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A second tiel?

Lothetiel

Sitting on the front steps
Joined
4/11/20
Messages
19
I currently have one cockatiel. He will be 1 in January. I got him at the beginning of quarantine and as we are nearing a possible end of shutdown I am starting to get worried about if my cockatiel will be lonely. Right now we are home a lot so he gets hours and hours and hours of attention. When school starts up again I will be gone 6 hours a day 5 days a week and my family will be at jobs. He will still get tons of attention when anybody’s home it’s just the 5 hours at a time no one is home I’m worried about. I know a second bird is a big commitment but I have my cockatiels health in mind. I would get a second in an instant but here are my concerns:
-they won’t get along
-it’s twice the mess
-twice the money

I currently have a male and I will get a second male. Females just aren’t an option. He is very spoiled and I’m just worried he will see a friend as competition. But at the same time sometimes it just seems as if he longs for a friend. Thoughts?
 

Feather

Biking along the boulevard
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Joined
7/3/11
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5,474
I'm personally of the belief that, as often as possible, birds should be kept with other birds. They're social animals, and human lives simply don't allow for giving them the degree of constant interaction they naturally crave.

That said, you must assume a second bird will not get along with your first and plan for that. If they do get along, which they very well might, fantastic! But you can't predict that they will any more than you can predict two random humans will become fast friends. Can you handle the extra mess and noise? Can you afford the doubled food, vet, and supply bill? Will you be hurt if they want to spend more time with each other and less with you? If they don't bond, will you be able to keep them housed separately? If they don't get along at all, will you be able to juggle separate out of cage times?

My cockatiel, Skyline, was very bonded to me for a hot minute. It was flattering, but it wasn't fair to him. I adopted another male and it was love at first sight for them both. Skyline will still hang out with me, but only if Chipper is also there. He is a far happier bird now, but he rarely asks for or even allows scritches from me anymore, when before nothing would make him happier than if I could sit there and scritch him all day every day. To help ensure a continued relationship with your current bird, you'll need to establish a solid one with the newcomer as well before the two are introduced. The quarantine period is great for that. But do know that though the relationship with your current bird can still persist and still be wonderful, it will almost certainly change.
 

Lothetiel

Sitting on the front steps
Joined
4/11/20
Messages
19
I'm personally of the belief that, as often as possible, birds should be kept with other birds. They're social animals, and human lives simply don't allow for giving them the degree of constant interaction they naturally crave.

That said, you must assume a second bird will not get along with your first and plan for that. If they do get along, which they very well might, fantastic! But you can't predict that they will any more than you can predict two random humans will become fast friends. Can you handle the extra mess and noise? Can you afford the doubled food, vet, and supply bill? Will you be hurt if they want to spend more time with each other and less with you? If they don't bond, will you be able to keep them housed separately? If they don't get along at all, will you be able to juggle separate out of cage times?

My cockatiel, Skyline, was very bonded to me for a hot minute. It was flattering, but it wasn't fair to him. I adopted another male and it was love at first sight for them both. Skyline will still hang out with me, but only if Chipper is also there. He is a far happier bird now, but he rarely asks for or even allows scritches from me anymore, when before nothing would make him happier than if I could sit there and scritch him all day every day. To help ensure a continued relationship with your current bird, you'll need to establish a solid one with the newcomer as well before the two are introduced. The quarantine period is great for that. But do know that though the relationship with your current bird can still persist and still be wonderful, it will almost certainly change.
I can handle the extra noise and food/vet/bills and I won’t be mad if he bonds to another cockatiel rather than me. Right now he just likes to sit with me and get scratched, and if that goes away completely I might miss it but as long as the birds are happy I’m happy. I don’t think I will be able to handle if they despise each other and need separate cages at all times and separate outside times. I have a pet store that allows me to bring my bird to the store in a carrier just to see how he reacts to other cockatiels and see how he feels about a cockatiel I’ve been eyeing. Honestly if you and maybe a couple other people think it’s important I have two birds I will try the “bird to bird” just to see if it truly is an option.
 

hrafn

Rollerblading along the road
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9/17/16
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3,873
Location
Canada
I would actually strongly advise against bringing your 'tiel to the store to meet other cockatiels. Pet stores can be breeding grounds for contagious illness, and having him around other birds in particular is dangerous. When I go to a shop that sells birds, I won't even enter my house without first dousing myself in veterinary-grade disinfectant to kill any potential nasties I may have picked up, and I shower and change before going into my 'tiel's room. Breeding mill animals are often sickly, even if they don't look it, and unfortunately that's where the vast majority of stores get their stock. It's for that same reason that one should always quarantine new birds for a month or longer before introducing them to the flock.
And even aside from the potential danger, it's hard to really get a measure of how your bird feels towards others in a situation like that. How he may feel while in the shop could be drastically different from how he feels about another cockatiel being on his home turf and in his territory and on his mama.

If you want a second bird, and are absolutely confident that you have the money, time, and space for one, go for it! Just be aware that you may have to split your attention between the two in the event that they absolutely hate each other, and need separate out-of-cage time. Cockatiels in general are very chill, but in my opinion it's always best to prepare for the worst case scenario and be pleasantly surprised than vice versa.
 

sunnysmom

Ripping up the road
Avenue Veteran
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Joined
9/16/13
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27,259
Location
Pennsylvania
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You should only get a second bird if YOU want a second bird. Don't get a bird for your bird. As you said, there is a chance they won't get along. And it means 2 cages, twice the expense, mess, etc. That said, they are company for each other and cockatiels are pretty laid back birds. I have done both. My first cockatiel was an "only' bird. We inherited him when he was 15 and therefore decided to keep him as an only bird as that was what he was used to. He was fine. He was happy, lived cage free during the day and I think would have been very jealous of another bird taking attention away from him. I now have 2 cockatiels. (One is technically a long term foster.) They live in separate cages and have little interest in each other. But they are company for each other and generally eat at the same time, nap at the same time, etc. Other people here have stories where their tiels become best buddies. You just don't know what will happen.
 

Lothetiel

Sitting on the front steps
Joined
4/11/20
Messages
19
Update: I was at the pet store for over an hour debating on getting this bird I loved. I really love the bird and I don’t know why I’m hesitant, I can’t really find a reason. I think I might get the second bird, I will let you know.
 

Lothetiel

Sitting on the front steps
Joined
4/11/20
Messages
19
Got the second bird!! Needs a name but so far he is adjusting slowly. It’s gonna be a long few weeks but winter break is soon so I can spend lots of time with them. They seem to be getting along great so I’m just hoping they really do like each other and I can tame the new one. Wish me luck!!
 
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