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Cockatiel Information

Cockatiels are one of the most popular pet birds. They are small parrots with an affectionate, kind temperament and though they rarely talk, they are exceptional whistlers and can learn tunes. Their handsome colors and jolly crest on their head make them very attractive to bird lovers.

Things to Consider Before Purchasing

Cockatiels live up to 20 years, so the purchasing of a cockatiel will be a decision you'll likely live with for the rest of your life. Cockatiels are native to Australia where huge flocks gather at water sources in the arid regions of the country. Bans on the export of all wild birds from Australia means that the cockatiel that your buy will have been bred in captivity. Nevertheless, it is important that the bird was hand raised and is comfortable with humans, if not you will have a difficult time with the bird. A badly behaved cockatiel is something you and your family want to avoid.

To check the temperament of the cockatiel before your buy it, put your finger out near the bird. If it readily hops onto your finger it was likely hand raised. Cockatiels love human contact and once they have become accustomed to it, they crave a scratch on the head, a pet or a ride on their human's shoulder. If the cockatiel refuses to get on your finger or tries to bite, you'd rather move on to another breeder or pet shop. Only purchase a hand raised cockatiel with good temperament.

Also, like with all birds, ensure that the bird is healthy. Birds sitting on the bottom of cages, having fluffed up feathers, dripping noses, sneezing, or with dirty vents are sick. Don't purchase such a bird.

With cockatiels the sex of the bird matters. If you are looking for an affectionate friend, the female cockatiel is your better choice. Males, on the other hand, are better whistlers and are more likely to be able to learn to pronounce words clearly.

Cockatiels, unlike many birds, can live alone without a partner, but if they are alone they will need a lot of attention from their owners. They will begin to see their owner as their mate and will want to be in regular contact with them. Owners have said that often when they are out of the room the cockatiel will scream loudly. This is more of a call to ask, "Where are you?" "Are you okay?" than a sign of bad behavior. Some owners will respond with an occasional whistle to let the cockatiel know that their 'mate' is okay. If the owner is not able to spend a lot of time with the cockatiel, then a second bird should be purchased for companionship but the owner must keep in mind this will make the bird less attached to them.

Cockatiels preen a lot and have a white powder that is often rubbed off on toys, the cage and anything else that it might touch. Like most birds they are quite messy so that must be taken into consideration when deciding on one for a pet.

Cockatiels are very docile and do not mix well with other species of birds. Even birds much smaller than itself will bully it. If they must be housed with other birds, care should be taken to ensure that they are not being brutalized.

Cockatiel Cages

Cockatiels need a large bird cage. They are active and like to fly and climb around inside their cage. Dimensions of 20 inches by 20 inches with a height of 26 inches is the minimum size for their cage. The best cage should have horizontal bars to aid the bird in climbing with spaces not larger then 3/4 of an inch to avoid any accidents.

The cage should have a variety of bird perches, in different sizes and different textures to keep the cockatiels feet and nails healthy.

Cockatiels are very susceptible to strong smells such as insecticides, smoke and air fresheners. Their respiratory system is so efficient some of these can kill a cockatiel. For example the coating on Teflon pans, if they are heated to too high a temperature, can give off a poisonous gas that can kill a cockatiel. Because of this, keep the cage completely away from such odors. They also do not like drafts so keeping them away from windows and doors is important. At night cockatiels like to have their cage covered to stop drafts.

Cockatiel Food

Cockatiels love bird seed. Seeds are like junk food to birds and they will eat them exclusively if given the chance. Seeds are high in fats and do not contain all of the nutrients required to keep your bird healthy. They should make up no more than 30% of your bird's diet. You'd rather feed your cockatiel the scientifically prepared cockatiel pellets .

In addition to this, cockatiels will also need fresh food. Putting bite size pieces of melons, apples, sweet potatoes, grapes, spinach and other fresh fruits and vegetables in their cage daily will keep your cockatiel healthy. Do not give your bird avocados, though, as they are poisonous to birds. You should also occasionally give your bird some additional protein in the form of beans, cooked meat or eggs. Bean sprouts are an excellent food for your cockatiel. Fresh water should always be available.

Cockatiel Care

Cockatiels love to preen themselves. They can be seen often preening their feathers. Putting a shallow bird bath in their cage every few days to allow them to bathe is a good idea. Never put any soap or detergents in the water as this will harm their skin and the natural oils that are used to preen their feathers. Also never apply any oily substance on the bird as it can make them very sick.

Occasionally cockatiels will pull out feathers when preening. This is normal, but occasionally if the bird is having emotional problems such as lack of contact with humans or limited stimulation, they may begin to pull out their feathers continuously. This is a behavioral problem that if mild could be addressed by providing more activity and interaction for the bird. If it continues the avian veterinarian should be consulted.

If the cage is equipped with a cuttle bone, it is unlikely that your cockatiel will need its beak trimmed at all. Occasionally, if your bird's nails become too long they must be trimmed. You should use a bird nail clipper. Hold the foot up to a strong light so that you are able to see the vein clearly then just snip off a tiny bit from the end of the nail. Keep styptic powder handy in case you accidentally cut into the vein so as to stop any bleeding. If you do not have styptic powder you can use flour or corn starch.

Some people recommend trimming your cockatiel's wings to ensure that they do not accidentally fly away. Experienced bird handlers and owners can use wing clipping scissors which are designed specifically for this application.

To keep your bird healthy, it is important to thoroughly clean the cage on a weekly basis with bird cage cleaners. Monthly disinfect the entire cage and its contents after cleaning with a mixture of 3/4 cup bleach in 1 gallon of water. Rinse off the bleach mixture thoroughly and leave the cage outside in the sun to dry. Any wooden perches or toys should be replaced when they become dirty with droppings as they are unable to be disinfected. On a daily basis, wash the water bottles and food dishes with water and dishwashing soap. Remove any fresh food, such as fruits, vegetables and proteins after four hours of feeding.

Cockatiel Illnesses

A healthy parakeets has:
smooth feathers
clear bright eyes
normal stools
a healthy appetite
normal level of activity

Like most birds, once a cockatiel shows signs of sickness such as loss of weight, sitting at the bottom of the cage for a long time, sneezing and dripping from nose and mouth, the bird should be taken to an avian veterinarian.

Conclusion

If you are looking for a devoted friend a cockatiel is an ideal pet. They will give you back all of the love that you shower on them ten fold. They are not as noisy as other parrots and not as needy either, so they are ideal for working people who want a faithful friend for life. If you are looking for more information you can purchase a cockatiel book or cockatiel audio CD.

 

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Copyright 2001 [Kihei Pet Supply Inc.]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 07/30/17

 

808-874-0015  * 1819 S. KIHEI RD *

HOURS MON - SAT 10 AM TO 6 PM

SUNDAY CLOSED

MAP IT

                                                                            FEEDBACK  -  CONTACT US                                                                                                  

KIHEI PET SUPPLY2008

Copyright 2001 [Kihei Pet Supply Inc.]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 07/30/17

808-874-0015  * 1819 S. KIHEI RD *

HOURS MON - SAT 10 AM TO 6 PM

SUNDAY CLOSED

MAP IT

                                                                            FEEDBACK  -  CONTACT US                                                                                                  

KIHEI PET SUPPLY2008

Copyright 2001 [Kihei Pet Supply Inc.]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 07/30/17

 

 

KIHEI PET SUPPLY

 

808-874-0015  * 1819 S. KIHEI RD *

HOURS MON - SAT 10 AM TO 6 PM

SUNDAY CLOSED

MAP IT

                                                                            FEEDBACK  -  CONTACT US                                                                                                  

KIHEI PET SUPPLY2008

Copyright 2001 [Kihei Pet Supply Inc.]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 07/30/17