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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Early this morning I heard sounds of X-rated pleasure coming from the big cage. This was strange, since all the adult tiels were sleeping in the smaller cages and only chicks were in there. So I carefully lifted the cover and found Casper trying to mate with his sister Teela. He wasn't doing it quite right (hadn't figured out exactly where he was supposed to press his tail) but he was about 80% there.

I separated them for a while and hoped that would be the end of it. But no, they went at it twice more that morning and by the last time it looked like he was doing it right. These chicks are only 5 months old! He doesn't even have a yellow face yet!! Tiels aren't supposed to reach sexual maturity until they're a year old or more.

So now I'm keeping them separate in the daytime (not convenient since they're used to being free in the bird room and no one likes to be locked up for any length of time), and Casper gets to sleep in the closet for an extra-long night. I certainly hope it works, but since he's equivalent to a horny teenager I'm not sure it will.

He probably couldn't actually father chicks at his age, but the stimulating effect on the other birds could be a problem. I don't know if Teela could actually produce eggs at her young age, but if she can it would be quite dangerous and I don't want to take the chance. Brother Squeebis (5 months old) and baby sister Snowy (3 months old) are very interested in the proceedings and they don't need to have their hormones stirred up either. And I definitely don't want the parents (Buster and Shodu) getting the idea that it's breeding season! I had a hard enough time preventing them from going for a third clutch back in June.
 

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The biggest problem I see with this behavior is that it may trigger Teela to attempt to produce eggs. Very dangerous for a bird so young. Even if casper is incapable of fertilizing eggs that won't stop her trying to lay. I would do all I could to dampen breeding triggers. Shorten thier exposure to light and cut back on fresh greens. Also make sure there are no dark little private corners they might consider a good place to lay. If all else fails you're going to have to separate them.
 

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I would separate them right from the start - girls in one cage boys in another

longer day light hours , switch the cage around - move toys to different spots , move perches, etc
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I've started keeping them separate already but I don't think that's enough. I have to dampen his ardor. Extra-long nights in the closet worked wonders for getting his mother out of breeding mode a couple of months ago so I'm hoping it will do the same for him. It took a week to see any effect at all with Shodu, and it was about three weeks before I really felt confident that she wasn't "in the mood" any more.

I'd put Teela in the closet too, but there's only room for one cage in there and I'm concerned that sleeping together in a small cage might help establish a pair bond. They don't seem to have a pair bond at the moment - they're just having some casual sex. Which is exactly the way their parents started out! Buster and Shodu didn't start acting like a bonded pair until after they'd raised two clutches of chicks.
 

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I would keep them separated and if the others start thinking mating is a good idea. I would separate the boys from the girls.
 

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LOL!! Snickers is starting to get ideas as well. :p Must be the age. I think that they hit sexual maturity around 6-7 months, because in the wild they would be breeding from a much younger age than we breed them at. It's obviously not the best for them to breed young, but in the wild the point is the produce as many offspring as possible as soon as possible. Sounds like you're doing the right things to discourage them.
 
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