What To Do If Your Cockatiel Lays An Egg

In the early time when I started raising cockatiels, a question appeared in my mind what to do if your cockatiel lays an egg? Every species has its own way of reproducing. As for birds, they lay eggs. Although the reproducing process is egg laying, there are some differences seen in different types of birds. As for cockatiels, egg-laying is a bit special. More of that later, let’s talk about what to do when your cockatiel lays an egg.

Well, the answer is divided into two parts. If you own both a male and a female cockatiel and you suspect breeding has taken place between them, it is best not to remove the eggs unless the eggs are broken or cracked. Because broken and cracked eggs can spread bacteria. A cockatiel usually sits on the eggs for 21-30 days, while the incubation period is given about 18 days. Let your cockatiel incubate the eggs and if possible, provide a breeding box with wood dust at the bottom and place the eggs on it. 

If you only own a female cockatiel and no breeding has taken place, yet your cockatiel is laying eggs, there is nothing to worry about. Female cockatiels tend to lay unfertilized eggs. Once the eggs are laid, replace them with fake or sterilized eggs and let the eggs be for at least three weeks or 21 days, regardless of whether your cockatiel is incubating them or not. Then remove one egg at a time till there is no egg left.

Now let’s dive into the details without wasting any time.

What To Do If Your Cockatiel Lays An Egg?

The first thing you should know is about egg-laying-related information. So, female cockatiels tend to lay eggs within one or two weeks after the mating has taken place. That being said, the next thing you should know is cockatiels do not lay all their eggs at once. Cockatiels lay one egg every two days till all the eggs of the clutch are laid. There are usually four to six eggs in each clutch. So it would take eight to ten days for a female cockatiel after one week since mating to lay all her eggs in one clutch. 

1. Provide A Breeding Box

Once the eggs have been laid, you have to check for broken or cracked eggs. Broken or cracked eggs can cause the spread of bacteria and cause diseases and infections in your pet bird. So, do not leave broken or cracked eggs. Now you will have to provide a breeding box that has some wood dust in its bottom. 

Put the eggs in the box and let your cockatiel sit on the eggs and incubate them. It may take a few days for your cockatiel to get used to it and start incubating the eggs. If it is your bird’s first egg laying, then it will ignore the eggs at first. Eventually, your bird will start incubating the eggs. The average incubation period is 18 days to approximately three weeks.

2. Check If The Eggs Are Fertilized

Once the eggs are laid, check if the eggs are fertilized or not. If the eggs are fertile, there will be a dot in the center with veins arising from it, which is the embryo. Sterile or unfertilized eggs will be more or less transparent. Even if the eggs are unfertilized, wait till the end of the incubation period and remove the eggs one at a time each day till there are none left. 

Keep in mind that female cockatiels become aggressive during the egg incubation period to protect the eggs. If provoked, they may show aggressive behavior and actions. So, no need to worry if you see behavioral changes during this period. Let your birds incubate the eggs and after the incubation period, you can expect healthy cockatiel babies. 

what to do if my cockatiel lays an egg

3. Provide Healthy Food

Provide nutritious food, calcium and protein-rich foods to your female cockatiel to recover because the egg-laying process takes a toll on the female cockatiel’s health. If you want to keep breeding your cockatiels, there is another essential information you should keep in mind. Cockatiels should not be allowed to mate more than three times per year. It takes a great toll on the physical well-being of the female cockatiel’s health. Like most other birds, cockatiels can mate at any time of the year. Do not let your birds mate more than three times per year. To prevent them from mating, keep them in separate cages. 

After the eggs are hatched, keep the babies with their mother till they can feed on their own. Separate the chicks from their parents when they are about 4-6 weeks old. Provide nutritious food during this period and provide food more in quantity to ensure better health for both the parent and the chicks. Nutritious food is also required for the female cockatiel to recover.

Note: If their parents don’t feed them, you must hand-feed the babies so that they don’t starve to death.

Things To Do If A Female Cockatiel Self-Stimulates & Lays Infertile Eggs

I have already discussed the things to do and what not to do when your cockatiel lays fertile eggs. That being said, let’s talk about what to do if your cockatiel lays infertile eggs.

Unlike most species, cockatiels can lay infertile eggs. If left for a long without company and attention, cockatiels tend to self-stimulate themselves with toys and available objects. In this case, female cockatiels self-stimulate and lay infertile eggs. The number of eggs laid is the same as fertile eggs and the period between each egg laying is the same too. 

how to tell if cockatiel egg is fertile
A Fertile Egg

If you do not have a male cockatiel and your cockatiel is laying eggs, you can be sure that you own a female cockatiel and it is laying infertile eggs. Still, check for black dots in the center of the egg to see if it is fertile or not. You are most likely to find the eggs transparent because they are all infertile. 

As the eggs are infertile, you will have to remove the eggs sooner or later. But you should not just remove all the eggs out of the blue. You should replace the eggs with fake eggs first. Let the eggs remain in the cage for about three weeks which is the estimated incubation period. Once the incubation period is over, take the eggs one by one each day until there are no eggs left to retrieve. 

This way, you can retrieve the eggs and prevent your cockatiel from laying more eggs in the process. Female cockatiels have the tendency to lay more eggs if they see no egg present in the cage. If they keep on laying eggs, it will cost the bird its physical health. To prevent that from happening and more eggs from getting laid, do not remove the infertile eggs. 

How To Stop Cockatiel From Laying Eggs?

Now, let’s talk about an additional topic. How to prevent your female cockatiel from laying infertile eggs? The infertile egg-laying process costs your bird its health. Forcefully self-stimulating and laying eggs ruins the bird physically. The prevention is simple. Female cockatiels lay eggs when fully mature and capable of bearing babies. If you have a reproductively active female cockatiel and you want to breed more, then get a mature male cockatiel and get the birds to breed. That is a way to prevent unfertile eggs from being laid and that also saves your bird’s health. 

If you don’t want to breed more cockatiels, you have to understand that female birds tend to self-stimulate when they have nothing better to do. Provide your bird with more time and attention. If you cannot spend time with your bird, get some exciting toys for your bird to keep it occupied. That way, it won’t think about laying eggs only. Remember to remove any object that stimulates the egg-laying process. Remove any box or container that inspires your bird to lay eggs. Remove objects and toys that your bird can likely use to self-stimulate. 

These are everything that you should know about your cockatiel laying eggs. Whether your bird is laying fertile or infertile eggs, remember to take care of your bird and provide nutritious food to recover. Prevent your bird from laying infertile eggs. Keep your feathered friend happy and content! I hope this article will help you out with the egg-laying issue.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why isn’t my cockatiel sitting on its eggs?

It is natural for a female cockatiel not to sit on the eggs. The average incubation period is 18 days. It usually takes 21 to 30 days to hatch an egg because the female cockatiel does not sit for incubation in the first few days after laying the eggs. If the female is too young, it may not even have the idea of incubating the eggs. Give the bird some time to get used to it. To inspire incubation, provide a breeding box with some wood dust in the bottom and put the eggs inside the box. Female cockatiels prefer dark corners and privacy to incubate the eggs. This might help in the incubation. 

How long can cockatiel eggs be unattended?

Cockatiels tend to take some time to incubate the eggs after laying them. There is nothing to worry about if this happens. Cockatiels usually don’t start incubating until the clutch’s 2nd or 3rd egg has been laid. The eggs, when laid, remain viable for up to 10 days before being attended to by the bird. Fertile eggs can remain viable up to ten days after incubation if left unattended. 

Should I remove my cockatiel’s eggs?

If you only have a female cockatiel and no breeding has taken place, then your bird is most likely laying infertile eggs. Laying infertile eggs is a harmful process of female cockatiels of self-stimulation, which ruins the bird’s physical health. It is better to remove infertile eggs. After the eggs are laid, removing them immediately will only inspire the bird to lay more eggs. So, replace the eggs with fake eggs instead, wait up to 3 weeks, then remove the eggs one by one till there is no egg left. 

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