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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Several recent postings made be think that the info below (still in progress) might be useful, especiall y in regards to fertility and infertility problems. Note: if the problem is serious or you can not determine the cause it is best to go to an experienced avian vet, to check the breeding pairs, and they can do necropsy on eggs to determine cause of death and problems.

I will later add some forms that can be used for recording info while breeding.

Breeding Records

When venturing into breeding cockatiels it is a good idea to keep breeding records. It is a good reference you can look back on with each pair.

Make a file folder for each pair. In the file you would need to add as much info as possible, such as mutations and compatibility, caging, bedding, diet, environmental and seasonal info, dates setup and rested, results such as how may eggs layed, fertility or infertility, egg abnormalities, reproduction problems (such as egg-binding, prolapse, etc) hatch success or failure and why, live hatches and how many survived, parental skills….you get the idea J Also try to keep a digital record, such as photo’s of the pair, your setup, anything related to egg abnormalities.

In having these records you can look back to see past success or failure with a pair and if there were problems hopefully have them resolved for a successful clutch in the future.

If you separate a pair, you will have some records to refer to in regards to how well they did as to incubating and feeding and care of the chicks. These records would be helpful in pairing a bird with a good breeding record with an experienced one.

If you are new to mutations and what pairings work best for a desired mutation offspring record keeping of the parents mutation and recording the mutations in the nest when the chicks feather can be useful in updating the parents genetic records by listing the splits either parent may be carrying. as you learn genetics this info can be very helpful in pairings.

Many breeders, when working to improve the mutation, or to hold back young for future breeding should consider banding the offspring and keeping records.

Another thing I have learned is to ‘Listen to your birds’ What this means, especially since they do not talk, is to be observant of body behavior and other clues of if they are happy, discontent, having problems etc. In watching them they can teach you a lot.

The following is taken from Avian Medicine: Principles and Applications, pages 786-787 I have added and modified some of the info from the book, from past personal experiences. The listing below can be used as a checklist and/or guidelines to help determine the possible source of any problems you or the pair are experiencing.

Table 29.5 Causes of Infertility

Pair incompatibility
Normal interaction between mates
Compatibility in nesting and clutch duties
Sexual inexperience
Lack of social interaction
Aviary disturbances
Excess social interaction
Homosexual pairs
Lack of pair bonding
Asynchronous breeding condition
Improper imprinting
Infrequent mating

Incorrect photoperiod
Incorrect nest box design
Incorrect bedding in nest box
Incorrect enclosure/caging design
Lack of visual barriers
Excessive rain
Insufficient rain
Availability of correct foods
Loose or incorrect perches

Age (young or old breeders)
Inbreeding, contributing to lethal and semi-lethal genes
Vent feathers
Drug therapy (causing vitamin deficiency or direct decreased fertility)
Previous hormonal therapy (testosterone injections)
Neuromuscular Disease(contributing to pain, paresis, ataxia, weakness, decreased muscle tone or in-coordination)
Neurological Disease (paresis. Ataxia, lack of muscle control)
Reproductive tract disease
Nutritional deficiencies or excesses
Systemic disease
Parasitic disease
Disease leading to malnutrition
Cloacal abnormalities
Abnormal cloacal pH
Thyroid deficiency
Toxins (pesticides, chemicals, mycotoxins, aflatoxins)

Table 29.6 Causes of Death or Abnormalities in Embryos


Egg handling: such as storage and using an incubator
Eggs stored too long
Eggs stored under incorrect condition
Incorrect egg fumigation or sanitation
Excessive vibrations
Rapid temperature changes
High temperatures during early incubation
Incubator faults: Temperature, humidity, turning, cooling after development has begun, suffocation due to incorrect ventilation

Other contributors:
Chromosome abnormalities
Egg-transmitted infectious diseases
Parental nutritional deficiencies or excess
Abnormal or aged sperm
Idiopathic developmental abnormalities
Drugs, toxins, pesticides
Cracked eggs
Small holes in eggs


Parental nutitional defeciencies:
Vitamin B12
Folic acid
Pantothenic acid
Linoleum acid
Vitamin K
Vitamin D3
Secondary vitamin deficiencies
Antibiotic therapy destroying vitamin-producing bacteria
Diet imbalances and inadequate food intake

Other contibutors:
Viral diseases
Bacterial infections
Fungal infections
Egg jarring or shaking in first trimester
Incubator faults
Inbreeding resulting in lethal genes


Inadequate or incorrect turning
Outside environmental factors and humidity
Haphazard incubation

Incubator faults:
Poor incubator ventilation
Egg cooling early in incubation
Inadequate or incorrect turning
Incorrect temperature
Incorrect humidity
Long storage time pre-incubation

Other contributors:
Infectious diseases
Nutritional deficiencies: A,D, E, K, antithetic acid, folic acid
Lethal genes
Chromosomal abnormalities
Idiopathic developmental abnormalities

Note: Brewers Yeast contains many of the nutrients listed above and would be an excellent supplement to offer the birds on a regular (1-2 times a week) basis prior to breeding. In addition, sunflower takes the bad rap as a contributor to liver problems, when in fact the Striped Sunflower seed is a powerhouse of nutrients. that are essential to a healthy egg and embryo. .

9,158 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My first born in October, I practically took pictures every day after he was born.


That is a good thing to do, especially if the chick growth was normal. You then have a visual guide to use to compare growths with other chicks. You might even add info to each pix and put it online as a reference for other to refer to as to daily changes, etc....similar to what I've done:

Attached below are some forms that might be helpful. They are in jpeg format. Double click for the large view....right click, copy and save to Windows Photo Gallery or a photo-editing program, and print.


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