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The Good, The Bad and The Ugly about Cockatiels

bentleyesghost

Sitting on the front steps
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David
I have written about Alvin before here. He is a unique bird. In his cage he will eat nothing but his pellets and occasional millet treats, but he will eat a varied diet if you offer it to him when his out and about in the house. When we first found him, he was tame and tolerated everyone in our house. He used to like to approach me to share what was on my plate. But over time, he grew to hate my wife and I and love our three kids, especially my oldest son. The kids are now adults or almost. He still loves them and hates us. My son is 22. When he comes home that bird still sings when my son pets him. Any time I approach his cage he shakes his bell violently at me. But if I am eating something he likes, he will still approach me to have some. If he is out in the house, and I have to round him up he will sometimes bite me hard enough to draw blood. When we got our Macaw, Chloe, several years ago at first Alvin was super nice to everyone, even my wife and I. But that faded after a couple of weeks. I guess he figured we weren't going to dump him or feed him to the monster.

When our youngest son was 3 or 4 he heard birds like to take baths, but he had only helped bathe dogs. One day, on his own, he gave Alvin a bath in the bathroom sink, and almost killed him. He came running to us with this limp sodden freezing bird. My wife revived Alvin with a hair drier, and he was fine afterward. It amazes me that he didn't bite the boy who was bathing him and he never held against the boy, who is now 17 and still a great friend. Alvin escaped out the door a couple of times when the kids were younger. But he did not go far, basically flying back and fourth over the yard, and then settling where someone could get him to step up. When awake, he chirps steadily like a fire alarm with a low battery, but not nearly so loud and penetrating. When my youngest was in preschool, he used to bring Alvin to school occasionally in the cage. He loves kids, but he doesn't hold it against them when they grow up.

I wanted to put this up to show that it is hard to generalize about birds by species. We have no idea how old Alvin is. He seemed young when we got him, but we don' know. We have no idea if his quirky personality is just him, or it comes from trauma he endured at his original home.
 

Cberry77

Strolling the yard
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1/11/19
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Christine Berry
That is so true.no matter what breed every bird is has distinct personality,depending on what they have been through ,good or bad. I have 61 rescue all types an I can't attach a certain behavior or trait to their breed. Some are really disturbed some are not bothered at all! I love each one for who they r ,I'm crazy in love w each one !
 

Cberry77

Strolling the yard
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Christine Berry
I have 10 tiles,I have other breeds but tiles r so great ! They really love to interact an show off! They talk easily an learn quickly. I can't say enough good things about them.you do have to give them plenty of toys an paper to shred,or they will get curious an find entertainment on their on. I truly love them!
 

Avio77

Meeting neighbors
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Minh Tran
Well i agree about screeching. Lol. I have 1 4 month old baby tiel. And she's vocal. Maybe she's a boy if she's vocal. Still a young bird. I don't care about dander. I'm not allergic to her. And i always stick my nose at her and doesn't mind at all. I am teaching her to take a bath right now.
 

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cheekypie

Walking the driveway
Joined
9/26/20
Messages
180
I have had a tiel٫ she bit me sometimes when she was mad at me but it never hurt. The biggest thing was just the weird squawk noise she made along with it and how quickly it happened her beak may had very well just been dull٫ I don't know
 

owenshadbo

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Owen Shadbolt
Obi-One is my second teil. I'm soo glad I chose to try again, the first one was a female and never was able to hand tame and had to give away because of living situation.

Obi is so affectionate, he talks to me (sits on my lap and mimicks) loves head sckricthes and just hanging.

While I think I would agree that Teils aren't a starter bird, me and my daughters could not be happier with Obi as a pet!
 

Loveofbird

Walking the driveway
Joined
12/2/20
Messages
188
Ooo this looks fun let's see...

The good: I have a 6-12 month old cinnamon pearl cockatiel named Baby I won't know if she is a boy or girl until December 16th, I figured she's a girl because she pretty quiet. But let's see Baby is very smart, learns tricks pretty fast. She always wants to be near me and will take scritches until the day she dies if I let her lol. Like I said she is pretty quiet unless I leave the room, then she screams for me. Which honestly it's loud but not really at the same time. She was pretty easy to switch from seeds to pellets and took fruits and veggies readily though she hates bell peppers and bananas lol. The poop doesn't bother me at all though if you have a bird it shouldn't cause it's inevitable. As for dust she doesn't really have a lot.

The Bad: She really only likes me though she is getting used to my mom and my boyfriend little by little which is good. Also she'll only take bathes when she is in the shower with me. I bought her a shower perch because of this but apparently my shoulder is way better so I'll let her do her thing and when she is done I'll set her on the shower perch while I wash up. It sucks because since she grew her flight feathers(They were clipped when I got her) She tries to fly back on me when I am trying to wash up smh.

The Ugly: Not much is ugly to be honest but one thing I can think of is Baby is pretty skittish so when she gets scared she will fly crazily all over the room and run in the walls :( which scares the death out of me but other then that it's mostly all good :D
 

Winterwolf

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2/8/21
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Satory matson
Well my teils are my starters... I bought them from a friend... and well they are a handful full of screeches and biting and omg when I’m outside and they realize I’m not home anymore they start screaming their heads off like a train whistle (that’s a figure of speech there) kinda afraid they will start picking up the sounds of the trains that go by... they already are learning the sounds of my dads 3D printer (the door to my bedroom is closed when he’s printing) and my golly their bites hurt my make bites and my female bites right now cause she’s molting they both are... how long does the molting process take?

First ones bandit and the second is rio
 

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Loveofbird

Walking the driveway
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Well my teils are my starters... I bought them from a friend... and well they are a handful full of screeches and biting and omg when I’m outside and they realize I’m not home anymore they start screaming their heads off like a train whistle (that’s a figure of speech there) kinda afraid they will start picking up the sounds of the trains that go by... they already are learning the sounds of my dads 3D printer (the door to my bedroom is closed when he’s printing) and my golly their bites hurt my make bites and my female bites right now cause she’s molting they both are... how long does the molting process take?

First ones bandit and the second is rio
Love their names! My tiel started molting Sept of last year and fully finished around Nov so for her it took three months
 

Winterwolf

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Satory matson
Love their names! My tiel started molting Sept of last year and fully finished around Nov so for her it took three months
Oh my that’s such a long time. Well I’m finding a few tail feathers here and there so far. Or flight feather one of the two. In his old home the birds pulled out his tail feathers. More like picked on him all the time to the point where the previous owner had to put him in a separate cage... but the look clipped so I think it is his flight feathers come in. Oh my I just had the thought bandits going to be a flying terror!
 

StarDrifte

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3/23/21
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Shirley
The attributes listed in this thread are the experiences of each individual and your experiences may differ with your individual bird.

Following up on TMS suggestion and Saemma's very thoughtful post about Cags. Here is the good the bad and the ugly about cockatiels.

The Good. I cannot say enough about their gentle ways and their playful antics. into everything all the time they are curious little trouble makers. The females also tend to be quieter and more timid but there are exceptions to that rule.

They are very friendly and highly intelligent. I am totally amazed at Sam, who actually was pissed off because Princess Mitch pooped in her cage. Sam is a non cage pooper and was mortified. She immediately went into Mitch's cage and pooped..like take that! and now at every opportunity, goes into Mitch's cage and poops, while she still NEVER poops in her own. Pretty smart if you ask me!

Maxwell, though not tame at all, was immediately aware that he was in a better place when we brought him home and he adjusted very quickly to the new routine and the new humans who were there to help him, almost as if he was grateful. Cockatiels can spend many hours running around and generally entertaining their humans as well as being very cuddly and affectionate.

The Bad.. Dander, Dander, feathers everywhere and dust all over the place. and LOUD. Let me tell you when a tiel screeches when you come home, it is DEAFENING..We love it but some might find their screeches to be very loud. Also males have a tendency to be a lot louder than females, I cannot believe h ow loud Lord Maxwell Studmuffin is. He calls many times a day for his girl and it is ear splitting. My mother in law can hear him all the way on the third floor of our house (we live in a totally separate basement suite in her house). Fortunately she is a bird person and doesnt mind one bit but I don't know how it would go if we lived in a regular apartment.

They are a lot of work, definitely. They indiscrimantely •••• everywhere and make messes everywhere they go. It can get annoying when there is always a tiel ••••ting on you. or being on you no matter what. There is no pace with a tiel around that is for sure. On the other hand, that is also part of their attraction. I believe there are an overwhelming amount of tiels in shelters and rescues because people don't realize just how much work they actually are and how loud they can be.

And did I mention egg laying? Of all the birds, tiels in captivity are the most notorious for becoming chronic egg layers and having reproductive issues. OUr Sam is a chronic egg layer..we have tried everything short of a hysterectomy and NOTHING works, not lupron, not any kind of hormonal injection, not 12-14 hours night, NOTHING. We are told the only thing that will work is to separate her from her mate, which would be my husband. And since that is not going to happen , we pray a lot. So far she is healthy like a horse but I keep thinking of those poor tiels that have been left to be egg bound and have other issues like the one that Sulieka rescued, and consequently died.

And did I mention biting? If you think it is fun to get bitten by a tiel, think again!!! We count our lucky stars every single day that Sam is not a macaw. ..as she is also a biter. The bottom line is I think you either have to be a bird person or not, and be prepared to be overjoyed and also annoyed. Some of the things I read about people giving up tiels for the stu pidest reasons just irks me all to hell..and PLEASE THEY ARE NOT A FREAKING STARTER BIRD..
 

StarDrifte

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Shirley
Thank you for this informative information. I am new to having a cockatiel and Merlin is now 5 weeks old. He is gorgeous and I call him my curious extraordinary explorer. He is a nibbler rather than a biter but occasionally his nips are hurtful. What I know I learn online so I wanted to find out about when or if he should be using a bird bath. I have one in his cage but (see attachments) but not used yet. Any advice would be appreciated.
 

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sunnysmom

Ripping up the road
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Thank you for this informative information. I am new to having a cockatiel and Merlin is now 5 weeks old. He is gorgeous and I call him my curious extraordinary explorer. He is a nibbler rather than a biter but occasionally his nips are hurtful. What I know I learn online so I wanted to find out about when or if he should be using a bird bath. I have one in his cage but (see attachments) but not used yet. Any advice would be appreciated.
If he'll use it, it's fine. I have one though and my tiels won't use it. Instead, I mist them with a spray bottle, warmish water. I mist mine a few times a month.
 

BirbNerd

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Unfortunately I can foresee that my cockatiels will never be close to each other.

They both get jealous of attention, they fight whenever they get too close to each other, they even fight over food occasionally, even though I give them the same. I've had to separate them during eating time now.

They can sit in the same space together, but never next to each other.

They'll never be close like other birds, they'll never preen eachother or give little kisses or play much together.

This makes me really damn sad, as that is why I got a second bird, so my first bird could have a friend, and that these two can be friends for each-other.

But it's just not going to happen, they can't be friends, and never will.

I know birds need lots of attention, I was prepared for that, but now all the attention they want mostly falls on me. Nothing from each other.
 

Tiel Feathers

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Unfortunately I can foresee that my cockatiels will never be close to each other.

They both get jealous of attention, they fight whenever they get too close to each other, they even fight over food occasionally, even though I give them the same. I've had to separate them during eating time now.

They can sit in the same space together, but never next to each other.

They'll never be close like other birds, they'll never preen eachother or give little kisses or play much together.

This makes me really damn sad, as that is why I got a second bird, so my first bird could have a friend, and that these two can be friends for each-other.

But it's just not going to happen, they can't be friends, and never will.

I know birds need lots of attention, I was prepared for that, but now all the attention they want mostly falls on me. Nothing from each other.
I have two cockatiels that will never be friends either. They can be friends with my other cockatiel, but not with each other. You just never know. I do think that they find comfort in having another bird around when you are not home, however, even if they aren’t really friends.
 
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