Cockatiel Eggs Not Hatching: Causes & Solutions

Cockatiel eggs not hatching

When cockatiels lay eggs, not all of them will hatch, especially if they haven’t been fertilized. Sometimes, the eggs may not be viable, or the cockatiels may not properly care for them. If your cockatiels consistently lay clutches of eggs that never hatch, it’s important to consult a vet to identify the underlying reasons.

Unsuccessful hatches can occur due to infertile eggs or the death of the embryos. If you have bred a male and female cockatiel and are experiencing these outcomes, either one or both of them may be infertile.

Embryo mortality, which refers to the death of the chick within the egg before it hatches, can occur when the eggs are not properly cared for.

Candling eggs can be used to examine eggs that don’t hatch and determine whether they are infertile or have dead embryos.

Spoiled infertile eggs and those with dead embryos can contaminate viable eggs, reducing the chances of successful hatching.

Why Are My Cockatiel Eggs Not Hatching?

There can be several reasons cockatiels’ eggs fail to hatch, and these include:

Infertile eggs

Infertile eggs in cockatielsOpens in a new tab. occur when the eggs have not been fertilized, which means they will not develop into chicks.

If the female cockatiel has not mated with a maleOpens in a new tab., the eggs will not be fertilized. Cockatiels require both a male and a female to engage in mating behavior for successful fertilization to occur.

On the other hand, if the female cockatiel has mated with a male but the eggs still do not hatch, they may be infertile. Infertility can arise due to various factors, such as age, health issues, genetic abnormalities, or hormonal imbalances.

Also, it is important to note that determining the exact cause of infertility requires a thorough examination by a vet. They can conduct tests, such as semen analysis for males and overall reproductive health evaluation for females.

Incorrect Temperature & Humidity Levels

Incorrect temperature and humidity levels in the environment are common causes of unhatched cockatiel eggs.

Cockatiel eggs require specific conditions for successful incubation, including temperature, humidity, and proper ventilation.

Excessive temperature or humidity, whether too high or too low, for a prolonged period hampers the embryo’s growth and development. It also disrupts the embryo’s normal progression, resulting in complications.

Excessive temperature or humidity, whether too high or too low, for a prolonged period affects the embryo’s growth and development. It also disrupts the embryo’s normal progression, resulting in complications.

To avoid this, you need to incubate the eggs at a temperature of 98.7-99.1 degrees Fahrenheit.

If your incubation temperature is too high, the chicks will be deformed, and they will hatch earlier than expected.

But if the incubation temperature is too low, the chicks will hatch later than expectedOpens in a new tab.. Keep in mind that every time you open the incubator, the temperature will drop sharply.

Also, maintaining precise humidity levels is crucial for successful incubationOpens in a new tab., like temperature control. Insufficient humidity deprives developing embryos of the necessary moisture, halting their progress.

Conversely, excessive humidity fosters mold growth, posing a threat to the embryos’ survival. The recommended humidity level is 65%.

Most modern egg incubators feature a water reservoir and self-regulate humidity levels.

However, it’s important to note that opening the incubator door frequently causes rapid drops in humidity, leading to fluctuations that can negatively impact the embryos.

Insufficient Turning of Cockatiel Eggs

Insufficient turning of cockatiel eggs can have a significant impact on their hatching success. When eggs are not regularly rotated, the developing embryos can become misaligned within the shell, leading to developmental problems or even embryo death.

In addition, improperly turning disrupts the distribution of nutrients, oxygen, and moisture within the egg, affecting blood vessel development and overall embryo health.

It can also cause the embryo to adhere to the shell membrane, blocking its ability to position itself for hatching.

To maximize the chances of successful hatching, it is crucial to ensure proper and consistent turning of cockatiel eggs throughout the incubation period.

Inexperienced Or Young Cockatiels

Inexperienced or young cockatiels may face challenges when it comes to successful breeding and incubation. These birds may not yet have the necessary knowledge or skills to exhibit the appropriate behaviors required for the successful hatching of cockatiel eggs.

Lack of experience can lead to difficulties in properly caring for the eggs and providing the ideal conditions for incubation.

As a result, the chances of successful hatching may be reduced. It’s important to be patient with inexperienced young cockatiels and provide them with a supportive environment to learn and develop the necessary skills.

It is not recommended to breed cockatiels younger than 18 months.

Nutritional Deficiencies

Nutritional deficiency in cockatiels can have an impact on the viability of their eggs and the hatching process. Proper nutrition is crucial for the overall health and reproductive success of cockatiels.

When cockatiels experience nutritional deficiencies, specifically deficiencies in vital nutrients such as calciumOpens in a new tab., vitamin D, and protein, it can lead to laying eggs not hatching.

Insufficient calcium levels, for example, can result in the production of thin-shelled eggs that are more prone to breakage during incubation.

Lack of vitamin D can affect the absorption and utilization of calcium, further contributing to weakened eggshells. This can result in reduced hatchability or even embryo mortality within the eggs.

Protein deficiency can impact the quality of the eggs, as proteins are essential for proper egg development. Insufficient protein intake may lead to eggs with compromised structural integrity. This can cause cockatiels laying eggs to not hatch.

Poor Nesting Conditions

The condition and cleanliness of the nesting box are crucial for successful cockatiel egg hatching. Keep the nesting box level and free from bacteria to ensure healthy embryos.

A tilted nesting box can cause eggs to fall and crack, which can be fatal for the embryos. Additionally, make sure the nesting box is the riOpens in a new tab.ght size for optimal breeding conditions.

The condition and cleanliness of the nesting box are crucial for successful egg hatching. Keep the nesting box level and free from bacteria to ensure healthy embryos.

A tilted nesting box can cause eggs to fall and crack, which can be fatal for the embryos. Additionally, make sure the nesting box is the right size for optimal breeding conditions.

In summary, maintaining a clean and level nesting box is essential for the successful hatching of healthy eggs.

Neglect Of Eggs

Some cockatiels fail to incubate their eggs, resulting in the death of the embryos.

This is common among first-time egg layers who lack experience and understanding of their role. With time and maturity, most cockatiels learn to care for their eggs properly.

Neglect of eggs may also occur if they are considered defective. Unviable eggs can lead to chicks with genetic abnormalities that are unlikely to survive.

Additionally, external stressors can cause a cockatiel to ignore the eggs. It is important to keep the cockatiel calm and relaxed immediately while laying the eggs if you want them to hatch.

Mishandling of Eggs

Cockatiels sit on their eggs to protect them from harm. Only handle eggs if the mother cockatiel neglects them.

Handling eggs without gloves can introduce bacteria and contaminate the clutch.

Also, avoid shaking or jarring eggs, as it can be fatal to the embryos. Ensure the nesting box is securely located to minimize external influences.

Cockatiels Egg Pipping But Hot Hatching

When chick embryos reach the pipping stage or start cracking the shell, they are usually healthy and ready to hatch, unless there are incubator issues.

The main problems that can prevent hatching are poor ventilation and improper humidity. Proper air exchange is crucial during the final day of incubation, as the chick’s oxygen needs to increase before hatching.

Some incubators restrict vent openings to raise the humidity, but this can suffocate the chick instead. It’s important never to decrease ventilation during hacking.

Improper humidity throughout incubation or during hatching can also lead to mortality. High humidity prevents proper water evaporation from the cockatiel egg, causing the chick to drown, while low humidity can cause the membranes to dry and stick to the chick. This prevents cockatiel-laying eggs from hatch.

Maintaining appropriate humidity levels during incubation and avoiding opening the incubator during hatching can prevent this problem and ensure successful hatching.

Cockatiel Eggs Not Hatching After 21 Days

Cockatiel Eggs Not Hatching After 21 Days

There are several reasons why cockatiel eggs may not hatch after 21 days of incubation.

Firstly, the eggs might not have been fertilized, which means no embryos were developing within them.

Secondly, improper temperature and humidity levels during incubation can hinder proper embryo development. If the environment is too cold or too dry, the embryos may not develop as you expected.

Additionally, low nesting conditions or disturbances during the incubation period can cause the parent cockatiels to abandon the eggs or be unable to properly incubate them.

Lastly, genetic or health issues in the parent cockatiels could also lead to unsuccessful hatching.

It’s essential to ensure a stable and suitable environment with proper care and attention during the incubation process to increase the chances of successful hatching.

Do Cockatiels Know If Their Eggs Are Dead?

Cockatiels can differentiate between dead and living embryos, and if one embryo dies, the hen may abandon the clutch and lay new eggs to avoid any negative impact on the remaining eggs.

Due to the grief that birds experience upon losing bonded mates or owners, the cockatiel’s behavior may change after an egg dies.

Nevertheless, many cockatiels adopt a practical attitude toward losing their unhatched offspring.

How Can I Help My Cockatiel Lay Healthy Eggs?

The diet quality of a laying cockatiel directly affects the quality of her eggs, as explained by Animal NutritionOpens in a new tab..

Inadequate feeding before laying can result in various issues such as dystocia (egg-binding), infertility, or weak chicks that fail to hatch.

Calcium is a crucial nutrient for egg-laying cockatiels, and a deficiency can lead to infertility or compromised eggshell strength.

To provide additional calcium to gravid females, place a cuttlefish bone in their cage. Once the cockatiel is ready to lay eggs, ensure optimal conditions by maintaining a clean environment free from stress and external distractions.


Various challenges, including infertility, inexperienced breeding pairs, nutritional deficiencies, and mishandling of eggs, can hinder the hatching process. Additionally, environmental disturbances and genetic or health issues within the parent cockatiels can also lead to unsuccessful hatching.

To improve the chances of successful hatching, it’s imperative to create a stable, suitable environment and provide attentive care during the incubation period. Monitoring the eggs, maintaining proper nutrition, and ensuring the correct incubation conditions are maintained are key steps toward achieving successful hatching and raising healthy cockatiel chicks.

Understanding the intricacies of cockatiel breeding and implementing appropriate measures can lead to a successful breeding experience. By addressing these factors, you can contribute to the well-being and vitality of your pet cockatiels and their offspring.

Cockatiel Enthusiast

My name is Bojan. I have been around Cockatiels for the past 7 years. I love writing about Cockatiels and helping people understand how these beautiful birds live, what they like, and how to provide them the best possible care.

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