Laying Tiel


Letter

I have a pair of cockateils, while I was out of town for a weekend the female started laying eggs. There are a total of 6 now. The problem is it laid the eggs in a metal container that I kept in the cage filled with water. The water must have evaporated due to the heat and the now I don't know what to do with the eggs. The bird has become very aggressive and will not let me put my hand in the cage without her going crazy and I'm afraid she is going to hurt herself.

Do I just let her alone? Or try to move her eggs to a nesting box? I know nothing about the birds, they were both found in my back yard a couple of months apart, and they are still pretty wild. The cage is on a screened porch. I live in Texas and it is very warm and humid here. Any suggestions?

Reply

What you want to do with the eggs depends on whether or not you're willing to breed tiels. Breeding is a big responsibility and is not for everyone. If you have both a male and a female chances are that the eggs are fertile. If the hen is actually sitting on the eggs it's best to just leave them in there until she becomes tired of them and stops incubating. Then you can feel free to throw them out. Some single hens will continue laying clutch after clutch of eggs. This can be dangerous since they will deplete their calcium reserves. Make sure she has a good source of calcium like cuttlebone. You can get a nestbox but beware that this REALLY encourages egg laying and breeding.

Don't worry about her hurting herself. The attacks on you are a normal nesting behavior. Even sweet pets will attack their owners if they "intrude" into the nesting area. Just watch your hands and try to service the cage as quickly as you can.

One thing that does worry me is that the water evaporated out of the dish. Birds always need a constant source of fresh water. In hot places, like here in California, keeping water from evaporating can be a problem. Water bottles are good as long as they are cleaned routinely (many people get lazy about cleaning them though). If you use dishes they should be checked twice daily on hot days to make sure there's still water in them.

Feisty Feathers
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