Ask Lafeber


September 8, 2020

Male cockatiel matting problem.

Male cockatiel is thinking human hand as his mate, it doesn’t pair with the female. How to change his habbit? Both male and female are hand raised. I bought this male a week ago, when taking with him in my hand. It give the sign of matting and started to rub on my hand. Please help me


Hi Kapilraj,

You have a couple of problems here. First, the birds are hand raised and apparently still tame. Also, you have only had the male for one week, so he hasn’t had nearly enough time to bond with a female. When you get a new bird, it is best to keep it separate from your other birds for at least a month, just in case it has any diseases. Once this time has passed, you should place the male and female in cages next to each other so they can start to get used to each other. They should not be placed in the same cage until they are both old enough, and until they have shown interest in each other. The male needs to be at least 18 months old before you cage him with a female, and the female needs to be at least 2 years old before you cage her with a male. If the birds are old enough, and are showing interest in each other, then you can try putting them in the same cage. From that point, it can take weeks or months for them to bond, and in some cases they may not bond. Birds do not always like the mate we choose for them and not all  birds will make good breeders. If they do get along, you need to leave them alone as much as possible. You can’t handle breeding birds. Birds only have one mate at a time, so when you have a hand raised bird, it can be confused as to whether it wants a person or another bird. So you need to cut off all physical contact with both birds and only be around them to feed them or clean the cage. The birds need to focus on bonding and being birds, so you can’t confuse either bird by treating it like a pet. Once both birds are old enough and are not being handled anymore, then they should eventually bond and start to mate. Just remember that it takes a lot of patience to breed birds, and the process can take months or longer. All you can do it set them up with what they need and hope that they bond and breed.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,


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