Ask Lafeber


November 22, 2022

Worried about baby cockatiels

Hi! I just bought two baby cockatiels and I love them both very very much and I would never want to return them. I am very nervous now about what to do if they mate. I haven’t had a DNA test, because I feel if the results aren’t two males, I would be devastated. I’m worried about two females laying too many eggs and maybe even getting egg binding or another egg infection, and a make and female laying fertilized eggs. What should I do if they do lay eggs, maybe even fertilized ones? Sorry for the long question I am very worried.


Hi Echo,

It would be much better to have the DNA tests run, so that you know what to expect and how to handle any hormonal behavior in the future. Not knowing the sex only makes you ignorant to what they might do. With pet birds, if a hen lays an egg, you do not have to allow her to hatch it. There is no such thing as an unwanted clutch in birds. If you don’t want chicks, don’t give her any way to incubate the eggs and they will never begin to develop. You can discard the eggs, or if there is a cage grate, let her sit on them because they can’t be warmed up enough on a metal grate.

Even if you have two of the same sex, these birds are most likely going to bond if they are sharing a cage. When birds share a cage, they tend to form a close bond and lose interest in being handled by people. To keep them tame, it is best for each bird to have its own cage, and only allow them to interact when you are handling them.

Whether male or female, there are hormone triggers you can avoid. Never give them any type of bed or house, no bird tents or huts, no nest, no nest box. They do NOT need anything to sleep inside of. They will sleep on the highest perch, which makes them feel safe. When you pet them, do not pet the body – only pet them on the head and neck areas.

Enjoy your babies, and educate yourself. You can be aware of what to expect, but you need to enjoy your pets and if a situation comes up, know how to handle it. If you spend your time worrying about what might be, you can’t enjoy your birds and you can end up stressing them out if you are stressed about them.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,


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