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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

My first post on this forum.

Yesterday I offered half a Brazil nut to my female cockatiel and she began acting different and playful around it.

Her feathers started fluffing up and she tried to keep it close or under her. Rather than eating it she just moved it around with her beak (gently as opposed to her usual aggressive nature :) )

Part of me thinks she thought it was an egg, or perhaps a sign she is planning to start a family?

She and her partner have been mating for around 12 months, but no sign of laying though.
 

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Hello there and welcome to the forum!

Your girl is treating the nut like an egg and trying to roll it under her to sit on it.

Has your pair been mating correctly? Some 'tiels don't start laying until they have an actual nest box.

Have you read up about breeding? There are plenty of informative articles on breeding cockatiels in the Sticky Library.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply Vickitiel.

I am happy to hear :)

I think they have been mating correctly from what i have read and seen so far, but I will definitely have a look through the sticky library as you suggested.

I got them a nest box in the past but as opposed to investigating inside it they decided to chew and stay outside, so i removed it. But i will have a look into again
 

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A cockatiel who finds an unattended egg will usually roll it under them, but they may not sit on it for very long. It doesn't necessarily mean that they want to start a family, it's just what their instincts tell them to do.

Chewing up the nestbox doorway is part of the male's job to prepare the nest when they do want to start a family. So let him do it if you give them a nestbox again, it should lead to him going inside eventually.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks tielfan for the info on the nestbox

To update you all on developments and after reading some of the sticky information on breeding end of september i purchased shredded aspen and put the nest box back inside the cage. I did this on the weekend of 29th/30th Sept. I put a second cuttlefish bone near the nest box, spinach and a mineral block (she is definately attacking these more) a sign i thought

The following morning my male cockatiel was hoping in and out rather confidently (FYI for years he would never enter any confined space being quite a nervous boy) Then she was going in the nest box.

Within one week! i noticed a very white egg in the nest box! (and that was one day after my mum said both of them were very wet like they had jumped in the water bowl).
They are comfortable with me peaking inside the box from distance. But if he is inside he gets very protective of anyone getting close to the cage door so I am being very careful with their space and not opening it.

But on the third morning i found a second egg outside the nest box. After reading around i wasn't sure if she could have actually moved it out of the nest box (i assume would be difficult especially at night) or if she laid it outside but i decided to put it in the nest box quickly without them seeing me. It didn't look damaged but then during the day i noticed it was broken inside the nest box and my boy had some egg shell under his chin. Not quite sure what happened, could it be that the egg was not going to develop so she didn't lay it in the nest box, or maybe accidentally broken inside the nest box, or because i handled the egg. It was definitely this second egg that was broken. We removed the birds from the cage when they were out of the nest box and removed the broken egg. They have still been spending a lot of time in the nest box, before and after the second broken egg so I hope they are fine.

Tomorrow will be the 5th day since first egg, so i am expecting maybe a third egg to come.

I am still cleaning the cage daily (checking food and making sure fresh water) but not touching anything inside the nest box (apart from removing broken egg). But can someone advise me:

They are both in an out of the nest box still and none are sleeping in the nest box overnight. I read that when the incubation process starts (where she has laid more than 2 eggs or around after 7-10 days) then one of them will constantly be sitting on the eggs. In anyone experience does that sound right? will she or he then stay in the nest box overnight? or did your cockatiel do this immediately?

I also wanted to know if its dark can the cockatiel navigate into the nest box to lay her egg, or will she lay it anywhere when it happens. I am a bit concerned on this part. Or should i find a small lamp and put it near the cage so they can see. At the moment as soon as it is reaching sunset neither of them have no interest of going in the nest box
 

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When incubation starts, with most pairs the hen will sit at night and the male will do most of the sitting in the daytime. But other arrangements are possible.

She may have laid the second egg outside the nest because it was too dark for her to see whether it was safe inside. It will be helpful to have a night light on when it's dark. If something frightens the hen during the night, she will leave the nest and won't go back in until she can see that it's safe. The eggs could be unattended for hours, and might get chilled and die.

First time parents don't always know what they're supposed to do, so it's possible that the hen doesn't realize that she should spend the night inside the nest. Maybe she will figure it out in time and maybe she won't. You'll just have to wait and see what happens.
 

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Usually incubation begins after the second egg is laid. My pair were so excited to sit on their eggs that they started incubation as soon as the first egg was laid. But every pair has different ideas, and like tielfan said, hopefully they will figure it out!

Best of luck with them and be sure to keep us updated on how they are doing. Love the photos, they are a beautiful pair. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
thank you tielfan and vickitiel for your replies, you are very kind and i feel reassured.

This morning i noticed the third egg (day 6 since first egg), but again she laid it outside the nest box so i put it inside the nest box with the first egg. Today one of them has been permanently inside the nestbox so hopefully the incubation process has started.

This evening I will put a lamp by the cage and hopefully they will do what they need to do
 
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