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Cockatiel or Conure?? I CAN'T DECIDE!!!

Sammy

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Hi everyone!!
I'm new here and have been thinking about getting a bird for a while. I was wondering if any of you could help me decide which type!
I've narrowed it down to either a conure (either black capped or green cheek) or a cockatiel but can't decide what would be better for me. I go to school everyday for 8-10 hours on weekdays and would have 30 minutes to be with the bird in the mornings and the rest of the day (probably between 3-4 hours) in the evenings to be with the bird (almost all day on weekends). I would provide many toys and stimulation to the bird and will probably keep a radio on so they don't feel alone. Will the bird feel too lonely if this were the case? I only want one bird and know that a second one would ensure the bird doesn't feel neglected. If I give it lots of attention daily is getting one bird ok in my case?
I would prefer a quieter bird and have heard mixed things about both the cockatiel and conures. Could spending time with the bird in the evenings include just sitting with the bird while I study or read? Is this the same with both conures AND cockatiels or is one bird more energetic than the other? Which bird is more entertaining to watch? Which bird is more mellow and cuddly?
The last thing I am worried about is mess...which bird tends to be messier? I know that cockatiels are very dusty but have heard of conures that throw their food all over the place...is this true? I'm fine with some mess but of course the less the better!

Any information you have would be helpful!
Thank you!!!
 

webchirp

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Cheekies are usually very energetic. You may want to research people who have posted about green cheek biting. Cheekies are usually very active and in-your-face type birds. They love drama (biting drama too) and interaction. Cockatiels are usually more laid back and easy going. Also remember, these guys live for a very long time. We have some younger members here who have birds...but generally people worry about long term. Rescue has had several bebes come in where the young owner went off to college and the parents just didn't want to give the time needed to the bird.
 

TikiMyn

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Based on my knowledge I would say cockatiel. You can visit rescues and see what bird you connect with:)
Cockatiels will be getting into less trouble when they are out, so studying with them is possible. With a conure, that will be quite a bit harder as they are generally more energetic.
All birds are messy and loud, but conures are louder and messier than tiels in my experience. My black cap is defiantly louder sound wise. My tiel sang more, and the noisy part was flock calling each morning and evening. Between that is was just soft whistle like noises. My black cap can get pretty loud, we have a semi detached house and I can hear him across the street. I like his noises, but he is loud without a doubt. I could hear my tiel in front of my window(thin glass) but that was about it. I couldn't even hear him singing downstairs.
Have you thought about your future? What will you do when you go to college/university, and will you always be able to spend time with a bird? As in college there will be loads of parties and such.. I am a young person myself(18), and having birds is possible but does require sacrifices sometimes. Is there a reason you don't want to birds? My lovebirds love each other, and still have a very strong bond with me. Since they bonded, they don't necessarily require me to spend hours with them each day, and when I do everything is just like before:) My cockatiel and lovebird were bonded as well, and that really helped. Anyway, foraging toys were not on your list, I think you should look into that as well:) They are awesome to keep birds busy in addition to normal toys!:)
 

Sammy

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Thanks so much for your replies!
I think I'm leaning towards a cockatiel. The only reason I wouldn't get two is because I've heard so many stories about the birds bonding with each other and not with their owner. I'm looking for a loving companion and am worried that my bird(s) may not like me if they live together. Another possible con: what if they don't like each other?? I don't have the space to put them in two separate rooms if they don't like living together (maybe two cages side by side? is this a thing??) and originally just thought that I should get one. Now I guess I'll reconsider :). Does anyone here have more than one cockatiel who are still heavily bonded with their owner? If I do get two, should I get them both at the same time or get one then slowly introduce the second after I bond to the first?
 

TikiMyn

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The only reason I wouldn't get two is because I've heard so many stories about the birds bonding with each other and not with their owner.
I suspected as much:) It is not true in most cases I believe. If you build a relationship based on trust and mutual respect(and not force), that Will not go away if they have a friend. You could get two socialized babies or two adults that already have a good relationship with humans. Adopting two older birds that are not used to humans, could be more difficult. You don’t need to have two but in my opninion it is better in most cases:)
There is of course the possibilty of them not liking Each other(though that is not very common with Tiels I believe), if you get two I would go for a pair that is already bonded and has Some good experience with humans. You can get two babies as well but there is the possiblity they Will not like Each other when they sexually mature. If you can only get one that is okay two, I was just wondering if there was a specific reason:) If you have two birds that is also double the ‘risk’ of high vet cost etc, so if you can’t afford that, only one is better:)
@Tielfeathers. Has multiple Tiels:)
 

finchly

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Get one now and one in a few month and both hand fed.

I have 2 but did have 4, all very bonded with us. The males passed. The girls are friends but each will hang out with us together or separate.

Correction: I have 3. I rescued a male a few weeks ago.
 

Feather

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Cockatiels are fantastic little buddies! I recently lost my second cockatiel. :sad1: But since my boys were a bonded pair I'll chime in. :)

Being the center of a bird's universe is flattering. :xflove: But I personally wouldn't want that for the long run. I'm not a bird and can't explain to them that I have other responsibilities outside of cuddle time. :lol:

The boys did prefer each other over me, but I still had a good relationship with both. I agree with @finchly that you should get them one at a time so you can establish a bond with the first 'tiel before you adopt another. Getting a second bird does probably mean the dynamic between you and the first will change, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Skyline was less interested in getting scritches from me than he'd been before I brought home Highrise, but he was no less keen on sitting with me while I went about my daily routine at home - so long as his boyfriend also joined us.

My other birds are bonded as well, though not quite as inseparable as the 'tiels were. Being entirely different species, there's a lot of miscommunication between them sometimes. I keep them in different cages side by side and they only get to be out together under supervision because of the size difference and trouble doubled. We're a tight little trio and it's a rare thing for me to have Zyda on my shoulder without Rowan on my head. :p
 

Lady Jane

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Make sure you have an avian vet within driving distance that suits you. People tend to forget about this before getting a bird then when the first injury or illness rears its ugly head there is a problem.

You cant go wrong with a Cockatiel.
 

meheartbirds

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I absolutely LOVE my 3 month old cockatiel. I continued the hand feeding that the seller started till about a week ago..he was weaned. I HIGHLY recommend them..my boy is fabulous with my dogs and is pretty laid back. Since this is my first experience...can I expect that as a baby he will mostly takes things in and gets more personality with age...such as whistles or talking a bit? I am perfectly fine with him as he is..such a sweetheart but I was curious if he gets smarter like people do as they grow up?
 

Sammy

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@TikiMyn thank you so much for your advice! I'll definitely reconsider getting two cockatiels instead of one.

@finchly do you keep all of your cockatiels in one cage? If so, how big of a cage should I get if getting two cockatiels?

@Feather I'm so sorry to hear about your cockatiel :(. Your advice really helped and I think I would end up getting two.
How much time each day did you spend with each bird if you have two cockatiels? Should you spend time with them one at a time or all together?
Thank you everyone for all your advice and personal experience with cockatiels. Anyone else who can share some stories about first getting their cockatiels would be lovely!
 

TikiMyn

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I have lovies who are not the same as Tiels, besides, every bird is an individual! But I don’t spend time with them seperatly. They are cage free in a bird room and fly to me when they want attention, so in a sense I do spend time with one while the other is busy doing something else. But I don’t make an effort to spend time seperatly with them specifically:)
My first Tiel was an older rescue so likely your experience Will be different:) My Tiel, Tiki, was ready to come out of his cage the they after I brought him home. He took over a year to truely settle in, he was at ease relatively quick but over the span of the four years I had him he started to come more and more out of his Shell. Playing more and displaying new and normal bird behaviors(at first he had never really had a chance to be a bird). The best advice I can give is probably to look into positive reinforcement and force free training. Barbara Heidenreich has Some great free resources:)
Some great resources:
Free Training Resources | Avian Avenue Parrot Forum
First days with a bird:
Some things to do with a new bird.... | Avian Avenue Parrot Forum
 

Feather

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@Feather I'm so sorry to hear about your cockatiel :(. Your advice really helped and I think I would end up getting two.
How much time each day did you spend with each bird if you have two cockatiels? Should you spend time with them one at a time or all together?
Thank you everyone for all your advice and personal experience with cockatiels. Anyone else who can share some stories about first getting their cockatiels would be lovely!
Same as what @TikiMyn said about her lovies. I mostly just had them out and they could come to me whenever they wanted. If I really wanted some time with just one I could leave the other in a different room, but I've never kept any sort of schedule with any of my birds.
I kept both my tiels in the same cage. It's this one.
 

finchly

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I have a flight cage with 2. It’s about 30 wide by 36” tall. My other one lives in another cage, he is newer and they aren’t friendly yet.
 

Sammy

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I've been doing research on getting two cockatiels and some people say that if I get one and then after a couple of months introduce a second cockatiel, they may not like each other. This would result in having to keep them in two different cages far away from each other...is this true?
Do you think it's better I get two cockatiels at the same time and them already be bonded or risk them not liking each other but ensuring at least one has a strong bond to me?
 

finchly

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With cockatiels this is all really not a huge deal. They like everyone.

I got mine as handfed babies, maybe 2 months apart except Torrie had been returned so she was 4 months old. So she was 6 months when I got Spirit at 10 weeks. They aren’t bonded but they live together. They both will go to me or hubby.
 

finchly

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They had another friend with them but he died. All 3 got along and liked us.
 

MahaSarah

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Birds are great friends! I second getting two handfed and hand tamed cockatiels, they will keep each other company while your away and they will also spend time with you when you play with them. I always think its best to get two in the beginning since they will already be used to each other. I recommend getting the same gender if you can so they don't try and reproduce with each other.
 

Feather

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I can't speak for all birds but had Skyline for seven years before I got Highrise. They hit it off the instant they saw each other for the first time, all :loveshower::yes4:
 
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