Guest Author - Diana Geiger
The endearing little cockatiel, the little heckler, which can tug at each and every one of your heartstrings! Once the cockatiel bird learns to wolf whistle you will hear it all day.
A serious concern I have of cockatiel owners is, if a cockatiel is capable of living for 30 years, why is the average lifespan of this companion pet so short? It seems like we all need to learn a great deal about nutrition and safety issues when it comes to the cockatiel. Breeders as well as pet owners need to become far more responsible in care management of the cockatiel.
Coloration of wild cockatiels is the normal gray. There are many color mutations bred into the cockatiel, to name a few, Lutino, Fallow, Whiteface, Pastelface, Cinnamon, Pearl, Pied, Olive, and Silver. Under the subject section to the left you will see the subject birds. There is a link to color mutations and the genetics involved; several pictures of exotic pet cockatiels.
Your New Cockatiel
If you are purchasing your first bird have the equipment ready first. Make sure you have located an avian veterinarian before making a purchase. If you already own a bird, make sure you quarantine the new arrival for at least 8 weeks before you introduce the new bird to the existing birds. Birds have a strong tendency to hide illness since it makes them appear weak in the wild. Have your vet that deals with avian health look your pet over before introducing him to the other birds. Look for the avian veterinarian article link at bottom of page.
Find and locate several sources of cockatiel breeders. Check them all out. Make sure you are purchasing from a healthy stock.
Look over your selection carefully as well as the surrounding birds. Are they chipper and responsive? Do they have bright clear eyes? Look at the vent area, is it clean? Are they all fluffed up and unhealthy looking? Look at the droppings at the bottom of the cage; do the feces look normal?
When you get your bird to its new house put it in the new cage and let it alone just softly speak and coo to the cockatiel, it will adjust to you and your voice helping the taming process. Use a calm voice. If you run out of things to say, you can always read stories or poetry to the cockatiel! Do not try to handle it for the first few days. Limit the initial play periods to 15 minutes with long intervals of rest in-between play periods. Obtain a book on taming and training. You will need to finger tame it, and teach it the up command. Cockatiels are not great talkers, but can learn a few words and phrases. Some cockatiels are better talkers than other cockatiels.
The pet cockatiel will live an average of 11-18 years with many cockatiels living to their 20's and 30'. Why the big difference for cockatiel age? How they are raised, genetics plays a small part, diet, and safety. Many cockatiels die from accidents that could have been avoided. The dangers we didn't see!
This article is a introduction to the cockatiel. Soon you will find links for cages, accessories (perches, toys), diet, health management, training, talking cockatiels, wing clipping, egg laying, and cockatiel breeders.
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***Continues with the next cockatiel article Cockatiel Food - Cockatiel Requirements
Learn all you can about the pet cockatiel before you acquire or purchase the bird. Here is an excellent resource book to keep at your fingertips. Knowledge and following through with that information is crucial to having pets.