If you have a cockatiel or are considering getting one, you might be concerned about cockatiel pregnancies or unwanted eggs. Therefore, we are here to discuss more about this topic.
In general, there is no definite way to know that your cockatiel is pregnant. A cockatiel’s egg can take anywhere from 21-30 days to incubate and hatch. Weight gain is not usually noticed, if at all, until towards the end of pregnancy.
Cockatiels are oviparous, which basically means that, they produce young by means of eggs that develop and hatch outside the maternal body.
Sometimes it can be difficult to determine if your cockatiel is really pregnant. In most cases, owners generally will wait till the eggs arrive.
How Long Are Cockatiels Pregnant For?
A female cockatiels lay their eggs within one to two weeks of mating. In each cluth, they usually lay between four and six eggs.
A cockatiel’s egg can take anywhere from 21-30 days to incubate and hatch. However, the days can vary a little, so you must not worry about the same.
Signs Of Pregnancy In Cockatiels
Being a cockatiel owner, you must know how to recognize the signs of a pregnant cockatiels.
Listed below are some of the ways by which you can know if your bird is pregnant.
Sudden Weight Gain
Your cockatiel will start to gain a few grams as it ready to start laying.
The gain in a few grams is hard to notice. So, most cockatiel owners easily miss it.
In general, you will not notice anything visually unless you measure its weight.
If your cockatiel is pregnant, the egg will occupy most of the bird’s abdomen.
A pregnant cockatiel poops less frequently than usual. However, when she poops, it is larger with slightly different tint as she eats the protein and minerals she needs.
A cockatiel’s enlarged droppings are one of the best signs that will tell you that your female cockatiel is about to lay an egg soon.
If you observe that your cockatiel’s feather looks puffier than usual, then it might mean that your bird is pregnant.
This is one of the most common signs that will tell you that your female cockatiel is pregnant.
In general, if your cockatiel is about to lay an egg, her lower belly will be puffy and you might be able to feel the egg if you touch gently.
The lower abdomen area looks pink and swollen.
Eat More Food
A pregnant cockatiel will eat more food than usual. The female will start to scratch the cuttle bone or the mineral blocks.
During this period, provide your bird with a nutrition rich diet.
Interest On Breeding Box
A pregnant female cockatiel frequently goes in and out of the breading box.
After a few days of mating, your female cockatiel will spend most of the time in the breeding box.
If you have not provided your bird with a breeding box, it will start biting and scratching the corners of the cage.
Increased Water Intake
If your cockatiel is pregnant, it will tend to drink a lot more water than usual.
During this period, a cockatiel need more water to developed the eggs. Thus, the increased water intake.
How Old Does A Female Cockatiel Have To Be To Lay Eggs?
Most cockatiels become sexually mature at anywhere from 10 months to 12 months.
However, experts recommend to waiting until cockatiels are 20 months old to breed. After about 20 months, the changes of egg problems are lessened.
Besides this, the age can vary depending on the breed of your bird.
In addition, your female cockatiel will also need plenty of time with its partner, so if you are planning on purchasing your first pair and want to breed them at home as well, then it is best that they have spent enough time together; we recommend at least three months before worrying about mating.
How Do You Know If Your Cockatiel Has Mated?
As discussed above, observing the common signs will tell you that your cockatiel is pregnant.
However, there is no definite way to determine if your birds have mated.
Your cockatiels might show some signs of mating behavior before they mate.
For example, your make cockaiel fluttering with a female, regurgitating food back and forth to each other.
If your cockatiels have mated, you might notice that your female bird is more interested in the breeding box.
The female will also seems to be more aggressive than usual, eats more food and minerals and cuttlebone.
What To Feed A Pregnant Cockatiel?
It is crucial to provide your cockatiel with a healthy and nutritious diet when it is pregnant.
If possible, I would advise you to provide your bird with a cuttlebone and mineral block as well.
Commercial seed mix available in market is also a must for cockatiels.
Feeding different vegetables and fruits regularly will ensure that your cockatiels are getting a good diet with a healthy variety of nutrients.
In addition, powdered egg diet mixes are sold online and in bird specialty stores works great for cockatiels.
Can We Touch Cockatiel Eggs?
It would be best never to touch your cockatiel’s egg when there is no need.
However, you can gently pick up the eggs if you need to move them or check them for fertility.
On the other hand, if you are planning on raising babies, it is best to leave the eggs alone so the parent pair can sit on them and incubate them without extra stress or accidental breakage from handling.
Can Cockatiels Get Pregnant Without Mating?
Cockatiels do tend to lay eggs without mating. However, these eggs are unfertilized.
Factors such as temperature, hormones, and breeding time cause a female cockatiel to lay eggs without mating.
How Does A Fertile Cockatiel Egg Look Like?
Once your cockatiels start incubating the egg, only 7-10 days after that will you be able to verify the fertility of the egg.
After 7-10 days of incubation, you should be able to see reddish-pink veins in the middle of the egg.
What Should I Do If My Cockatiel Lays An Egg?
When your cockatiel lays an egg, it is best to leave it alone for a few days. Then, notice how the parent birds are reacting to the egg.
The parents will toss the egg out if the egg does not hatch within the hatch date. They might even eat the egg or abandon their nest box.
If the eggs hatch, do not try to touch them immediately. Only once the chicks are a couple of weeks old can you handle them.