Cockatiels Tiels Cockatiel Cockatiel Cage Cockatiel Toys Tips Information on Cockatiel Pet Bird Information
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COCKATIEL INFO

PAGE 1
General Info
Ten Things
The Bird Cage
Cage Placement

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Perches
Dishes
Feeding
Foods

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Plants
Hazards
Bathing

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Ownership
Toys

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Behaviors
Crest
Preening
Mutual Preening
Lowers Head
Standing on One Leg
Stretching
Beak Grinding
Hissing
Shaking Feathers
Fluffing Feathers
Sneezing
Yawning
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All About Cockatiels - Information and Tips

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GENERAL INFORMATION

The scientific name for cockatiels is Nymphicus Hollandicus, which means "Goddess of New Holland." You may also hear them referred to as "Tiels" for short. Australia is the native homeland of cockatiels. Our pet cockatiels are bred domestically because Australia banned exportation of all native birds in 1894.

They are social and intelligent companion birds. Cockatiels are exotic birds known for their beautiful crests, the orange patch on their cheeks and their long sleek tails. These charming birds provide us with lots of entertainment, affection and companionship.

Cockatiels are extremely social birds. They have a need for social interaction. A single bird will get more attached to its keeper but if you are not at home a lot it is best to get two birds. It is a fact that two birds of the same sex get along just as well as a mixed pair. Even more so if the cockatiels were introduced while they are still young.

Always try to purchase a hand-fed baby or a young bird when possible. Hand-fed chicks are already hand tame so you won't have as much training and socializing with hands to do. A young chick can be easy to train but may take a bit longer. Chicks should be weaned at seven to eight weeks old. If you purchase a cockatiel younger than that you should hand feed it until it is eating completely on its own. If you have no experience hand feeding, I recommend not purchasing an unweaned baby. A weaned chick will bond easily to its new owner as soon as it is comfortable in its new surroundings.

If you are purchasing an adult cockatiel it may already be tame and even have some tricks under its feathers! If not, an adult cockatiel can be hand tamed but takes much time and patience. It may be a challenge but is very rewarding to give an adult cockatiel a chance to become bonded to its new owner.



TEN THINGS TO REMEMBER ON PROPER CARE

  1. A happy bird is a busy bird. If you aren't going to be able to spend a lot of time with your cockatiel it is best to get two. They will have each other to eat, play, preen and sit with.
  2. Whenever approaching or dealing with cockatiels, act calmly and quietly. Fast movements and loud noises alert the bird and make it nervous. Do not approach a cockatiel unexpectedly with quick movements as this will scare it.
  3. Get your cockatiel used to your hands and fingers. When you are trying to get the cockatiel to step onto your hand or finger raise your hand to the abdomen from below and encourage it to step onto you. Putting your hand over its head will make it nervous as if you are trying to catch it.
  4. A cockatiel cannot be housebroken. But if you pay a lot of attention to your bird you can get an idea of when it will do the business. Cockatiels usually move their tail up a bit and move back. A damp cloth or tissue usually takes care it.
  5. Never leave a cockatiel alone with another pet or a child under the age of 12. Even if a dog is gentle and calm it could hurt the cockatiel by trying to play with it. If you have other types of birds just make sure when they are out of their cages they are not aggressive toward each other.
  6. A busy bird is a happy bird. Provide lots of toys and things to chew. Rearranging the inside of the cage and rotating toys keeps cockatiels alert. The same perch arrangement and toys can lead to boredom. New things are appreciated.
  7. Offer a variety of foods. Seeds, pellets, millet all are a great start. Learn all the different fruits and vegetables your cockatiel can have. Then offer them to your bird and watch it enjoy its favorite ones. When making a salad for yourself, make a mini one for your bird (without dressing) and eat together!
  8. Cockatiels need time outside of their cages. Regular free flying is important. If you do not clip your cockatiel's wings then it will enjoy flying around and up to the high places in the room or house. If you do clip its wings then it will still flap its wings like it is flying but stay on the perch. They also like to fly down to the floor to explore the bird-proofed room!
  9. Clean your cockatiel's cage regularly. This prevents disease. Do not use regular house cleaning products around your cockatiel. Hot water and apple cider vinegar work great. Change the paper everyday. Wipe down the cage and dry it once a week. Then once a month take everything out, scrub and wash it all very well then dry it. This is a great time to arrange the perches and food dishes differently. Add some new toys and both you and your cockatiel(s) are happy.
  10. Be patient with your cockatiel. It may need time to get used to new things and new people. Observe your cockatiel. You will then become accustomed to their behavior patterns and see their personality develop. Cockatiels can become lovable, tame and trusting companions.

THE BIRD CAGE

It is best to purchase the cage and supplies before the bird. This way it can all be washed, set-up and ready for the new arrival. The cage should not be any smaller than 24 x 18 x 24 inches for one cockatiel. An easy thing to remember is that each bird has to have enough room to spread out both wings without touching anything and that the tail cannot constantly touch the cage bars. Plus there also needs to be enough room for toys, a swing, perches, food and water dishes, etc. The cage should be rectangular with a lot of horizontal bars. One with two doors is ideal and the bigger the better. This will make cleaning easier and more comfortable for you as well as your cockatiel! If you choose a large bird cage just be sure the bar spacing is appropriate for your cockatiel. 1/2" is the recommended bar spacing for cockatiels. A large cage is best for multiple cockatiels so they can have a few toys, different perches, a swing that can fit more than one, more dishes, etc. and can move around without being on top of eachother. When housing multiple cockatiels together you will need to watch them to make sure that each one is eating, drinking and living peacefully. Sometimes they will gang up on one or one may be nervous around another and will not eat or drink. It may even isolate itself and sit at the bottom of the cage. This is not living peacefully. It is up to you to make sure all your birds are living a stress free life. Cleaning the bird cage daily is the best way to keep it clean. Change the paper daily and clean dishes daily. Once a week clean everything in the cage and the cage itself. The better you take care of your cockatiel the better pet you will have!

PLACEMENT OF THE CAGE

Before you purchase the cockatiel you should find a perfect place for the cage. A cockatiel likes to know its surroundings so avoid moving it a lot. The cage should be placed by a window. This way the cockatiel can see the outdoors and the natural rhythm of the day. Cockatiels should get a chance to get some sun but they must always be able to retreat to a shady part of the cage. Cockatiels can get overheated quickly and need a place to sit and cool off. Its a good idea to find a spot where your cockatiel can see all the activity in the house. Do not put the cage in the center of the activity, off to the side is best. This way your cockatiel can interact with everyone and be part of the family but will not be stressed out. Do not put the cage in the kitchen. Self-cleaning ovens and non-stick cookware can release toxins which can be fatal to your cockatiel. Finding the perfect spot for the cage in your home is very important for the welfare of your cockatiel!

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