- Birds need physical stimulation, too.
Some people today purchase birds because, in their eyes, they’re easier to care for than for a cat or a dog. The dog needs to go outside and get loads of exercise, the cat needs her space and birds simply sit in a cage, right?
Wrong! Birds normally fly, that’s the way they live in the wild. Along with the cockatiel, although he is a little bird, will need plenty of exercise. That means he need a spacious cage and some out-of-the-cage time daily. That means you will have to have some patience while he is circling around in the room and please, please leave the windows and the doors shut while he is busy doing that. The bird has to be supervised for the entire time while he is enjoying his exercise, because he might fall behind furniture and injure himself.
Cockatiels are social birds, they live amongst a flock and have a tendency to not do so well alone. If you’re planning to acquire 1 bird, be aware of how cockatiels have the emotional intelligence of a 2-year old individual – that means he is needy!
You’ll need to spend at least two hours everyday with your pet. That doesn’t mean you will have to hang with him for two hours, but at least be in close proximity to him for this period of time, he’ll attempt to socialize with you and communicate with you his needs. You may listen to songs, or read to him or just talk to him. The bird will love to perch on you and watch you doing your chores or simply chill.
If you’re a busy person, that gets home late from work, eats on the run while viewing the latest on Netflix and then heads to bed, then you will have a really depressed cockatiel, with behavior problems and eventually health issues.
- They tend to live for a long time.
That’s a long time. If you can’t commit to take good care of a bird for at least 7-10 years, than just don’t buy it. Purchase a cute, little mouse.
- They do have behavior problems.
Cockatiels like to sing and vocalize, will attempt to communicate with the birds out and like any other bird, will be especially noisy in the mornings and in the evenings. However, I had my Chico for 4 years already and my neighbours did not suspect I had a bird in my house.
But if they are not stimulated enough or don’t have a regular, you might end up with a crying bird. The exhausted cockatiel, that doesn’t get the attention he needs will try to get it by being really loud. And should you not respond properly, this behavior will intensify and will be really tough to unlearn.
Therefore, if you like your peace and quiet, get a cat. If you don’t have the patience nor the time required to stimulate your bird, get a fish. It’s better for everybody.
- They want a specialized vet.
Taking good care of the cockatiels is an easy job, however you will need to closely watch his desire, his water intake and to make sure he has a variety of foods in his diet. Cockatiels are birds of prey so that they will try to hide the fact they’re ill until they can not do so anymore. You’ll have to become an expert in your bird’s behaviour, closely watching his routines and also his droppings, since they can tell plenty of your birds’ health.
If he gets ill, you will need to find a physician that has some experience with treating exotic pets, while most of the vets are specialised in treating dogs and cats.
- They are fragile birds.
They enjoy a regular – lights on/out at particular hours, they enjoy a consistency and they do not really like change. Actually, they’re frightened by it. They need someone that can maintain an order and a consistency for long periods of time.
Furthermore, they are delicate birds, they sometimes have night frights and will need your immediate attention they might injure themselves.
They are not well suited for small children. They are beautiful, sometimes majestic and very friendly- perfect target for kids – but they should be handled with care, so they’re better suited with older children. So bear that in mind when buying one.
If you are able to manage all the above you should know that cockatiels are great companions, they are kind and quirky and at times empathetic, really pleasant to watch and can entertain you and your guests with beautiful songs and vocalizations. If cared for properly, your bird will become your best friend.
Best of luck!