Ask Lafeber


September 11, 2019

Male cockatiel attacking female while nesting

Hi we have a hand tamed pair of bonded cockatiels who are currently in the process of their first clutch. We have 5 eggs 1 is definitely fertile so far. Everything was going good until about a week in the male has been chasing the female and attacking her. I have been putting her in a separate cage during the day while he sits on the eggs and vice verca at night. Any advice on where to go from here. Thanks!


Hi Ross,

There certainly seems to be a lot of this going around with cockatiels lately. It is not uncommon but not fully understood why they do this. You are doing the right thing for now. Sometimes the male may decide he wants to breed again and the female isn’t receptive because she has the eggs. Right now keep rotating them, and when you can be at home observing them, try putting them together to see what happens. Split them up if the fighting begins again. It is quite possible that they will have to keep rotating. If this happens, I recommend a couple of things. Find a bird ship or breeder or Vet who will show you how to hand feed so you can help feed the chicks. And then probably do not let this pair breed again or you may end up doing this every time. Hopefully when the chicks hatch if not before, he will settle down and stop this aggressive behavior.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,


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