A cockatiel is one of the most popular birds today. They are extremely sociable, gentle, intelligent and not very demanding. This makes them wonderful pets even for beginners. Owning one of these birds is very rewarding and not very hard work.
Cockatiels are actually a species of parrot. They get their name from a Dutch word, “Kakatielje” that means little cockatoo. Cockatiels belong to the cockatoo family and originated from Australia. There are many color varieties of cockatiels, including yellow, gray and white. With the proper nutrition, cockatiels will live for 15 to 20 years.
Cockatiels are extremely sociable birds. By nature, they are very gentle, docile and only moderately active. These birds need to be played with, talked to and touched. They will try to get your attention by doing tricks or singing. They are generally very happy cheerful birds. They are also very affectionate and will often groom your hair. Because of their affectionate nature, they especially love to be stroked and cuddled. They will even put their heads down for you to stroke them! Cockatiels can be taught to talk and whistle tunes. However, their speech is not as clear as the larger parrots. Males are usually more vocal than the females.
Even though cockatiels are from the parrot family, they are much smaller, quieter, cleaner and bite less than most other parrots. This makes them great family pets. When choosing a pet, make sure that it is hand-fed so that it will be tame and used to people. Also, you will need to decide whether you want a male or female. Females are more nervous than males, but also more friendly and affectionate. Males are a little more aggressive but will talk and sing more than females. Cockatiels are not an expensive bird.
Cockatiels need a cage at least 18″ X 18″ X 18″. If they are going to be in the cage a lot then you should get a cage at least 36″ X 18″ X 24″. This will give flying room that he will need for exercise. Try not to keep the cage in a draughty area. You should try to let your bird out of the cage as much as possible. There are even bird diapers now to prevent messes in your house! Because of their intelligence, cockatiels need lots of mental stimulation. You should change the toys in their cage every few weeks so that they won’t get bored. Cockatiels do chew on things, so make sure the toys you get are safe.
In order to keep your pet healthy, it is imperative that you keep them on a good diet. Do not put your bird on an all seed diet. Try and get a pellet-based diet. If you do not get a pellet based diet, you will need to prepare fresh fruits and vegetables every day. Foods that are good for them include fruits, vegetables, cereals, bread and cheese. You can give these as treats if you have your bird on a pellet diet. Also, cockatiels need between 10 and 12 hours of sleep every night or they will become ill.
Cockatiels make great companions. If you only have one, it will form an extremely strong bond with you because it will think you are its mate. Cockatiels love attention and are very gentle and affectionate. They are excellent pets.