If you own a cockatiel and want to breed these beautiful birds, you may have questions about their egg-laying process. Understanding the unique reproductive cycle of cockatiels is important, so having many questions about that is totally normal. One of the most common questions we receive is how long does it take for cockatiel eggs to hatch?
On average, cockatiel eggs hatch approximately 18–21 days after the laying of the second or third egg. During this time, the parent cockatiels take turns sitting on the eggs to keep them warm and provide the necessary conditions for development.
The exact duration of incubation can vary slightly depending on factors such as temperature and humidity levels.
Also, keep in mind to maintain appropriate conditions throughout the incubation period to increase the chances of successful hatching.
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about hatching cockatiel eggs.
Table of contents
- How Do Cockatiels Lay Eggs & Egg Hatching Process
- What To Expect After The Egg Hatches?
- How Many Eggs Does A Cockatiel Lay?
- At What Age Do Cockatiels Lay Eggs?
- At What Age Do Cockatiels Stop Laying Eggs?
- How Often Do Cockatiels Lay Eggs?
- How Long After Mating Cockatiel Lay Eggs?
- How Big Are Cockatiel Eggs?
- Do All Cockatiel Eggs Hatch At The Same Time?
How Do Cockatiels Lay Eggs & Egg Hatching Process
After successful fertilization, the female cockatiel’s body begins developing the eggs. It takes 10 to 14 days for a female cockatiel to start developing eggs.
The eggs take shape within the ovary and gradually move down the reproductive tract, where the shell forms around them.
When the eggs are ready, she seeks out a suitable nesting site. She may display increased restlessness and nesting behavior. When the time comes, she will lay one egg every other day until the clutch is complete, typically consisting of 4-6 eggs.
Once the clutch is laid, both parents take turns incubating the eggs. They sit on the eggs to keep them warm, allowing the embryos to develop. The duration of the incubation period is around 18-21 days.
As the incubation period nears its end, you may signs such as the eggs wiggling or hearing soft chirping sounds. These indicate that the chicks inside are preparing to hatch.
Also, before the egg hatches, you will begin hearing the chick peeping inside. After the piping stage, which is when the chick makes a small hole or pip in the eggshell, it usually takes a few hours to a day for the cockatiel chick to fully hatch.
Piping is an indication that the chick is ready to emerge from the egg. The process of hatching involves the chick using its egg tooth to break through the shell and gradually free itself. During this time, the chick may rest periodically between exertion.
Remember, It is important to allow the chick to hatch on its own without intervening.
See Also: Can Cockatiel Eggs Hatch Without A Male?
What To Expect After The Egg Hatches?
The hatching process can be tiring for chicks, and it’s normal for them to rest after exertion.
The parents provide essential warmth for their survival. After hatching, the chick relies on absorbing its yolk sac for nourishment and may not be fed by the parents for up to 12 hours.
Proper absorption of the yolk sac is crucial for the chick’s survival. Following this period, the parents will begin feeding their chicks.
How Many Eggs Does A Cockatiel Lay?
Cockatiels are typically capable of laying from 8 to 12 eggs per year, divided into two clutches of 4-6 eggs each. However, the number of eggs can vary depending on factors such as the bird’s age, overall health, and environmental conditions.
Younger cockatiels may lay fewer eggs initially, while older ones may lay larger clutches.
In case of broken or non-viable eggs, female cockatiels can lay additional eggs to make up for it.
While not all incubated eggs will hatch (only about 90% of them are fertile), it’s important not to remove any unhatched eggs from the clutch right away. The incubation period may begin later than expected. If you’re uncertain about the egg’s viability, you can try using candling to assess it.
After laying an egg, you may notice some fatigue in your cockatiel, and it’s normal. However, excessive fatigue and weakness may indicate a calcium deficiency. In this situation, you need to make sure that she receives proper nourishment and mineral blocks.
At What Age Do Cockatiels Lay Eggs?
Male cockatiels reach sexual maturity at around 13 months of age, while females reach maturity at around 18 months. It is important not to encourage mating before these ages to avoid potential harm to the female’s health.
Younger males should also not be encouraged to mate as they may not provide adequate care for the egg or chick, placing additional strain on the female.
To prevent mating avoid providing cardboard boxes, or nesting spaces until the cockatiels have reached maturity, as these can encourage mating behavior even in younger birds.
At What Age Do Cockatiels Stop Laying Eggs?
Cockatiels stop laying eggs around 8 to 10 years of age.
According to Science Direct, discouraging egg-laying in older cockatiels is important as they are more prone to osteoporosis, bone fractures, dystocia, and premature death.
How Often Do Cockatiels Lay Eggs?
Cockatiel chicks typically reach maturity and leave the nest by around five weeks old, resulting in two breeding cycles annually. Cockatiels often lay a clutch of eggs in the spring when the weather is warm and they have plentiful food.
Each breeding season is followed by a resting period of approximately four months. In this case, cockatiel pairs produce a clutch twice a year. However, if the breeding season extends, the pair may have only one clutch in a year.
How Long After Mating Cockatiel Lay Eggs?
Once they find a suitable mate, cockatiels begin mating. After about 4 days of mating, a female cockatiel will start laying her first clutch. She lays one egg every other day until the clutch is complete. If a full clutch of six eggs is laid, it takes approximately 2 weeks to finish the process.
What Color Are Cockatiel Eggs?
In most cases, cockatiel eggs are generally white. The color of the eggs can vary slightly, ranging from pure white to a slightly off-white or grey color.
The eggs have a smooth and glossy surface, which helps protect the developing embryos inside.
The color of the eggs remains consistent throughout the incubation period. However, it’s important to note that the eggs may appear slightly different under varying lighting conditions or due to the presence of nesting materials, which can give the illusion of a color change.
The eggs’ original color, whether white or slightly off-white/grey, remains unchanged until they hatch.
Additionally, there are times when a cockatiel egg appears black. This indicates that the egg is not viable and will not hatch.
A black-colored egg suggests that the embryo inside the egg did not develop or has died. It could be a sign of an infertile egg or an unsuccessful fertilization process.
In some cases, a black appearance may be due to bacterial or fungal presence. It’s important to remove any black eggs from the nesting area because they can contain harmful microorganisms.
How Big Are Cockatiel Eggs?
Cockatiel eggs are relatively small in size compared to some other bird species. On average, they measure about 1.2 inches (3 centimeters) in length and 0.9 inches (2.3 centimeters) in width. Also, it will have an oval shape and be wider at one end. Occasionally, eggs can be more circular than oval.
The exact size can vary slightly between individual eggs, but they are generally compact and fit comfortably in the hand. The small size of the eggs is proportional to the size of the adult cockatiels, as they are small to medium-sized birds.
When it comes to weight, the average weight of a cockatiel egg is around 5–6 grams. However, there can be variations, and some eggs may weigh up to 8 grams.
In certain cases where an egg contains a higher-than-average weight, it may have a double yolk. Double yolk eggs occur when two yolks are released and enclosed within a single eggshell.
While the occurrence of double yolks is relatively rare in cockatiels, it can happen. If a double-yolk egg successfully hatches, it may result in twin chicks.
Additionally, it’s important to note that the chances of successful hatching and survival of both chicks can be lower compared to a regular single-yolk egg.
Do All Cockatiel Eggs Hatch At The Same Time?
No, all of the cockatiel eggs will not hatch at the same time. There is usually a slight interval between the hatching of each egg within a clutch.
The intervals can range from a few hours to a couple of days. The precise timing can be influenced by various factors, including the exact time each egg was laid, the incubation conditions, and the individual development of each embryo.
However, it’s important to provide a stable and suitable environment during the incubation period to promote successful hatching.
Once your cockatiels mate, the female will lay eggs that take around 18-21 days to hatch. It’s advisable to wait for a maximum of 26 days before removing eggs that seem non-viable.
During this period, take proper care of your cockatiels and ensure an adequate food supply for the parents to nourish their chicks.