Being one of the most popular pet birds, the Cockatiel certainly has many people asking questions and looking for answers. One, in particular, felt very necessary to answer because the health of the bird is at stake. That is, at what age do cockatiels lay eggs?
Cockatiels will lay eggs as soon as they are mature enough to do so. The minimum age you should allow a cockatiel to lay is 18 months. Any younger than this can cause health concerns.
Whether your an impatient breeder looking to breed for money, (Bird printer go brrrrrrrrrrrr) or you simply want your pets at home to produce more cockatiels for your own personal enjoyment, It’s important to know what age cockatiels are able to safely mate and produce eggs without hurting themselves.
At what age do cockatiels lay eggs?
(Males can be as young as 12 months to reach maturity)
The rule of thumb is 18 months, or at about two years old for a female cockatiel to be able to lay eggs safely. (don’t leave yet! Important information follows!) After this time, the cockatiel’s body will be able to handle the process and all eggs that are produced in a healthy manner. This isn’t just a suggestion, either. This is basically mandatory unless you want to cause unnecessary pain, stress, and potentially the death of your bird.
The problems start showing up when the cockatiel is less than 18 months old.
This can lead to egg binding, which is when the egg get’s impacted, takes longer than usual to pass out of the reproductive tract, or may even get stuck.
This isn’t entirely unusual, in fact, it’s fairly common. In almost all cases it should be considered an emergency situation if it happens. Between the stressed bird, the potential for infection, and the damage to the internal reproductive organs, it’s a big deal and it’s definitely something to be avoided when at all possible.
This includes waiting for the bird to be fully mature and not rushing to breed her.
It should also be noted that the health of the egg, even if the bird is able to eventually pass it, is in jeopardy as well. Even if it were to survive, it would most likely end up malformed.
In addition to age, it’s also important for your cockatiel to be healthy and have plenty of food available as well as an adequate nesting environment in order for them to produce eggs without incidents. This includes a diet rich in calcium.
What Age Do Cockatiels Stop Laying Eggs?
This is another great question worth answering in this article because the two are so closely related. It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact age when a cockatiel will stop laying eggs, but it typically happens around 10+2 years old. This of course varies from species to species and environmental factors as well as genetic factors of the individual bird. The count starts once they hit maturity at 18 months, and in some cases can go as high as 15 years of “perfect” fertility.
Unfortunately, Biology doesn’t always take into account the reality of life. The older the bird gets, the harder it is for her and the eggs. It’s not unheard of to “retire” her breeding days a couple of years short if any signs of stress or reproductive issues start showing up. This is to spare the bird and any potential offspring from suffering.