Cockatiel - Anyone Have One?

Discussion in 'Off Topic Chat' started by PhotoXopher, Aug 31, 2009.

  1. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    We're thinking about getting one but want to know more about them first from people who have first hand experience.

    I've Google'd it and the pros/cons lists I've seen are rather favorable.

    Any input?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Hiway

    Hiway TPF Noob!

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    Great birds if they are tame. Make sure they were hand fed. If it was it will not hesitate to hop on your finger if you place it in front of the bird and press against its breast gently. If it will not and the seller tells you it just doesn't know you yet ask them to do it. A tame hand fed bird will not be afraid of people. I had one that could talk a little. They do live a long time so be prepared for the commitment.

    On the minus side they can be loud. Keep the cage covered or you will be up at dawn.
    Seed and feathers will not stay in the cage. Put it in an easy to clean area.
    They produce a white powder like dust from the feathers I think. The room has to be dusted frequently. An air filter/purifier is helpful. Have a bath set up for it or use one of the sprays available. They love it and it helps with the dust.

    2 last things. Cuttle bone and millet. The cuttle bone is a requirement and the millet is a favorite food.
     
  3. Dmitri

    Dmitri No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I had one as a child, and I seem to recall hating the thing. It was so loud, all the time.

    Maybe I'm just not a bird person, tho.
     
  4. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    Good info there, we're going to be looking at 3 of them over my lunch break - one in particular is supposed to be very well mannered with handling. We have 3 small kids so this is very important to us as we want to interact with it.

    Whistling/talking would be cool too... but we must be able to hold it, we have fish for 'look and go' pets lol.
     
  5. photo28

    photo28 TPF Noob!

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    Cockatiels are considered the best birds if tamed. Make sure you get a healthy handfed baby from a local breeder if possible (make sure hand fed wherever you get it). Unlike the larger parrots, it won't talk - but does have a great ability to mimic sounds and loves to whistle. They will last around 15 years if taken good care of if sickness takes them. Basically everything is covered above - but remember. Birds are unlike many animals and need a lot of interaction and out of the cage time - for most birds, some paired birds will not go near a human if it has a mate. They would still need lots of time outside the cage.
    Cockatiel Care
    Birds prefer square cages over the classic ones!
     
  6. photo28

    photo28 TPF Noob!

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    Even a small parrot such as a Quaker or Conure may be good.

    Or very small such as Pacific Parrottlets.

    Cockatiels will sit on your shoulder and stay with you all day. The only reason I didn't get one was color- wanted a little more diversity. My friend had 2 cockatiels for 17 years and they were great. Just passed a few months ago.
     
  7. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    Just looked at a couple of them over lunch break, very neat birds - of course nervous as can be (pet store birds).

    Seemed pretty friendly under the circumstances.
     
  8. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    Try and visit people who have one to see what life with a bird is like. I have had dozens of birds over the years that were rescued from owners who decided they didn't like the mess or the noise or the cleaning of the cage or...

    I also try to steer people away from buying animals from the big chain pet stores. Most of their animals are in pitiful condition and I wouldn't trust their health. Small local stores or breeders (obviously) are usually much better for getting good animals.

    That said cockatiels are great birds for a first timer. They sing and talk (if you teach them) and love to play. Also because of their size they are not dangerous. Be aware, they will bite. Love bites are no big deal but they could bite because they got scared or something and you need to be aware of it so as to not react badly and injure the bird.

    Now I don't want to scare you but it is kind of like getting scratched by a cat. It will happen eventually. Again, because of its size the cockatiel's bite is not that big a deal.

    If you want to interact with your bird, make sure and get only one. When there are more than one bird in a cage they tend to not interact with humans as much if at all.

    Do not get a Conure. Some of them are extremely noisy and a lot of those become rescues. Have had a few of them. Quakers are nice but they are a bit bigger with a bigger, stronger beak. With kids, a cockatiel is a good first bird.

    Last, but not least, before you get a bird get a book on the specific breed and read it. Most birds are in cages too small for them. Most cheap food contains a high percentage of sunflower seeds which are addictive to birds and don't give them much good. Most birds don't have enough toys in their cages. Etc, etc.
     
  9. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    More great info! Thanks for the input everyone... I'll digest all of this and do some more reading as well.
     
  10. Phranquey

    Phranquey TPF Noob!

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    Some pretty sound advice here...

    I've had numerous birds over the years, including a cockatiel, and currently have a Congo African Gray & a Blue and Gold Macaw.....so here's my $0.02.

    First & Foremost... c.cloudwalker is absolutely correct about the chain pet stores. I hate them. You want to find a reputable breeder. Go to any pet store that has birds, and you should be able to find an issue of "Bird Talk" magazine....there is a list of breeders listed by state in the back. Now, just because they are listed there doesn't mean they are great, but it's a good start. You also have the internet at your fingertips.
    The reason I emphasize this is that, even though this is a "little" bird, they typically have a lifespan of 12 to 20 years, and 30 years for these little guys is not unheard of....you want to start out with a healthy little guy (or girl) to begin with. You are not just buying a pet, here....you are getting what can be a very loving companion that could potentially be around for a VERY long time.

    Buy one that is still hand feeding. This doesn't mean you have to get one that is still feeding every two hours, but you want to get a baby that is still hand feeding once or twice a day. It may sound daunting, but it is actually quite easy to do, and any breeder worth their salt will be more than willing to show you how...they want their baby to survive!! The reason for this is that hand feeding a bird has a similar effect to feeding a baby, there is a bonding that takes place from the bird to you (and vise-versa ;)).

    Be prepared. I don't care what size bird it is, they are all messy. You could put the food bowl in the center of a 10' cage, they will still find a way to get stuff out on the floor. It's just the way it is, and I quit trying to figure it out.

    Birds are very intelligent and emotional creatures. You need to play with them often, and maintain that level of attention throughout their lifetime. The reason a lot of birds end up in a rescue is from an owner who showered the bird with love the first year or two, and then slowly the novelty, and the attention, tapers off. The bird recognizes this, and becomes very resentful, and this is where most of the biting and attitudes stem from. To add to the emotional side, birds are like us, they have bad days once in a while and can get nippy. Whatever you do...NEVER flick their beak or strike them in ANY way. Birds feed off of positive reinforcement, and if you hurt them for any reason, you may not have a lovable bird for long.

    Good luck with your endeavor, and give serious thought about what you are getting into....:thumbup:


    Here are some pics of my buddies....




    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2009
  11. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    Man, that hit deep...

    After reading all the responses I've decided it may be best to put this off for a little while - I still like the idea but I want to MAKE SURE that I'm ready and able.

    Thanks a lot everyone... I'm still interested and will most likely pursue this - but at a later time, perhaps in a couple years.
     
  12. photo28

    photo28 TPF Noob!

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    Good choice... getting a bird is a HUGE commitment - so don't hurry making the decision. I was going to buy one but I decided to wait until I'm out of college and set.
    Like Phranquey, Cloudwalker & I said - try to find a breeder rather than pet store. Good luck!

    BTW, Phranquey, BEAUTIFUL birds you got. I'd love to have a Macaw some day - my friend just got one. Love the Grey too - is he/she building up a vocabulary yet?
     

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