I read recently that someone had a problem with one of their cockatiels…Egg Binding was suspected.
Egg Binding can be fatal
Egg Binding may be caused by;
- Repetitive egg laying cycle
- Poor diet leading to nutritional problems
- An unsettled nesting place
- The reproductive tract being infected
- Lack of calcium needed to form an egg shell
The Perfect Egg Laying Situation
Most bird lovers will have a perfect or close to it set up for their flock…Not only will this encourage the female to nest and lay eggs, it will be consistent and create the perfect breeding ground. You see, in the wild cockatiels will instinctively wait until they have the perfect or very best situation for mating and nesting… safe, plenty of food & water, comfortable surroundings etc. Not doing it on purpose we are creating the perfect nesting place for our birds, which leads them into false thinking that they are always safe and can just going being breeding machines. After all, the female just wants to breed and raise young.
Knowing this, we can upset the routine somewhat which will effect the comfortability of your cockatiels and hence slow down or even halt the egg laying process.
How To Slow Down or Stop Egg Laying
If your female has a male partner then they will naturally want to nest and mate. If they show signs of this and start a cycle ensure that the female has the best diet and nesting area possible. If your female is alone and therfore going to lay infertile eggs, try and avoid this happening.
Here are a few tips to help prevent this;
- Ensure that your cockatiels get a good 12 hours sleep at night, more if possible.
- Keep them covered to create darkness like they would experience in winter months.
- Avoid any stroking of her back as this will stimulate the sexual emotions.
- Try and rotate some of the food containers and toys in the cage so that they have to become familiar with the territory again.
- Mix up the diet, limit the basic seed food.
Signs Of Cockatiels Being Egg Bound
- Sitting at the bottom of the cage
- Labored breathing
- Lack of droppings
- Fluffed up appearance
- Poor appetite
Something to note with this is, we noticed that one of our females was suffering when trying to lay an egg. The strange thing was that she had laid eggs before with ease and all our cockatiels have an awesome diet. The only thing we changed was that we were putting a little vinegar into the water. On studying the cause of what might be the problem, it became clear that the vinegar was counteracting the calcium supplement that we were giving.
Might be worth noting that vinegar will not allow the calcium to do its thing…
We stopped the vinegar and within a few days all was good again. Needless to say, it was a very worrying time as she was suffering, I stayed with her all through the night keeping her calm, and when she finely passed the egg it was soft shelled.
Since then this wonderful female cockatiel has laid fertile eggs and has now three young ones…