The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : Cockatiels Are Among The Most Popular Of Pet Birds

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Cockatiels Are Among The Most Popular Of Pet Birds


Did you know that cockatiels are among the most popular of pet birds? Normal cockatiels are gray, with white patches on the wings. They have a yellow/white face with a bright orange patch over the 'ear'. Variations include : Pied (varing white patches cover body), Pearl (each feather retains gray color, with white intersperced), Lutino (Bird white with yellow/white/ orange face), and Albino (white bird). Another popular bird is the Budgie also known as the Parakeet.


The life-span of Cockatiels is usually around 15 – 20 years, however, it has been reported that some have lived up to 30 years!  Having one bird is fine, but you must spend a lot of time interacting with the cockatiel on a daily basis. Having two birds will make it a little easier, but they will bond with each other, and may not bond with the owner.

I have often heard people say, “I don’t want a bird, they are dirty!”  This is simply not true. If a bird’s cage isn’t clean, it’s the fault of the owner, not the bird! All pets require care.

One thing that I do want to mention, is to never keep your bird in your kitchen. A friend of mine has a cockatiel that she used to keep in her kitchen. I asked her why she had it there, she said that because she spends a lot of time in her kitchen/dining area. Her bird did end up getting sick. The kitchen is generally a poor choice for your cockatiel’s cage. There are a number of fumes in the average household kitchen that can be toxic for birds. A good place the cage is where you and your family spend time so that you can interact with the bird.

Cockatiels are vocal creatures. Some make very loud noises. It may sound like they are screaming, but it’s just the natural sounds of the bird. When you arrive home your bird may make noises at the excitement of seeing you.




Cockatiel sings "If Your Happy & You Know it"



How to tell the sex of your Cockatiel:
Males tend to have a brighter facial color. Females have a duller facial color, and have barring under their tails. This method of sexing becomes more difficult in the variations of birds.

Feeding your Cockatiel:
A seed diet is not adequate, but tends to be high in fat and deficient in vitamin A, calcium, and protein. Seeds can be part of a healthy diet but only a minor percentage. There are other human foods that birds like. Millet is another great food.

For a well nourished bird include a variety of fresh fruits crisp or lightly steamed veggies and other table foods in your bird’s diet. Always serve them chopped, sliced, diced, minced and mashed.

There are human foods that you can give your Cockatiel:
Cooked chicken/ turkey; Eggs/hard boiled/scrambled; Cottage cheese; Yogurt; Asparagus; Beets/beet tops; Broccoli; Brussel sprouts; Carrots; celery; corn; chicory greens; cilantro; collard greens; green/yellow beans; kale; mustard greens; peas and pods; parsley;  pumpkin; red/green sweet pepper;  romaine lettuce; spinach; turnip greens; water crest; yellow squash; zucchini; bananas; berries; cantaloupe; cherries; cranberries; honey dew; kiwi; mango; oranges(seedless); papaya; pineapple; watermelon; cook pasta; cooked brown rice; dried fruits; whole wheat toast; oatmeal; cheerios; rice krispies; grape nuts; Un salted popcorn; and animal crackers.

Foods you should never give your Cockatiel:
Avocado, chocolate, coffee, lima beans, milk, sodas, sugar, teas, rhubarb, leaves from potatoes, tomatoes, egg plants, bean plants, alcohol, salt, greasy foods, tobacco, fruits seeds or pits from, apples, apricots, oranges, cherries, or peaches.

Tips on caring for your Cockatiel:
  • Your cockatiel needs to have fresh water every day. Change the water every day, even if it looks full. If you find any droppings or feathers in the water cup, change the water, so your bird will not get sick.
  • Some bird noise is very loud but is not screaming, it’s just the natural sounds of birds. Since they are very vocal creatures and you can expect them to greet dawn and sunset with enthusiasm. They may get rowdy just before mealtimes and especially, if you work and the house is empty all day, when you arrive home.
  • Offer foods that have different colors shapes, textures and flavors also vary the presentation.Some birds get startled in their sleep and awaken in a panic. They may start trying to flee the cage and bumping into toys, feeding bowls and their perch.
  • Don't ever give food from your mouth, or kiss your bird.  This is harmful to your bird since your mouth carries germs that can make your bird sick.
  • Cockatiels are very dusty. They use a powder to keep their wings water proof. After petting the bird, one normally has a powdery finger.

Signs that your bird may be sick:
  • Birds often pretend to be fine when someone is watching nearby (survival instinct), so observe very carefully
  • Sleeping excessively. Like people, birds who sleep a lot more than usual may be in trouble.
  • Any sign of blood, is a bad sign. If your bird is bleeding, you need to stop the bleeding immediately, and contact your Vet.
  • If a normally playful bird doesn't play very much any more, it may well be sick.

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