cockatiel information - cockatiel care
- cockatiel health / cockatiel illness - is my pet bird sick ?
- cockatiel lifespan - how long will my cockatiel live for ?
- cockatiel sexing - is my cockatiel male or female ?
- cockatiel care - what is the best cockatiel food ?
- cockatiel diet - are fruit and vegetables necessary ?
- cockatiel care - what cockatiel food can I not feed ?
- cockatiel cage - what is the best cockatiel bird cage ?
- cockatiel care - how much exercise for my cockatiel ?
- breeding cockatiels - what age for cockatiel breeding ?
1) cockatiel illness / cockatiel health - is my cockatiel sick ?
In the wild if cockatiels let their guard down and show they are unwell they will become the victims of predators. Therefore it is natural for cockatiels to conceal their illness as long as possible.
By observing your cockatiel daily you will learn its normal behavior and anything out of the ordinary should draw your attention. If your cockatiel looks ill it normally means it is really sick and can deteriorate extremely quickly.
When you detect any of the following signs of illness you should take your cockatiel to an avian vet as soon as possible - try to visit a vet experienced with birds so a correct diagnosis can be given.
Signs of illness to watch out
2) cockatiel lifespan - how long will my cockatiel live for ?
The average lifespan of a cockatiel is
12 to 15 years. It is not unusual for a cockatiel to live to 20
years of age and the occasional cockatiel makes it to 30!
3) cockatiel sexing - is my cockatiel male or female ?
With young cockatiels the male and female look the same so it is difficult to decipher their sex until they have been through their first molt at around six to nine months of age. Only then will the adult coloring show.
Normal gray cockatiels are easily sexed once the adult plumage is through. You will notice that the coloring is more defined with the male having a bright yellow face, whereas the female has a gray face with traces of pale yellow. The male's body is a dark gray but the female's appears duller with almost a brown tint to the gray. Also, until their first molt both sexes have barring patterns on the underside of their tail feathers. After the molt the male's tail feathers will be a solid gray color with no barring, but the female's will remain patterned.
The above is easily applied for normal gray cockatiels but other color varieties such as albinos, cinnamons, lutinos, pearls and pieds are more difficult to sex.
You can use the general guide below to assist with the sexing of other cockatiel varieties:
males have a great vocal ability and
whistle a lot
4) cockatiel care - what is the best
cockatiel food ?
Give your bird a good-quality cockatiel seed mix (not parrot mix). These are readily available at pet suppliers and supermarkets. Be aware though that most ready-mixed cockatiel seed contains far too many sunflower seeds and these are extremely fattening. For this reason I tend to make up my own mix for my cockatiels. I buy a 50/50 mix of budgie seed and plain canary seed and then add a few sunflower seeds. Do not buy the seed in bulk - you are best to purchase small fresh amounts.
Alternatively, you can offer your cockatiel a pelleted diet.
Your cockatiel's diet must be supplemented with fresh fruit and vegetables on a daily basis - refer to the fruit and vegetables question below.
Small amounts of 'people' food are fine for cockatiels occasionally. They can have a nibble on crackers, cereal such as cornflakes, hard-boiled egg and wholemeal bread. Also try rice, pasta, potato, pumpkin, sweet potato - these must be offered cooked, not raw.
Cockatiels enjoy spray millet and seed treats such as honey bells or sticks. However, these are fattening and should be offered occasionally as treats only. Pet cockatiels can become overweight very easily so I recommend offering spray millet once a week if your cockatiel is fairly active, or if not, only once a fortnight. Seed treats are best given at two monthly intervals.
Fresh drinking water is required daily. Also make available cuttlebone, and calcium, iodine and mineral blocks. Vitamin supplements in the drinking water once a week or fortnight are a good idea, although do not leave these in the water for long as bugs can grow very quickly. Some people prefer to sprinkle powdered vitamins onto the seed or moist food, eg apple pieces or spinach. Either way, be sure to follow the product's directions with regard to dosage amount and frequency.
5) cockatiel diet - are fruit and
vegetables necessary ?
Try the following:
Favorites with cockatiels tend to be apple, egg, pasta, peas, rice, silverbeet, spinach, sweetcorn.
Note that the fruit and vegetables should be provided:
Be aware that your cockatiel's droppings may be runnier than usual with an intake of fruit and vegetables.
Some cockatiels will not take to fruit and vegetables straight away. Persevere as it can take up to a year before your cockatiel will eat them. Fruit and vegetables are an essential part of your cockatiel's diet so offer them washed and fresh each day - do not give up!
6) cockatiel care - what cockatiel food
can I not feed ?
Also avoid asparagus, aubergine or eggplant, cabbage, caffeine (tea and coffee), junk food, milk and cream, raw potato, and rhubarb (including the leaves).
Please just use your common sense when it comes to feeding your cockatiel. Many plants and food items are unsafe, so if you have any doubt, do not offer it to your cockatiel.
7) cockatiel cage - what is the best
cockatiel bird cage ?
In my opinion, the minimum cage requirement for one cockatiel is:
Note: The cage base is in addition to these measurements.
Some extra tips:
cockatiel needs room in its cage to stretch its wings and
width of the cage bars - do not buy a cage where the
your cockatiel to climb around its cage, ensure the cage
removable tray at the bottom of the cage makes
8) cockatiel care - how much exercise for my cockatiel ?
Regardless of your cockatiel cage size please remember that in
order to remain healthy and happy your cockatiel will require time
out of its cage. It needs to exercise , so let your cockatiel out
at least once a day - whether it is for a fly around (if its wings
are not clipped), a walk around, a sit on your shoulder or simply
to sit out on top of its cage.
Do not keep your cockatiel locked up in its cage day in and day out. It must be allowed out each day.
9) breeding cockatiels - what age for
cockatiel breeding ?