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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I haven't been on this website for a while since we got our fids besides having a few newbie questions in the beginning. Well now I have another...

Harley and Rosie (or Rosco) are about 10 months old now, give or take a couple of weeks. We are pretty certain that they are from the same parents although Rosie (Rosco) hatched about a week later than Harley.

At first we weren't sure what sex they were and thought Harley was a boy and Rosie a girl. Long story short, we now think it's the other way around due to Rosie's typical male behaviour (heart wings, strutting, singing, head-banging etc.) and yesterday it was confirmed for us when my boyfriend caught them in the act!

Since they are likely brother and sister (and we don't want to breed cockatiels anyway), I think unfortunately we are going to have to keep them in separate cages when we are not there to supervise. I have read a few posts here and there about the dangers of inbreeding but couldn't find a great deal. Do they have to be caged separately forever or only at certain times of the year etc? What happens if Harley does lay an egg? I have heard it recommended to boil any eggs and place them back in the cage.

What else do I need to know?? Heeeeeeelp?!
 

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Here is a thread with hormone reduction techniques, http://talkcockatiels.com/showthread.php?t=2678.

If eggs are laid and they are fertile you can boil them and then give her back the eggs, but birds can mate for recreational purposes with no eggs as a product. Try to keep them away from any dark areas they may see as a nest and any materials that they may see as nesting materials as well.
 

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Instead of boiling the egg, all you really have to do is shake the egg in your hand for 10 secs. That will basically scramble the insides and nothing can develop.
 

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There are ways to keep the hormone levels down called long nights. You can cover the cage or keep the room dark for 12 to 14 hrs a day and that will keep the hormones down. Also the lack of a nesting area will usually keep the hen from laying eggs. Some hens will be set on laying anyway, if Harley is one of those, boiling the egg will kill the egg with out the possibility of bacteria being released in their environment. Then let her get it out of her system by letting her sit on them until she gets tired of it.
 

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I have a brother/sister incest pair (Squeebis and Teela) and I don't cage them separately because it makes them go nuts. The long nights technique has been pretty successful at preventing egg laying. Their hormones did get out of control last year because I was out of town for several days and couldn't enforce the long nights, and Teela wouldn't stop laying eggs. So I gave her some fake eggs to sit on and reinstituted the long nights to prevent a fresh clutch when the fake eggs passed their hatch date.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
We'll try the darkness trick and see how that goes. So if that doesnt work it's ok (besides being weird and kind of gross) for them to mate as long as we do the right thing with the eggs if she lays any?
 

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You might get a variety of opinions on that, but I think it's OK. For the sake of the hen's health it's best to prevent egg-laying if you can. But if you physically separate the pair while keeping them in the same house, you'll be putting a different kind of stress on them which is also not healthy. Given a choice between inflicting long-term social deprivation on them or playing hormone police, I think it's a lot kinder to let them be together while carefully managing their breeding instincts.
 
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