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Twin Cockatiel Embryos


Twin Cockatiel Embryos

By Jo-Anne Watts


Earlier last year I had a Whiteface Cinnamon Pearl Pied pair begin to lay their first clutch of eggs forLarge egg size comapred to normal me. I had been told by the previous owner of the pair that that they often laid quite large eggs but was certainly not expecting the size egg they presented me with for their first. It was not twice the size of a normal egg but was certainly the largest egg I had even seen laid by a cockatiel. I wondered about the possibility of twins but could find no information on it at all.


2 developing cockatiel embryosI candled the egg after a week or so and was surprised to see what definitely looked like 2 embryos developing. I contacted an avian vet and was told that in most cases the egg will probably only be around 70% bigger than the normal egg and if this was the case then it was uncommon that 2 chicks could develop normally and survive.


They did continue to develop and actually did get to pipping stage. Because they had grown with one chick virtually on top of the other there was only access to the air sac for one chick. Naturally it was therefore impossible for both to survive and ultimately neither chick made it. I did not intervene at all with the hatching because I was told there was little hope so I let nature take its course.


After the first tiny pip mark on the shell all movement ceased and it was obvious there would be no hatching taking place. I then decided to open the shell and see what exactly was inside. As it turned out one chick had an enlarged top of its skull as seen on the chick on the left side in the picture of the 2 chicks. They were covered in down and everything else looked to be properly formed.




If there is a next time I will endeavour to assist hatch and see if it is possible for twins to survive.


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