How Do I Remove My Cockatiel’s Eggs-She Laid Them 32 Days Ago?

How Do I Remove My Cockatiel’s Eggs-She Laid Them 32 Days Ago?

Last Updated on by Mitch Rezman

Q: My cockatiel has been sitting on eggs for 32 days, how do I remove eggs & nest without making my cockatiel agitated?

Catherine responded,

It is long past any ability to hatch out the eggs.

Remove the eggs and any nesting box and/or loose material. Ignore your bird’s protests, they are driven by her hormones, nothing to do with loving you. If you are afraid of being bitten then use a cloth or a piece of cardboard to gently move the bird away from the nest.

Next issue. Is your bird laying eggs without a mate? If so, frequent infertile clutches are not healthy for your bird and should be stopped if possible.

We have experienced a broody cockatiel hen before and learned a lot from it. We tried the usual suggestions of removing the eggs, leaving the eggs, and buying dummy eggs. None of it worked.

We learned about a Light Treatment and it worked.

You need to mount a strong daylight or full spectrum bulb directly over the bird’s cage so it shines down on the bird closely.

If your cage is tall or quite large you can move the bird into a smaller cage for the light treatment for the best results.

The bulb is mounted as close to the top of the cage as possible so it is 6 to 12 inches from the bird.

The light is then left ON for 72 hours (3 days and nights). This treatment affects the Circadian Rhythm (CR) which is controlled by the Pineal Gland that is affected by light through the eyes.

After 72 hours the CR is reset and the bird naturally loses interest in broody behavior.

For severe cases that resume laying after the 72-hour treatment, it can be done again for 7 days straight. Light on 24 hours a day. Do not let the bird out of the cage, keep it under the light the entire time.

2 bird cages coverd with fullspectrum lighting under the covers 24/7
Birdcage covers are placed over the light so the bird gets the full effect of the full spectrum light for 72 hours


Yes, the bird will sleep, eat, chirp, etc at all hours. This is a proven practice and works. It was taught to us by Dr. Gregory Harrison, the founder of Harrison’s Bird Food who had been using it for years when we spoke to him on the subject about 10 years ago.

We have talked people through this treatment for small birds up to macaws.

Be sure to remove any nesting materials, shredded toys, nests, huts, or loose ball toys. If toys are hanging and can rest on her back, remove or move them elsewhere in the cage.

If you pet her below the neck (stroking her back) stop it and only pet her from the neck up to reduce the chance of stimulating her sexually.

After the treatment is complete then set the light on top of her cage on a timer 12 hours on and 12 hours off daily, forever. We have ours set at 8:30 am to 8:30 pm. You can adjust yours earlier or later, but leave it on 12 hours a day.

This should help to get your bird back to her sweet self without eggs making her crazy.


Dear Catherine,

I have a female cockatiel & male cockatiel, when she started laying eggs I took them every time she laid one.

She laid a total of 11 (fertile) eggs, then I bought some dummy eggs, to stop her from laying more eggs.

And I placed the eggs into a nest; thinking that if she sees they’re not hatching then she will quit.

So now it’s been 32 days, taking turns, and still going. We don’t want to breed cockatiels because we have no experience to take care of the little ones.

Today I removed the nest & fake eggs, and after 1 hour the female started being super agitated and got very aggressive toward the male cockatiel.

Should I remove the fake eggs gradually? Also, I forgot to mention, that we have a cage for them but we don’t use it, they have a room where we place them to sleep, and we thought they should have more freedom.

Alright let’s start with this,

Remove all the eggs (fake or real) and the nesting box and any material NOW! Then set them up for a light treatment. This should help stop the broodiness.

Subsequently, set the lighting for 12 hours on and 12 hours off. But as you have a male and female together they will resume the same behavior eventually.

You are working against nature and are doomed to fail. You can either set them up to breed with a box or find a home for one of them and stick with one or two of the same sex.

Make sure to start giving the hen calcium supplements.


The writer replies: We have calcium supplements for them, and the female cockatiel is eating well. I shall remove the nesting box, and start the light treatment.

And when they resume the same behavior I think my only option is to let them sit on their natural eggs until they hatch.

I worry that I don’t know if they will be good parents and take care themselves of or the little ones.

Just the thought of finding a new home for one of them breaks my heart since they both are part of the family right now, and it’s something I find very difficult to do. Thanks a lot for all the info and advice, it’s much appreciated!

Catherine replies, Cockatiels are not very hard to breed, they will adapt to your environment.

You would do your best to pull the babies at 3 to 4 weeks and finish hand-feeding them yourself with a hand-feeding formula and a pipette or syringe.

The resulting tamed babies will be very easy to sell or give away. Then pull the nest box and do not let them go to the nest again for at least 6 months.

The writer replies: I hand-feed 1-month cockatiels, but I have no idea if younger cockatiels will be the same like 1 week-old could be different, I need to be very informed before any egg hatches.

Do the parents feed them after they hatch or do I have to do it? Also, do the babies come out ok if the parents are brothers?

I mean they share the same genes, could that result in mutations in the babies? ( What I’ve been reading on the internet, not sure if it’s true )

Yes, the parents will feed them well. Finishing them off after 3 weeks old will help them to be better pets.

That their parents are siblings is not good for healthy genetics. It is best that they be homed without a sibling to avoid them mating with each other down the line. Every time you inbreed a bird they suffer more genetically, try to avoid this.

Kindest regards,


This Post Has One Comment

  1. Hi All. My 1st time posting here (I believe) but thought that I’d put in my 2 cents in regards of this matter. I had quite a # of yrs ago a female tiel (Freckles) that had lasted for only around 5 yrs due to egg binding. Bought her (what was at the time thought as being male-going by the “cheeks” as typical) boy was I in for a surprise. She bonded w/ me & hissed @ my wife so that was settled. Then low and behold, a egg then 2-don’t have to go on, U get it. Hit the net for info which I found a place very helpful (besides what books I could find-Yes Books….). I made a nest for her and so on & let her keep them for as long as she wanted them & she herself would give them up is when I would take them out. I thought that that was it until another set a few mo’s later. Said here we go again…… Needless to say w/ even what was found of what to do w/ habit. tiels didn’t help & 1 of her eggs became stuck. Nothing that I found and did worked & well U know-tear up just posting this-Man I’ll tell U. I also should note that I or should say we had 2 tiels where we both were working and that the 1 male tiel would be better w/ a playmate-Oh Yea that was a good move-a younger female, again going by the cheeks-hahaha. They had chicks which I had raised-formula/feeder and so on-even had a deal w/ an local pet shop that took them-purchased them from me as well as selling them myself to known friends giving them a good home-emotionally that was too much for me to handle so ended up selling the pair for a dove-another story……Won’t go into vets & the like due to being lenghty-this is long enough. Think that I posted more than 2 cents but there ya go. What worked for me in btwn clutches from Freckles was to let her give them up til she herself was done w them, which was around a month…….

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