William F. wants to know:
I have a question, is that appropriate?
If yes – I have had 2 cockatiels, m/f, for about 6 months.
They are about 2yrs old and happily paired.
A few months ago I even watched them having sex !!! (a shocker for me … :)) – but ….. no eggs, no little birds.
I do have a nesting box in the big cage, but neither bird has paid it the least attention.
General behavior – I open the cage every day and the birds can fly about, but these are very sedentary birds, and they only fly to two places, high light fixtures that span two sides of my living room.
Mostly they just sit, the female explores around the cage a very little, but never on the floor.
They are not people-friendly but I can get the big bird (male) who isn’t such a good flyer to step onto my finger to put him back on the cage at night, and then the little bird (female) follows him to the cage.
They frequently groom each other, pecking each other’s heads.
But sometimes when one moves into another space they ‘fight’ by pecking aggressively, but it doesn’t last.
I feed them birdseed and nutri nuggets but they mostly ignore the nutri-nuggets.
Also, sometimes big bird loses the long feathers on his left-wing, and his flying suffers so that sometimes he doesn’t make it to the light fixture, but then I put him there so it’s no problem.
That has now happened twice, i.e. losing the long feathers, but they grow back relatively quickly, in a matter of weeks.
Having cockatiels as pets is not the same as setting them up to breed.
If you want babies you need to prepare them for it. That means put them in their large cage with a nest box and leave them be.
Your presence can be disturbing their concentration on each other.
If you are wandering around their cage, they may just not feel comfortable enough to think about mating.
A few questions.
What do you have set up for them?
If too bright an area they may not get the urges to mate.
A brightly lit area is good for keeping them from mating. We work with customers all the time helping them to stop mating by lighting up the bird’s cages.
So if your cage area is bright, limit the bright time to 8-10 hours a day.
Food, do you have food available all the time?
Doing so does encourage mating. Running low on food daily will discourage them from mating.
Beef it up.
Adding vitamins to your bird’s food or water can help.
This combination is good for breeding.
A calcium supplement is also helpful for strong eggs.
Do you have pine shavings in the nest box? They will need it in order to lay a nice clutch.
I hope this helps.