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Hens taking turns roosting?

Kasani

Moving in
Joined
2/1/23
Messages
14
Real Name
Catherine
Hey all,

This is more of an amusement post rather than anything. I have two female cockatiels (yes, they are most definitely both female. Hand raised, officially sexed, etc. plus their typical behaviour more than lines up).
The oldest, Eva, is a year and a half and just started laying eggs for the first time. I tried ordering in some fake eggs to reduce her laying but they are too big and while she seemed to take them initially (she stopped laying anymore eggs for about a week), she's suddenly started laying again. I'm leaving all the eggs in the cage till she loses interest, and she's been slowly getting better and better at roosting (took her quite a while to figure out how to get the eggs all gathered under her--especially the ones that are too big!).

But here's where things get amusing. The younger hen, Momo, is just coming up to a year old. Whenever Eva leaves the nest, Momo goes in and starts trying to roost the eggs! They aren't exactly best buds--if Momo gets close to the nest while Eva is roosting, she chases her away very emphatically. But when Eva is taking a break from roosting, she doesn't care at all if Momo hops into the nest and plays with the eggs and tries to roost them.

Is this normal for female cockatiels? I didn't expect the younger one to show an interest like this.

Also if anyone has any good recommendations on getting Eva to quit laying, I'm all ears. I thought I could prevent her from ever laying in the first place by not providing any nesting sites and minimizing all hormonal stimulants. Then poor Eva went and laid an egg from the highest perch in the cage, which proceeded to fall and break on the bottom of the cage. So I provided her a dinner plate after that for a short-term solution. I do actually have a nest in there now too, but of course, she has no interest in it and continues to use the dinner plate.

I've attached some pictures of the two mistresses for fun. Eva is the cinnamon tiel roosting the eggs, momo is the whitefaced tiel looking cute.
 

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H.Z

Meeting neighbors
Joined
1/23/23
Messages
20
My silkie hens steal eggs from each other all the time. I guess birds just find eggs valuable because of their instinct.
 

Aestatis

Walking the driveway
Avenue Veteran
Joined
1/22/12
Messages
181
Not sure if it is normal, but I swear I read something that said that an older brood of tiels will help feed their younger brothers/sisters. I wonder if that extends to incubating? Or maybe Momo is a natural mom :)

Side note: I saw that the rope perch Momo is on looks a bit frayed. You might want to consider replacing it since they could be chewing it. No judgement on my end: my tiels have started chewing on the rope perch and I am hoping it holds on for a bit longer since it's hard to find a true replacement besides a new rope perch.
 
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