Ask Lafeber

Question:

May 24, 2022

My cockatiels stopped mating


My cockatiels were mating when i introduced them but i didn’t have a nest that time and it’s been a while they stopped mating i got them a nest box a week ago the male enters but is not allowing the female to enter Why?. And i was thinking about separating my cockatiels for a few days then re-introduce them i think this should work and make them lay eggs or start mating and about my birds age the male is old enough and the female doesn’t look very old she looks like 1 year old. What do you guys think and if you have any suggestion i would love to hear it


Answer:

Hi Sivan,

Cockatiels should be at least two years old before pairing them up and letting them breed. I would recommend separating the birds until the female is at least 2 years old. I realize that means waiting a year, but in the long run, you will have a much better chance at successful breeding if you let her finish growing up. This is most likely the reason the male is not allowing her into the nest box. Right now she is in danger, because he is likely to get more aggressive and may attack and even kill her because she isn’t a suitable mate at her age.

Young hens should never be paired too early. This puts her at a high risk of becoming egg bound and dying. It takes a lot of her protein and calcium to form each egg, and strong, fully developed muscles to push each egg through her reproductive tract. Cockatiels still have some physical and emotional development to go through the first two years of life. Young birds are mainly interested in mating but not caring for eggs or chicks. They are much more likely to develop bad breeding habits like breaking or eating the eggs, not sitting on eggs at all, or ignoring the chicks if any hatch. These habits can ruin them for ever being good breeders. It is better to be patient and let her finish growing up.

Wait for a year, and then slowly reintroduce them, without a nest box. Do not introduce a nest box until they are fully bonded – sitting together all the time, grooming each other, feeding each other and finally mating. Once you see them mating again, try introducing the box. Hopefully once she is old enough, the male will accept her. It’s important that they are eating a nutritionally balanced diet and not a seed mix. They need pellets or our foraging diets. They also need dark leafy greens, chopped veggies and fruit. Once the nest box is introduced, start feeding them an egg food. This can be a dry commercial egg food or you can cook an egg with the shell washed, crushed and cooked with the egg. This should be fed daily before eggs are laid and until all chicks are weaned. They also need a cuttle bone to make sure she is getting enough calcium.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,

Brenda

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