies? Sometimes the will favour a presentation, small, larger, mashed etc.
There are some tips at the bottom of this article: My Chop "Recipe"

I will say that, it is best to have your birds on a better diet before attempting to breed.

I do love them, believe it or not.
I´m sure you do love them, that is why you are here seeking help :)
 

Monica

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My calculations don't seem to be adding up....

Male is 15 months old... aka 1 year and 3 months

They have been together since 2017... that is at least over 2 years ago

Is he 15 months or maybe 25+ months? Or have they been together since 2018?


I'm with Zara on this though.... if you are absolutely serious about breeding, you would not attempt breeding them until they are on a healthy, varied diet and the hen is fully flighted. Lets focus on achieving that first. :)




 

Nobirby

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Zara is right, if they won't eat one type of pellet, try another. My mother's conure loved Roudybush, so I bought 2 large bags. My conures would not eat it at all. The ducks outside loved it. My conures love Zupreem. They get fruit and veggies too.
 

melissasparrots

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If I were to try breeding cockatiels again, I'd keep them on a mostly sprout based diet instead of raw seed. Baby parrots love to wean onto sprouted seeds in my experience. They are also already soft and good for parents to feed to babies. While you are giving them a break, try to get them on a sprout based diet. Cockatiels are one species that sometimes doesn't do that great on a pellet based diet anyway. Sprouted seed, access to pellets just in case they get a sudden urge to eat them periodically, and grated veggies mixed in with the sprouts. I have never had super good luck getting cockatiels to eat the abundance of veggies that my other birds do, but a good sprout mix like the ones at China Prairie and other similar places that includes some beans and multiple types of grains is a good start. I see no problem with cuddle bone. However, if you aren't feeding pellets, and the birds are inside, lightly supplementing with a vitamin/mineral supplement containing vitamin D3 would be good for the female. I usually got the powdered supplements you mix with the wet food instead of the kind you put in the water. The various Nekton supplements are what I use for both parrots and raptors. To bring birds into breeding condition, you add the supplement to their wet food about half the time assuming their diet is otherwise good and varied. Once the female lays the first egg, I supplement daily until a few days after the eggs are laid. Then go back to about half the time. I'm not a huge fan of supplementing, but I don't want a breeding female to run low on calcium either or to have malnourished babies.
If successful breeding is the goal, I'd leave the female with the male. Take away the nest box, rearrange perches, move the cage a little bit and reduce hours of daylight to hopefully trigger a rest. Once summer weather starts happening and the days get naturally longer, put the nest box back up and let the daylight and new box be the stimuli to start anew.
 

Matto

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Are you sure that one is male? I agree with the above posts, try to introduce fresh foods and sprouted seeds into their diet. You can also give them a calcium supplement before, during and after egg-laying. I like vetafarm calcivet. It's not strictly necessary if they get plenty of calcium through their diet, but it does provide peace of mind. Make sure that perches are tight and not wobbly. I don't think they need a full year-long break if she just laid infertile eggs. I would say give them a few months (perhaps until the summer) and try again. Make sure that by that time they are on a better diet with calcium supplements. Young birds often have trouble with their first clutch or two, it's pretty normal.
 

cosmolove

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I do agree with others, I wouldn't separate the male and female completely. I'd remove the nest box first and really focus on getting them on a healthy diet and ensure they are healthy enough to be bred. Separating a bonded pair can sometimes be very stressful on birds. So often just removing the nest box does the trick, although I have seen some birds over the years that would go to town even without a nest box and lay their eggs on the bottom of the cage. (They can do this with or without a male tho).

I am the worst person about identifying male/female cockatiels but are you sure you have a male and a female and not two females? Having two females would explain why the clutch was not fertile and there was a LOT of eggs. You mentioned on an older post of yours that he is presumably male, are you positive? What factors are making you think its male? I know in cockatiels some colors you can tell male from female but not all.
 

BreezyTiel

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@cosmolove

I'm about 95% sure my Pied is a male because

1. Breeder I bought him from said he was.
2. He sings and whistles and will beak bang alot, Whereas my female doesn't sing or whistle at all (but will chirp occasionally)
3. When they mate, he will always be the one to hump her (never the other way around)

I know that Pied teils can't be visually sexed, and for this reason I'm thinking of buying Charlie a DNA test. I guess that is the only way to know for sure.
As for my Whiteface Pearl Pied, because she has kept her pearls into adulthood I can tell you right now that she's female

Thank you everyone for your help!
 

BreezyTiel

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@cosmolove

I'm about 95% sure my Pied is a male because

1. Breeder I bought him from said he was.
2. He sings and whistles and will beak bang alot, Whereas my female doesn't sing or whistle at all (but will chirp occasionally)
3. When they mate, he will always be the one to hump her (never the other way around)

I know that Pied teils can't be visually sexed, and for this reason I'm thinking of buying Charlie a DNA test. I guess that is the only way to know for sure.
As for my Whiteface Pearl Pied, because she has kept her pearls into adulthood I can tell you right now that she's female

Thank you everyone for your help!
 

cosmolove

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@cosmolove

I'm about 95% sure my Pied is a male because

1. Breeder I bought him from said he was.
2. He sings and whistles and will beak bang alot, Whereas my female doesn't sing or whistle at all (but will chirp occasionally)
3. When they mate, he will always be the one to hump her (never the other way around)

I know that Pied teils can't be visually sexed, and for this reason I'm thinking of buying Charlie a DNA test. I guess that is the only way to know for sure.
As for my Whiteface Pearl Pied, because she has kept her pearls into adulthood I can tell you right now that she's female

Thank you everyone for your help!
I would get a DNA test. Let me explain why:

1. Unless the breeder had a DNA test or this was a proven breeder they wouldn't know either.
2. I had a female cockatiel I fostered that sang, whistled, and banged her beak alot too -- she was so vocal I really thought she was a he
3. This does happen too even with two females

I would DNA the one you're suspecting is a male. Its super easy to test with feathers or blood. I always preferred the blood method because you can just cut a nail a little too short and put the drops on a card. I never had the heart to pluck feathers.
 
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