Cockatiel Egg Fostering

Cockatiel Egg Fostering

Time will come where dire situations will push you to take emergency steps to save your cockatiel eggs. Some, especially young parents might abandon the clutch. The sudden absence or death of one parent will also lead to the total abandonment of the eggs. The nesting activities to support the clutch is a two way job, at most the hen sits on the eggs the entire night while the male give her intervals of rest during the day. The task will be too much for a single parent to perform and though there are legends that they occur, It will be truly impossible to be accomplished without divine intervention. That would be the divine in you.

So there are actually two options to save the clutch, both requiring you to entirely pull the eggs out of its biological parent/s. One is to incubate them artificially then hand feed them from day one, a rewarding but exhaustively expensive and most commonly, heart breaking experience as chicks hand fed from the first day are prone to myriads of diseases, lacking the immunity provided by a feeding parent.

The other option is fostering. Fostering has been an old strategy to allow some species elude extinction. Bengalese or Society Finches are famous foster parents that they really don’t need a female and male partnership to perform the job. When they see the clutch, the whole “society” will adopt and raise them. The parrot world of the cockatiel aren’t as lucky as the finches though, fostering is only possible to those who, at the same period, are also nesting.

So option one. Foster the abandoned clutch to another nesting pair of cockatiels. Make sure the difference in age between the original clutch and the one to be fostered is no more than three(3) days old. This is to avoid any great disparity in size of the chicks. The larger ones will out compete the late comers in food and when the difference is too big the parents will most likely shift to survival mode and sacrifice the smaller clutch.

Option number two. Foster the eggs to another close, similar sized parrot specie, most commonly the Budgerigar. Same as rule number one, observe the disparity in the age of the eggs. Remember that the count starts when the incubation starts. The cockatiel and the budgerigar has the same average period of incubation, eighteen to twenty one(18-21) days.

Option three. Fostering under the African lovebirds. These are so popular that most bird keepers have at least a pair of them. Although being smaller, they are good and willing foster parents. The problem is, the chicks will be bigger than their foster parents in two weeks time so be ready to resume with hand feeding after this period. They will be easier to hand raise at this stage and acquired most immunity necessary from their African parents.

Option three. Fostering under smaller species and larger species of parrots such as the parakeet. No expert breeder reported of any success so better drop the idea and proceed with hand feeding.

Fostering is a privilege to a few, but when available, is a great time, money and pet saver.