Breeding Show Cockatiels

Breeding Cockatiels is a fully fascinating and fun pastime for me. The many options available and the constantly changing circumstances involved provide everyday problems.


Many aspiring breeders begin their careers by looking for deals and proven couples. It is uncommon to find prolific, healthy pairs of Cockatiels for sale that do not come with a few strings attached. Although the proven label may be used honestly, the owner may omit to inform the customer that these are problem birds. Unless there are extraordinary and verifiable personal issues prompting the sale, the owner is unlikely to sell you his finest breeders at a discount. He’s considerably more likely to be selling birds he’s tired of. It is prudent to use the same caution while purchasing birds as you would when purchasing an old automobile.

Some fans begin collecting Cockatiels from various sources without the capacity to distinguish between excellent and bad specimens, or even to notice indicators of disease in the bird. When you find a bird that seems to be “just perfect” for your purposes, thoroughly inspect its condition. Guarantees and prompt payment Veterinary examinations are often restricted to the selling of bigger, more costly parrots. If it is an adult bird or pair, request breeding records. Reliable breeders will have thorough records to show you.

Take the time to carefully examine your potential buy. A healthy Cockatiel is an energetic, industrious bird. It perches boldly on its perch, with no hunching or ruffled feathers. The eyes are bright and open. There is no sign of loose feces, either in the cage or in the vent region, due to fouled feathers. The bird’s breastbone is nicely cushioned and the crop is pretty full when held in your palm. Even a cursory look will assist to reassure you that this is the correct bird.

In their desire to get started, many people are frequently too anxious to wait for each new bird to be isolated. The introduction of sickness to the whole flock might end in disaster. This is where having a relationship with an Avian Veterinary is crucial. “Be Prepared” is a wonderful motto for both bird breeders and Boy Scouts.”


Early in my career, I believed that a thorough understanding of genetics and a rigorous examination of the birds’ pedigrees were sufficient to make sound breeding decisions. My majority of choices were made at my workstation. I quickly found that there are numerous factors to consider apart from pedigrees, and that breedings planned on paper did not always pan out as predicted.

I have three key things in mind while preparing my pairings for breeding. The obvious first consideration is that the birds are of opposing sex. A common error is to pair Pieds whose sex is more difficult to identify. Two people of the same gender will often attach well and have a promising loving relationship – but no kids.

This aim is a significant priority for me since my major goal is to consistently increase the quality of the birds I produce. I want their physical qualities to compliment one other in order to boost quality. In order to get both width and length in the same bird, for example, I breed a bird dominant in width with one dominant in length.

Line bred birds (essentially related birds) will produce more consistently than outcrossed birds (bred with a totally unrelated bird). When you have generated two lines of birds with distinct attributes that you wish to combine in one bird, it is time to outcross. This generally works if the birds are dominant in each of the necessary attributes.

The birds may disagree with my pick of a wonderful partner. Compatibility, the third priority, must then take precedence. The value of pair bonding in effective reproduction cannot be overstated. Many Cockatiels have their own ideas about accepting a mate. The hen may be more interested than the cock and abandon her efforts to mate. She then nests as normal, but lays and attempts to incubate transparent eggs.

An eager cock is more frequently than not paired with a hesitant hen. He may be so demanding and fed up with his mate’s “headache” that he pushes her into the nest box and confines her there without food or drink. An aggressive male will sometimes pluck a hen. These two should be separated at all costs.

We also come across the “next door” phenomenon. The cock overlooks his own hen in favor of enthusiastically wooing the hen in the next cage. In this circumstance, wife swapping is the only option, regardless of meticulous pedigree selection. I make it a habit to set up my couples in their breeding cages many months before supplying them with a nest box, and I typically discover that some alterations to my initial ideas are required.

I look for an experienced bird to mate with a young, inexperienced parent. A seasoned cock that fertilizes, sits, and feeds effectively will show his companion the ropes. A mature hen with prior experience will also teach an eager but awkward cock how to fertilize. The cock mounting the hen from her side is one of the reasons of clear egg production. The older hen will assist her partner until he achieves success.

Most Cockatiels are ready to procreate at about eighteen months of age, however this varies greatly. Some people begin motherhood at a young age, while others wait until they are considerably older. Some are flighty and indifferent to their tasks until they have been through one or two clutches.


“When making breeding decisions for your cockatiels, spray paint them all black,” a wise buddy once said. This is easier said than done, but it is advice I always strive to keep in mind while establishing breeding couples. I’ve discovered that focusing on certain conformation qualities helps me see through the gorgeous cinnamon pearl I’m so enamored of. Try walking through your flock and just checking at eye size. Make a list of which of your birds has the biggest eyes. Go over your flock again, this time focusing just on crests – not just the length but also the fullness and forms – and take meticulous notes. Learn to seek for confirmation characteristics in the same way you would for color.

Most of us are too preoccupied with color breeding to make significant progress toward overall stock development. Instead of focusing just on color, I want to produce birds with high confirmation traits. Some of my primary concerns include enormous size, excellent substance, longer length, good wing set, large eyes, strong top lines, head size, and spectacular crests. Even charming personalities and the critical trait of creating excellent parents and continuously productive breeders are considered as part of the genetic heritage.

Eradicating flaws and emphasizing positive features in breeding stock necessitates a thorough examination of pedigrees. When I’ve succeeded in breeding a line of extraordinarily big birds that are otherwise good but deficient in crest, I look to see which of my stock has consistently generated long, sweeping crests. I then paired one of my “moose” birds (the enormous fellas of whom I am so proud) with one of a line that was not quite as large and suitable in other aspects, but was exceptional for good crests.

By no means is this approach for making my decisions usually effective. A succession of trials spanning numerous breeding seasons is required as part of the game.

When I have succeeded in developing a “moose” with a magnificent crest, I must next focus on establishing a line of breeders with this quality as a constant feature. A bird that is just a single occurrence from lower grade material does not strike me as a promising potential. A great bird is one that reproduces and has siblings with the same traits as mine.

When I first began really breeding show birds, I had a lot of issues with poor wing set. I kept seeing lovely birds with their wings crossed in a perfect X on their backs – a “points off” trait for a show bird. Despite how difficult it was, I had to mercilessly eradicate any birds whose kids had crossed wings from my breeding program. Before I was able to eliminate this flaw from my stock, I had to demote a large number of potential birds to pet breeding status.

Color needs to become a secondary factor while making all of these judgments. If your primary goal is to create attractive, saleable pet birds, focus on color selection. If you want to breed show winners, imagine that all of your birds have been painted with black paint and then let color happen as it will.

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