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Cockatiels Are Not For Everyone – Here’s Why
1. Birds also need physical stimulation.
Some people buy birds because, in their eyes, they are easier to care for than a cat or a dog. The dog needs to get outside and get plenty of exercise, the cat needs its space, and the birds just need to sit in a cage, right?
Fake! Birds fly normally, that’s how they live in nature. And the cockatiel, even though it is a small bird, will need a lot of exercise. This means he needs a spacious cage and time out of the cage every day. This means you will need to be patient while he walks around the room and please leave the windows and doors closed while he is busy doing so. The bird should be supervised the entire time it is exercising or it could fall behind furniture and injure itself.
2. Your ‘tiel also has emotional needs.
Cockatiels are social birds, they live among a flock and tend not to do well on their own. If you’re considering getting a bird, know that cockatiels have the emotional intelligence of a 2-year-old human, which means they’re needy!
You will need to spend at least two hours a day with your pet. This doesn’t mean you have to hang out with him for two hours, but at least be around him for that amount of time, he will try to interact with you and communicate his needs to you. You can listen to music, read aloud to him, or just talk to him. The bird will enjoy perching on you and watching you do your chores or just relax.
If you’re a busy person, coming home late from work, eating on the go while watching the latest news on Netflix, then going to bed, then you’ll have a really depressed cockatiel, with behavioral issues and possibly health issues.
3. They tend to live long.
If properly cared for, cockatiels can grow up to 14 years old. It’s a long time. Take into account that the cockatiel will really bond with you and will have a hard time adjusting to a new environment and a new human. If you can’t commit to caring for a bird for at least 7-10 years, then don’t buy it. Buy a cute little mouse.
4. They have behavioral issues.
Cockatiels love to sing and vocalize, will attempt to communicate with birds outdoors, and like any other bird, will be especially noisy in the morning and evening. But I had my Chico for 4 years already and my neighbors had no idea that I had a bird in my house.
But if they aren’t stimulated enough or don’t have a routine, you could end up with a screeching bird. The bored cockatiel, which does not get the attention it needs, will try to get it by being very loud. And if you don’t respond correctly, that behavior will escalate and be really hard to unlearn.
So if you like peace and quiet, get a cat. If you don’t have the patience or time to stimulate your bird, get a fish. It’s better for everyone.
5. They need a specialist veterinarian.
Caring for cockatiels is an easy task, but you will need to closely monitor their appetite, water intake, and make sure they have a variety of foods in their diet. Cockatiels are birds of prey, so they will try to hide the fact that they are sick until they can’t anymore. You will need to become an expert on your bird’s behavior, closely monitoring their habits and also their droppings, as they can tell a lot about the health of your birds.
If he gets sick, you’ll need to find a doctor with experience in treating exotic animals, while most veterinarians specialize in treating dogs and cats.
6. They are fragile birds.
When it comes to the environment, cockatiels are very sensitive. They enjoy a routine – lights turn on/off at specific times, they like consistency and they don’t really like change. In fact they are afraid by this. So they need someone who can maintain order and consistency for long periods of time.
In addition, they are fragile birds, they sometimes have nocturnal frights and will need your immediate attention otherwise they could get hurt.
They are not well suited for small children. They are beautiful, sometimes majestic and very friendly – perfect target for children – but they have to be handled with care, so they are better suited to older children. So keep that in mind when buying one.
If you can handle all of the above, know that cockatiels make great companions, they are kind and quirky and sometimes empathetic, really fun to look at and can entertain you and your guests with beautiful songs and vocalizations. If well cared for, your bird will become your best friend.
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