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Mating questions

rdross80

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So I have 2 cockatiels, that I thought were males, and maybe they are, I just don't know. They're both around 2 1/2 years old and for the first time yesterday I saw them mating. Now I've read that two males will mate if there are no females around, but now they seem to have picked a place in a secluded corner behind a chest to (for lack of a better term) "nest". They just mainly sit behind the chest for the most part scratching around on things with their beaks, and if I come anywhere close to it, one of my 'tiels will come flying at me aggressively and trying to peck me. Please tell me this is normal behavior for 2 males, because I am nowhere near prepared to take care of baby birds. I keep looking for eggs, but so far there is nothing.
 

Zara

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Hi Robert,

Maybe you could post some photos of your birds and see if any members here can sex them.

Get some towels and stuff them in the gap so your birds can´t get behind the furniture.
 

rdross80

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Well, nevermind, it's a sure thing now. One of my birds layed an egg. I'm kinda stressed now because I don't know what to do. She layed the egg on the floor in the corner. It doesn't seem like a great place. There's no nesting material there, and normally I put them to bed in their cage at night. I hate leaving them out in the dark because I'm afraid they'll fly around and get hurt. Tomorrow I will try and find a nesting box at the pet store, and try putting the egg (or eggs) in there along with nesting material. But do I just leave the birds out of their cage all the time now? I'm completely lost on what to do.
 

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Ok. Eggs aren´t a problem, or anything to worry about :)

Once you have cared for your bird while laying, you will feel much better in the future about eggs. Are there dangers? Yes, but no need to be fearful. Just be observant.

So, you definitely have one hen. If you want to know if you have two hens, or one male, one female, you could post pics like I said before. It will be handy to know, because if you have two hens, you won´t need to boil eggs.

To remind you of your own words...
I am nowhere near prepared to take care of baby birds
So what do we do?

First, get those eggs and boil them. Bring a pan of water to the boil, and place the egg in for a few minutes. Mark it with a sharpie pen or a food dye pen, just a dot will do (so you know later when there are more eggs which are boiled or fresh).

Next you have to choose, either put the egg back in the corner, or take it into the cage and place it on the cage floor in a corner. I think @finchly or @Birdbabe have said something about this before, so hopefully someone can tell you which is the best option for where to leave the egg.

You can allow your bird to ¨brood¨ that egg for up to 3 weeks, but no more. If they lose interest in the egg and stop tending to it or sitting on it, you can remove the egg(s) sooner. I like to wait two days of abandonment before removing eggs, just to be sure.

Don´t buy a nest box, it´s not neccessary.

But do I just leave the birds out of their cage all the time now?
Carry on as before. Sleep in the cage, allowed out of the cage just like always :)

Please do post any questions you have or concerns etc. There´s lot of people around here who deal with eggs and can offer advice.
@Tiel Feathers
 

rdross80

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Thanks for all of the help Zara. I went ahead and boiled the first egg. I'm certain there will be more. Also, I just let her sleep on the egg on the floor last night, as she got quite agitated and tried biting me whenever I came near her. Here's a picture of Rosco, the one that I think is a male. He has always been way more vocal and sociable than my other bird, which I've heard is something that is a trait of the males. rosco.jpg
 

Tiel Feathers

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I would put the egg in her cage on a paper towel and let her sit on it there. Block off the area on the floor, along with any other potential nests sites, and don’t buy a nest box. Make sure she comes off the egg a couple times a day to fly around and eat and make sure she’s getting enough calcium. Does she eat pellets?
 

rdross80

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Does she eat pellets?
Honestly it's hard to say. I put a mixture of 75% pellets/25% seeds in their food bowl. While the male has no problems eating pellets, she seems to go for the seeds straight away, and it's hard to tell if she ever eats any of the pellets. I did buy a cuttlebone to see if she would chew on it for calcium.
 

Shezbug

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If she’s laying eggs you’ll want a good source of calcium for her. Cuttlebone is more a grooming and chew thing than a source of calcium.
Feel free to dump more cute birdie pics on us:D
 

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The bird pictured is definately male, you can tell by the bright coloring on his face.

It's important for the female to be eating the pellets. A good way to make sure she's eating them, don't mix the seeds and pellets. Leave a full bowl of pellets in always, and add a second dish with seeds for a couple hours each day. Make sure you have veggies offered every day.
 

rdross80

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The bird pictured is definately male, you can tell by the bright coloring on his face.

It's important for the female to be eating the pellets. A good way to make sure she's eating them, don't mix the seeds and pellets. Leave a full bowl of pellets in always, and add a second dish with seeds for a couple hours each day. Make sure you have veggies offered every day.
I tried that when I first brought her home, and she only ate the seeds and never touched the pellets. Afer a while, I was worried she would starve herself if I completely removed the seeds, which is why I just ended up mixing them together. I've also tried putting veggies in with their food, and neither of them will touch it. I've even tried offering them separately when they're outside of their cage, but they just fly away from it.

Here's a pic of my female. As you can see, she's much more brightly colored than the male. I had named her Oscar, and thought about changing the name since I was wrong about her sex, but I've called her that for over a year now, so screw it. Her name is still Oscar, lol. oscar.jpg
 

Tiel Feathers

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Your birds are very cute! You might want to give a calcium supplement while she is laying if she’s not eating the pellets. If you see a soft formed egg, or an egg that looks dented, that’s from low calcium. Do you have a vet? You could possibly call and ask for recommendation/dosage.
 

rdross80

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Your birds are very cute! You might want to give a calcium supplement while she is laying if she’s not eating the pellets. If you see a soft formed egg, or an egg that looks dented, that’s from low calcium. Do you have a vet? You could possibly call and ask for recommendation/dosage.
I'm going to try some leafy greens tomorrow. Maybe try some new ways of introducing them. I'm looking at the packaging for the pellets, and I'm not even seeing calcium listed in the nutrition section. Also, one other question. I ended up closing off the area they were nesting in, and I put the egg in their cage, in a small shallow bowl with a cloth draped over it. She has not shown any interest in laying on it all. Should I take it out? It actually ended up cracking when I boiled it, so that may be one reason. Also, I ended up having to just keep them both in the cage for the latter half of the day. After closing off their nesting area, it looked like they were trying to find a new place, and the male was being very aggressive towards me, no matter what room I went into. Like, he was seriously trying to hurt me. I just couldn't deal with that anymore, so that is when I put them both in the cage (which was not easy). I'm hoping tomorrow will go better.
 

Shezbug

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It cracked? Argh!! That’s no good at all
I would take that one egg out to be honest.

I wonder why it cracked- that only usually happens if they’re boiled too vigorously so if that’s a possibility maybe next time boil for longer on a lower temp. The other reason they sometimes crack is fast temp changes or seriously weak shells.

Do you have any idea what the reason was for it cracking?
 

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Hi t here! What you might do for calcium is get a commercial supplement. You can get one that goes in their drinking water or you sprinkle on food. I recommend the water one so that she HAS to get it. Do that at least 2 times a week while she’s laying eggs.

Yes they act like velociraptors while they’re nesting. Don’t worry, you’ll get your sweet birds back one day, like the flip of a switch. I have all girls but one of mine is a chronic egg layer, and another has laid. Her first eggs at age 2 and is sitting on them on top of her cage, very inconvenient as they roll around.

I can let mine sit on eggs since no boys are around, you might want to go to Amazon and purchase dummy eggs. You just trade one for the real egg each time.

To get them out of nesting mode (I’m assuming you don’t want to have 10 eggs, like my Torrie does) try shortening their daylight hours, cover the cage if you can. Rearrange the cage. Be kind of rude and ruthless about it.

As far as the food, you can take seeds out for a period of time and. Not hurt your bird. Just remember to put them back! i give chop first thing in the morning because that’s when they are hungriest, then pellets, then around 5 pm they can have a little seed but I take it away. I have an overnight dry mix but you can use your pellets at night.
 

rdross80

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Okay, I just got rid of the cracked egg. From the looks of it, she may have even cracked it even more, realizing it wasn't viable. Now they've found a new nesting spot (which is annoyingly right next to the living room entry door, so Rosco is constantly bombarding me). So just to make sure, once she lays another egg it should be okay to move that egg (once I've boiled it) into the cage, and she should sit on it there, and I'm assuming lay the rest of her eggs? I just don't want to stress the birds out, or make this last any longer than it needs to.

Also, I will look into getting the calcium supplements for their water. Thanks again to everyone helping me out.
 

finchly

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Well, she may or may not agree to go where you tell her. :D You might have to put her in and shut the door! Use a towel so she doesn’t bite you.

I can lure my current egg-sitter, Pearl, with food and she’ll go in the cage but only long enough to eat and she’s back on top again.
 

rdross80

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So here's a follow-up. So far she's laid 6 eggs. One of them I accidently cracked while boiling it, and 2 others broke when she laid them in the cage. The other 3 I've put in the cage in a shallow bowl, and it seems like it's mainly just the male who's sitting on them. I've rarely seen her get on them at all. Is this normal? Since she's not interacting with them much, does that mean she's going to keep laying eggs? I worry about her health if that is the case. I had bought some supplements to mix into their drinking water, but it actually causes the water to turn a slight orange, and they just won't drink it. I bought some kale, but I'm skeptical if she'll eat it.
 

Zara

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Now they've found a new nesting spot (which is annoyingly right next to the living room entry door,
If I see my girls in a spot checking it out for nesting, I block it with something. Boxes, towels, whatever I have that works.

Sometimes birds just aren´t interested in the eggs, or lose interest quickly. Leave them until you are sure both birds have lost interest.

I don´t know about the supplements, I have never used any in the water.
 
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