Okay, I'm looking to get a cockatiel. I've been looking into them for WEEKS now, but I still feel unprepared, and I really want to get some actual first-hand knowledge from a person. I'm really not sure what to ask specifically! ^^; Any tips you'd give me, this being my second bird--after a budgie--and my first cockatiel? (Any knowledge at all would be helpful! from recommended cage size to what might be a good healthy diet!~) Please and thank you~~
hey darling!!! god sorry its taken me forty years to get to my ask, i’ve been so swamped at work IT SUCKS
THIS IS GONNA BE LONG
OKAY, HERE IS THE INFO I CAN GIVE YA FOR A COCKATIEL:
1) ALWAYS ADOPT. i know you see that cute birbo in the pet store window, but please, PLEASE, refrain from purchasing him. there are currently THOUSANDS of homeless birds in north america alone that need you to be their guardian. i know you want to save that baby from the pet store, but doing so continues the cycle. they’ll just replace him and the horror continues.
2) GET THE BIGGEST CAGE YOU CAN AFFORD! do not listen to what the pet store clerk says (lol i worked in a pet store and straight up i would discourage people from birds EVERYDAY and tell them to rescue and that none of our cages are big enough, and they listened and adopted and im surprised the boss didn’t find out and fire me HAHAHHA) i would go to a bird specialty store to find your cage - you want to make sure it is durable enough, the bar spacing is correct (for a cockatiel you want them no more than half an inch space, theyre little and you dont want them to get stuck!!) i suggest powder coated cages, they’re easiest to clean the poop out of!!!!
3) GOOD DIET IS SO IMPORTANT. STAY AWAY FROM SEED!!!! seed despite popular belief is not very good for them. it causes fatty liver disease and can make them ill and shorten their lifespan. (rose is now put on milk thistle-it buffersthe liver, as from the shit sanctuary she was from… god knows what she ate so now im in the process of getting her liver spiffy clean!) a good PELLET DIET is SO, SO SO SO IMPORTANT. and dont be discouraged, it is very hard to change a birb from seed diet to pellet. so you have to change it over gradually and honestly, it can take a year to get that done. rose is picky as hell, but i found a pellet she likes which are the Zupreem fruit pellets. they’re not the healthiest, but they’ll do as now she is eating by herself. i used to have to hand feed her ALL THE TIME like the diva she is.
Here is a list of good pellets!! (from best to ok)
- Goldenfeast Goldenobles (quinoa based instead of corn, i wanna change rose to this when she’s ready!!)
- Harrisons Fine High Potency (start with high potency and then go to adult formula - gives em the nutrients they need for switching. corn based, and not my fav but it is vet reccommended but id say goldenfeast is better as corn aint that great)
- Pretty Bird (fruity and like, kinda okay? its better than zupreem lmfao but its very sweet, and makes their poo colourful)
- Zupreem (available at most pet stores, comes in fruit, veggie, nut, and natural flavours. what Rose eats and its a pretty good food. i believe its corn and soy based, not the best, and there is sugar in it, but its a good starter for your bird as they will most likely eat it because its colourful and sweet!!! from having Rose on a pellet diet - her plumage looks AMAZING)
all those brands come in different size pellets, i would go with the SMALLEST as it is easier for them to eat, and if you mix it with seed it kinda blends in hehe
4) DON’T JUST FEED PELLETS. A birbos diet should be 80% pellets (give or take) and 20% fruits, veggies, grains, and good stuff!!!! making a chop is a good idea, and you can freeze it and take out some everyday for their breakfast/dinner!!! Rose is very picky, and a rescue may be too, but do some research on what good fresh foods are good for birds!!! rose’s fav are zuchinni, peppers, pasta, scrambled egg (shes obsessed with egg) and chinese snow pear!!!
5) LOTS OF TOYS, AND THINGS TO DO!!! PIMP out their cage with dope toys, various perches and material (AVOID SAND ONES, HURTS THEIR TOES. get natural wood, rope (if u know they wont shred and accidentally eat it) and various thicknesses!!!) and im not saying spend a fortune (whcih i have with rose omfg) undyed popsicle sticks are amazing, paper, toilet paper rolls, cardboard etc they LOVE. but also, a good store bought toy is nice too!!! but most you can make from home!! plus i have a store where i have handmade toys, ill be posting more selection too!!
6) BE PATIENT WITH THE BABY! they most likely won’t warm up to you RIGHT AWAY (i mean they might, depends on their personality!) so do not feel discouraged if they dont want to play or cuddle right away. and heck, they may not even like cuddles. they’re as much as individuals as we are as humans. rose is usually attached to my shoulder all day, but some days honestly she just plays by herself and doesn’t want me to play with her HAHAHA. when you bring them home, introduce them to their cage and let them hang inside and get used to it. sit near them and chat and offer some millet and let them come to you. its a whole new world for them, so allow them some time!!!
7) and the most controversial topic… TO CLIP OR NOT TO CLIP? okay, my two cents on clipping goes as written. if it is safer for them in your house, please get their wings properly by an avian vet or an experienced staff memeber at a bird specialty store. clipping them incorrectly can cause balance issues and confidence issues and trust issues. NEVER CLIP THEM YOURSELF AS THEIR OWNER. THEYLL BE PISSED AF. and most likely scared of you. if your house is unsafe -ie people coming in and out, small space, lots of windows, forgetful people that leave windows open, PLEASE CLIP THEM. it will save their life and prevent any deadly accidents.
if you HAVE THE SPACE. and know that they will be safe, and you believe they will be okay, leave them flighted!! it is much easier i must say having smaller birds flighted as they won’t be as cramped in a house as a big bird would be. Rose is flightless as she chews her flight feathers, but they are growing back. and even if they all did, my place is way to small to allow her to fly properly so i would keep her clipped for her safety. also, if there was an emergency - such as a fire - it is much easier to evacuate a flightless bird than a flighted one. i have really bad ocd when it comes to impulsive thinking and i obsess over how i would get rose out in a fire all the time… so keep a pillow case by the cage, and if god forbid that happened, grab your baby, toss em in the pillow case (protects them from smoke inhalation) AND HIGH TALE THEE FUCK OUT OF THERE. and that would be easier if they are clipped… just food for thought.