Breeding cockatiels

fishyfishyfishy13

I have had my lutino cockatiel for awhile now and my friends grandma had a cockatiel that needed to be rehomed so I now have a male and a female cockatiels. When I put them together the first time my female didn't really know what to think of him. After letting them play together for awhile I decided to put them in the same cage. Well now they have mated and she is starting to lay eggs (she has 2 as of right now) I gave them a mating box and put paper shreddings in there for bedding a few weeks ago.

I just would like to get some advice and some last minute information on raising the chicks, I have read as many articles I can about it and I feel pretty informed right now. I would just like people to shoot me some ideas and things I want to watch.
 

Aquarist

Hello FishyFishyFishy,

I know we have several bird fanciers on the site. Hopefully you'll get some responses before too long.

Did I miss the photo thread of your birds? :camera:


Ken
 

Fishies-for-me

Sorry I have 3 birds but no breeding experience... my budgies are really into the planned parenthood thing.. and right now they are not planning on being parents as much as I would like them to...lol
 

bolivianbaby

I'm not a bird breeder at all, although I have birds all over my house.

You probably already know this since you've researched, but if you're wanting to re-home the babies as pets, getting in touch with an experienced bird person to teach you how to hand-feed the babies will be pretty important.

Hand-fed babies are already tame, which makes them very appealing to potential homes.

I hope this helps until some of our more experienced bird breeding members come along.
 

fishyfishyfishy13

I would like to think I know how much work it is to raise birds and I was going to take them out of the same cage because I didn't want them breeding during the school year as I am still only in high school. I have about a month until the school year starts and I'm pretty sure this is going to be a handful
 

bolivianbaby

I would like to think I know how much work it is to raise birds and I was going to take them out of the same cage because I didn't want them breeding during the school year as I am still only in high school. I have about a month until the school year starts and I'm pretty sure this is going to be a handful

Smart thinking. I'm pretty sure you're right-it will be a handful;D
 

aquariumgirl lauren

You are supposed to feed the baby birds every 1-2 hours and even if they miss one of these meals when they are young it can be fatal. But I'm not sure how long you hand feed the chicks like this I'm pretty sure its 4-6 months but I'm not 100% sure. So if you start school in one month you would have to see if you can get anyone to feed them for you while they are at school. And when feeding the birds make sure you check the temperature of the formula and that it is 100F-105F and make sure there are no hot spots in the formula. A lot of baby birds get killed if the formula you are going to feed them is too hot or too cold. Hope this helped and good luck!
 

fishyfishyfishy13

I know thanks for the input... It probably wouldn't be a great idea to put them with their parents so they're parents could feed them when I'm not home? or could I do that
 

TedsTank

We used to raise them. I had a nest box hanging outside the cage, with the opening to the inside. Let the parents raise them but as soon as the feathers started coming in we would take the babes out for a bit just to handle them....worked really well!!! Oh, half the nest box on the outside could be opened....never disturbed the adult birds.

They never stopped breeding, we had to take the mom out occasionaly, to another cage just so she could rest!!!
 

fishyfishyfishy13

yeah I think that might be a problem... I do have another cage though... that might be what I have to do until next summer at least
 

gremlin

Are the adults tame? If so, then it shouldn't be a problem letting the parents feed the babies. Just make sure you handle them as much as possible. You could also hand feed them one or two times a day in addition to the parents feedings. That way they will see humans as a source of food and a good thing, not something to be afraid of. If the parents are not tame, then you will need to pull the babies for handfeeding as soon as their feathers start coming in. Earlier if possible. If you wait until their feathers come in, it will be easier to keep them warm. If you pull them earlier, you will need to provide a heat source to keep them warm. A cold chick cannot digest food and can starve with a full crop. (The crop is the sacs on either side of the neck where the food is held until it moves into the stomach to digest). It can take several months to raise baby cockatiels. As they get a bit older, they will not need to be fed quite as often. Right at first, they will need to be fed every couple of hours, that is why it is best to let the parents feed for the first couple weeks. Once their eyes are open and they start getting their pinfeathers, they should be old enough to be handfed without too many problems. As for the temp of the food, I never used a thermometer. It should feel slightly warmer than skin temp, but not too much. If it is too cold, it can chill the baby and cause crop impaction (where the food does not move properly). If it is too warm, it can burn a hole through the delicate skin of the crop. I helped my dad raise and handfeed cockatiels from the time I was old enough to hold a syringe. I also hand raise lovebirds which take almost the same type/amount of care. I have a couple of threads on here about raising lovebirds if you want to scan those. There is also a cockatiel care sheet that is stickied in the bird section. Any other questions, just ask.
 

fishyfishyfishy13

well my female is fairly tame, I can get her out and play with her, but she does get moody when she lays eggs... I think this is normal? but my male isn't tamed, hes been out of the cage and played with a little but he will bite if you try to pick him up. He doesn't really mind if you stand there and watch him but just walking by he will start hissing. Some of the articles I have read on handfeeding says to take them out after 2 weeks with their parents and place them in a brooder, I have seen homemade brooders made of rubbermaid totes and a heat pad placed on 1 side.
 

gremlin

As long as you handle the babies as much as possible, you would not need to pull them for handfeeding until they start getting their feathers. At that point, they don't need the heating pad so much. Provide bedding for them to snuggle in and they should be able to stay warm enough as long as the room they are kept in is not too cold. For bedding, I use burlap. Cut the burlap into 3-4 inch squares and then pull it apart so it is in strings. I use this for bedding when the babies are a bit older. When I first pull the babies for feeding, I use cut up napkins for their bedding.
 

fishyfishyfishy13

why burlap? would shredded paper work as well? How long would I have to wait before they don't need fed every couple hours? and when you have feed them do you pick them up and hold them?
 

gremlin

I will sometimes hold them in my hand - it depends on how many I am feeding at a time. If it is just one, then yes, I hold it in my hand. I had two lovebirds that I was handfeeding and used an empty whipped topping container lined with napkins for feeding. Here is a video of one of their feedings:


These two (Remus and Romulus) have gone to their new home and (at last report) have trained their new Momma to open their cage and their curtains so they can enjoy an after breakfast snooze in the sun on their climbing tree.

Here are some pics of some of the other lovebirds I have hand raised. Some of them eating - then a couple of naptime. When their bellies are full, they like cuddle time.
 

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fishyfishyfishy13

well shes only laid four eggs that's about normal for her, I'm hoping they will all hatch. is it best to feed them all at once if you have more than 1?
 

gremlin

It is usually easier. If you have a plastic tub (like the whipped topping one I used) it should work well. Line it with napkins or paper towels to make it easier for clean up. You will need to have some formula on hand. I ordered mine from Drs Foster and Smith. It is really easy to use - just mix with warm water. They also sell the syringes for feeding. Mix the formula a bit thinner when they are young, then you can mix it thicker as they get older.
How often you feed them will change as they grow and depending on the thickness of the food. You want to allow most to all of the food to leave the crop before feeding again to prevent crop impaction. Also, if the food is mixed to dry it can cause problems. I generally mix it about the consistency of pudding for the older babies. For the young ones, I will mix it a bit thinner - about the consistency of honey.
 

fishyfishyfishy13

well like I have said I won't be able to feed them during the day because Ill be in school, I was wondering if I could handfeed them several times a day but keep them with their parents when I'm not home so they could, or would that not work?
 

fishyfishyfishy13

Hello FishyFishyFishy,

I know we have several bird fanciers on the site. Hopefully you'll get some responses before too long.

Did I miss the photo thread of your birds? :camera:


Ken

here are some pictures of the parents
 

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