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The Good, The Bad and The Ugly about Cockatiels

meheartbirds

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Raleigh
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Cynthia
I used to have budgies and cat and dog kept together when I was a child. The cat did not care much about the budgies, but we have never left them together alone. However now as an adult I would not do that, as predators kept together with spoil animals is never a good idea. Although I can understand your decision and if you do some additional precautious actions there will be no problem with it.

You can tame your cat (and dog) that the tiel is also part of the family, and they will accept.
However you need to be sure they are never ever left alone together, and that when the tiel is out, the dog and the cat is in a different room and you clean regularly after the furry friends.
Even if they do not hurt the bird, the bacterias in their mouths can be seriously dangerous to the bird (especially the dog's), so it is also adviceable that they do not go sniffing around the cage (I can imagine the dog licking the cage as an example).

And very importantly I wanted to suggest to get a pair to your tiel. The cockatiels are very social animals, they need another cockatiel mate. It can be male or female does not matter.
Thank you hanee for the great feedback. I also have budgies that he has contact with outside the cage daily for periods of time. Do you think he still needs a cockatiel?
I do keep the birds separate from the area that my cat is in when I leave the house.
 

hanee

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Judit Hannak
Thank you hanee for the great feedback. I also have budgies that he has contact with outside the cage daily for periods of time. Do you think he still needs a cockatiel?
I do keep the birds separate from the area that my cat is in when I leave the house.
Yes, he still needs a mate from his own species. He can 'kind of' make friends of the budgies too, but the behaviour pattern, temperament, etc are different. It is like when you try to communicate with a monkey or a dog. You will understand each other at a certain level, make friendship, your dog even makes you happy at a certain way, but you cannot discuss for example your problems with your dog, because he will not provide an adequate response or an advise to a human problem and vice versa.. A specific species of bird always needs their own species as a mate for full happyness.
 

Emmalyn

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Emmalyn
Its funny how I never read this thread when I first came across Avianavenue. Ive had my cockatiel for a year and a half now, and I am so attached to him! I love everything about him-the good and the bad, because it just creates his personality. Reading this thread had me thinking I probably wouldn't of gotten a cockatiel if I read it before getting Potsie.. But I'm glad that people have access to this before deciding on getting a bird. If I wasn't living with my parents, I would most likely have a ton of adopted birds from people that didn't know what they were getting into.

This thread also made me look back over the time of having Potsie. I got him when he was a baby and he was so standoffish with me-but comparing now to then is crazy! We are companions and he has to be on me at all times when I'm home. I got him when I had a major surgery-so I was home a lot which helped me out with building a trust with him and hand training. Now he is so good and is use to his routine!

The screaming I definitely understand how that can be a factor in not getting one. I am in grad school online, so my meetings and online classes are over video and if he hears me and isn't on me-he will be screaming the entire time until he's on my shoulder-which then turns into his stubborn attitude to go after my computer and shred my papers. But he is so quick to learn songs and noises that I make towards him to where he'll get really close to my face and make the same noises. I think thats the best part about him-knowing he's using the noise I make to communicate.

With the dust, I have pretty bad allergies-especially with pet dander, so I know a cockatiel wasn't probably the best option for me, but it isn't as bad as I thought. He's in a pretty large cage that I can wheel around, so in the summer I hose it off once a week and have a hand held vacuum I use everyday along with changing his newspaper daily.

I think cockatiels are so special and are great to build a strong bond with. But I definitely can see how people easily get them without much thought and not realize how much attention they need. They are a social bird and are definitely a lot like humans where they need to socialize to stay happy!

I wanted a bird for so long, I still am shocked I have one! And Im so happy I chose to get a cockatiel-- they are such sweet birds!
 

CinnaBunz94

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Huntingdon, PA
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Cindy
I've had my female cockatiel for about a year now. Even though she can be a bit annoying sometimes (in a good way! ), I wouldn't give her up for anything. I've never been this attached to a pet- let alone a bird- so the bond between her and I is definitely special. I mean after all, I consider her as my "daughter "! :p

Anyway, the benefits of having a cockatiel is that they're extremely lovable, social, intelligent, and quirky! My Cadence would "tell" me whenever she wants her scritches by climbing to the middle of my chest and chirps. Whenever I would have guests over in my apt, she will be the first to greet and preen them! I understand that female cockatiels are much quieter than their male counterparts, but she can be just as loud as them when especially she wants to complain about something! Currently, she's trying to speak some words but it all comes out sounding gibberish! :shy:

When it comes to Cadence, the disadvantages of having a cockatiel is that she will poop just about anywhere! Dander is definitely a problem and even though it's just her. Cadence is full flighted so ever since her wings grew back, she has developed this sassy nature of her where she'll listen to me sometimes, but mostly, she will do whatever she wants. It can be annoying at times especially when it's her bedtime and she will refuse to go into her cage! Cadence is a very clingy bird so she will follow me EVERYWHERE I go ! Doesn't matter if I'm doing dishes or using the bathroom! Hormones (such as nesting behaviors) is also one of the biggest problem I have with her and it is something I'm trying to discourage because I think she's too young to become a mom :p

Since she's my only cockatiel, my boyfriend and I are thinking of getting a male cockatiel to keep her company while we're out of the apartment. I haven't experienced any ugly sides of Cadence just yet but hopefully not anywhere in the future!
 

meheartbirds

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Raleigh
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Cynthia
Yes, he still needs a mate from his own species. He can 'kind of' make friends of the budgies too, but the behaviour pattern, temperament, etc are different. It is like when you try to communicate with a monkey or a dog. You will understand each other at a certain level, make friendship, your dog even makes you happy at a certain way, but you cannot discuss for example your problems with your dog, because he will not provide an adequate response or an advise to a human problem and vice versa.. A specific species of bird always needs their own species as a mate for full happyness.

I placed a deposit on a newborn so that they will be aprox the same age as they grow.
 

Serin

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Indiana
I disagree that birds need a same species companion. I do think they should have some sort of company all the time, but that can be a family in which someone is always home, or another bird species.
 

Gemini Jones

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Carle Marie Jones
I'm loving this thread!! I've only had my tiel for a few months, but I've raised her since she hatched. I have so much good to say, some annoying, but I can't say I've found anything bad about my tiel, or being a tiel mom. I haven't had any really loud shreaking or anything, but you can definitely tell when she is angry at you. Haha! She's so wonderful. I don't recommend tiels as a first time bird unless you understand what you are getting into. They do require so much work, but it's worth every single second! I've never had such a strong bond with anyone, except my daughter. I'd even go as far to say that I have a stronger bond with my Gem than my husband. Good thing he doesn't mind one bit! She never poops on me, but she has on him, it's mildly annoying, but otherwise it's hilarious!! Her and my dog are starting to get along really well, she even grooms the dog sometimes. Hahahaha!! I hope to get her a mate one day, though I would be perfectly happy if it was just her for the rest of our lives. She's my best friend. I can't say i regret having her a single bit!!
 

BrianB

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Arizona
I had a cockatiel when I was a teenager, and that was a long time ago. I recently ended up with with a pair and will soon be taking a flock of 6 from a friend who is downsizing her birds. This has been a good refresher for me.
 

Cberry77

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Christine Berry
I have many types of birds but tiels are the ones that steal your heart quickly! I have 6 tiels I'm still not sure about sex cuz they are all rescues, w screen seed guards,not too messy.Im close to each one in a different way. I just really love them. Surprisingly I don't have any biters.2 loud singers 1 very social female all finger trained. All share a huge vintage parrot cage and ove it!
 

Lydia Deetz

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Just how bad are cockatiels dust-wise? I’m allergic to dust mites and cats, and prone to bronchitis. Would bird dust have a similar effect? I normally would assume yes but last year I spent some time at a cabin that was frequently visited by a cat, and even though it never entered the house, I was sneezing and had itchy, watery eyes even in my upstairs bedroom-HOWEVER, on that very same trip we left the cabin one morning and visited a large bird sanctuary where I interacted with several cockatiels and cockatoos and didn’t have a problem. Maybe I should spend more time to see?
 

JLcribber

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Get tested for that particular allergen.

The dust is enough that it will cause problems over time especially because you are already sensitive to these kind of things. Having said that you can certainly live with a bird if you take precautions like a high performance air filtration system.
 

sunnysmom

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Just how bad are cockatiels dust-wise? I’m allergic to dust mites and cats, and prone to bronchitis. Would bird dust have a similar effect? I normally would assume yes but last year I spent some time at a cabin that was frequently visited by a cat, and even though it never entered the house, I was sneezing and had itchy, watery eyes even in my upstairs bedroom-HOWEVER, on that very same trip we left the cabin one morning and visited a large bird sanctuary where I interacted with several cockatiels and cockatoos and didn’t have a problem. Maybe I should spend more time to see?
I am allergic to cats but neither my cockatiel's nor my cockatoo's dust bother me at all. Yes I would suggest spending time with them to see if they bother you. And air purifiers help a lot too.
 

Birdlover42

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Alicia
I am extremely allergic to cats dust dogs horses rabbits etc etc etc .I absolutely never had a problem with any of my cockatiels. I now have a Quaker parrot who is NOT dusty at all and get Sneezy and allergic after handling her. Good luck!
 

Tara81

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Tara
Just how bad are cockatiels dust-wise? I’m allergic to dust mites and cats, and prone to bronchitis. Would bird dust have a similar effect? I normally would assume yes but last year I spent some time at a cabin that was frequently visited by a cat, and even though it never entered the house, I was sneezing and had itchy, watery eyes even in my upstairs bedroom-HOWEVER, on that very same trip we left the cabin one morning and visited a large bird sanctuary where I interacted with several cockatiels and cockatoos and didn’t have a problem. Maybe I should spend more time to see?
Can’t really help you , but can say if I forget to put on the air filter for a few days I will sneeze once or twice . I’m not allergic . When she preens she shakes out a lot of feather dust in the air and it happens multiple times throughout the day. Just a little dustball she is.
 

Tara81

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Tara
Cockatiels!

The good: mine wants to be around me often and will follow me from room to room if I leave. Enjoys head scritches , has fun chewing stuff and sorta playful. Makes a little chirp to tell me she wants to take a nap, go to her cage, or get some food.

The bad: dusty , dusty bird. Pecks me if I am not giving her scritch just right. Pecks me if I accidently wake her. Chews any wires she comes across, my iPad cord got chewed in two seconds. Sometimes hard to get her to eat healthy.

The ugly: yells when I go to the bathroom. Keeps trying to chase me in the bathroom when she’s out. Yells if I’m doing something like chopping vegetables and she wants to join the fun, so I have to cage her so I don’t chop her up. Yells if I’m doing dishes and she wants to get in the dish water. Relentless in her persuit to get in the dish water, I usually try to shower her first so I can do dishes. Can make substantial noise for a little bird. Since she’s female I can’t teach her any nice whistles, she don’t mimic. Seems only males do?
 

Tara81

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Tara
I've had my female cockatiel for about a year now. Even though she can be a bit annoying sometimes (in a good way! ), I wouldn't give her up for anything. I've never been this attached to a pet- let alone a bird- so the bond between her and I is definitely special. I mean after all, I consider her as my "daughter "! :p

Anyway, the benefits of having a cockatiel is that they're extremely lovable, social, intelligent, and quirky! My Cadence would "tell" me whenever she wants her scritches by climbing to the middle of my chest and chirps. Whenever I would have guests over in my apt, she will be the first to greet and preen them! I understand that female cockatiels are much quieter than their male counterparts, but she can be just as loud as them when especially she wants to complain about something! Currently, she's trying to speak some words but it all comes out sounding gibberish! :shy:

When it comes to Cadence, the disadvantages of having a cockatiel is that she will poop just about anywhere! Dander is definitely a problem and even though it's just her. Cadence is full flighted so ever since her wings grew back, she has developed this sassy nature of her where she'll listen to me sometimes, but mostly, she will do whatever she wants. It can be annoying at times especially when it's her bedtime and she will refuse to go into her cage! Cadence is a very clingy bird so she will follow me EVERYWHERE I go ! Doesn't matter if I'm doing dishes or using the bathroom! Hormones (such as nesting behaviors) is also one of the biggest problem I have with her and it is something I'm trying to discourage because I think she's too young to become a mom :p

Since she's my only cockatiel, my boyfriend and I are thinking of getting a male cockatiel to keep her company while we're out of the apartment. I haven't experienced any ugly sides of Cadence just yet but hopefully not anywhere in the future!
You are so lucky your female tiel tries to talk! Mine does not whistle or attempt to talk at all. She just chirps in the morning and is very quiet during the day.
 

Kegwai

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Kansas
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Elizabeth
WARNING EPIC LONG POST .....I will dip my toe in here & add my .02. I have always loved birds. Birds of all kinds. Growing up in the country on a farm I had chickens, guineas, racing & homing pigeons & peacocks. You want to talk poop? There is nothing like being schat on by a guinea or a peacock. Now THAT is something else & yes they loved me. Loved me to the point of sitting on my lap and beingthisclosetomeallthetime. Before I went into nursing I truly wanted to become a veterinary Dr. Soooooooo fast forward to today. I have had no birds for years as moving, school, kids just didn't work out to devote the attention that I knew they would need. I am retired now & at home so I started thinking... now is a good time. Long story short I ended up with 2 cockatiels. They were a pair & the neglect was just a sad story. Birds of divorce, the man absolutely loved them & doted on them. The wife got them in the divorce, going to court to fight the husband for them. She won. It was a ploy to hurt him because she hated them. Hated their mess, hated to have anything to do with them. The woman's mom who always liked the husband contacted him to tell him how the birds were being neglected. This lady was feeding them Hartz cockatiel food. That was it. No vege, no nothing else. If she didn't want to mess with them she would leave them blanketed for 24 hours upon end. No interaction, if they made too much noise she would hit the cage. Husband through the actions of the woman's mom got them back. His job had changed & he wasn't home most of the time TO tend to them like before. Enter me... he gladfully & joyfully gave them to me lock stock & barrel. 1 cage, 2 birds, NO toys, 1 perch. Such a sad state. I have worked and worked AND WORKED with Carmel & CoCo these last 2 years. So has my hubby. They still will not let us touch them but they arethisclose. They respond to their names, you stand by their cage & they run to be as close to you as they can without letting you touch them. They will eat out of our hands. Long story, these babies have come so far & they give us every indicator that they want to be touched, just not there yet. They are housed in our Master Bdrm which I am in all day long. 5 feet from me. I talk to them all the time, having conversations & it sounds like they are talking back to me! They adore watching hockey with my husband when he watches the tv in our bdrm. They will stand side by side on the side of the cage closest to the tv. It is hilarious. They love it when daddy puts their bathtub in the cage, trilling & screeching, bobbing up & down (their happy dance)... CoCo in this last year has been an egg-laying dervish off and on. Our vet hasn't recommended any treatment thus far because it isn't continual. He did tell us to get dummy eggs and exchange them, which we did. Little CeCe came about when I ended up in the hospital in ICU for a week. CoCo had laid an egg & our son thought he had gotten the real egg out. He didn't. So lo & behold little CeCe was born. Our sweetest little oops ever! CeCe is now 35 days old. Carmel & CoCo were excellent parents. At times when she was still a fluffball, they would both be in the nest with her between them. No problems with feeding or cleaning. Whew... I was on pins & needles knowing they were first-time parents. I was at the ready in case they would of rejected the chick but they didn't. They have been THE best parents ever. So I come to you all as I highly value your experience & knowledge. We work with CeCe daily out of the family cage. She has no fear & is all over my husband & I both. She has taken her first little flights & is doing well. She eats good .. our vet told us to start her out on egg chow, a treat of millet & fine grains for a week, then to progress to chop & other foods from the kitchen. I need help. I have never been able to get CoCo or Carmel to eat anything other than their seed & pellets. I went through hell just to get them eating what they are on now. We feed Zupreem pellets, Lafeber mixed, Egg chow & Zupreem cockatiel seed mix. Their treats are plain cheerios, millet & bits of honey seed logs. I never thought I would get them where they are at now. How would you proceed? We left the nest tin in the cage floor because CeCe naps in it & will go to it many times a day. We use absorbent disposable vet grade toweling for the bottom of the nest tin & it gets changed several times a day. They have 3 watering stations with one being on the floor of the cage to ensure CeCe has access to water at all times. They get changed a minimum of twice a day maybe more if they are soiled. We have a plate on the floor of the cage with bits of their different foods placed on it for foraging. All 3 are using it daily. Coco laid an egg yesterday & it was promptly switched out. I am stumped. I need some input on CeCe's new diet, advancing her food. Any ideas we haven't tried to get the other birds to eat anything other than seed/pellets. What to do about the nest tin because CeCe still uses it. I am in a quandary right now. HELP -- I welcome your input !!
 

Tara81

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Tara
Hi Kegwai, I am so happy Carmel and Coco are now living a great life with you and your husband. It will take a lot of time and patience to get them to eat healthy . Do they already eat pellets? If so, that is awesome. At least they are getting vitamins.

At first breeders usually feed their baby birds cooked vege mash, sprouts (soft foods). They also keep seeds and pellets around at all times. Once the bird starts eating harder foods u can introduce all sorts of raw veges too! Cooked vege mash with cooked quinoa is easy for breeders to prepare because they make big batches, and freeze portions. Unthaw a portion overnight in the fridge then u can reheat in the microwave for 3-10 seconds (always make sure not too hot) .

What I would do with carmel and Coco is first , get them used to wet foods by tricking them into eating sprouts. Sprout the same type of seed they eat (millet, rye berries etc) and mixing it with dry seed 70:30 ratio for 2 weeks so they get used to touching wet food, maybe tasting it. Then I would make the ratio 50:50 for another 2 weeks. Finally I would make the ratio 25:75 sprouts: seeds and see if they are finally eatting the sprouts instead of just throwing them away when they pick a sprout accidently. When they finally eat sprouts, you can remove their seed and just give sprouts for 3 hours.
Also, during this transition period, you can mix seeds with raw veges or cooked veges as well 50:50 ratio as meal #2. The key is to put the good foods with the seeds, so they eventually become familiar with the new foods. They will eventually taste it. There will be some foods they will never eat, but hopefully there will be some they will, like brocolli florettes with the tops cut off that will look like little green seeds.

Always remember to remove wet foods after 2-3 hours, seeds included if they are mixed in with wet foods. Also be patient. It took me 3 months to get an old stubborn cockatiel just to eat sprouts.

Lastly I am not sure about Coco still laying eggs while still feeding cece. Maybe a breeder or someone with more experience can help wth that :)
 
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nikotaylor

Sitting on the front steps
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Niko Taylor
Mine is a quiet male! His name is Wendell. He barely talks, but when he does, it’s very pretty. He also doesn’t bite at all!
 

Faun

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Faun
Athena has only said "uh oh" twice and " "meow" once she sometimes tries to talk but its not anything recognizable. Mostly just screams and randomly wolf whistles. But they are great even if they don't talk. So much fun!
 
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