Do you have what it takes to become an excellent cockatiel owner? Or are you just not cut out to be a pet cockatiel owner…
In this article we will take a closer look at what attributes are required to be a successful cockatiel owner and more importantly what attributes or habits will and should make you question your eligibility to keep these wonderful birds.
Are You The Right Type?
Many people desire having pet cockatiels and other animals for that matter. However some people due to their habbits are just not suitable for such a challenge.
If you are considering getting a cockatiel as a pet then please read all of this before spending your hard earnt money and more important before you harm the cockatiel!!!
Cockatiels are generally easy to look after and because of this reason many “wanna-be” pet owners choose the wonderful cockateil over other pets. Unfortunately people have the idea that pets are wonderful to have “on display” this is by far the worst reason to desire a pet of any kind.
Many store owners will tell you that the cockatiel is an ideal pet for busy people who have little or no time… How wrong they are.
Cockatiels require plenty of care and attention and by that I mean…love, talking to, playing with, cleaning, feeding, allowing them to fly and much more.
Interaction And Playtime
First and foremost you do need to be able to invest time and attention towards your pet cockatiel, this is a must. A cockatiel that spends it’s life locked in a cage without any or very little human interaction will become very depressed and ill and eventually die from neglect. We, at “about cockatiels” recommend at least four hours a day in interaction. It’s a bit like having children, if you keep shooing them off into their room to play by themselves they will become depressed, lonely, sad and eventually end up not being able to interact with society…Take care and do not allow this to happen to your pets.
Some common signs that indicate that a cockatiel is suffering from depression and the lack of entertainment are the picking out of feathers.
Now after saying that, four hours of entertainment does not mean that you need to lock yourself in the cockatiel cage with your birds either. Be sensible about it and allow them some time to explore out of the cage, maybe on a play tree or climbing frame etc. But most of all allow them to be with you, on your shoulder or even on your head at times. Always talk with them, make sounds, whistle tunes etc, this is what they really apreciate. You will notice the reaction of them as they listen and enjoy your interaction.
Mess And Cleaning
You wouldn’t expect too much to do when it comes to keeping these little munchkins…well. It would be fair to say that they do create lots of dust and also spray seeds all over, let alone droppings here and there. Basically they will need to have their cage cleaned once or twice a week depending obviously on how many you have. We clean our cages twice a week with 11 cockatiels…
When it comes to dust, some people do suffer from allergies and this may not be such a good companion to those who do. It is not something that you can eliminate it is an ongoing feature of the cockatiel. A quick paper change is exactly that, but to really wash the perches and the sides of the cage will take some time.
Not to forget that the feeder dishes need to be cleaned. Also their food needs refreshing daily and the water at least twice each day, sometimes more often if soiled…
The Cost Of Keeping Cockatiels
Are cockatiels expensive? To buy a cockatiel you can expect to pay anywhere from 25 – 150 Australian dollars and even more for a very tame prize-winning specimen. But that only gets you the bird… now you need a cage. Depending on size they range from a few hundred into the thousand dollar range. At aboutcockatiels we build our own as they are custom made to fit, also they are definitely bird friendly.
I guess the next obvious cost is the food. Again depending on how many birds you have will determine the cost, but a 2kg box of bird seed costs $6 in Australian dollars, you can get cheaper thats for sure, it’s your choice. Then there are their favourite honey sticks at about $1.50 each. I would say it costs about $6-8 Australian dollars each week.
Then you have any unexpected veterinary visits that are not planned. These can be very expensive, so it pays to keep your cockatiels very healthy and happy. A quick $200 can be gone in a flash… All of this and we haven’t even mentioned any toys or cage accessories that tempt you.
A Cockatiel For Life
This is a big-ee, cockatiels can live for a longtime. This depends greatly on their surroundings, lifestyle, diet, interaction with you, other cockatiels and their ability to withstand bacteria and parasites. A good life span for a cockatiel kept in a perfect environment can be 25 years or more. They average around 15 years.
This is great news if you are looking for a companion that will become your partner in crime for many years. However if you are not prepared to stick to the relationship it might be time to reconsider. If your lifestyle revolves around months away even weeks away, you should seriously question the merit of purchasing a pet bird. Not only as you wont be around much, but cockatiels can not be left alone without being feed and looked after so this would mean that a pet career or a very good friend to step in and look after. This is a very important aspect of owning a pet cockatiel and needs some thought.
Try and think about how your lifestyle will be if you add a pet cockatiel into the mix. By this I mean, question what you do on a daily basis. Here are some questions to get you started;
- Are you a smoker? This is just one of many toxic things for birds.
- Do you spend most of your free time out of house?
- Are you a person that likes to entertain?
- Do you have other pets that might not get on with a cockatiel?
- Do you travel and spend time away?
- Do you like peace and quite in the early hours?
- How bird safe is your home?
That’s only a quick start. I guess the question that really needs a solid and resounding answer of YES to is…Are you willing to do what it takes to become a suitable cockatiel owner? If you can answer this with a big yes then what are you waiting for…One side note to finish with is, a word of warning, cockatiels are addictive.