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Cockatiel noisy when in big cage, but quiet in small carrier?

Kasani

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Hi all,

I've had a lovely hand-raised female cockatiel for a year and a half now (she's turning 2 in April). Because she started out as our only pet (and no kids yet) we've always kept her in an enormous cage. (It could easily hold 4 cockatiels permanently and still be spacious). She has lots of perches and toys and platforms that we change around whenever we clean the cage. For the first year she was quite content with this set up. But since last fall, she's gotten much noisier and has a habit now of chirping non-stop throughout the morning and early afternoon, even when I'm sitting right next to her cage of long periods of time.

I do realize birds chirp pretty constantly anyway, but this is a more insistent, louder cheeping that just the usual bird noises. Not always flock calling but similar sometimes, and it's definitely disruptive. It's also out of character for how she used to be. And when I take her out of her cage and put her in her little travel carrier with food, water and a toy, she quiets down and happily eats and plays with her toy and is as good as gold. It's like she doesn't like her big cage anymore. I suspect this is because when she does get left alone, it's always in her big cage... Though she isn't usually left alone for very long periods at a stretch, since I work at home anyway.

Does anyone have any advice on what I could do to help her be more content in the big cage again?

As a side note, we are going to be getting a second cockatiel in another couple weeks to be a buddy for her. Because it's such a ridiculously big cage, we've divided it in half with plexiglass this week so they can live side-by-side (after quarantine), and someday eventually move in together entirely if they end up getting along well enough. I'm hoping having a buddy will help her feel more content and less lonely? Any thoughts?

Thanks!
 

Kiwi's Dad

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Could we see the cage?
 

Kasani

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Could we see the cage?
Here it is from both sides. She's now living in the left side (the part with the forage wheel). Her water and food dish are currently removed in the below picture since she's chilling in her carrier at the moment with them.
Eva's Cage 1.jpg Eva's Cage 2.jpg
 

Kasani

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I should probably add that shes been exhibiting a lot of nesting behaviour lately when she's outside her cage---looking for confined spaces, etc. I've intentionally avoided providing any nesting areas in her cage in the hopes she won't start laying. So maybe that has something to do with it?
 

Tiel Feathers

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Could she be thinking of her travel cage as her nest? My birds have done this before. Maybe try rewarding her when in her big cage and keep her food in her big cage. Also, sit and interact with her when she is in her big cage.
 

April

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The cage is a lovely size but I don't really see any toys that she can really interact with and destroy for fun. Maybe some colorful balsa cubes which will be easy to shred or some thin Chippy pine toys. Lil monsters bird toys has absolutely fabulous toys that any tiel would go nuts for.
 

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I agree with what April said, the cage looks great so far, but birds love to shred and tear things. My birdie loves those cardboard box foraging cubes stuffed with crinkle paper.
 

Kiwi's Dad

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Birds fly horizontal. Even though it is a nice big cage you have severely restricted your bird by cutting it in half vertically.
Hey, this is actually a very decent-sized cage and is perfect for a cockatiel. These are its dimensions 48"H x 37"W x 25" D. Its dimensions are also very similar to this very popular cage Birds Comfort.
 

Shezbug

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None of my birds are happy being in the middle of the room. I would put the cage up against a wall for a start.
The other issue I see is the room in that half cage with the addition of the divider is not large enough for a tiel, if the cage was left as it is meant to be it would be a fine.

Hey, this is actually a very decent-sized cage and is perfect for a cockatiel. These are its dimensions 48"H x 37"W x 25" D. Its dimensions are also very similar to this very popular cage Birds Comfort.
The cage is not that size, it has been cut in half if you look properly so that would make the width much less...
 

April

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Aah I missed the fact it was divided in half,yeah now I'd say it's definitely to small. You'd be better off buying an actual double flight with a built in divider and then each Tiel will have a proper sized cage.

If nothing else put the divider in the center so the top and bottom are equally done. Like those stacked cages They sell
 

Kiwi's Dad

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The cage is not that size, it has been cut in half if you look properly so that would make the width much less...
Oops, I hadn't seen the plexiglass in there
 

Kiwi's Dad

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Birds fly horizontal. Even though it is a nice big cage you have severely restricted your bird by cutting it in half vertically.
Sorry, I hadn't noticed there was a divider.
Yes, this cage is too small for a cockatiel.
 

Kiwi's Dad

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Aah I missed the fact it was divided in half,yeah now I'd say it's definitely to small. You'd be better off buying an actual double flight with a built in divider and then each Tiel will have a proper sized cage.

If nothing else put the divider in the center so the top and bottom are equally done. Like those stacked cages They sell
I second this!

Here's a link to a divided cage:
Birds Comfort
 

Tiel Feathers

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I agree with all of the above. I didn’t realize it was cut in half either. Also, a wider variety of perches and toys would be good.
But I imagine it’s not so much the size that your bird doesn’t like since she likes her travel cage. It could be that she doesn’t like it because it is in the middle of the room though.
 

Kasani

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Thanks for the advice all! Today I tried moving the cage back against the wall again, and it solved the problem immediately!! She's been waaaay happier today. No more shrieking, just her happy bird chirps. I also made some more shreddy toys for her and stuck them in. I'd taken them out before because she'd started flirting with them but I've put them back in in different locations and so far so good. Her cage has been moved to the center of the room since the fall, which is when the noise problems started, but I never made the connection of the change in cage location. So glad we got this figured out!
 

April

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Yay that's such fabulous news! I'm so glad that she's feeling calmer and less stressed.
 

Shezbug

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Thanks for the advice all! Today I tried moving the cage back against the wall again, and it solved the problem immediately!! She's been waaaay happier today. No more shrieking, just her happy bird chirps. I also made some more shreddy toys for her and stuck them in. I'd taken them out before because she'd started flirting with them but I've put them back in in different locations and so far so good. Her cage has been moved to the center of the room since the fall, which is when the noise problems started, but I never made the connection of the change in cage location. So glad we got this figured out!
That is great news. Having a wall behind them offers them some peace and comfort as they have one side where they do not have to watch out for predators. For extremely nervous birds a corner is better and for those that need more again offering three covered cage sides usually gives them some comfort knowing they only have to watch in front for dangers.
I hope you reconsider the divider and think about getting a second cage so both the new bird and your current bird can have an appropriate size cage for further happiness and comfort.
 
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