Ask Lafeber

Question:

December 28, 2021

My bird not sitting on her eggs


I have a cocktail bird it has laid about 6-7eggs but shes not sitting on them for so much long it has been 40days since she layed eggs she laid eggs on her wood house which is medium in size im also keeping her and her eggs in a silent place and covering it with a warm blanket when i asked so many people who has been experienced they said to keep them under a warm bulb… i need your suggestion if its fine to keep the eggs under a warm buld.


Answer:

Hi Kashvi,

At this point, you can throw these eggs away as they are way past due. Cockatiel eggs take 18-23 days to hatch. Do you have a male bird? You didn’t mention a mate, and without a male, the eggs will not be fertile and will not hatch. If you only have the female, she should not have a house, nest, nest box or anything she can use as a nest. Female cockatiels are bad about becoming chronic egg layers in captivity. Forming and laying eggs is very hard on a hen, so there is no reason for her to lay eggs if she doesn’t have a mate. You should make changes to discourage more egg laying, which I will post below.

If there is a male, they need a nest box that is intended for cockatiels. It will be fairly large, to accommodate both parents and up to 6 chicks. It should be attached to the outside of the cage, as high as possible. Both the male and female will sit on the eggs, taking turns – generally one during the day, and one during the night. The nest box should be removed after each clutch, whether the eggs hatch or not. If they hatch, take the nest box down as soon as the chicks leave it. If the eggs do not hatch, remove the nest box once they are past due and throw the eggs away. Then you need to rest your pair for 6 months so the hen can rest and recover. You should only allow her to lay two clutches per year, and only if she has a mate. Again, if she is alone, you should discourage egg laying and never give her a nest or house. As for the bulb, no, never put a bulb over the eggs – at the very least it will cook them, and more likely rot them.

You need to do all of these things to discourage egg laying.  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 frequently.

Move the cage to a different place in the room. Move the cage about once a week, or whenever she shows signs of nesting – settling on the cage floor for example.

If she is let out of the cage, do not let her get in any dark cozy places and don’t give her free roam.

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.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,

Brenda

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