Cockatiel Egg Laying Problem

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


Cockatiel health















Cockatiel egg laying is one of the problem that occurred in keeping cockatiel as pet bird. This is because even if we keep only one cockateil, but egg laying still can happen if out pet bird is a female cockatiel. Sometimes egg laying problem in cockatiel able to make us as the pet bird owner feel worried about our pet bird, about their health and of course about their behaviour.


I would like to discuss this topic here so you may get some idea about what to do or whether it will effect your pet cockatiel behaviour. As usual, I prepared this based on my experience with my teel (my cockateil) and from many cockatiel book  and cockatiel articles that I read and study. However, this might help or it might not able to help you as this discussion is on general only.


The reason of egg laying problem.

Refer to the reason of cockatiel egg laying, I think one obvious reason is because the female cockatiel is matured and the chemical or their internal body have ready to breed.  A female cockatiel can start to lay egg since about 1 year plus. However, for a tame pet cockatiel they normally didn’t lay egg until they are more older.


Egg laying problem also can happen due to the nutritient that our pet bird (pet cockatiel) get from their food. I heard that some food which contain lots of protiens sometime will able tick the internal clock of the cockatiel to lay egg.  Some of the breeder will use this method, i.e. provide special diet to their breeding stock to encourage them to breed. However, I think this is not very good for the bird health.


One more reason that may able to ‘encourage’ egg laying problem is due to the environment. Many birds will start to breed if the environment is suitable which include lots of food, warm weather, and a suitable nesting site. Therefore, even your tame pet cockatiel is kept alone, she might have egg laying problem sometime in a year if all the ‘suitable environment’ come together.


How to prevent your pet cockatiel from egg laying problem.

For the first reason, I don’t think we can do anything. Over time our cockatiel bird will become matured. What we can do regarding this is to give lots of attention to our tiel therefore they are healthy and live long.


Refer to the second reason, I think we can do something to prevent this and will avoid our pet cockatiel from egg laying problem. In this case, we should be very careful about the choices of the food that we should give to our cockatiel bird. For example if we want to shop for pet bird pallet, we should avoid the one that specialised for breeding birds. Sometimes if we provide lots of green food or we provide abundant food for our pet cockatiel, their internel clock may think that it is the best time to breed and without her knowledge our pet cockatiel lay egg. if this happen and you suspect that food is the main reason (say for example you encounter egg laying problem after you provide certain type of food) you may reduce the amount of the food given to try to provide different food for the cockatiel.


If your cockatiel have egg laying problem due to the environment, the prevention is also similar to ‘nutrition reason’. There are some step that you can do to prevent or to fix this problem due to this reason. One of the step is to moved the cage to different place with brighter light coming in.  if you have any nest box inside the cage, I think you should take it our and provide only toys that will not suitable to make a nest. While the food also should be choose carefully, we can reduce the green vegi from her diet.


What you should to if your cockatiel have egg laying problem.

Well, I think I should make it clear here that egg laying problem in the context that I discuss here is not the egg that occurred from breeding pair. Egg laying problem here is the egg that is laid by a (noted the ‘a’ mean only one bird is keep) cockatiel. We try to prevent or solve cockateil egg laying problem because this will make our pet bird exhausted and tired, sometimes can even kill our cockatiel. The egg that is laid also will not able to hatch or produce baby bird or baby cockatiel for us.


Normally there are 2 different category of egg laying, first one is where the cockatiel will lay the eggs from a perch. If this happen, you can just removed the eggs immediately. Normally in this case the eggs have been broke and she will not bother to the eggs.


Second category is when the cockatiel lay her egg on the food bowl or a ‘nest’ (somewhere that she consider it is her nest). In this case, you must be extra careful and not simply removed the eggs because it may cause the cockatiel to lay more eggs if her eggs is taken.  For this case, we should leave the eggs for some times, say one week until and observe whether the mother trying to sit on the eggs. If she didn’t then we can removed the eggs, if she do, then we must not removed all or of we removed, we shoulld replace it with some plastic eggs. After a while (say 2-3 weeks) normally the cockatiel will abandon the egg by herself.

In both case, we should make sure that we have enough calcium suppliment for our cockatiel. Egg laying problem in cockatiel actually able to drain calcium source from the body of the female cockatiel and if no replacement, her bone structure may become weaker.


I hope this simple and brief information above can help to solve or assist you if you cockatiel have egg laying problem. Don’t panic and just carefully help them, I m sure your cockatiel should be fine. However, if problem still occurred, do not hesitate to contact the nearby Vet for some opinion or assistant.



Cockatiel Books and Video Tapes from Avian Publications

The Complete Pet Bird Owner's Handbook (Revised Edition) by Dr. Gary A. Gallerstein

Avian Medicine: Principles and Application (Abridged Edition) by Dr. Branson Ritchie, Dr. Greg Harrison, Linda Harrison & Dr. Donald W. Zantop




2 June 2005

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