Hello. I have a female cockatiel who emits a rythmic "squeek" (NOT a chirp) which is driving me up a wall. She will be perfectly fine and then just start squeeking. It's in rythym, almost as if it were hicups, and very high pitched. Sometimes the squeeking last for 10 minutes, sometimes for an hour. If I try and hold her while she is doing this, thinking it will distract her, she'll have none of it. I know she isn't bored as she has plenty of toys and has free run of the inside and outside of her cage, plus I work from hime, so I'm here with her all day. Any idea on what this may be and how to stop it?
When she squeaks, does she have her tail raised up and is she--sorry if this sounds blunt, but there's no other way to put it--rubbing her butt on the bars of the cage, a toy, or a perch?
If she is, then she's masturbating. My cockatiel does this nearly every day and while she does, she makes a rhythmic, high-pitched squeak. It's SO ANNOYING and she won't stop unless someone gets too close to her or disrupts her moment of pleasure. Then she gets snotty towards that particular person and will be that way until they leave her alone. Then she starts up again. She'll do that for days at a time, for up to five minutes at a time, sometimes longer. Then she'll cut it out for a couple of weeks, because she ends up laying an egg and thinking she needs to brood on it. When she does that, I let her brood the egg(s) until she realizes they're duds (since a male didn't fertilize them), which in turn gives me about two weeks of peace and quiet. Then she starts up again.
I've just had to learn to tune it out for the most part. There's really no way to stop it.
Oh my word...a masturbating cockatiel, I've heard it all now!! LOL!!!!
Well, I'm not sure this is the case with Farley as she is not touching anything when she does it and her tail is not raised up at all. She's usually just sitting on her swing, which leaves her hind end hanging off, therefore not touching anything at all. I guess I will just have to live with it ~sigh~.
Another thing you mentioned made me think. We also have a male cockatiel (Cappie) and even though they have seperate cages, they often come and go to the each others cage freely. They have even spent the night in one anothers cages on occasion when one didn't want to come out and go back home. How would I know if there has been some..umm..bird luvin going on? How long does it take for a female to lay an egg? Several times over the past couple of weeks I have found Farley sitting in her food dish, as if she were sitting in a nest...could this be a sign that she may be ready to lay an egg? I "inherited" both these birds and love them to death, but admittingly I don't know a while lot about cockatiels...any help is greatly appreicated!
She could be nesting; that's definitely nesting behavior. Especially if your male tiel has been "courting" her by spending the night and preening her or things like that.
My cockatiel usually takes up to two weeks from the time she starts her quirky behavior. The first week and a half is usually non-stop racket, then for the next 3-7 days she does the nesting behavior. She will tear up the newspaper in the corner of her cage and sit there for the 3-7 days. Then she'll lay an egg, but not all the time. Sometimes she just nests.
If your tiel has been with a male, there's a possibility she might lay a fertilized egg or more. So if you don't want chicks, then take the eggs away after she lays them, and you might want to keep the birds separated. But if you're up for raising chicks, you can get a nest box at a pet store. They'll do the rest. ;-)
Hmmm, he has definately been trying to "court" her...you should see the dancing and strutting and cooing he does when she come near his cage. I think I will go get a nest box this weekend and see what happens. If she does lay a fertilized egg, or two, will she automatically know how to take care of it, or will there be something special I should do? Maybe heatwise, or special foods, etc..
And thank you so much, you are being a wondefrul help!
She can lay as many as 3-8 fertilized eggs, and up to 12 eggs altogether. My tiel laid 11 eggs when I tried to breed her, and I think 4 or 5 were fertilized. You can tell the fertilized eggs from the duds by holding them up to a light; the fertilized eggs are a chalky white and the duds have a pinkish hue.
You can get a nest box and nesting material and they will pretty much know what to do with it and how to use it. You should get a book or look up online how to help take care of the chicks when they hatch and how to help the tiels do the brooding. I messed up my chance when I tried to breed mine a few years back because I cleaned the nest box in the middle of the brooding, and then my tiel wouldn't lay on the eggs anymore. So it's really important that you know what you're doing.
For your female tiel, make sure you add calcium supplements to her food because you don't want her to get egg bound from lack of calcium. That's a very dangerous thing to have happen.
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