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Cockateils first clutch

Submitted by elaine7717 on Sat, 01/31/2015 - 05:39

Hello everyone. In the past of I have bred budgies. This is my first time with my cockateils Butter and Toast. Toast was named Toast because when we brought him home from the pet store his phrase was Wheres my Toast? So naturally his mate had to be Butter. Butter surprised us by initatating the breeding process at the young age of 12months. Toast is closer to about 3 years.They mated about 2 weeks ago. I placed a cockateil nestbox in the cage. Both the male and female checked it out but would not enter it. The male made a roundish nest pad on the bottom of the cage out paper towels. For some reason Butter refused his offering she tore it up and put it in the grit dish. She finally laid her first and second egg on the grate of the cage.Today she came up to front of the cage with a broken egg on her chest for us toremove from her poor girl. We placed a hankerchief under the remaining egg but she is not sitting on it tonight. Maybe shes just not done laying. And of course she chose the middle of a New York winter to breed so I am hoping it will be warm enough for incubation. Wondering if I should maybe remove the top to the nestbox to make it more inviting or what to do next.Thanks for reading this.

It doesn't look so good for their first clutch.  The first time rarely is successful - especially so if the breeding birds are young, inexperienced and not properly set up for breeding - and all three factors seem to be stacked against a successful hatch. 


Once brooding has commenced (female / parents have started to sit on the egg, a process called incubation), this process must not be interrupted. If an egg is allowed to cool down, the embryo inside will die and that is basically it.


So it is very important to provide the hen with a nest box and hopefully she will starting in nesting in that.  If she decides to nest in the foot cup or on the floor, there is really nothing you can do OTHER than try to place any nest box in a different area NEXT TIME.  If you move the eggs, hens will usually not get back on these eggs, or if they do get back on them, it is usually too late and any growing life in the egg has already died.

So live and learn.  This being said, cockatiels are VERY prolific.  Double and even triple clutching in a season is not unknown. So do not worry.  Before long you will be inundated with chicks :-)


In any case - this is not the time to breed really.   However, the breeding season is just around the corner. This will give you an opportunity to assess their current set-up.  For successful breeding, you will need to have a nest box and leave it in a month or so before the breeding season to allow the couple to be comfortable with it.  You will know that breeding is close when the female starts to spend most of the time in the nest box. 


Something that is important: DO NOT REMOVE ANY EGGS until the female has given up on them.  This will lead the female to replace them, and this can result in mineral deficiencies, egg binding and other health issues.  So always leave eggs until the female starts ignoring them ...


This webpage will provide you some guidance: ... If you need further help, please let us know.  Best of luck now! Sibylle

AWESOME!   In about 7 days or so you should be able to see if the eggs are fertile by candling them.  This can be done with an egg candler - but if you don't have that, the good old way of holding an egg against a bright light usually shows enough to know if it is a dud or a developing embryo.  Hopefully you will have your first clutch in just under 4 weeks ... Sibylle

It sounds like you are  going to be a "mom" (again) before long!  Since you have experience with chicks you know how things are.  The parents will soon be frantically looking for food to feed their young.  I would boil eggs, smash them up with a fork and give it to them once a day (in the morning). It was unbelievable how quickly they ate it.  I added some wholegrain bread every day as well; parsley, millets, etc. The young typically get started on feeding themselves with millets.  Anyhow, best of luck!  Hopefully you will get some photos of the young! Sibylle

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