Building a cockatiel nest box can be a fun and easy construction project for you. Whether you plan on breeding cockatiels or just keeping one as a pet, you can easily construct a nice environment for them to live in. With the right tools and materials, you can put together a home that your cockatiel will love. But how to make a nesting box for cockatiels?
How To Make A Nesting Box For Cockatiels
Necessary materials to start
Before starting to make a nest box for cockatiels, you will need a few things, such as:
1. Wood panels
The nest has to be made of wood. Cockatiels like to chew, and they will shred up a cardboard box quickly. Get some wood paneling from a hardware store to build your cage.
- Panels of plywood board will work best.
- You’ll need wood that is at least 1.5 to 2 cm (6 to 8 inches) thick, though it can be thicker as well.
- You’ll need to cut the wood into 4 panels of 10″ x 12″ (25.4 x 30.4 cm), and 2 panels of 12″ x 12″ ( 30.4 cm x 30.4 cm). That’s approximately 90 square feet, so make sure you get at least that much wood to guarantee you have enough.
2. Get the necessary tools
To make the box, you’ll need a few tools, which you can get at a hardware store if you don’t already have them.
- A circular saw. If the wood at the hardware store isn’t already cut to the right size, you’ll have to do it yourself. A circular saw is the best tool for making straight, clean cuts.
- A rotary-cutting tool. This is similar to a power saw, but it has a long, thin blade that is used to cut holes. This is what you’ll need to cut a round hole in the nest.
- A power drill. To put together the box, you’ll need to drill a few holes, so a power drill is the best choice here.
- A hammer. You will need to nail the box together, so you will need a hammer. Remember nails as well.
- A ruler or a tape measure. You’ll need this to cut the wood to the right size.
3. Get the necessary safety equipment.
You should never use power tools without wearing the right safety gear. Before you start the project, you should get some safety gear to make sure you stay safe.
- Eye protection. When you use a power saw or drill, you have to wear goggles or safety glasses. Some things can fly into your eyes and hurt or damage them.
- Ear protection. Power tools are loud, and being around them for a long time can hurt your hearing. Hearing problems can be avoided by wearing ear plugs or special earmuffs.
- Gloves. You could cut yourself or get a splinter if you worked with wood. Therefore, prevent any avoidable injuries by wearing a thick pair of work gloves.
- A dusk mask. Sawdust will fly around when you are sawing and drilling, which could get into the lungs and cause irritation. Wear a dust mask to protect your lungs.
Start building the nest box
To start building the nest box, you need to:
1. Cut the wood to the proper size
You can buy the wood at a hardware store already cut, or you can cut it yourself. If you cut it yourself, you’ll need 4 panels measuring 10″ x 12″ (25.4 cm x 30.4 cm) for the sides of the nest. Then you’ll need 2 panels measuring 12″ x 12″ (30.4 cm x 30.4 cm) for the top and bottom of the box.
Be sure to measure carefully before cutting. Mark the wood with a carpentry pencil to keep your cuts straight and accurate. If you mess up, you might have to make another trip to the hardware store for more wood, which will cost you more time and money.
2. Cut a round hole on one of your side panels
This will serve as the entrance for the nest box. Using the rotary tool, cut a 3-inch-diameter circle into one of the side panels. Locate it close to the floor of the cage so the cockatiel can walk right in.
Remember the formula for circumference: pi (3.14) x the circle’s diameter. So to get a circumference of 3, you will need a diameter of 95 inches, rounded up to 1 inch.
3. Put the sides and bottom of the box together with nails.
Making a box with a top that can be taken off will be much easier. That way, you will be able to clean it easily. To do that, put the box’s lid on hold for now.
- First, nail all of the side pieces together. Put one nail in each side’s bottom corner and one in each side’s top corner.
- Then nail the bottom by putting a nail in each of the 4 corners.
- Make sure to hammer the nails in straight, or they will go off-center and go through the box. If this happens, pry out the nail and try again. Put a perch below the hole on the outside.
4. Put a perch below the hole on the outside.
Give your cockatiel a perch so it can land and step inside the box. Cut a square piece of wood a few inches big and glue it just below the hole you made.
5. Drill holes in order to secure the top of the box
Using wire to secure the top of the box is a simple way to make it removable. You’ll just have to drill a few holes.
- First, drill two holes on each side of the box, one on the left and one on the right. Then drill corresponding holes in the top portion.
- Place the top on the box and run the wire through to the holes.
- Tie the wire to secure it in the box. Now, you can just untie the wire and take the box’s lid off whenever you want.
Decorate the bottom of the box
Cockatiels often place natural materials in their nests for comfort and security. You can imitate this by placing wood shavings, and straws in the box.
How Big Does A Cockatiel Nest Box Need To Be?
The ideal dimensions for a cockatiel nest box are 20x25x40 cm. A circular hole approximately 3 inches (8 cm) in diameter on the front end of the box is the doorway for the cockatiels, and a hinged lid or sliding door on another side of the box provides access for humans.
The lowest point of the cockatiel door is about 5 inches (13 cm) above the nestbox floor. There is frequently a concave area on the floor to help keep the eggs from rolling too far, but this is unimportant for cockatiels.
A cockatiel nest needs to have 2 and a half to 3 inches of appropriate nest litter in the bottom, and the male cockatiel will make a “dish” in the litter to hold the eggs.
Types of Nest Box
There are two primary types of nestboxes:
- Nestbox which is designed for inside the cage. The “inside” type of nest box is best for walk-in aviaries, and the holes for hanging it are on the back.
- Nestbox which is designed to hang on the outside of the cage. The “outside” nest box type is the easiest to use with a cage, but there has to be an opening on the cage that can be signed with the nestbox door so the cockatiel can pass in and out of the nest.
This type of nestbox has holes hanging on the front end of the box (the same side as the cockatiel doorway). There are also other options, such as holes on the side of the box for attaching things.
Therefore, before you choose a nestbox, you need to see how it attaches and determine whether this will work with your cage.
Where to Put a Cockatiel Nest Box?
Ideally, the nestbox should be placed as high as possible in the cage to make the parents feel secure. Many breeder cockatiels will feel more secure in the box if the nestbox entry hole faces the room door, allowing them to see what is coming rather than hearing but not seeing it.
Parent cockatiels that feel secure are less prone to stress in the nestbox. An adult that flees the nest under stress may scatter or break the eggs, and injure the babies by trampling them or even accidentally dragging a tiny baby out of the nest.
A properly designed nestbox in a high place is safe for the cockatiel chicks because they will not be physically capable of leaving the nest box until they are old enough to fly. At that point, if they fall out of the nest, they will flap their wings automatically to avoid a hard landing.
If the parents originally started nesting on the floor or in some other unsuitable location, they will usually adapt quickly if the eggs are placed in a nestbox. But some cockatiels won’t use the nestbox and will only use an unsuitable spot or an open nest instead.
Most likely, the only way to save the clutch is to give them what they want.