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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a proven pair of breeding Cockatiels. Last fall they laid six eggs and all made it with me only having to learn how to hand feed the youngest alongside the parents because its siblings were roughly a week to a week and a half older than it. Jump to this spring, I tried using a bigger box because I noticed how cramped six babies, plus mom and dad were in the previous nesting box. Momma bird refused it and let her first egg drop to the cage bottom. I found it shortly after, with a small crack in it. I tried to put it in the new box, to see if it would get the mamma in it. It made Daddy cockatiel go into super dad mode, but shortly later, I find they had cracked the egg open fully and started eating it. Freaking out...I rushed to the store, bought a new classic nesting box and my husband and I set it up as the first box was. Our female accepted it right away and went in to start prepping it. A few days later we had our first egg in it. Since they only did six last clutch, we weren't expecting more than that. We ended up with 7 this clutch (8 counting the one that broke, from the female refusing the first box. But our female and male somehow cracked two more eggs, one had a chick inside. Causing it to hatch too early, and sadly it didn't make it...either its two older siblings stepped on it or the parents just ignored it...I am not sure. I removed the second cracked egg, and baby shortly after it stopped moving.

We were starting to get concerned at this point, because we weren't sure how the parents would react. All the sudden our female started laying more eggs (currently 3 new ones, taking us to 11 eggs this clutch. Counting the ones we lost.) We bought an incubator (a Brinsea Mini II EX) in hopes that if needed we could help the parents out. We are trying to find the correct information to have it set up correctly, if we have to separate the eggs. We are currently with two chicks just over a week old, one about a week, and one egg starting to pip, the final egg with a chick still seems to have more growing to do.

Not much in the three newest eggs as of yet. But for some reason while the daddy has been taking care of the chicks, the mother half lays on the eggs and just ignores the nest the rest of the time. She has even started to breed with the male again, instead of tending to the eggs. She keeps breeding with the male, when he steps out of the box, and we worry she is trying to do what she did last clutch. Where she started attacking her chicks who had just started to get their feathers, to move, so she could lay more eggs. We had to separate her to a secondary cage till the chicks had left the nest, and we could take the box down. We had her in slightly smaller cage right next to the main cage...she had even tried to get her mate to breed with her through the cage bars...which we found odd. We did put her back into the main cage, after the babies had left the nest and we were able to take the box down.

At this point in time...with three very young chicks, and at least two more on the way. We can not remove the nesting box, till it is okay to do so. We worry our female, is just more interested in breeding and tending to the eggs up to when the eggs start to hatch. Then she seems to want to start a new clutch right away.

After candling the oldest of the three newest eggs (laid on April 19, 2021), I have not seen any veins, but the egg and the two that proceeded it (laid on April 21 and April 23) look healthy...Not sure what is going on with them...after much research, I fear they might be infertile. The male has been doing a lot of the egg tending, and the female...has sort of given up or lost interest maybe. We have noticed they have been leaving the nesting box, for longer periods of time. Even though two eggs still need to be kept warm.

At this time we are looking for information on what to set our incubator to, and if we should separate the momma cockatiel like we did before. Our male is a SUPER dad cockatiel and steps right up to the plate and takes over a lot of the duties when our female (momma) just in a sense gives up. We really do not want to lose any of the babies, but at the same time...have our bases covered.
 

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The 3 new eggs are “replacements” of the lost eggs. I think you should take the eggs out and put them in the incubator and maybe try to care for the babies yourself. If you are seeing that they are losing interest in the eggs, they will probably not take care of the babies. Please don’t let them die.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I really don't want them to die. I have been hand feeding them whenever I see their crops are looking empty and the parents haven't been taking care of them. I really wish I could figure out what happened to make the parents act out like they have been.
 

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I really don't want them to die. I have been hand feeding them whenever I see their crops are looking empty and the parents haven't been taking care of them. I really wish I could figure out what happened to make the parents act out like they have been.
If they’re not taking care of them, you have to put them in the incubator because they can die of hypothermia. Since they are babies, there parents are supposed to cover them like the eggs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Should I turn off the turning feature? I am very new to using an incubator and I am trying to do all I can to keep the babies going.
 

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Should I turn off the turning feature? I am very new to using an incubator and I am trying to do all I can to keep the babies going.
I’ve also never used an incubator , so I’m afraid I can’t tell you anything. Have you looked it up on google?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have been googling so much, but finding very little. Which is super frustrating. I was told to separate the parents since the male is actually a good career of the babies, since the female gets so aloof. I have currently moved all the eggs to the incubator and the three chicks are in the nesting box, in hopes that their father will step in like he did last clutch. I am trying to do all I can to keep the babies and eggs alive.
 

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I have been googling so much, but finding very little. Which is super frustrating. I was told to separate the parents since the male is actually a good career of the babies, since the female gets so aloof. I have currently moved all the eggs to the incubator and the three chicks are in the nesting box, in hopes that their father will step in like he did last clutch. I am trying to do all I can to keep the babies and eggs alive.
I agree. You should let the dad do the job. I had the same case, but the mom was the good parent, while the dad was a monster. You should separate them and let the dad take over
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
That's how I have it now, eggs in the incubator and chicks in the nest box attached to the main cage, with the dad. Keeping my fingers crossed and checking in on the chicks periodically via a camera we added to the nesting box since the last clutch to keep a better eye on things.
 

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That's how I have it now, eggs in the incubator and chicks in the nest box attached to the main cage, with the dad. Keeping my fingers crossed and checking in on the chicks periodically via a camera we added to the nesting box since the last clutch to keep a better eye on things.
Has the dad been covering them and feeding them? If yes make sure that the parents have no contact with each other at all. If the dad is taking care of the babies and he hears the mom, it will be a temptation. That’s what happened to me multiple times. The mom would be doing such a good job taking care of the babies and then she hears the dad screaming and she gets tempted to get out of the nesting box.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
As of right now the father is not sure what to do, since we separated them. I am trying to figure out how to convince him the babies chicks are with him still.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Got daddy to notice the babies after I hand fed them a bit to help them out! YES!! Now I just have to hope to kicks into full on dad gear and steps up to the plate again! Fingers and everything I can is crossed, hoping daddy does what he needs to and that the two eggs that were about to hatch hatch. Please let me keep the positives rolling...I really need them after this crazy few days of stressing out about these chicks and eggs...:cry:😣😩
 

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Awwwww I wanna squish him right now 🥺! I’ll be praying for the babies 💖. Make sure the papa is getting enough food and water too!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
We had to separate our hen into what we call her bachelorette pad. But she was still trying to get her mate to breed through the bars. So we covered her, but she would crouch down and call to him from the little peep holes. So we put another cover on her, light enough not to be harmful. Just trying to calm her jets. But if she so much as heard a peep from her man, even if he was singing to the chicks. She would start calling out like it was the last time she would have. She did it shortly after I had gotten our male into the nesting box and sitting on the chicks. She called out and he was out of the box licky spilt. So she now has a new space in our bedroom, where a door muffles her enough that our male stays tending to the chicks. We go in and out of the room a lot during the day, so she isn't totally alone. But as of right now, it's working and we got the five eggs in the incubator, and four chicks (with another one starting to pip on the way, to join it's siblings) with daddy. If we see our female laid yet another egg, we move it to the incubator right away. Because even though we put a mini version of a nest in her pad, she laid an egg on the cage bottom in front of the make shift nest...picky odd ball female.
 

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We had to separate our hen into what we call her bachelorette pad. But she was still trying to get her mate to breed through the bars. So we covered her, but she would crouch down and call to him from the little peep holes. So we put another cover on her, light enough not to be harmful. Just trying to calm her jets. But if she so much as heard a peep from her man, even if he was singing to the chicks. She would start calling out like it was the last time she would have. She did it shortly after I had gotten our male into the nesting box and sitting on the chicks. She called out and he was out of the box licky spilt. So she now has a new space in our bedroom, where a door muffles her enough that our male stays tending to the chicks. We go in and out of the room a lot during the day, so she isn't totally alone. But as of right now, it's working and we got the five eggs in the incubator, and four chicks (with another one starting to pip on the way, to join it's siblings) with daddy. If we see our female laid yet another egg, we move it to the incubator right away. Because even though we put a mini version of a nest in her pad, she laid an egg on the cage bottom in front of the make shift nest...picky odd ball female.
So glad to hear that! I hope everything continues to go well.
 
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