Ask Lafeber

Question:

September 2, 2021

Cockatiel eggs


i came home and checked on my two supposedly male cockatiels, and one of them was on the bottom of the cage, squatting over-two eggs. We opened the cage door to take a better look, and she came over and climbed on to my hand. Now when i tried to put her near them again, she doesn’t care and walks away. I feel like it’s too mean to just throw them away, but i don’t want them to rot or anything, what should i do? Can they still hatch if the mom doesn’t take care of them? And finally should i put my birds in too separate cages?
p.s
i didn’t get them in intentions to breed them.


Answer:

Hi Caroline,

It’s ok to throw the eggs away. They can’t even start to develop until they have been incubated around the clock for at least 48 hours. It’s good that she isn’t interested in them. It’s actually unusual for her to be so tame when she has eggs, so I’m wondering if she is very young? Cockatiels will often lay eggs in captivity when they are much too young. She should not be laying eggs until she is 2 years old. Since you are not interested in breeding them, it’s best to separate them. They can interact when they are out of their cages, but do not cage them together anymore. You should also make some changes to discourage her from laying eggs again. You need to make all of these changes, and keep them up, to keep her from wanting to lay eggs because some captive females will keep laying eggs over and over until it kills them if you don’t intervene.

Keep in mind that to lay eggs, she needs longer daylight, warmer weather, abundant food, and a quiet, private environment. Your goal is to reverse these conditions.

Limit her light to 8-10 hours by covering the cage early each evening

Do not give her anything to use as a nest – no bird huts or tents, no box, bowl, etc. If she decides to sit in a food bowl, remove it and replace with smaller cups.

Do not give her anything to shred such as paper or cardboard.

Rearrange the toys in the cage.

Move the cage to a different place in the room. Move the cage about once a week, or whenever she shows signs of nesting.

If she is let out of the cage, do not let her get in any dark cozy places.

When you handle her, limit any petting to her head and neck – do not pet her on the body.

If there is no metal floor grate, then do not use any bedding or paper in the cage tray – leave it bare and clean it daily.

If she continues to lay eggs anyway, then you may have to take her to an Avian Vet for a hormone implant or shot. The implant seems to be more effective and lasts longer.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,

Brenda

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