Health & Care > Pet care, safety and insurance > Are you a Good Candidate to Own a Cockatiel?

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10/27/2010 21:32:42 PM by alvb1227   Send Message to alvb1227  3679  views, category: Pet care, safety and insurance view all blogs

Purchasing a pet should never be an impulsive decision. Each pet and species has distinct characteristics which should be considered prior to making a final decision. One great option for potential bird owners is a cockatiel.

Life with a Cockatiel
Cockatiels are fun, intelligent and social birds. They have great facial expressions and love to interact with their owners. There are, however, some important lifestyle considerations before bringing a cockatiel home to be a part of a family.

cockatielThe first major consideration is that cockatiels have a much longer life span than other aviaries. On average, cockatiels live 20 years. Therefore, deciding on a cockatiel as a pet is a long-term commitment. Additionally, these are social birds that will want to spend time with their owner or another companion bird. If they do not get the proper amount of attention, over time, they will become depressed, potentially stop eating and spend most of their time on the floor of their cage.

Most cockatiels want to spend time exploring their surroundings outside their cage. This is a great way to keep your pet engaged. It is important, however, that the space your new friend will explore is “bird safe.” Household products such as scented candles, mothballs, house plants and the like may peak your cockatiel’s curiosity, but it will end with potentially deadly results, so make sure the products in the area are safe for your cockatiel to investigate. Regardless of the species, birds should never be left unattended when outside the safety of their cage. It is also a good idea to have their wings clipped, which can avoid a bird flying into a window, ceiling fan or mirror and injuring themselves. Wing clipping allows the bird to “glide” to a landing and not fall. Some even feel that clipping a bird’s wings helps to train your new bird.

One of the biggest adjustments for many new cockatiel owners is the mess they can cause. Cockatiels are champion seed-throwers, so be prepared to clean around the cage daily. They also preen daily, which can cause lost feathers and feather dust. Just like the cockatoo, the cockatiel creates more feather dust than many other species. If you have allergies or asthma, a cockatiel may not be the best aviary choice. Cockatiels also make droppings frequently, which includes when they are outside their cage. This can also create an additional cleaning chore.

In order to keep your cockatiel healthy, they should be seen by an aviary veterinarian at least twice a year. If you think your bird might be ill, however, you should make an appointment right away. Trips to the vet can be costly; however, more and more insurance companies offer “pet insurance,” which will help to offset any care costs that ensue.

While it may sound like owning a cockatiel is more trouble than it is worth, the truth is they are great pets! They love to interact with their owners and each will have unique personalities. Just like with any pet consideration, do research and feel confident in the pet selection for you and your family so everyone in your household can enjoy your new family member!


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