Ask Lafeber

Question:

June 22, 2020

will they have eggs


Hello Dears,
I have a coupled cockatiel pair, the Cock is 8 months old and the Hen is 6 years old, they have been mating since a week, is it possible not to get eggs while the male is immature?
Or as long as they mate she will get eggs?
Otherwise he couldnt do the mating ritual at first place!?
Thanks in Advance
You help and information is highly apprecired.


Answer:

Hi Shad,

Your male is still considered a juvenile. I would split these two birds up until the male is about 18 months old. Captive bred birds tend to become sexually mature at much too young of an age. Since this is the male who is too young, the risks are infertile eggs, poor incubation techniques or no interest in the eggs, not feeding the chicks – just mistakes that young birds make. But these can develop into bad habits making him a poor breeder when he is older. Your hen is a little bit old to just be starting to breed, if this is the case? The average cockatiel life span in captivity is 8-12 years, mainly due to genetics and/or inadequate nutrition. If your bird is a mutation, the life span tends to be on the shorter side than for a normal grey cockatiel. Of course there are exceptions, but there is no way to know. Also, if these birds are tame, they are not likely to remain tame once they are set up for breeding. And there is always a risk of aggression when you have a younger bird paired with an older bird. Although they are getting along and have mated, she still might get frustrated with his immaturity and start bullying or attacking him. Or everything could work out. That’s the thing – we advise based on what is most likely to happen and it’s not as likely for a juvenile male to take care of eggs and a mate. And since laying eggs takes a lot our of a hen, you don’t want to compromise her health just to end up with clear eggs or failed clutches due to the juvenile male.

If breeding is your plan, you might think about getting a younger hen and keeping your older female as a pet. Ideally a hen can start to breed around 2 years of age, so you would want one around 12-14 months old now, so she and the male are ready around the same time. But if you go this route, do not put them together until they are old enough for breeding.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,

Brenda

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