If you’re looking for a pet who is friendly and affectionate, and even sometimes a little clownish, but who isn’t stuck to you like glue, the cockatiel might be the right choice for you. Cockatiels are the smallest of the cockatoo bird family and were originally found in Australia. They’re good-natured and small in size, so you don’t need an awful lot of space to keep these bird buds happy. In addition, they’re undeniably aesthetically pleasing with their multitude of possible colors and markings. Know that these birds have a lifespan of 10 - 14 years and decide if this life span works for you and your family. Has this winged, whistling delight grabbed your attention? Find out more about them below!
You might find it surprising that cockatiels make excellent pets for first-time pet parents, but it’s true. There are a few reasons for this, among them: the bird’s size and sturdiness (especially in homes with children), gentle demeanor, and love of socialization. Cockatiels aren’t particularly boisterous either—they’re actually among the more calm birds you might get as a pet. Even better, cockatiels are fairly easy to care for so long as you learn a few basic things about habitat, mental and physical needs, hygiene, and diet.
First and foremost, consider the habitat you can offer the bird you would like to bring home. While cockatiels are small they still need as large a cage as you can accommodate, but the size of your residence isn’t so much a concern as it might be with other pets, such as dogs. Any cockatiel’s cage should be at least 24 inches long, 18 inches wide, and 24 inches tall. There should also be horizontal bars on at least two sides of the cage to aid your bird in climbing, which is something they love to do! Where you place your feathered friend’s cage is also important. You don’t want them getting too hot or cold, so avoid drafty areas and putting the cage over (or under) any air vents. Remember, too, that cockatiels are highly social and want to be around you, so choose a room for the cage that you’ll frequently be in. Finally, how you decorate the cage matters. Set up numerous perches in the cage with a variety of textures and heights relative to the cage floor.
Cockatiels are fairly intelligent and require not just physical, but also mental stimulation, as all of us do. They also enjoy many activities such as chewing, so you can direct these behaviors to keep them from becoming problematic and keep boredom at bay by providing your cockatiel with toys. Toys made for chewing and to imitate grooming behaviors are highly recommended, as are bells. Physical activity is important too, so be sure your cockatiel gets plenty of time outside of their cage with your supervision.
Grooming will mostly be taken care of by your cockatiel, but because they won’t be exposed to as many different naturally nail-filing surfaces in your home as they would be in the wild, you will want to get the nails clipped on occasion. Diet is a simple matter as well thanks to the complete pellet diets that have been developed for birds that are sold in almost any pet store. Both you and your cockatiels can delight in some fresh fruits and vegetables as well as seeds on occasion. Make sure to ask your veterinarian about potentially harmful food sources though, such as onion and even avocado.
When you adopt or buy your cockatiel, make sure to call NOVA Pets at (703) 378-9791 to establish care for them. We can’t wait to meet your new family member!