Ask Lafeber

Question:

November 11, 2019

Cockatiel


My cockatiel laid 5 eggs everything was fine until I changed the cage so they have more room and they stopped sitting on them it’s been like 5 days what do I do


Answer:

Hi Denise,

Unfortunately they abandoned the eggs because there was a change in their environment – in this case, because you changed the cage. You cannot make changes around breeding birds or this will happen. If they had chicks, they would have abandoned or killed the chicks. Breeding birds need a stable environment and privacy – a family room or a room with a lot of activity is not a good place for breeding birds. You should only check on them when it is time to feed or water them or for a quick check at other times. It makes them nervous to have a lot of activity around them and if changes occur, they think this is a sign of danger and they leave the nest and eggs or chicks behind.

At this point, you can go ahead and throw the eggs away and remove the nest box for now. Give them time to adjust to the new cage and give the female some time to recover from laying and sitting on the eggs. A nest box should not be left up all year. It should be removed and cleaned out in between clutches and the parents should be rested for a few months. In this case, a few weeks is enough since they didn’t have the added stress of raising chicks. However, with the holidays coming up, if you plan to have family or a lot of company around, I would not give them the box back until after the first of the year, otherwise you run the risk of the same thing happening again.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,

Brenda

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