Cockatiel breeding questions

Discussion in 'Caged Birds - Finches, Canaries, Cockatiels, Parro' started by ChickDancer, Oct 14, 2014.

  1. ChickDancer

    ChickDancer Songster

    Mar 19, 2014
    I recently received four cockatiels, all housed in one cage together. One pair is about 14 years old, so I wasn't expecting much from them. The other is about 7 years old.

    Or so I've been told, anyway. I wanted to split up the pairs because the cage wasn't all that big, and the younger female has had her entire crest plucked. The younger male acts dominate, but his head has been plucked behind the crest.

    Unfortunately, before I could purchase a second cage, the younger male and OLDER female seem to have paired up and she has now laid an egg. It was in the bottom of the cage, so I quickly cut a hole in a cardboard box and put it in the cage and moved the egg in. They took to it immediately.

    However, 48 hours has passed, and she has not laid another egg. Yet as of this evening, she appears to be brooding (sleeping in the box with the egg).

    Can she really be laying eggs at 14 years old? Or is she likely much younger? I know there is a good chance it is fertile, because I actually caught the younger male mounted on her earlier that day.

    And if she is still capable of breeding at that age, should I now assume the one egg to be all she'll lay? I read that they should lay about once every 48 hours - even after she starts brooding. But she's pushing 72 hours now.
  2. GuineaFowling

    GuineaFowling Songster

    Oct 3, 2013
    Central California
    To answer your questions, yes at that age the hen may not lay more than the one egg. The egg may be fertile or clear. Usually older hens don't have good hatch rates even if they brood proper.

    If you do plan on breeding separate the two younger birds from the older birds. They will get used to their original mates soon enough so long as you make sure the older female and younger male cannot see one another.

    It will be a problem though if the older female doesn't lose her broodiness soon if you separate the two pairs. She will need a male to feed her while she is brooding and to help feed the young when they hatch. But if you keep the young and old as a pair together you can't separate them later because they will have become a true pair. But then you can't rebreed them because 14 is too old and can be harmful. I suggest you do what you think is best. If you want birds for breeding buy a younger pair around 2-3 years old.

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