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Cockatiels Care 101

Basic Information:

Commonly known as: Cockatiels, Quarians and Weiros.
Scientific name:
Nymphicus hollandicus
Origin: Australia
Average lifespan: 10 – 14 years (Wild), Up to 20 years (In Captivity)
Size: 30 – 33 cm (Adult)


So, What is a Cockatiel?

Known for their bright-colored peachy cheeks, crown feathers, beautiful voice, friendly, and very gentle nature.
These beautiful parrots come in as the second most popular pet birds world-wide, right after “budgies“.

These little cockatoos, seem to attract so many people to their homes.
However, they can be very messy. They need daily care and attention. And it is essential that they get to spend time outside their cage everyday.


Common Characteristics:

CockatielsCockatiels are a great choice for a beginner pet bird owner. Even-though i totally disagree with the term “starter pet”, but they are a great choice for beginners, since they are generally easier to train.

Cockatiels are very social, friendly, gentle and playful birds, specially if they were hand tamed. They have so many colors variations, and they can bond really well with their owners.
Moreover, they love lovee loveeee to chew (as most parrots are). In the wild, parrots most of their day searching for food, so you need to give them lots of foraging toys to keep them mentally stimulated, and give them toys they can shew on, preferably wood toys.

These amazing birds can live up to 20 years. So, if  you’re thinking about getting one, you need to make sure that you are up to such long-term commitment, and that you’ll be able to provide them with their forever home, and give them the best quality of life they deserve.

Shower these bird with love and attention, and you will get will have a bond that lasts for the rest of their lives ?

As a general rule, males tend to be more curious, vocal and easier to tame and train than females, since females instinct is more defensive.

Color Variations:

They have so many colors, but we can categorize them into 11 main color mutations:

1. Grey Tiels,
2. Pearl Tiels,
3. Pied Tiels,
4. Cinnamon Tiels,
5. Lutino Tiels,
6. Fallow Tiels,
7. Dominant Yellow Cheeck Tiels,
8. White Face Tiels,
9. White Face Tiels,
10. Recessive Silver,
11. Pastel Face Tiels.
However, each of these variations have multiple color mutations.

Vocalization:

These parrots have such beautiful voices. They can mimic their owners tunes, and come up with their own.
However, males are the true singers of this specie, while females are more on, since males use their voice as a mating call. And it’s really amazing how much different tones can these birds create.
Although some can learn to mimic a few words. However, they are not very good talkers.


How to choose a Cockatiel?P_Cockatiel

Choosing your Cockatiel is very crucial. And finding a reliable place to get your bird is very important. Nothing is sadder than bringing home a new bird, just to watch him die a few weeks later. And it gets even more complicated if you have other birds.

If you are a beginner – Make sure your get a Cockatiel that is already tamed, and preferably hand-fed.


Here’s your checklist:

1. When you go to get your bird, make sure you go in the early morning, or at the evening right before the sun set. These are the times that birds are mostly vocal and active, so it makes it easier to choose a healthy bird.

2. Look for a young, weaned bird.

3. Make sure the bird is tamed, and observe how the breeder handles the bird. Cockatiels are very smart little cockatoos. If the breeder handles the bird too roughly, and the bird gets too scared. There’s a big chance that bird gets scared for life and it may take too long to get him used to you. This is really important, specially if it’s your first time handling a bird and you’re not very experience with taming them.

4. Check their activity level
Birds are really good at hiding their sickness. So you need to look for those who are active. If a bird seems to be lazy, sitting at the button of the cage most the time, puffed up, has trouble balancing and has ruffled feathers, there’s a chance that the bird is sick.

5. Check to see if the bird’s feathers has any bold spots.

6. Check out their beaks, and feat. Make sure that they don’t have any deformities.

7. Check their eyes – his eyes should be bright and clear.

8. Check thee cage, food and water.
Unhealthy diet, and dirty cages,  increases the potentials of having a sick bird.

9. Finally, once you purchase your bird, take him to the vet to make sure he is in good health.

If you have other birds; don’t introduce the new member to the flock before getting him checked at the vet. If he is carrying any illness, you don’t want the rest of your birds to catch it.


How to care for your Cockatiels?

1. Interaction:

Cockatiels need lots of time and attention from their owner since they’re very social… So you need to make sure you have enough time to spend with them daily.

You must spend at least an hour interacting with your birds every day, and not just being near them.
Your Cockatiel considers you a part of his flock, and sometimes his mate. And In the wild, flock members do everything together. For this reason, if you want to make your tiel a happy one, you should mimic the same behavior, by trying to engage them in everything you do.

Birds are really smart, and they will pick up on your daily routine very fast, and learn to adapt to it. But, If you don’t have enough time to spend with your Cockatiel everyday, then its better if you get your bird friend a companion.

2. Cage size and Bar spacing:

Size:
“The Bigger the Better”

The Standard rule for buying any bird’s cage is that: the cage has to be double the size of the bird with its wings spread.
You can never get a cage that is too big, but you can get one the is too small!

STOP USING ROUND CAGES

Birds hate these cages. You should never get this type of cage for any bird ever. They just don’t give them any sense of security. Hence, increase their stress levels enormously.

Minimum Cockatiels cage size as recommended by professionals is: 24″ (60.96 cm) long by 18″ (45.72 cm) wide by 24″ (60.96 cm) tall for 1 Bird.

However, as mentioned earlier, Cockatiels spend some time outside the cage everyday, to get the necessary exercise and stimulation, to keep them healthy and happy.

Bar Spacing:

Bar spacing is also very important. Because, if you get a cage with bar spacing that is too wide for your bird, there is the risk of the bird sticking his head out between the bars, which may injure the bird or even worse; he may actually choke.
For Cockatiels, Bar spacing should be about: 1/2″ to 5/8″ (1.27 – 1.5875 cm).

3. Perches:Cockatiel Perches

There are so many types of perches on the market that you can choose from. However, you need to make sure that; the perches are comfortable, and that you get them in different sizes and textures.
If all the perches are of the same sizes and textures, it can cause sores and deformities in your bird’s legs.

Next, Make sure you place the perches in a way, to give your bird enough space to jump and possibly fly between them.

4. Toys:

Cockatiels ToysCockatiels LOVE toys that they can CHEW

If you decide to get a Cockatiel or any other parrot really, expect to get lots and lots of destructible toys for your birds. Because they just LOVE to chew.

Make sure you give them lots of mind stimulation with foraging toys.
And don’t bother getting them fancy toys because, we all know how expensive birds toys can be, specially when you need to replace them all the time.
There are so many D.I.Y. (Do it Yourself) toys that are very cheap, safe, and easy to make.

And remember, smart birds like Cockatiels can get bored with their toys very quickly. A good way to outsmart them, is to rotate their toys weekly, and mix them up. That way you could keep your birds interested in the same toys longer.

However, whether you are buying a toy or making one yourself, you need to be very careful and to make sure that the toys are safe for your birds. Check that there’s nothing toxic for your birds in there, and that there’s no small pieces that your bird could swallow or choke on.

5. Cleaning:

Cages must be cleaned regularly.
Place a nice bedding at the bottom of your cage, that you can easily change-up everyday or as needed.
Water bottle and food bowls or hangers, should be cleaned and refilled daily to prevent Bacterial infections.

Birds can be really messy, and they do need a lot of work.


Deep Cleaning the cage:

Deep cleaning the cage is really important, for you and your birds. And you must do it every couple of weeks.
I Personally deep clean my birds cages once a month (or more as needed)…
So, you can do it more or less depending on your birds and how much the cage is messed up.

How to deep clean the cage?

Never use soap – Birds are very sensitive. Soap and other cleaning products leave chemical residues that are toxic and may harm your birds.
To deep clean the cage; you can either use vinegar or lemon juice. Those 2 help in killing bacteria.
Personally, I prefer filling a spray bottle with water, vinegar and 1 lemon to give it a fresh smell;

1. Remove everything from the cage: Food plates, water bottles, perches and toys, and clean them thoroughly, using the same mixture above.

2. Get a new scrub, and deeply clean everything, using the spray bottle you prepared earlier. Or you can simply wash it under the sink with water first, then use a clean scrub or towel while spraying with the vinegar/Lemon juice mix.

3. Leave them to dry, then put everything back in its place

Note: If your birds are nesting, deep clean with a wet towel without touching the nest, or moving the cage.

6. Bathing:

How much should I shower my Cockatiels?

Cockatiels are very powdery birds, and they just Love showering, as it helps them

groom themselves, and get rid of excess powder. Needless to say, if you have any sort of allergies, showering your birds will be good for you too, and you’ll just love enjoy watching them have a blast and enjoy the water.

Ideally, you should shower Cockatiels every 4 days. However, this varies depending on the weather, and your bird’s personal preference. Hence, if it’s really cold, then normally you shouldn’t shower them as much.

Different ways to shower your birds:

Every bird have his or her own character, unique personality and personal preferences… Just as we as “people” do.
So you need to figure out what each of your birds love, and what makes them happy.
Not all birds enjoy showering the same way, so these are 4 different ways you could shower your birds.

1. Using a Spray Bottle:
Most birds love spray bottle baths. Fill a Spray bottle with water, and gently spray your birds.
If you find your Cockatiel rolling around, grooming herself and moving closer to the bottle, this means she’s enjoying it. But, If she flies away, its your sign to stop.

2. The Classic bowl of water bath:
Just fill up one of their larger bowls with water, and watch them enjoy their baths.
But, be careful; don’t leave the water for too long, so they don’t get bacterial infections. And don’t fill it in a deep bowl because accidents may happen, and the bird may drown.

3. Open Faucet: ?
I’ve never personally tried it, but i have seen so many videos on YouTube of bird owners opening the water tap, and the birds just love it. They fly around, pass under the water, jump in and out, and they seem to really enjoy it.
Some even advice showering with your birds, but again while making sure that you don’t use any shampoos or anything with chemicals that could potentially harm them.

4. Rolling in wet greens:
This is really nice specially on hot summer days.
Many birds love rolling around in their wet greens before eating it. It’s so adorable.
Place some wet greens like parsley and cilantro on top of your birds cage or stand. And if they like it, they will roll around in their greens like crazy… They really love it.

So just observe your birds, and that’s how you really get to know them.. The more time you give them, the more you learn and understand what makes each of them happy. And it shows in the simplest things like; Taking a Bath…

7. Sleeping?

Cockatiels need a 10-12 hours of undisturbed sleep everyday. Lack of sleep will affect your bird’s overall health. And they can get really cranky just as a sleepy toddler does.
Ideally, birds should be sleeping by sun set, and waking up with sunrise, just as they do in the wild. However, most the time we want to spend more time with our birds at night. So it’s okay as long as they are getting their 10-12 hours of sleep.

And when it’s sleep time, place your birds in their cage, and place the cage in a quiet, dark room where there’s no TV. sounds or anything that could disturb your birds.
Moreover, it is advisable to cover up your birds cage at night to help them get a good night sleep. But some birds hate covering up their cages, so in this case; don’t freak out your bird. Just place them in a dark, quiet room.


You May Also Like:

Most popular parrot breeds
Budgies Care 101
Cockatiels Care 101

Hope you found that useful.. I’ll See you next time ✌️

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Birds Home

Budgies Care 101

Basic Information:

‣ Budgerigarscommonly knows as “Budgies, or Shell Parakeets”.
Scientific name: Melopsittacus Undulatus
‣ Origin: Australia
‣ Size: Ranging from 6 to 8 inches
 Average lifespan: 6 to 10 years

 


Did you know!  The oldest budgerigar ever recorded according to Genus Record, was named Charlie, he lived in England, and reached the age of 29.

 

So, what is a Budgie?

Budgies are one of the most popular pets worldwide, right after cats and dogs. They come in so many color variations, they have an amazing social nature, easily cared for, easily bread, and readily available. You can hardly ever find a pet store that doesn’t have these amazing smart little parrots.
But because of that, many people buy them out of an impulse without taking the time to learn about them beforehand.

Sadly; It’s not that hard to see how many budgies’ owners and sellers who don’t have enough knowledge on how to properly care for these birds.

 

There are two types of Budgerigars;

English budgies and Wild/Australian Australian Budgie Vs English BudgieBudgies:

Whereas, the most significant difference between the two is their size.
English budgies are 2-3 times the size of wild budgies.

Budgerigars are the smallest specie of true parrots; as they have a curved beak and their feet has 4 toes; 2 forward and 2 backward.

In the wild, they live in very large flocks, so they have a very social nature, that is why it is advisable to get a pair instead of one bird if you don’t have enough time to spend with your bird (daily).
And by spending time with him, I mean; How much time you have to spend 1 on 1 quality time with your bird; interacting and training him/her.

 

How to choose your Budgie?

Choosing your budgie could be a bit overwhelming. However there are certain things you need to look for in your budgie to make sure he is in good health.

 

Pay attention to details:

  • Make sure you get a young weaned bird.
  • Look for the active birds.
    Birds are really good at hiding their sickness. So you need to look for those who are active; flying from one perch to another. If a bird seems    to be lazy, sitting at the button of the cage most the time, has trouble balancing and has ruffled feathers, chances are; that the bird is sick or injured.
  • See if the bird’s feathers have any bold spots.
  • Check out their beaks and feat. Make sure that they don’t have any deformities.
  • The bird’s eyes has to be; bright and clear.
  • Check their food and water.
  • If you want a really tamed budgie, ask for hand feed ones.
  • And finally, once you purchase your bird, take him to the vet to make sure he is in good health.

 

Note: If you already have other birds, don’t introduce the new member to the flock before getting him checked at the vet. If he is carrying any illness, you don’t want the rest of your birds to catch it.



How to care for your Budgies? Budgie_Love_Petsoholic

So now you have your little companion, got him checked and he is in perfect shape… ready to be introduced to his/her new home.
How to make your budgies happy?

1. Cage size and Bar spacing:

 Size:
“The Bigger the Better”

The Standard rule for buying any bird’s cage is that: the cage has to be double the size of the bird with its wings spread.

You can never get a cage that is too big, but you can get one the is too small!
It makes me really sad when I see beautiful birds like budgies put in a tiny cages without enough room for anything really… Just because the salesman said its OK.
Budgies are very playful, they love to climb up and down the cage, hop and fly around from one perch to the other, so they need enough space to do that.

Just because they are small, doesn’t mean they don’t need enough space to fly around and play.

Minimum budgies cage size as recommended by professionals is: 12 by 18 by 18 inches (30 by 45.72 by 45.72 cm) for 1 Bird.
Given that the bird will be given regular hours outside the cage daily. Yet, I still personally believe that is too small for the birds.

It’s important to know that; If you get a cage that is too small for the number of budgies you have, they can become really aggressive and hurt one another.

 

Bar Spacing:

Bar spacing is also very important. Because, if you get a cage with bar spacing that is too wide for your bird, there is a risk of the bird sticking his head between the bars, which may injure the bird, or even worse, he may actually choke to death.
For budgies, It is advisable to get a cage with Bar spacing that is: 1/2 to 5/8 inches (1.27 to 1.5875 cm).

 

2. Perches and Toys:

There are so many different types of perches on the market that you can choose from. However, you need to make sure that; the perches areBudgies toys comfortable, and that you get them in different sizes and textures.
If all the perches are of the same sizes and textures, it can cause sores and deformities in your bird’s legs.

Moreover, toys are very important to stimulate your budgies mentally and physically. So that they don’t get bored.
In the wild, birds spend most of their time forging for food. But in captivity food is just there, so you need to find ways to keep them busy… thus happy.

Nevertheless, you can always create your own Forging toys for your birds. It can be as simple as placing a piece of paper on top of their food bowl, to more complicated ones that they can chew and play with… Just make sure the toy is safe for the birds. Meaning that; there’s no chemicals used and that it doesn’t have pieces they may choke on.

 

3. Cleaning the cage:

The Cage must be cleaned regularly.
With budgies, i personally prefer to place a paper towel at the bottom of the cage, and simply roll it and throw it away on daily basis or as much as needed.
Water bottle should be cleaned and refilled daily to prevent Bacterial infections.

Deep Cleaning the cage:

Deep cleaning the cage is really important, for you and your birds. You must Deep Clean it every couple of weeks.
Personally, I deep clean my birds cages once a month (or more if needed).. However, you can do it more or less depending on your birds and how much you feel the cage needs to be cleaned.

 

How to deep clean the cage?

Never use soap Birds are very sensitive. Soap and other cleaning products leave chemical residues that may harm your birds.
To deep clean the cage; you can either use vinegar or lemon juice. Those 2 help in killing bacteria.
Personally, I prefer filling a spray bottle with water, vinegar and 1 lemon to give it a fresh smell;

1. Remove everything from the cage: Food plates, water bottles, and perches.

2. Get a new scrub, and deeply clean everything, using the spray bottle you prepared earlier. Or you can simply wash it under the sink with water first, then use a clean scrub or towel while spraying with the vinegar/Lemon juice mix.

3. Leave them to dry, then put everything back in its place.

Note: If your budgies are nesting on eggs, Deep clean with a wet towel without touching the nest, or moving the cage.

 

Budgies

4. Feeding:

Budgies are seed eaters. They just love them. However, to make sure that your budgies are getting sufficient nutrition, Fresh Vegetables and fruits must be served, in addition to their seeds.
But I will get to that in details, in another article..

 

5. Bathing:

How many times should i bath my budgie?

Some people would tell you to shower your bird every 4 days or so, some may say more and some may say less.
Honestly, there is not a define answer or rule to that in my opinion. The method varies depending on; the whether, where you live and each of your birds’ personal preferences.
Whereas, the more you observe your birds, the more you will get to learn what they enjoy.

Different ways to shower your birds:

1. Using a Spray Bottle.spray-bottle

Most Budgies love spray bottle baths. Fill a Spray bottle with water, and gently spray your birds.
If you find the little guy rolling around, and moving closer to the bottle, this means he’s enjoying it. But, If he flies away, its your sign to stop.
My Birds love it, specially on a hot day.

2. The Classic bowl of water bath:

Just fill up one of their bowls with water and watch them happily singing and jumping in and out.
However, if this method is what your birds preference is, be careful; don’t leave the water for too long, so they don’t get bacterial infections. And don’t fill it in a deep bowl because accidents may happen, and the bird may drown.

3. Open Faucet:

I’ve never personally tried this method, but i have seen so many videos on YouTube of bird owners opening the water tap, and the birds just love it. They fly around, pass under the water, and jump in and out of he sink.

4. Rolling around in wet greens:

Some budgies would fly away if you spray them with a spray bottle, but put their greens wet in the cage and they will roll around in it.

So just observe your birds, and that’s how you really get to know them. Each bird has their own personality and characteristics. The more time you give them, the more you learn and understand what makes each of them happy. And it shows in the simplest things like; Taking a Bath.

 

6. Interaction:

Budgies are flock birds, which means that; in the wild they live in large flocks, and it’s really rare to see a budgie or any parrot alone in the wild, unless he’s hurt or sick. Moreover, these birds are monogamous, which means they mate for life. So if you decide to get 1 bird, you need to spend at least an hour interacting with your bird everyday. However, its much advisable to get 2 budgies.

 


You May Also Like:
Most Popular Parrots Breeds
Cockatiels Care 101

Hope you found that useful.. I’ll See you next time ✌️

Save