Ask Lafeber


March 1, 2023

cockatiel egg

my cockatiel eggs have been chirping for more than a day now – what is happening?

i have contacted some vets that specialize in birds but they dont know whats happening either and tell me to try cracking open the egg if it still continues in a day. should i crack it or wait?



I know it is hard to wait, but it’s best to let nature take its course and hope the chicks can hatch. You should only hear one at a time because the eggs do not all hatch the same day unless she didn’t start sitting until she had several eggs. Each egg hatches in the order it was laid, and since this is every other day, they hatch this way. You can hear them for a day or so before they start making progress with the egg. It can take 12 to 36 hours, sometimes slightly longer, for the chick to break the egg. You can see where the chick is working its way around the egg. The problem with trying to help is if you do it too soon, you will kill the chick. If there is no break, I wouldn’t intervene. Sometimes they can’t hatch, and it’s hard when this happens. It may be there isn’t enough humidity or the chick isn’t strong enough. If the chick is weak already, it probably wouldn’t survive anyway. Some experienced breeders have assisted in hatches and there may be some videos on Youtube. But you need to be sure, and understand that the chick might not survive an assist. More often the owner gets anxious and just needs to wait a bit longer. It’s exciting when you have chicks ready to hatch, but try to leave the family alone as much as possible and hope it all goes well. If you hover, it can make the parents nervous and they might break the eggs or stop taking care of them. I hope you have healthy chicks very soon!

Thank you for asking Lafeber,


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