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How to stop my 5 month old male and 9 month old female from trying to mate

Landcfan

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Kate
I have two cockatiels, Relena, a 9 and a half month old female, and Tidus, a 5 and a half month old male. We had been told that they wouldn't mate without a nest box or an enclosed space, but today, and that it was fine to house them together. However, today I had put them on top of their cage since they like hanging out there sometimes, and I heard them making noise. I turned and Tidus was standing on Relena, although being so young and inexperienced he was at a totally wrong angle. I was shocked they chose such an exposed place to do it, since there isn't a nest box or anything.

Anyway, how soon do I have to worry about them actually mating? I know Relena is still too young, and I'm not sure I ever want them to have chicks. Should I stop having their UV light on so much so they don't think it's breeding season? Will that affect their vitamin d levels negatively? What other steps do I have to take? I'd prefer to house them together, as they have a very large cage that was quite expensive, but I'd consider getting another one if that's the only way. I read that some people boil the eggs to make sure they don't hatch then put them back without the female knowing what happened, but I'd rather not harm fertilized eggs, so I think prevention is key.

I also heard that providing nesting materials like shredded paper can encourage them to mate. We have a toy they take paper streamers out of in the cage, as well as a bunch of the streamers in their forage box and playground area. They love them. Do I need to get rid of those? And what about their tube bed thing? At the bird store they said it's open enough that they won't nest in it. Is that true? I've included some pictures of the items I mentioned, as well as a picture of Tidus and Relena playing.

I'd appreciate any guidance here. Thank you!
 

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Shezbug

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To prevent the eggs is actually crueler than boiling eggs as you’ll have to either malnourish the female or totally stop your birds doing normal stress relieving behaviour by separating them, let them mate all they want then remove any laid eggs ASAP... you boil the eggs before they are being incubated and then you are not really boiling a chick- no life has started in fertile eggs until they’re incubated.

I would not add a nest box.

Your birds mating is not an issue- it’s natural and very healthy for them.... laying eggs is realistically your only issue so you need to feed a good diet, allow plenty of exercise, increase calcium if your hen is laying and simply remove and boil any eggs before they’ve given a chance at life.

No one here would tell or encourage you to do anything that was considered cruel to your birds or any potential eggs, there’s nothing at all cruel about stopping a fertile egg developing if done very early.
 

Landcfan

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To prevent the eggs is actually crueler than boiling eggs as you’ll have to either malnourish the female or totally stop your birds doing normal stress relieving behaviour by separating them, let them mate all they want then remove any laid eggs ASAP... you boil the eggs before they are being incubated and then you are not really boiling a chick- no life has started in fertile eggs until they’re incubated.

I would not add a nest box.

Your birds mating is not an issue- it’s natural and very healthy for them.... laying eggs is realistically your only issue so you need to feed a good diet, allow plenty of exercise, increase calcium if your hen is laying and simply remove and boil any eggs before they’ve given a chance at life.

No one here would tell or encourage you to do anything that was considered cruel to your birds or any potential eggs, there’s nothing at all cruel about stopping a fertile egg developing if done very early.

Thanks for your response! One of my main concerns is Relena's age. I heard that if the female is too young laying eggs can be dangerous. So shouldn't I be trying to avoid anything that would stimulate her egg laying, fertilized or otherwise?

And yes, I understand it's not really cruel to boil them. I just know I'd feel bad about it anyway.
 

Shezbug

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Stimulating or mating behaviour can’t make an immature female bird lay eggs as far as I’m aware.

@Zara might know more about this concern you have but I don’t believe it’s anything to be overly concerned about as long as she’s receptive of the males behaviour.
 

Zara

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I was shocked they chose such an exposed place to do it, since there isn't a nest box or anything.
They don´t mate in the nestbox, they mate out in the cage on a branch or on the floor.
I have lovebirds, but my birds are not shy when it comes to mating, I had a friend over the other year and I had a pair going at it, and sometimes the pair in the cage closest to me will mate in the mornings just 50cm away from me.

I'd rather not harm fertilized eggs, so I think prevention is key.
Then splitting up the birds is the only way, which I personally think is quite a sad solution if they are happy together.

I heard that if the female is too young laying eggs can be dangerous.
All eggs can be dangerous.

I understand it's not really cruel to boil them. I just know I'd feel bad about it anyway.
Yea I can understand that. But it´s just one of those things that comes with having a pair of birds. In time you will deal with eggs and not feel as bad :)
The first egg you get, crack it into a small shot glass or ramekin and have a look. You will see that it is just like a mini chicken egg and nothing is changed in there - there´s no veins, no signs of life.

Stimulating or mating behaviour can’t make an immature female bird lay eggs as far as I’m aware.
I don´t know.
I will say my lovebird pair were mating at 6months old (technically they can breed at that age, not that it´s recommended) and I only had eggs from them when they were 13-14 months old.

Becuse your birds are cockatiels, I would purchase a set of dummy eggs. It is easier to switch the egg for a dummy, than to boil and wait for it to cool down. It´s also less stress for the birds. Dummy eggs / Fake eggs

Be sure you get your birds eating pellets and some calcium rich veggies.

Welcome to the Avenue Kate! 1.welcome signs.gif
 

Landcfan

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They don´t mate in the nestbox, they mate out in the cage on a branch or on the floor.
I have lovebirds, but my birds are not shy when it comes to mating, I had a friend over the other year and I had a pair going at it, and sometimes the pair in the cage closest to me will mate in the mornings just 50cm away from me.


Then splitting up the birds is the only way, which I personally think is quite a sad solution if they are happy together.


All eggs can be dangerous.


Yea I can understand that. But it´s just one of those things that comes with having a pair of birds. In time you will deal with eggs and not feel as bad :)
The first egg you get, crack it into a small shot glass or ramekin and have a look. You will see that it is just like a mini chicken egg and nothing is changed in there - there´s no veins, no signs of life.


I don´t know.
I will say my lovebird pair were mating at 6months old (technically they can breed at that age, not that it´s recommended) and I only had eggs from them when they were 13-14 months old.

Becuse your birds are cockatiels, I would purchase a set of dummy eggs. It is easier to switch the egg for a dummy, than to boil and wait for it to cool down. It´s also less stress for the birds. Dummy eggs / Fake eggs

Be sure you get your birds eating pellets and some calcium rich veggies.

Welcome to the Avenue Kate! View attachment 374347
Thank you for the advice!
 
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