Q: I have a female lutino cockatiel and a male cinnamon cockatiel. The female is about a year older than the male. He is around a year or so old. He does not seem to be interested in mating, yet he sits on her dud eggs. What can I do to make him interested in her?
Linda S. Rubin explains:
If your male cockatiel is sitting on your female cockatiel’s infertile or addled eggs, then he is interested in breeding. You did not describe their behavior - so the question remains - does the male attempt to mount the female in order to fertilize her eggs? Does the female prevent the male from mounting her, or does the male not show any interest in mating?
Studies have shown that unless male cockatiels excavate the nest first, or unless they have access to females prior to the female sitting full time in the nest box, more often than not, the eggs will not prove fertile and will not hatch.
Next time your pair appear interested in reproducing, you may try to delay giving them a box for two or three days and allow the male the opportunity to mate with your female. Another option is to attach the box, but block the entrance hole with wads of paper in order to make it a challenge for the male to chew through so they cannot access it immediately. Present cuttlebone, soft foods, fresh dark green leafy vegetables, a shallow dish of open water for bathing, and see if conditioning the birds for breeding will stimulate mating before giving them access to a nest box.