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Discussion Starter #1
I bought a female (grey white faced) cockatiel over the weekend. Yet unnamed, she is an awesome looking bird, though a shoddy wing clip and less than fully feathered tail subtracts from her overall appearance. She hadn't been handled before, so she is pretty untamed, though I've already made a lot of progress (I'm going to say I'm pretty good at training cockatiels, Nigel was trained to step up on day 2 two), she no longer bites (as regularly), it is really hard to train her because I can't reward her (she doesn't like millet gasp). Anyways my real question is should I train her, she is going to be a breeder? Also how should her and Nigel's first (free) interaction go, their only interactions so far have been with her behind bars. Thanks for the help.
 

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I take it you aren't going to quarantine her first? Quarantine is very important in protecting the birds you have already.

Since it sounds like they've already been in close proximity to each other, any meeting should be out of the cages. Tiels can be territorial and just tossing them together is not fair to either bird. Honestly, I prefer my breeders to be tame, as they were easier for me to handle then my untame ones and didn't bite as hard. That being said, even the tamest bird can be a monster when in the nest.
 

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I put them together about a week ago, they kept trying to be near each other and the person who sold me the bird told me that is when it was time. They don't get too close, and he hisses when she tried to touch him, but they are getting much better. I feel that when I add the nestbox it will go much quicker.
 

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Honestly, I wouldn't add a box until they bond. Otherwise, you will create a bondage pair and they could end up not sitting properly or killing their babies in the nest. They definitely need more time before you breed them.
 

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I would not try to force a pair to breed, as Roxy said you can have a pair who are not very compatible. My 1st clutch of parrots I bred was a pair of budgies. I had the hen and she was very bonded to my male parrotlet, I decided to get her a mate and even tho she tolerated him she never bonded to him, she allowed him to mate with her and they had a clutch of 4 healthy chicks.... she would never allow the male near the nest, and his instincts told him to feed her and the babies, she attacked and almost killed him for trying to feed the babies when they were about 2 weeks old... I removed him and mom fed the clutch for the next 2 weeks then quit, it was dads turn, but remember she threw him out. I then had to step in and basically force feed chicks that were very hard to get fed. They were past the age where they easily take to handfeeding. So for the next 2-3 weeks I was force feeding these babies that did not know how to eat by themselves, they lost a lot of weigh during the process but finally I got them weaned and put the weight back on them and saved them all. Luckily I am a stay at home wife and had the time to coax them a few bites here and there, if I didn't have the time they all would of starved to death. Also luckily I was home when the hen attacked the male as she would of killed him, she had every intention to and I was bitten bloody on both hands when I tried to get her off of him.
I would skip this breeding season with this pair and just let them get to know each other and bond. Once they stop hissing and start preening and sharing perches together you will be in a much better position to breed them. After all, how would you like to be stuck with a member of the opposite sex and told you have to marry them and start a family, you don't know each other and have no feelings for each other... My breeding pair follow each other around the bird room and sit near each other, preen each other and squabble a bit with each other, where one is you will find the other one as well. They interact a little with the other pair of tiels but not intimately like they do with each other. How old is the pair? In my opinion a hen should be at least 18 months and the male no less than 12 months and preferably 18 months old before breeding them.
 

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I agree. Breeding is quite a bit of work. Do you know how old the female is? If something were to happen to either parent or the female rejects the babies, you would need to step in. Right now, I'd go back to quarantine and work on getting her to trust you. Quarantine is very important. Not just for bonding, but for your current tiel, Nigel. As far as treats and training go, I know a lot of people like to use Nutriberries, veggies, or just a seed variety in general. There's also a lot of great tiel treat recipes out there. I know of some people that use plain cheerios. Good luck and let us know how everything's going!

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Discussion Starter #9
I attached the nestbox to the cage, but have kept it shut for now. I switched their diet to Roudybush Breeder Diet (Roudybush is the best bird food, in my opinion) a while ago, though I have also given them a dish with a nice seed/dried fruit mix as well. They are getting along much better now, though he still favors me over her (its a problem that he likes me too much ha ha ha, I had been told that he would completely ignore me when I added the girl, he is still the same bird though). I found them sleeping within 3 inches of each other last night, and that has not happened before, so everything is going well. Thanks for all the help so far.
 
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