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How to successfully breed sweet baby Cockatiels

Updated on April 12, 2012

How to successfully breed sweet baby Cockatiels

How to successfully breed sweet baby Cockatiels

I have been breeding exotic birds for ten years. From the smallest of finches to the largest of the exotic parrots the Hyacinth Macaw, I have bred them all.

It took me many years of trial and error to finally learn and master the precise art of producing sweet baby cockatiels each and every time without fail. In this article I will give you step by step directions on how to reproduce this art. I promise that you will end up with some of the sweetest Cockatiels around.

First and foremost is finding and buying the pair that you will be mating. If you’re looking to start breeding tomorrow in order to make quick money off the babies stop reading this article right here because it will be a waste of your time.

I learned the hard way that buying full grown "bonded and mated" pairs is simply not the way to go if you want the sweetest offspring. Sometimes it may be the fastest way, but in my opinion it is not even close to the best. Knowing what I know now, I would never buy a bonded and mated pair, unless I personally knew the breeder very well.

Most grown pairs have very nasty attitudes. These birds have been raised in flight cages for breeding purposes with zero human contact or interaction. This combination makes for some pretty untouchable birds. There is no doubt that you will lose some blood and flesh if for any reason you need to make contact with these birds. Another problem with proven breeder pairs is that 99% of the time they never are. I never met a single bird breeder, including myself that was willing to part with a true bonded breeding pair that were good parents, producing healthy offspring and making money.

Breeders dump bad birds to the novice all the time. Even if a pair is sitting on eggs when you go to see them, buyers beware. This is the best way of dumping bad pairs that don't produce fertile eggs. The only thing worse than infertile eggs are pairs that are egg eaters or kill their young when they hatch, which tends to be more common then people are aware of. I also want to point out that under no circumstances whatsoever consider buying birds from an unkempt dirty facility. The last thing that you want to do is bring home diseases. A case of Psittacosis will not only kill any other birds you may have but will also wipe out the ones you just invested your hard-earned money on.

Another bird that should never be considered is a bird that plucks its own feathers or its mates feathers! Illness shows up in all forms, and plucking is a mental illness at its best! Plucking is a disorder that is almost impossible to stop or cure and is passed down to offspring if the bird is even capable of producing offspring in the first place.

When choosing breeders I always start out with sweet handfed babies. I can assure you that nothing produces sweeter babies then starting out with sweet parents. Good breeders are able to determine sex right at about six months of age for cockatiels. Purchase one of each sex from two completely different breeders or store in order to be 100% that there is not the slightest chance that they may be related. Try at all cost to buy both birds no more than three days apart.

Once you have chosen a reputable breeder or store make sure to tell the seller that you want this bird for a pet, otherwise you will be shown their breeder birds,and that is not what you want.

Take your time and check out the establishment to make sure it's clean. Make sure that you can easily handle the birds and that the seller can assure you of its sex in writing. If you get the chance to choose from more than one bird always chose the sweetest, friendliest and most alert.

Once you have purchased both babies place them together in a cage right away. Since both are so young they will not hurt each other and will bond quickly. Be sure that the cage you purchase is the largest available for cockatiels. This will not only be their permanent home but also their breeding cage so it has to be roomy. You now have two pet birds to enjoy, handle and play with often, and in eighteen months you will have a guaranteed bonded pair. The eighteen months allow them plenty of time to bond with each other and gives you the opportunity to start conditioning your hen.

In my personal opinion there should always be four dishes in a breeding cage. Food, Water, veggies and the last dish should be filled halfway with a product called Nektone-E fertility supplement. Hens tend to loose vital nutrients during egg laying so hanging a cuttlebone for calcium is always a good Idea. I always provide all my breeder pairs with Millet and finely chopped up hard boiled eggs three times a week.

When the pair has reached the breeding age of two years old, you can now give them a breeding box. Cockatiels will not naturally breed during the short daylight winter months. When giving them the box make sure it's during the long daylight hours of summer unless you are working with artificial lighting. Place 11/2- 2 inches of "Carefresh natural Pet Bedding and Litter " at the bottom of the nest box so the eggs don't roll, and the hen can keep them warm.

Hens will begin to lay eggs within three weeks of mating. Normally, 1-5 eggs are laid at the rate of one a day or one every other day. Three eggs are very normal for first time parents. Sitting incubation time normally takes around twenty days or so, give or take a few days. When the babies are fourteen days old, they will need to be pulled for hand feeding. Weaning your new baby will take between 8-12 weeks of age

Spending time hand feeding the babies, human contact, speech and music will all assure the sweetness of your new babies. In closing this article I wish you the best in your breeding endeavor and hope that the parents you purchased and the babies which they produce bring you as much joy and happiness as they have bought me.


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    • profile image

      Hope 2 years ago

      Like to talk to my daughter!!

    • Maddambutterfly profile image

      Marie V Stephens 5 years ago from New Mexico

      Debra, I would still be breeding birds today if it hadn't been for the exact same reasons that you just mentioned in your comment. I lost two beautiful macaws to people's stupidity and it was enough to make me close my doors for good.

    • profile image

      Debra 5 years ago

      Thank you for posting an interesting Hub. I was a hobby breeder of cockatiels for a couple of years. It was a wonderful experience. There is nothing like those sweet little faces, covered with pin feathers. Ugly to some, adorable to those of us who have raised them.

      I had to get out of breeding when I realized I couldn't guarantee they were going to good loving homes. After hearing of more than one "accident" to happen to my little sweeties due to careless owners after re-homing them, I got out of breeding, but it was fun while it lasted.

    • Maddambutterfly profile image

      Marie V Stephens 6 years ago from New Mexico

      What a heart touching story! Thank you for leaving a comment and sharing this with me. I don't think that a lot of people understand and realize how truly wonderful and intelligent birds really are!

    • justateacher profile image

      LaDena Campbell 6 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      Wonderful information about the breeding of cockatiels! I had several of these wonderful birds throughout the years and they do make great pets. I eventually got a cockatoo - one that had been abused and kept outside in a very cold environment. The poor thing pulled all of his feathers out from his chest. He eventually died when the house we lived in had an unknown to us gas leak. He actually saved my daughter and I when he died.