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Discussion Starter #1
Hi there everybody :)


- I want to discuss a problem i have with my cockateil pair. Male is a heavy pied and female is a pearl.

- Pair is confirm as Male whistles and female is always silent.

- Not sure of age but I have them for last 6 months.

- Male looks inside the breeding box but never goes inside.

- I once put my tame cockateil inside so he started defending the breeding box and looked inside more like sometimes he does but never went inside.

- I think he is afraid of breeding box.

- Please any suggestions :)
 

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1) whistling or lack thereof can indicate sex, but does not confirm it. I have had females who whistled often, and males who were mostly silent.

2) tell us how the pair treat each other

3) tell us about the diet you have them on

4) tell us about the cage set up, size, perches, placement in the house, activity in the area, etc.

5) tell us about the nest box, construction, placement, bedding, how long they have had it, etc.


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Discussion Starter #3
Q. 2) tell us how the pair treat each other
A. They are really good to each other. Sit together. Eat together. Both follow each other in doing things.

Q.3) tell us about the diet you have them on
A. They eat, Oat seeds, Millet Spray, Sun flower seeds, green leafs, Kaytee calcium, and Nekton Supplement.

Q.4) tell us about the cage set up, size, perches, placement in the house, activity in the area, etc.
A. Picture has been attached that tells about it and perches. Using breedingbox that is normally used in my country successfully. Its outside the cage with a hole opening inside the cage.

Hight: 12"

Width: 9"

Depth: 9"

Bedding is wood shavings again successfully used in my country.

P.S : The second picture in which they are in a round cage was their first day. It is not their cage anymore. It was just for reference.
 

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Hen looks to be a cinnamon pearl, maybe. It's harder to see cinnamon in pearls.

Breeding takes time. It's not going to happen overnight and if they aren't even mating yet, giving them a box won't make them. That being said, some pairs just don't want to have babies together. The male has to attract the hen and if she's not interested in him, it's not going to happen. Does he do any beak banging on the bars or heart wings or anything? This would show that he wanted to mate with her. If he's not, it means that he's not interested and you don't want to force them. You want them to figure it out on their own. It's also going to take them a while to go into the box, they have to accept it as a good place to breed first.
 

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Said exactly what I was going to say! They may not end up being a bonded pair that mates. Not all birds that you put together will breed. They may hate each other, they may bond closely and mate, or they may just tolerate each other or just "be friends" for lack of a better description...

I also would not guess sexes based on whether the bird is vocal or not, this "confirms" absolutely nothing. You could easily have two females or two males together... DNA testing is the only confirmation. If you do actually test them and they are confirmed to be male and female, then you have to be patient and give them time to become closer, to start preening each other, then feeding each other. When you see them feeding each other then they may mate soon, but not until.

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Discussion Starter #6
First of all thank you very much for the generous replies. The male does makes heart wings and I have heard her whistling. As I live in other city my parents take care of their food etc and I visit every 15 days to take care of other major things. THey dont fight, they eat together, sit together and I have spotted them preening together but yes never go in to box.

- I have few questions arising from it.

1) Do we have to install breeding box once they mate ? What if they mate and I dont see ?

2) What is best way to pair up birds ? I just bought a new normal grey hen for a lutino male who is more than an year old. The pair is not happy together and in last 2 days they have spent toghether beak fights are normal. Male does not allow female to eat if he is down there eating etc. I still have to see weather they get together along.
 

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1. Trust me, it's very hard to miss a pair of birds mating. They are very loud about it, so your parents would definitely hear it. Giving them a nest box before they're mating/bonded can cause a bondage pair, which is never recommended.

2. The best way to pair up birds is to let them choose their own mates. I have bought birds to mate with particular birds before and they never seem to pair up the way I want them to. They always chose whoever they wanted. Mine were all housed together so they could choose whoever suited them.

As for this new pair, I'd separate him. Sounds like the male is too aggressive and if he's keeping her from eating that's not a good environment for her. The fighting is also a bad sign and it can get dangerous if they aren't separated.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Ohhh I see. But a little confusion. My uncle's cockateils did mated and gave eggs 2 times but I never heard them lol :D. Though eggs are infertile always. She layed two times and both times just useless. I think they are on a seed diet thats the reason. I always try to give them different food like egg food, corn, Kaytee Hi Grit calcium but they dont like it. Only corn is eaten sometimes.
 

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Just because she laid eggs doesn't mean they mated. An all seed diet would not make the eggs infertile, not mating would. Until the last 20yrs cockatiels were mostly kept on an all seed diet. Were you around the cockatiels most of the time? Because not seeing them mate is very odd. It could mean that while the female was hormonal the male wasn't and so he didn't mate with her.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Not really around them 24/7. They are my uncles and because I live with them I love birds I just take care of their everything cleaning, food changing etc. I never saw them mating in my last 8 months here but she did laid eggs. In first ever cluth they laid 2 eggs and both incubated it. Both infertile, later on a single egg on floor after 6+ months. I kept it cage and it was infertile too. Then in 3rd cluth again two eggs. Though one got missing as per the family but i think they might have seen incorrectly as they are afriad of their cockateils lol :D. Later on, I saw another one in the nestbox. Both infertile.

- Its a normal grey pair and visually can be sexed. Pair is very bonded as they eat together sit together sleep together etc.

- How do I know male never mated with her ?

- Moreover, any good free books on reading more about pair making etc.
 

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Don't know about free books on breeding, I bought all mine lol. Maybe check your local library?

Laying eggs doesn't mean they mated. If you never saw it happen and the eggs were infertile, I'd bet they never mated. They may not know how or not realize they need to. Just because two birds are paired together doesn't mean they should be making babies. If your uncle and family are afraid of the birds already, I don't really think breeding them is a good idea.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
You were right ! I have good news :)

1. Trust me, it's very hard to miss a pair of birds mating. They are very loud about it, so your parents would definitely hear it. Giving them a nest box before they're mating/bonded can cause a bondage pair, which is never recommended.

2. The best way to pair up birds is to let them choose their own mates. I have bought birds to mate with particular birds before and they never seem to pair up the way I want them to. They always chose whoever they wanted. Mine were all housed together so they could choose whoever suited them.

As for this new pair, I'd separate him. Sounds like the male is too aggressive and if he's keeping her from eating that's not a good environment for her. The fighting is also a bad sign and it can get dangerous if they aren't separated.

So i troubleshooted the issue. They were afraid of going inside the nestbox as no light was going inside. So I just shifted them to other side where light was going inside the box.

After just a few days they mated (you were right they make noise that just can't be ignored and I saw them :) ) and laid eggs. What I counted so far there are 4 eggs. Both are taking turns to sit over it :)

I have a little issue though, I had put 3 inch bedding inside but now as I was seeing through light from hole, they have made a bowl shapped with bedding and under the eggs its almost nothing. I have heard that if bedding is removed from underside of eggs, eggs can get chill. What should I do ? They have been incubating them for atleast 9 - 10 days now.
 

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Add more bedding on top of what is already in there. They're going to continue to move it because they make an indent for the eggs, but if you keep piling it on it shouldn't touch the bottom of the box.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Is it proper time ???

Add more bedding on top of what is already in there. They're going to continue to move it because they make an indent for the eggs, but if you keep piling it on it shouldn't touch the bottom of the box.
Do you think its proper time for me to add more as 10 days have passed already. Moreover i am so scared that they might break their egg any of it if i will interfere ???

Its my firsr ever cluth of life so i am more protective then them lol
 

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I interfered in my eggs all the time. I candled them every couple days to check on their progress. What I did was make them leave the nest and block the hole while I did what I needed to do. A spatula is best for this as then they can't bite you. Then add the bedding on top and let them back in.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I interfered in my eggs all the time. I candled them every couple days to check on their progress. What I did was make them leave the nest and block the hole while I did what I needed to do. A spatula is best for this as then they can't bite you. Then add the bedding on top and let them back in.
Okay i will add the bedding tomorrow. Do you recommend me candling with my phone flash if i turn On the airplane mode ???
 

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That light won't be good enough to really see anything. I used a pen light. You can get one pretty cheap at any pharmacy.
 

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I'll chime in here a little, as I bred cockatiels and English budgies for over 20 years. Roxy has given you awesome info and every word she has said is 100% true. I'm glad that your birds finally mated and have laid 4 eggs, but seeing as this is your first clutch and you don't seem to know a lot about breeding birds in general, are you planning on letting the parent birds raise the babies? I hope that you are, because you should not be hand-feeding baby birds with no experience at all, and no knowledge of how to remedy the million things that can go wrong. If you want your babies to be tame then I suggest that you start blocking the parents out of the nest box when they both exit to eat, drink, and poop, just as Roxy has already told you to, and once the youngest baby is 2 weeks old you can handle it every day for 15-20 minutes. Then put him back and let the parents back in. As each baby turns 2 weeks old you can block the parents out and handle each of them individually for 15-20. As they get older and start getting their feathers you can keep them out of the nest box longer and you can handle them, feed them millet from your hand (which you can expose them to at any time, they will play around with it and eventually learn to eat it, this will help them wean), play with them, snuggle them, etc. This way, if you do this with each baby every single day, increasing the time you spend with each of them as they get older, you'll end up with wonderful, tame babies. No need for you to have anything to do with feeding the babies. Do make sure you are feeding both the parents plenty of fresh veggies, fruits, egg food or actual hard boiled eggs, scrambled eggs with the shells mixed in, etc. And make sure they always have clean water at all times. They need extra nutrition, calcium, and water while they're feeding the babies.

The parents will not stop feeding the babies or ignore them because you're touching them, as Roxy told you the same thing, I handle my bird's eggs and babies often and I've never had a problem with any clutches I chose to not hand feed. If you're going to candle the eggs that's great because you'll at least have an idea of how many possible babies you'll have. Just hold up the egg in front of you and then shine either a pen light or a small flashlight on the egg. I think you said they've been laid for around a week and a half, so if they're fertile you should see some red veins/spots of red blood. You can always take a photo of each egg with your phone as you candle them if you have someone to help you hold the egg, the light, and the camera. Be very gentle with each egg, don't move it around, shake it, rattle it, etc. Just slow, steady movement and set it back down very gently. As Roxy told you they will always throw the bedding out, I've never had a pair that didn't because they want to make their own nest with a divet in the bottom to hold the eggs. My guys often threw the bedding out and used their beaks to shave wood out of the bottom of the nest box to make a hollowed-out indentation for the eggs, then they use the wood shavings for bedding. They don't like a lot of bedding, but as stated just pile more back over top of the eggs, they'll fix it.

Try not to touch the babies for the first two weeks. You definitely need to open the nest box up at least once or twice a day from the day the eggs are laid just to make sure everything is OK. I always checked on my eggs and my chicks for the first two weeks after they hatch once in the morning when the parents left the box and once in the early evening when they left the box. Just block them out and make sure the eggs/chicks are OK. You'll need to check the baby's crops each day to make sure they are all being fed by the parents. The younger the chicks the more often they are fed. Often times the youngest baby isn't fed because by then the parents are either tired, or with cockatiels often times they "Double Clutch", or mate again and start laying more fertile eggs before the first clutch is weaned. Also sometimes the parents will bite or hurt the babies for multiple reasons. So you must check them multiple times a day to make sure each baby is being fed, to see if any one baby is always being pushed off to the side and not being kept warm and/or fed, and to check for any injuries/blood, pulled feathers, etc. on the babies. If you see a baby that is always being pushed away and not kept warm, who is not being fed and their crop is always empty, or who has any injuries, you'll need to always be prepared to pull that baby out of the nest box, keep it warm in a brooder, and you'll have to hand-feed it baby bird formula as many times a day as it needs based on its age. So you'll need to keep track of each baby and their age... Hopefully everything goes perfectly and you won't have to pull one or more babies, but often times things do go wrong, and if you're going to breed birds then you must thoroughly educate yourself on caring for and hand-feeding babies and you must have the necessary equipment to do this all BEFORE ANY EGGS HATCH!

Are you prepared? Do you have everything you need if you end up having to pull a baby and hand-raise and hand-feed it? Because if you don't you need to get it all together immediately.

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Discussion Starter #20
Bedding changed and eggs candled

I'll chime in here a little, as I bred cockatiels and English budgies for over 20 years. Roxy has given you awesome info and every word she has said is 100% true. I'm glad that your birds finally mated and have laid 4 eggs, but seeing as this is your first clutch and you don't seem to know a lot about breeding birds in general, are you planning on letting the parent birds raise the babies? I hope that you are, because you should not be hand-feeding baby birds with no experience at all, and no knowledge of how to remedy the million things that can go wrong. If you want your babies to be tame then I suggest that you start blocking the parents out of the nest box when they both exit to eat, drink, and poop, just as Roxy has already told you to, and once the youngest baby is 2 weeks old you can handle it every day for 15-20 minutes. Then put him back and let the parents back in. As each baby turns 2 weeks old you can block the parents out and handle each of them individually for 15-20. As they get older and start getting their feathers you can keep them out of the nest box longer and you can handle them, feed them millet from your hand (which you can expose them to at any time, they will play around with it and eventually learn to eat it, this will help them wean), play with them, snuggle them, etc. This way, if you do this with each baby every single day, increasing the time you spend with each of them as they get older, you'll end up with wonderful, tame babies. No need for you to have anything to do with feeding the babies. Do make sure you are feeding both the parents plenty of fresh veggies, fruits, egg food or actual hard boiled eggs, scrambled eggs with the shells mixed in, etc. And make sure they always have clean water at all times. They need extra nutrition, calcium, and water while they're feeding the babies.

The parents will not stop feeding the babies or ignore them because you're touching them, as Roxy told you the same thing, I handle my bird's eggs and babies often and I've never had a problem with any clutches I chose to not hand feed. If you're going to candle the eggs that's great because you'll at least have an idea of how many possible babies you'll have. Just hold up the egg in front of you and then shine either a pen light or a small flashlight on the egg. I think you said they've been laid for around a week and a half, so if they're fertile you should see some red veins/spots of red blood. You can always take a photo of each egg with your phone as you candle them if you have someone to help you hold the egg, the light, and the camera. Be very gentle with each egg, don't move it around, shake it, rattle it, etc. Just slow, steady movement and set it back down very gently. As Roxy told you they will always throw the bedding out, I've never had a pair that didn't because they want to make their own nest with a divet in the bottom to hold the eggs. My guys often threw the bedding out and used their beaks to shave wood out of the bottom of the nest box to make a hollowed-out indentation for the eggs, then they use the wood shavings for bedding. They don't like a lot of bedding, but as stated just pile more back over top of the eggs, they'll fix it.

Try not to touch the babies for the first two weeks. You definitely need to open the nest box up at least once or twice a day from the day the eggs are laid just to make sure everything is OK. I always checked on my eggs and my chicks for the first two weeks after they hatch once in the morning when the parents left the box and once in the early evening when they left the box. Just block them out and make sure the eggs/chicks are OK. You'll need to check the baby's crops each day to make sure they are all being fed by the parents. The younger the chicks the more often they are fed. Often times the youngest baby isn't fed because by then the parents are either tired, or with cockatiels often times they "Double Clutch", or mate again and start laying more fertile eggs before the first clutch is weaned. Also sometimes the parents will bite or hurt the babies for multiple reasons. So you must check them multiple times a day to make sure each baby is being fed, to see if any one baby is always being pushed off to the side and not being kept warm and/or fed, and to check for any injuries/blood, pulled feathers, etc. on the babies. If you see a baby that is always being pushed away and not kept warm, who is not being fed and their crop is always empty, or who has any injuries, you'll need to always be prepared to pull that baby out of the nest box, keep it warm in a brooder, and you'll have to hand-feed it baby bird formula as many times a day as it needs based on its age. So you'll need to keep track of each baby and their age... Hopefully everything goes perfectly and you won't have to pull one or more babies, but often times things do go wrong, and if you're going to breed birds then you must thoroughly educate yourself on caring for and hand-feeding babies and you must have the necessary equipment to do this all BEFORE ANY EGGS HATCH!

Are you prepared? Do you have everything you need if you end up having to pull a baby and hand-raise and hand-feed it? Because if you don't you need to get it all together immediately.

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Thank you very much for a very detailed reply. After reading your text, I went to my pair and they luckily came outside to stretch the muscles so I got a chance. My heart and hands were shaking out of fear that I might throw some egg lol but I took all the 4 eggs and parents were unaware of that. I then candled them using my phone flash light after turning ON airplane mode of my phone. I read alot about egg candling in the past few days on justcockateils.net so what I see is that only single egg is fertile as it was red and I was able to see very little baby inside as well if I am not wrong. The rest 3 eggs were only yolk. I did it swiftly so I could not take the picuture. The eggs were very warm lol.

What could be the possible reason of 3 eggs infertile ?

Regards.
 
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