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Should We Get Another Cockatiel?

Should We Get Another Cockatiel?

Joyce C. writes:

 

Our cockatiel, who we rescued from our tree outside about 5-6 yrs ago, passed away Thursday.

 

We have a 4 yr old cockatiel.

 

She was only 3 months old when we got her.

 

Question is should we get another cockatiel for a friend for the 4 yr old?

 

The two cockatiels were in separate cases side by side.

 

Not sure if we should get a friend for Charlotte if so, put them in separate cases, put in the same cage.

 

So many uncertainties.

 

Want to keep her happy and healthy.

 

Thanks for any suggestions.

 

Dear Joyce

 

To better guide you, I’ll need some questions answered.

 

You had two cockatiels in cages side by side.

 

Why were they not able to be housed in the same large cage?

 

Were they both tame? Able to be handled? Or only one? Or not at all?

 

If not tame, being in the same cage would be more enjoyable for them unless they just didn’t get along and fought which is pretty uncommon once they get to know each other.

If tame, keeping them in the same cage could cause them to bond and not be as interested in you.

Unless you spent more time with them reinforcing their tameness.

 

Now back to getting another cockatiel.

 

Again, is the remaining bird tame?

 

Able to be held? Likes to be with you or on you?

 

If yes, why get another bird?

 

Single tame birds make better pets than multiple tame birds.

 

You have to spend more time with each bird to help keep it interested in humans vs the other birds.

 

If the remaining bird is not tame then yes, it would likely enjoy another cockatiel either in a separate cage or in the same cage.

 

If you do choose to get another cockatiel and decide to house them in the same cage it is best to remove the original bird from the big cage, then rearrange everything in it, toys, perches, etc.

Then put the new bird in the cage followed by the original bird. The cage will now seem new to both birds and you should not have any problems with aggression over it being the older birds cage.

 

If you are avoiding putting two birds together because you are concerned about them mating them you need to ensure that the lighting over the cages is set to discourage hormonal behavior.

 

Full Spectrum Economy Daylight Bulb with Clamp Light & Timer Read more: https://www.windycityparrot.com/lighting-c-356_346/full-spectrum-economy-daylight-bulb-with-clampFull Spectrum Economy
Daylight Bulb with Clamp Light & Timer

 

That would require a good bulb shining down as close to the top of the cage as possible on a timer set 12 hours on and 12 hours off. This will cause your birds to feel they are in the summer in sunny Australia and birds do not mate or get broody in those conditions.

 

Then your birds would be happy, playful birds without pairing up.

 

I hope this helps.

 

Please let me know how it goes.

 

And we love pictures.

 

Regards,

Catherine

 

Joyce C. replied:

 

Pete was a rescue bird and was not interested in sharing his case with the existing 3 mo old Charlotte.

 

She was always wanting to rub on him, and he didn’t like that.

 

So I just kept them in huge cases side by side.

 

They each had a big case with lots of toys.

 

They were fine being out of the cage together.

 

Squawked like crazy when one bird was being taken out of the cage and away from the other bird. 

 

They both didn’t want to be separated. Unfortunately, our Pete got a respiratory infection about 3 yrs ago and recovered with antibiotic shots we administered from the Avian Vet.

 

 

The vet said once they get the respiratory infection, he will continue to have them.

 

He had a couple of rounds of respiratory infection with antibiotics.

 

He started to get another one, (knew the symptoms coming on) and we had his light on him for warmth and the infection did not materialize.

 

So we just kept the light on him most of the time.

 

He would move away from the light when he didn’t want it but was under it quite a bit the last month.

 

I noticed he wasn’t eating like normal for about 2 days.

 

He seemed fine.

 

I found him dead a few hours later.

 

I guess he wasn’t strong enough to get through this one.

 

We had rescued him from outside in our tree 6 yrs ago. Pete was not really tamed.

I could work with him and got him to the point of not biting too much getting him in and out of the cage.

 

We had a parakeet when we rescued Pete.

 

They were in separate cages side by side for a couple of years until our parakeet developed a tumor and passed away.

 

Pete went into depression within 2-3 days.

 

So we brought Charlotte (3 mos old) home for him.

 

He did really well having another companion to talk with. Pete was a talker!!

 

 

Charlotte who is 4 yrs old was tame when we got her. She loves her neck rubbed.

 

Not sure if I want to get her another companion.

 

I just wasn’t sure she needed one.

 

So far she does not seem to be showing signs of depression.

 

We talk with her, rub her neck, she had a bath today (bath I bought through your website) and she loves her baths.

 

She can see us at the table eating and seems to be more talkative now and has a lot more tones than she did when she was little.

 

Pete did a lot of talking.

 

So, I think we will just continue to watch her and socialize more with her and see how she does.

 

I have cats in the house (both indoor and outdoor) and they all have learned to stay away from her.

 

I don’t let her out of the cage at all now.

 

When I had their wings clipped, they would both come out of the cage and get on their little playground and watch out the window.

 

I may start taking her into our bedroom, shut the door and let her out and work with her.

 

She seems like she would be willing to do that. She is an escape artist so she is more sociable than Pete was.

 

Pete was really afraid, but we didn’t know his background.

 

Rescuing him from being out in triple-digit weather in Southern California for how long he had been out traveling, I don’t know.

 

We found him trying to dive-bomb the cat food outside.

 

Caught him, brought him in, and he ate, drank, ate, and drank quite a lot.

 

So, he was one lucky bird and we really enjoyed having him.

 

Still grieving our Pete.

 

Not sure if it was respiratory or not.

 

He looked fine when I woke him up.

 

But I was shocked when I found him a couple of hours later gone. 🙁

 

Dear Joyce

Thank you for the back story. It is never as simple as we think of course.

We have Barney now, a normal cockatiel who was given to us from a hoarding situation when he was left alone in a tiny filthy cage for weeks while his owner went to the hospital and did not return. The person who went to clean out the house called us to take Barney.

 

He was dirty and frightened and very quiet, but in a few days opened up, cleaned up and enjoyed being in a nice big clean cage and with some company again.

 

Filthy cockatiel cage in garbage

 

We also have an elderly African Ringneck named Keto and a Quaker naked Chili, all rescues.

 

Barney now wolf whistles and chatters daily and is pretty tame. he prefers my husband over me, mainly due to them being together all day. I have to work in the store.

 

If you feel getting another bird is not in the stars, you can hang a small mirror in the cage.

 

That will offer some great company and won’t require double the cleaning.

 

Please let us know how it goes.

 

Regards

Catherine.

Mitch Rezman

He's handled a 1000 birds of numerous species when they visited monthly birdie brunches in the old Portage Park (Chicago, IL) facility. The one with the parrot playground.Mitch has written and published more than 1100 articles on captive bird care.He's met with the majority of  CEO's and business owners for most brands in the pet bird space and does so on a regular basis.He also constantly interacts with avian veterinarians and influencers globally.

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