Ask Lafeber


November 2, 2022

When To Put Breeding Box

I have two cockatiels one is a year and a half (male) and one is 3 urs (female). I have researched about bonding and that they need to be bonded before you put in a breeding box, but my birds don’t bite each other so does that mean they are bonded? And why do they have to be bonded and mating before you put in a nesting box?


Hi Tillie,

You need to wait until the male is 2 years old before trying to breed them. At his age right now, he is more interested in mating than settling down and caring for eggs, so if you try to breed them, he is not likely to do his job. He may also destroy the eggs to get the female to mate again. If you provide a box before they are bonded, often one bird will claim the box and get aggressive towards the other bird, preventing it from entering the box. The hen is also likely to lay infertile eggs, which is a strain on her body and would mean having to rest her for 6 months before having any chance of a good clutch. The birds need to spend most of their time together, feed and groom each other and start mating before you can be sure they are bonded as a pair. A lot of birds will get along well, but that doesn’t mean they will mate and produce chicks.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,


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