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cockatiel: I never knew their sex until today.

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I have 2 cockatiel named...
I have 2 cockatiel named Kiwi and Raffi. I never knew their sex until today. Kiwi is the sweet and loving bird and Raffi was the one that bullies Kiwi. However for 2 weeks, Kiwi was cranky and always biting and chasing Kiwi all around the cage. Today, Kiwi laid one egg. She was whining all day and really in a biting mood...so I separated the 2 birds. Now I found out why she is whining...she has blood in her stool and came out the egg. Do you think the egg is a fertilized egg? My Kiwi is still whining once in a while and comes down the perch and put his tail up. Is she still going to lay eggs. How can I comfort my Kiwi? What am I suppose to do at this point? Help.
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Bird
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Answered in 6 hours by:
6/16/2010
Bird Specialist: Anna, Bird Expert, Biologist replied 8 years ago
Anna
Anna, Bird Expert, Biologist
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 11,945
Experience: Have owned and/or raised parakeets, finches, cockatiels, and poultry over a period of thirty years.
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Hello,

I'm sorry to see that no one has responded to your question earlier. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online and saw your question.

If you haven't seen your cockatiels mating or cuddling, it isn't likely the egg is fertile. If all you've seen is the bullying, it doesn't seem as if they have bonded. However, there's no way to be sure. Cockatiels seldom lay only one egg.

Because there has been blood in her stools and on the egg, and Kiwi has been whining and biting - both can be signs of pain - I am very concerned that something has gone wrong with the egg-laying process. She may be egg bound. A bird can die in just a few hours from this condition. I recommend that you have an avian vet examine Kiwi as soon as possible. Here is a link to a list of avian vets:

http://www.aav.org/vet-lookup/

Here is a site with detailed information on egg binding, including other signs to watch for:

http://www.cockatielcottage.net/binding.html

Some home remedies are mentioned there, but remember that these home remedies seldom work. They are just a last attempt to help if you absolutely cannot get to a vet.


Now to answer some of your other questions. An egg is usually laid every other day until the clutch is complete. A normal clutch is 2 to 8 eggs. If the eggs are fertile, they often don't all hatch at once. The male is supposed to help take care of the babies, but if yours won't, it would be best to remove him.

Cockatiel hens should not lay more than two clutches in a year. Producing eggs is very hard on the female's body. Doing it continuously can result in egg binding and other life-threatening conditions. Do be sure to provide both a cuttlebone and mineral block to ensure an adequate supply of calcium for her. This site has excellent information on breeding.

http://www.cockatielcottage.net/breeding.html

Once the female starts setting, the incubation period begins. The eggs should hatch 18 to 21 days later. Even if the eggs are not fertile, it's best to let the female set on them. After three weeks, she'll probably realize they are not going to hatch, and will abandon them. At that point, they can be thrown away. Here's a site where you can read about how to raise the babies, if the eggs hatch:

http://www.birdsnways.com/wisdom/ww22eiv.htm

If you have more questions, just let me know by clicking on REPLY. I hope Kiwi will be fine.

Anna
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