Talk about a surprise! We woke up the other day and started preparing food for the flock as usual when much to our surprise there was a little white egg sitting inside cinnamon’s cage.
But Wait… I thought you only had one cockatiel?
That’s the funny thing… we do! It’s pretty common for female birds to lay eggs without a male around. However, these eggs have no chance of having a baby bird inside without a mate around to fertilize it, so it’s a lot of work for nothing.
Now that it happened, there were definitely some signs that spring was in the air and Cinnamon bun was feeling the need.
It started when we noticed that she was consistently spending time on a bookshelf and finding her way behind the books where there was just enough room for a small birdie. We were curious what was so intriguing to her in there so one day we pulled away the books to find that she had been shredding bits and pieces of our books and was trying to make a nest in what she thought was the perfect dark and hidden place. Lisa would even try to go over there and pick her up, and cinnamon would start trying to protect the area and would vocally disapprove, which was not usual behavior for her. This type of behavior is known as ‘brooding’.
I am not quite sure what triggered it, we usually avoid anything that would ‘turn her on’ like petting her on the back. I think its possible it was some toys or something else in the cage that just scratched the right itch. We do want to try and find out so we can avoid it though… Egg laying is a pretty physically intense process and could have some severe complications, so you don’t want to encourage it unless you are hoping to have some chicks around. We did end up giving her a tissue box with a little bit of timothy hay to keep her egg in for a few days until we are sure she is done.
Since cockatiels can lay several eggs in a clutch, we will see if some others pop up over the next few days. I guess on the bright-side, while we had a hunch… we now know 100% that Cinnamon bun is a female.
UPDATE 3/16/2021: Cinnamon ended up with a total of two eggs, she had another about 2 days after the first.
Have you had any experience with a hen laying eggs unexpectedly? What was the cause?