Ask Lafeber


May 21, 2020

Possibilities For Hormonally Frustrated Female Cockatiel

Thank you the most webinar with Dr Lamb. I asked about my 2 year female cockatiel who has been separated from her juvenile male due to self destructive behaviour (weight loss, self plucking). Aside from rehoming, are there any medical procedures that could help bridge the time until my 8 mth old male will be mature and allow them to continue to live together?


Hi Lori,

I partly answered this from the webinar questions. But here you mention putting them together once he matures. Is the final goal to set them up for breeding? If so, then I would go with the separate rooms and if that doesn’t help, you can discuss hormone treatments with your Vet fir the interim. For breeding, cockatiels are often sexually mature as young as 6 months old in captivity but they are not emotionally mature enough to settle down to breed. For whatever reason, parrots seem to become sexually mature at a much younger age than in the wild. I recommend that a female cockatiel be at least 2 years old, and the male at least 18 months old. So if breeding is your plan, you would watch him for his response to her when he hears her. If he starts to react and call back, this is a sign that he is becoming more mature and receptive to her advances. But if these guys are intended to be one happy family of birds where you can handle each one, then I don’t know that these two birds can live near each other platonic-ally given her strong hormonal reaction the first time.

Thanks again for attending the webinar and Asking Lafeber,


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