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The Joys Of Owning Cockatiels
Cockatiels Make Wonderful Family Members!
I have owned two Cockateils in the past, but sadly both have passed on. I had promised myself I would never get another bird, because it really hurt when I lost the second bird. Anyway that has all changed. It has been about 4 years since I have had a bird.
Having another bird had been on my mind for quite some time, and I finally decided to get another Cocktatiel, well I actually have two now. Both are girls, they came as a pair. I took my time looking for a bird. I found them on craigslist, through an organization called NEAR. They are a non profit organization here in upstate NY. They are a rescue for only birds. They take in all kinds of birds. They take in unwanted birds, abused birds and neglected birds. They bring them to the vet and have them checked out, and whatever treatment is needed to make sure the birds are in good health. They don't adopt them out right away however. The birds have to stay with the foster parents, until they feel the time is right to adopt them out. There is no adoption fee for the birds, but you are welcome to make a donation. You must also fill out an application online, and if you are accepted , they will notify you. They will set up an appointment with you to go see the birds, and you will spend at least an hour talking to the foster parents, and getting to know the birds, and deciding which bird you would like to bring home and make part of your family.you will not be able to take your new family member home that day. The foster parents will set another day to bring your new bird to your home, so that they can do a home visit, this is to be sure that the bird is going to a good new home. You will also sign an agreement with them. Also if you don't have a cage, they will provide one for you, as well as give you some starter food for your new bird. Side note here: It is better to purchase your bird from a rescue or a private breeder, rather than a pet store.
Adopting A Cockatiel Is A Serious Commitment
You want to be sure that it is the right bird for you. Cockatiels are very social birds, and need a lot of human interaction,and attention. They are a big responsibility. You will need to spend plenty of time with them. You will talk to them and play with them. They will also needs plenty of time out of the cage. They will quickly become a wonderful and happy addition to your family. Something to consider here though.if you are not home a lot, you may want to consider having a pair of them. This way they have company. Nothing worse than a lonely bird. Also they do make a lot of noise, so if you want a quieter bird, perhaps you shout choose a parakeet. female cockatiels tend to screech most of the time. Also keep in mind they can live a really long time, up to 20 years or so.
Getting To Know Your Bird
This is not something that can be rushed by no means. We do tend to get excited and want to make things happen quickly, but birds are not like puppies and kittens. Birds need a little bit of time to get used to their new owner,as well as their new home. If you scare the new bird from the get go, there may not be a chance that you can get your bird to trust you. So you should start out slow with the bird. There will be training involved, and this will take a lot of patience. You should always start by just talking to your new bird, and trying to make them feel at home. They will not talk, or step up or do tricks right off the bat, and many times they may never do these things, but what they will do is be a wonderful family member and companion in their own way. They will have their own loveable personality. They will do things that will make you smile and laugh. Never try to force your bird to do something.
** Birds always need fresh water everyday, as well as food. The dishes must be clean. Feed your bird healthy foods, not just a seed diet. Seeds tend to be high in fats. Pellets are good, as well as table food, but don't go overboard. Fruits, veggies, pasta, nuts, and such. I have heard tho that avocado's are not good for them. Also never give them chocolate, onions, mushrooms, alcohol, or uncooked beans. Never leave fresh foods for to long in the dishes as it will spoil. I would suggest feeding these food out of the cage. This way you won't forget. You can also google what foods are good for Cockatiels. There are also many treats on the market for birds. I do have to say they really love a sprig of millet, but keep in mind it is high in fat, so just give it as a treat, especially if you are training them, and as a reward!
** The cage must be kept very clean at all times as well. A dirty cage is not good for them. You don't have to buy the stuff they sell in the store, just simply use newspaper in the bottom of the cage. Keep in mind they can be very messy, so be prepared.
** You should never place the bird near extreme heat or cold drafts.
** Make sure your bird has plenty of toys in the cage to play with. A fun cheap little toy, would be an empty cardboard toilet paper roll. You would be surprised the fun they have with this, Just place it on the floor of the cage, and watch them play with it, and peck at it.
** Birds also love baths, so this is something to try and see if your bird likes it, but if your home is cold, I would advise against it, until the temperature is better.
** Never leave your bird alone with other animals, that may harm them. Also don't leave them alone with small children.
** Always have your bird checked by a vet if you feel something seems to be wrong with them.
** Be sure to have a big enough cage for your bird, they need room to move around. And make sure that the cage is safe for them.
** And never smoke around your birds!!! It is very bad for them.
** If your bird attempts to bite you, or does bite you. Don't let it know that it bothers you, or else it will do it all the time. You need to understand that when they bite it is for a reason.. They may feel stressed, because they are scared or upset.
Okay so now I will tell you about my new girls. They are a couple of years old. I got them as a pair. The foster parents said the previous owner did not have time for them. They had no names. They are pearl cockatiels. I named them Ruby and April. They don't fly very well. They seem to be very social, and I think they do talk, maybe it is just me. They do step up to an extent. I have held them, and cuddled them. I talk to them all the time. Oh and they love music! They even dance to it, and it is just so cute!! I am trying to teach them to ring the bells in the cage, and I am getting somewhere with that one. And it is such a joy to have them with me.
So with all that said, welcome your new bird into your family, and show it lots of love! Your new bird depends on you. And you can always look around the internet when in doubt about your bird. There is so much info out there. And remember every bird has their own personality, just like people.
Update: April and Ruby are doing really well, though it has been slow going to get them to really trust me. Now they are at the stage where I open the cage and they can come out and stay out all day if they want to. I have also tried to get them interested in eating human food, that is not going so well, but I will keep trying on that one. Although April did try scrambled eggs once.. Also I am planning on getting a Parakeet soon, so we shall see how they all get along.