The answer is Yes, when you keep sibling cockatiels in the same cage, they can mate. When they reach adulthood, you will notice that they will lean forwards with their butt in the air and make a soft chirping sound. It indicates they are ready to mate.
There are some more signs that your pet wants to mate, which are as follows:
- Male cockatiels will perform a mating dance by hopping around, bobbing their head, and singing.
- Both male and female cockatiels will also start grooming each other.
- The female cockatiel will further crouch down as a sign that she is ready to mate.
So separate the sibling cockatiels from each other whenever you see early signs of mating.
Can cockatiels recognize their family members?
Yes, but only till they are one year old. However, like the majority of bird species, cockatiels also stop recognizing their family members after a year.
As a result, siblings will start mating with each other. In fact, parent cockatiels can inbreed the babies once they reach sexual maturity. Hence, keeping them in different cages is the ultimate solution to prevent the inbreeding and hatching of weaker birds with deformities.
You can inbreed cockatiel offspring, but it’s not recommended. Firstly, genetic problems in one of the siblings may result in the fatality of hatchlings. If not, there can be external or internal deformities in the future. Besides, there is a possibility of weakening a genes pool over time.
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So, if you want to breed healthy pets, make sure your cockatiels are not siblings. Make sure to keep only a pair of unrelated birds in one cage at the time of breeding.
The right time of nesting for the cockatiels is at the age of 15 to 24 months. Ensure your female cockatiel is at least two years old and male at least 18 months old before breeding. It is less likely that younger birds will be able to breed successfully.
Also, the number of clutches per year generally should not be more than two a year for these small birds. Too many clutches can lead to an unhealthy mother and babies alike. So, don’t let parent cockatiels mate again for at least six months after breeding.
You need to rearrange their safe nesting place to stop your pets from breeding again. Here are vital steps to stop cockatiels from laying eggs too soon:
- Allow them a resting time by removing the nest box.
- Change the location of your cage.
- Limit the daily light hours of your pets to about 8 to 10 hours. Fewer daylight hours help decrease their urge to breed again.
- Early in the evening, cover their cage.
- Do not feed any fresh eggs and foods rich in vitamin E to the new parents for a while. They stimulate breeding.
- Reorder the toys, perches, and mirrors in the cage, if any.
Spring or late summer is the actual breeding season for cockatiels in their natural habitat. But in captivity, these birds can breed any time of the year. So, you need to set up the right cage environment for cockatiels when they want to breed.
These are easy to breed birds, yet you need to responsibly build a perfect home for the cockatiels ready to mate. It definitely demands a lot of preparation, time, and commitment from owners. Here’s what you must do:
Place at least two sturdy perches to allow the male and female cockatiels to mate correctly with the right balance. This method also helps to lay fertile eggs. It is ideal to use natural branch perches for proper gripping and providing a real-like environment.
Firstly, the nest box should be a minimum of 12×12 inches to lay, incubate, and hatch eggs properly. Further, make sure you lay proper nesting material in the box, like shredded paper, sawdust, corn cob, clean straw, dried grass, molted feathers, and wood shavings.
The male cockatiel will peck on the nest box opening to enlarge it and even arrange the bedding material to make it easier for a female bird to lay eggs.
Feed your pet a lot of food and enough drinking water during mating and nesting time. A balanced diet is essential to prepare their body for the days ahead. Add soft foods, fresh greens, wheat gram, and good quality cockatiel seed mix to their diet.
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The meal plan can include corn-on-the-cob, oatmeal, pasta, cooked beans, cooked rice, carrots, peas, broccoli, sweet potatoes, and sprouted seeds. For extra calcium, you can also feed hard-boiled, mashed eggs mixed with eggshells. Besides, add mineral blocks or cuttlebone to your pet’s diet to meet their optimal calcium requirements during breeding.
When in the cage, cockatiels require 10 to 12 hours of natural daylight in their nesting area. You can also provide artificial lighting if daylight is not possible.
To improve the humid environment for the eggs, parents frequently bathe before sitting on top of the eggs. So don’t forget to keep a big water dish so that both male and female cockatiels can take a bath in it.
Sibling cockatiels breeding is undoubtedly possible, but it comes with different risks. So keep the related birds in a separate cage to avoid inbreeding them.
It is better to evade such a situation from an early age. You can gradually wean the baby birds away when they grow up. If not at a young age, you can separate their cage as soon as they show mating signs on reaching sexual maturity.