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Need help choosing between a Budgerigar and a Cockatiel!

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Hi everyone!
I’m new here.

We’ve been thinking of purchasing a new bird for a while now and we’ve narrowed it down to a budgie and a cockatiel.
We used to have a green budgie, but unfortunately he passed away back in 2020 after 9 years.
We love budgies but we feel that a new one might never live up to our old one, as he was a truly exceptional pet. He was very talkative, energetic, and used to get up on the side of his cage so you could pat his tail. We would hope for a similar level of interactiveness in our new bird.

We were thinking of keeping the bird in the cage 24/7 as that is what we did with our old boy.
A con of cockatiels is that they have night frights, and tend to be less cage oriented than budgies.
A con of budgies is that they may remind us of our old one, we may constantly compare, and they are delicate and fright/die easily.

I would really appreciate advice over which type to pick.
Thank you! :)
 

Pat H

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No offense... but I am so confused? Why are you getting a bird? I feel badly for that parakeet you kept in solitary for 9 long years.... why didn't you get him a housemate? You might try a couple/ few finches [they mainly stay in a cage]... or a canary?

Birds are social creatures... look at nature-- you don't often see them alone. A human being can never replace one of their own kind.

I think back to an old TV episode... was it Twilight Zone? Where aliens kept humans in a comfortable fake home, so they could watch them as if in a zoo. Not until the humans captured an insect to keep as a pet that they realized they had intelligence... Birds do too... they have emotions... So put yourself in their cage...

So please don't take offense with us... birds are our kids... in our care whatever happens to them. We made that choice!

But...
WELCOME to the Avenue!!! :grouphug: You are around friends!
 

Zara

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Welcome to the Avenue! :)

If you want to keep a caged bird, I would recommend looking at something like finches or canaries and being sure they have a cage large enough that they can fly inside it.
 

tka

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I agree with @Zara - you can keep a pair of finches in a very large cage with plenty of enrichment.

Budgies and cockatiels both need time out of their cage and companionship. You just need to look at a few posts on this forum to see the deep and rewarding relationship that it's possible to build with a bird who comes out of the cage and is able to interact with you.

Daily flight is essential to keeping a bird physically and mentally healthy. If you can't commit to that, you aren't prepared for a bird.
 

pbplaylist

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I
No offense... but I am so confused? Why are you getting a bird? I feel badly for that parakeet you kept in solitary for 9 long years.... why didn't you get him a housemate? You might try a couple/ few finches [they mainly stay in a cage]... or a canary?

Birds are social creatures... look at nature-- you don't often see them alone. A human being can never replace one of their own kind.

I think back to an old TV episode... was it Twilight Zone? Where aliens kept humans in a comfortable fake home, so they could watch them as if in a zoo. Not until the humans captured an insect to keep as a pet that they realized they had intelligence... Birds do too... they have emotions... So put yourself in their cage...

So please don't take offense with us... birds are our kids... in our care whatever happens to them. We made that choice!

But...
WELCOME to the Avenue!!! :grouphug: You are around friends!
I don’t think you understand. We interacted with him CONSTANTLY, like he was so social. He had about 5000 mirrors and toys in the cage, a swing, we would constantly talk to him, he would be in the living room where all the action went on, we would play him music all the time, he even had his own playlist. We didn’t let him out of the cage because he’s delicate and we have a cat. Please understand the full story before jumping to conclusions :)
 

pbplaylist

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I agree with @Zara - you can keep a pair of finches in a very large cage with plenty of enrichment.

Budgies and cockatiels both need time out of their cage and companionship. You just need to look at a few posts on this forum to see the deep and rewarding relationship that it's possible to build with a bird who comes out of the cage and is able to interact with you.

Daily flight is essential to keeping a bird physically and mentally healthy. If you can't commit to that, you aren't prepared for a bird.
We interacted with my old bird CONSTANTLY. Quoting what I wrote in a previous comment, “He had about 5000 mirrors and toys in the cage, a swing, we would constantly talk to him, he would be in the living room where all the action went on, we would play him music all the time, he even had his own playlist. We didn’t let him out of the cage because he’s delicate and we have a cat.” He got so much attention and we took excellent care of him, he was truly part of the family. You have no right to attack my family’s bird raising ability, as you do not know our circumstances. Please refrain from judging.
 

Zara

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Noone is judging or attacking anyone.

But what you´re are offering, a life caged, is not a good fit for any parrot. Only smaller passerine birds would be ok with such a lifestyle.
Even if you offer interaction through cage bars, it is not enough. They need hands on interaction also and flight or their muscles will atrophy and become weak.
Mirrors are not always good toys for birds, as they can obsess over their own reflection and lead them to become confused or even depressed.

The members here are just trying to help, and are simply conversing their concerns. I hope you understand.
 

Zara

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We didn’t let him out of the cage because he’s delicate and we have a cat.
You´re right. Birds really are delicate. And I can partly understand your choices.
Maybe you could work out a rota where the cat gets put in another room while your bird comes out of their cage? There are other members here who have cats and birds, and they have to give each companion animal their own time being in certain rooms of the home.
 

pbplaylist

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Noone is judging or attacking anyone.

But what you´re are offering, a life caged, is not a good fit for any parrot. Only smaller passerine birds would be ok with such a lifestyle.
Even if you offer interaction through cage bars, it is not enough. They need hands on interaction also and flight or their muscles will atrophy and become weak.
Mirrors are not always good toys for birds, as they can obsess over their own reflection and lead them to become confused or even depressed.

The members here are just trying to help, and are simply conversing their concerns. I hope you understand.
We always patted his tail.
 

Pat H

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Whoaaaa.... Again, I don't mean to judge nor criticize you... that was not my intention... I apologize, because OF COURSE that's how my comments would have been taken... I am only trying to help with the various complexities of another household, accessed only by text...

I only meant-- you are a human... a bird is a bird... Surely the mirrors helped him alot! And that's the reason we have refused to get a cat, tho I would like one... Even being on the alert-- accidents happen... too quickly!

So, what do you think of a canary, or some finches? :heart:
 

tka

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Patting a bird's tail is more likely to be interpreted as a sexual advance than friendly companionship. Pretty much all of a parrot's body is an erogenous zone that would only be preened by a mate. This includes the back, wings, tail, belly and around the cloaca. The only places that a friend would preen is the head and even then you have to be careful.

If you have a cat, then you need to figure out a way to keep them apart so the parrot can have out of cage time. It's not fair on a parrot to spend 24 hours a day, seven days a week in a cage, and it's not fair to make the parrot suffer because you prioritise your cat. In the wild, they would fly thousands of miles over the course of their lifetime. Flight is essential for their health. It keeps their cardiovascular and respiratory systems healthy; birds who do not fly are more likely to become overweight, suffer build-up in the arteries, and have heart attacks and strokes. Ironically, keeping a bird caged and not allowing them flight makes them more delicate and prone to disease.

Crucially, flight allows them choice. There is no greater feeling than a bird who swoops to your hand because they've chosen to be with you. My bird is able to decide which room she wants to be in, which humans she wants to be with, which playstand and toys she wants to play with. She gets to hang out with us when we're working or watching TV or having a bath. She gets to listen to music in the study or a movie in the living room. She gets even more toys because she has toys outside the cage as well as inside. I can offer her so much more enrichment because she makes use of our living space as well as hers.

Members here who have cats/dogs and birds keep their predator species out of the bird room so the birds can still have out of cage time. You might need to have a sign on the door to warn family members when the birds are out. You will need to make the room safe for a bird to fly in by covering mirrors and teaching them about windows. Remember, we brought flighted, wild animals into our homes - it is on us to adapt to them and keep them safe.

If you can't offer that, you must really consider whether you can offer a bird a happy, enriched and fulfilling life. It is not good enough to say that "this is how we've always done it and my previous bird was fine". Our understanding of parrot health, diet, behaviour and psychology has increased hugely over the past decades. We used to keep birds in tiny round cages on an all-seed diet: sure, some of them survived but many did not thrive. We now know better and understand far better what they need to be happy and healthy. It can be challenging for us but we have seen the benefits for our birds and, for me, that is worth the difficulty.
 

Emma&pico

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Hi I am not judging but I really wouldn’t get a cockatiel if you want a bird to live in a cage I had a cockatiel about 7years ago while I had morning sickness when pregnant with my daughter she went nuts screaming etc because I wasn’t able to get her out of her cage as much as I was before with me being so poorly I sadly had to rehome her as she was getting too stressed not being allowed out to fly but I couldn’t even move without being sick from 6-19weeks broke my heart maybe that was because of what she was use to she had a massive cage loads of toys but still loved a good fly

I do agree with others that if you want a bird to watch in a cage maybe flinches are best or a parrotlet in a bigger cage but again they would still need time out of cage
 

sunnysmom

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If you are never going to let a bird out of its cage, don't get a budgie or cockatiel. Perhaps you can look into finches or canaries.
 

aooratrix

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A life in a cage 24-7-365 is no life at all, I don't care what enrichment you provide. Put the cat up when you have the bird out of the cage; many of us do that. If the cat has enrichment in the confinement room, it's not a punishment. I have to crate my dog when I get my conures out. It's the "price of doing business."

If you get a handtamed bird, you'll experience a whole new world interacting with the bird directly. There's nothing like it. If you're going to have a bird, you should get all the benefits of this potentially wonderful experience. It would be better for you AND the bird.
 

Destiny

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To put things in perspective, you can buy cages for cats. They are quite spacious compared to the average bird cage. Plenty of room to stretch out. Multiple levels for jumping. Room for lots of toys and beds. A cat can comfortably live in such a cage for a long time, if necessary.

143766_MAIN._AC_SL1500_V1569621418_.jpg

If your cat needs to be confined for any reason, this is a great cage. Very handy for helping new cats get acclimated or helping kittens learn to use a litter box or when your cat is sick and needs to reduce its activity level or if you are in the process of taming a feral cat.

But would you feel comfortable confining your cat to a cage like that for ten or fifteen years? Even if you visit them often and switch out the toys, I have a hard time believing that cat would be living its best life, confined in a cage. Lifelong confinement would only make sense to me if the cat had some kind of permanent disability that made it unsafe to allow them out of the cage. Even then, you could probably let them out under supervision.

Leaving a cat confined forever feels cruel. Same thing with keeping a dog in a kennel its whole life. We can do better than that. Our pets deserve better than that. The basic standard of care for dogs and cats expects responsible owners to provide more than that.

Why should it be different for parrots? They benefit greatly from time out of cage. They benefit greatly from more exercise and the freedom to fly around a room. There really isn't a cage big enough to confine a bird in for its entire life. Most bird cages on the market are significantly smaller than that cat cage ... and it is intended for only temporary use by a single cat or kitten.

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Personally, I am a fan of "dedicated bird spaces". Bird rooms or walk-in aviaries that allow birds as much freedom as possible while keeping them safe. It is the closest you can reasonably get to cage-free living for a bird. But if you don't have the room for that, you need to give serious consideration to how much out-of-cage time you can reasonably give to your birds. If the honest answer is "none", then any parrot is not going to be a good fit to your current household and lifestyle.
 
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