Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Reasoning with Cockatiels

It is practically impossible. Miss Patty and Yo-yo finally decided the floor of their cage was the best place to start a family, as that was the one place I could not keep them from.

Miss Patty laid the first egg without much trouble. The second one, however, was another story. She was two days late laying, during which time she got plenty of steam baths. After the last one, she did finally lay it, but not without great difficulty. I was worried that the strain had been too much for her- for the next day she did nothing but lay on the floor of the cage. However, she has since improved, and now, a week later, seems as good as she was before. The experience, though, seems to have cooled her urge to raise a family.

After she laid the first one,I was surprised to see that she really seemed serious about raising a family. Both she and Yo-yo took very good care of that egg. She not only sat on it,but turned it regularly, and even seemed to check it with her beak for temperature. She would then stand beside it for several minutes before resuming her position on top. She also got up quite often, wet her stomach in the water dish and then went back to sitting, though now with proper egg hatching humidity.

Yo-yo would take over sitting on the egg whenever she left to eat, or just took a break. He was ever so dedicated a father, but I must say, he was not very good at it. He would spend the entire time he was supposed to be sitting on the egg, often half an hour or more, simply trying to adjust it beneath himself. Instead of watching Miss Patty, and placing the egg between his leg and breast bone as she had done, he continually tried to place it directly beneath his breast bone. Obviously, this did not work, for once it was there, his feet could no longer touch the ground, and Yo-yo would fall forward while the egg rolled backward. Needless to say,Yo-yo took the egg on some very long walks across the bottom of the cage!

For a day or so after the second egg was laid, they continued sitting. Actually Miss Patty was too tired to get up, so she sat on the eggs while Yo-yo preened and fed her. After a bit, Yo-yo even took one of the eggs to "sit" on, so she only had to sit on one. Very adorable to watch, but I am only too glad to say that a week later, there have been no more eggs, and the two that were laid are totally abandoned on the bottom of the cage. Miss Patty hopefully has laid her last, so I do not have to worry about her anymore, or replacing the eggs, as I would have had to do if she had kept up her dedication. I certainly don't need to add to the thousands of cockatiels already needing homes!


Elizabeth said...

What an ordeal for Miss Patty! The description of Yo-yo and the egg is pretty funny. I think Audrey would be like that. He doesn't quite understand the rules.

Mary said...

I'm glad they've lost interest. My parents have a former breeding pair of tiels who destroy any eggs they lay within a day or so. We joke that they also understand about the cockatiel overpopulation :)

Glad Miss Patty has recovered from her ordeal!

Best in Flock said...

That was a really cute mental image you painted. I can just see your little 'tiel trying to balance on the egg, thinking... "Now how do I, let's try ... whoaaa!!!" as he rolls/falls off.