The Cockatiel is a widely popular pet bird. They are known for their crest that moves up and down when displaying numerous variations of emotion. Cockatiels are great companion birds and come in a variety of color mutations. They get their name because they belong to the cockatoo family. Cockatiels are very social and are often recommended for just about any parrot lover.
They have the ability to learn words although males usually are much more willing to do so. Both males and females have a pleasant whistle and can mimic other sounds as well.
Visually sexing cockatiels is not always possible because some color variations do not have differences between the two sexes. Other colors such as the common gray cockatiel will develop distinct color characteristics at between 3 and 9 months of age. The males will have a yellow head and bright orange cheek feathers while the females will keep a grey face with dull orange cheek patches and some yellow.
The Cockatiel Parrot originates from Australia. There are still hundreds of flocks seen today in the region. Wild cockatiels are protected because of the banning of exportation outside of Australia. Today all companion cockatiels have been bred in captivity.
A Cockatiel diet consists a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, high quality cockatiel seed mix, and cockatiel formulated commercial pellets. Cockatiels enjoy spray millet and it can be given a few times a week. Using a fun millet holder will provide your cockatiel with enrichment at getting to the treat.
Replenishing clean drinking water daily or any time water has been contaminated is a necessary step to maintaining a healthy parrot. Check out the fresh foods you should be feeding your parrot on our fresh food list.
Breeding cockatiels can be a wonderful and rewarding experience if done with the love of birds in mind. Cockatiels are easy to breed when paired with a bonded mate and given a healthy enriching environment. It is important to make sure you have correctly paired up one male and one female if breeding a single pair.
DNA sexing should be done by an avian veterinarian to determine the birds sexing for 100% accuracy. Experienced bird owners that are trained may clip a portion of the nail for a blood sample to send in to a lab for results. Cockatiels also breed well in large flight aviaries with multiple cockatiel pairs. Nest boxes should be placed on the outside of the cage, therefore the caretaker can check and observe eggs and chicks.
Female cockatiels should be 18 months old before pairing up for breeding. Younger females may not incubate and care for the young well, setting the bird and the human caretaker up for failure.
Once pairs are established and fed a high quality diet, adding a variety of sprouts to the daily feedings can increase breeding stimulation. Females usually will lay four to six eggs, laying every other day. They are fairly tolerant of the caretaker peeking into the nest to observe eggs and chicks. Incubation is for 19 to 21 days. Babies will wean at 8 to 10 weeks of age.
Bringing home a cockatiel is an exciting experience! The bird cage should be kept in the house free of drafts and in an area where the family spends the most time, usually the living or dining room. We highly recommend purchasing an acrylic cage or your bird to be housed in.
Cockatiels are known for having night frights in the middle of the night. This is when they flap their wings uncontrollably and start thrashing around the cage. This can cause physical harm or even death. It is recommended to leave a night light on near the cage to prevent complete darkness.
When given proper housing, diet, and social interaction they can live on average 15 years or more. With adult supervision, they are excellent companions for older children.
Cockatiels also love playing with bright, colorful, & small bird toys. Your new family member should have daily time outside of the cage and have interaction with members of the household. As with most pet birds, they love to hear positive music, their owner's voice, and even the t.v.