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Thread: question bout cockatiels

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    cassi189 Brand New Egg
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    Question question bout cockatiels

    Hi I am new and trying to figure out what to do. I'm 16 and am in high school. I have many other pets including chinchillas(6!),rabbits(4!),gerbils(2),a dalmatian,a snake,and iguana! And horses!!! But anyway I was wondering about getting a bird. I want something that isn't really small like a parakeet but something not to big. I asked someone else and they said cockatiels. I looked them up and think they are beautiful birds! I was wanting to know a bit more about them from people that have had experience with them then just reading about them on the internet. So if anyone would care to fill me in a little I would greatly appreciate it! Thanks

  2. #2
    I shouldn't let Dan change my title...he's not very creative Found a Mate flyingduster's Avatar
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    Re: question bout cockatiels

    I moved this from the general discussion forum, there's a redirect link there so you don't get too lost! There's loads of cockatiel sections down here, so now you're looking into getting a tiel ("tiel" is short for cockatiel, you'll see it used ALOT!) you'll find questions about them are best asked here, and there's already *loads* of info in the old posts to read!

    Feel free to go back and read some of the old threads, there are some great topics covered, including people that aren't sure about tiels, just wanting to know about them! Remeber though not to reply to the old threads because if you reply it brings it back to the front, and it is a pain when threads that are years old come popping back up! If you have any specific questions that crop up while reading, open a new window with a new thread, or even replying to THIS thread, and write your questions down as you think of them, rather than reply to the old threads.

    As for tiels, they are amazing pets!!!! They're beautiful, freindly, outgoing, sociable, funny, playful, characters..... They're s good 'all around' family pet. There are other parrots that might be more playful, or better at talking or something, but they are commonly more work and commitment and cost! Of course just beause a tiel is smaller and costs less doesn't mean they're less of a commitment!

    Tiels aren't great talkers, so don't expect it to talk if you get one. I've heard of only afew females that have talked, mainly the females only learn whistles. The males I've heard talking aren't very clear, it's sort of a garbeled noise in the right tone and rythym that you realise they're 'talking'!!

    They need a diet of pellets, fresh vegies, and seeds. Alot of people think they just need seeds, but a diet of mainly seeds is pretty unhealthy for them. Pellets are better, but pellets by themselves are no good either, they do need those vegetables and some seeds too! It cane take a bit to convince some tiels to eat anything other than seed, but once they're convinced you'lll have fun keeping them off yoru plate at dinner time!

    When getting a tiel, remember that alot of breeders and pet shops don't really know what they're doing, and are up for a fast buck. They often sell young babies that really shouldn't be sold so young, and some can be dreadfully sick and die just after you get attached to them. Just read about Leandre's "Kewpie" in the past few weeks to hear about a case like that.

    A very common question is to do with what gender is better. They do have different charicteristics, but the line can be blurred too! Males tend to be more like show offs. They often learn to mimic things and use them to show off to whatever takes their fancy (Pho's "Ebo" likes singing to colourful material, Pho's feet, and ketucky fried chicken...............) Females however tend to be more sedate and frown on the antics of the looser guys. They'd prefer to sit and preen while demanding someone gives their crest a scritch! (the long feathers on top of their head that they can move is called a crest. We often call it their mowhawk on here though!)

    And when thinking about gender, remember that there are quite afew of popular mutations ('mutation' is just the word used for the different colours and patterns you can get) that make it totaly impossible to ever tell which gender they are without a wee blood test done! We can help with the different mutations, as they are really confusing at first but there's lots of people on here that know their stuff to help out!!!

    Basicly, just read about everyone's babies. You'll hear abut people still trying to convince their new tiels that the big wide world isnt' so bad, and that hands aren't to be run away from. And there's others who are having problems with hormonal issues. Yet others are just happily soaking up cuddles and love on their owners' laps, while others are heartbroken at recent losses.... Some are breeding, some are thinking of breeding, and some are trying to convince their tiels NOT to breed! There's always tiel stories around, and you feel like you know the tiels after a while! Others will reply too, I wouldn't be surprised if someone has gotten in while I'm typing this!

    Just read read read. Don't just decide you want one, and go out to get one! Do some research first, learn how much it actually costs and the commitment we all expect. We always love it when soemoen new comes in to ask about tiels before they have one. It's sooooo much nicer than someone coming in with a new baby saying "what's wrong" or something! If only they'd looked it all up before they got their baby, it might have been better!! Of course you won't learn it all without getting one, but you can learn alot and be prepared alot more!

    Welcome to the board, I hope you get to experience the wonderful world of tiel ownership one day!
    Last edited by flyingduster; 03-30-2005 at 04:39 PM.

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    cassi189 Brand New Egg
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    Re: question bout cockatiels

    Thanks for the help!!! I really like reading about all the things they people have to say! And I hope to eventually become a regular on this site!

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    Re: question bout cockatiels

    Just wanted to say that not ALL breeders are bad. I think a reputable breeder with good references and that do not sell unweaned birds are the best place to get a friendly and, in most cases, helathy bird. I too am on the road to owning a tiel and cannot wait!!! Hope to hear more from you. Other than that, I think FD gave GREAT advice!
    Female Grey/Pied
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    Pardon My Pearls Please Tailfeather Oh Mowsie's Avatar
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    Re: question bout cockatiels

    Oh cockatiels! What can I tell you about cockatiels! Well.. let's just say that after my friend bugged me and bugged me to get a birdy, I decided on a cockatiel. I was hooked after .. oh.. five minutes with Apache (aka Patchie) who is my first tiel. Now I have four. I can't pass a store or a classified section in the newspaper.. or even walk into someone's home without looking for a tiel.

    Bird companionship is not for everyone. There's alot of sacrifices you have to make. You must be willing to give up things like spraying hairspray in the room where your bird is, spraying and using harmful cleaners and air fresheners in the room where your bird is, scented candles, teflon cookware, scotchguard and self cleaning ovens. These things have been known to kill birds. These sacrifices have to be made, not just by you, but by the other members in your family.

    Avian Vets: Its important to find a vet in your area that sees birds and is certified as an avian vet. People think OMG.. its GOT to be expensive to take my bird to the vet if he's ill. But actually, its not as bad as you'd think. Look at it this way. Sometimes a cat or dog gets ill.. it goes to the vet.. it costs money. Sometimes.. a bird may get ill.. it goes to the vet.. it costs money. BUT.. cats and dogs need yearly shots, spaying, neutering, flea medication, worming and basically cost a whole lot more in vet bills to maintain YEARLY! That's just in vet bills! That doesn't cover food! Birds need no such vaccinations, flea prevention, altering and if they're not kept outside and are not exposed to outside birds, they don't get worms or mites, so you don't need to worry about parasites. Plus... the general cost for a "well bird" checkup (when you first get a bird and bring it in to be checked for basic health) and a "well puppy or kitten" exam is about the same if not cheaper. So... WHY people freak about going to the vet with their bird is beyond me.

    Breeder vs Store bought: The general concensous is that if you find a good breeder in the area, you're more apt to get a well socialized, healthier bird. In my humble opinion, that is not necessarily so. You've GOT to check the breeder. Some breeders don't know jack diddly and will send you home with a sick bird who is underweight and underfed, or who isn't weaned yet. Some will even send you home with a bird who is still "on the bottle" with instructions on how to "handfeed" him or her. Please avoid these breeders at all costs. Find someone who deals ONLY in completely weaned birds! If the breeder has a website and displays his or her birds, so much the better. Even if its a small website, it shows that the person takes the time to care about their image and how their birds look and are presented to the world. Who would want to display sick birds, right? If you can observe the birds a few times before making a choice, GREAT! Be wary of dirty, over crowded cages, breeders who won't answer your questions, who give you vague answers, or who give you "2 fer" deals. I'll give you 2 tiels for 50 bucks! I've go so many, I've got to get rid of some of my inventory." YUUUCK! For some reason.. that always scares me. BUT.. for every crappy breeder out there.. there's probably two good ones. You've got to weed through them and decide for yourself. Go with your gut and don't be afraid to turn down a tiel (no matter how cute) because something just "doesn't feel right".

    Stores: Smaller stores. Good and bad. I've seen some GREAT smaller stores and I've seen some bad. Typically speaking, most smaller stores either breed their own stock (good as long as the store is reputable) or have private breeders do it for them. (good) as long as they deal with reputable breeders. How will you know if the store is reputable? The same way you would with a breeder. If the store is dirty and the birds appear ill, are in over crowded conditions with dirty cages, little food, are in poor condition (like plucked for instance), and the staff seems indifferent or they don't seem to know much, I wouldn't shop there. BUT.. if the store seems clean, the birds seem alert and well socialized, if they allow you to interract with the birds, the cages aren't too crowded, the birds have clean water and food and the staff seems helpful and friendly, its a good bet that you'll get a good tiel. If you have any doubts about which stores to shop at, ask around in your community for recommendations. Its always best to avoid BIG chain stores like Petco, Petsmart, etc. They usually have "breedermill" birds who have been shipped from who knows where, exposed to who know's what, and basically neglected for who knows how long. There's many stories on this board about birds from chain stores who end up seeing vets all too soon with health problems. Some make it, and sadly, some don't. I was lucky. I got Apache from a Petco before I knew better. I got her to an avian vet PRONTO after I found out about Petco's reputation, and fortunately, she was one of the lucky ones. She was healthy.

    Okay.. now that I've given the whole schtick on breeders, stores, vets and care.. I'll get to the fun stuff!

    Tiels are AWESOME!!! Like I said, I have four and each one is so unique! Having the love of a bird is absolutely incredible. Most birds are skittish when you first get them. Its a rare few who are sooo tame when you first bring them home that they jump right out and are best buddies right off the bat. Having to earn their trust and love is what makes it such a rewarding experience. Once you accomplish that.. you realize just how lucky and blessed you are. Your tiel's personality will unfold like a flower and the most amazing stuff happens almost every day. Amusing stories, funny antics, the sweetest lil moments. You can't help but to jump on here and share those things. Cockatiels are bright, inquinsitive, amusing, funny, friendly, sensitive, loyal and tender little companions that will fill your heart and home with a love like no other pet you've ever had.
    Visit Apache, Neo, Silver, Taxi, Tieka, Trinny, Buzz, Tiggy, Paris, Persephone & Hektor at Nikkie's Cockatiels More of what the flock is up too at their blog. Tiel Tales
    "Somewhere out there
    Someone's singing a prayer
    That we'll find one another
    In that big somewhere, out there"~


    Prayers for Paris- Please come home!

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    Re: question bout cockatiels

    Aww! I want a tiel now! *stamps foot*


    She is not refined. She is not unrefined. She keeps a parrot. -- Mark Twain

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    Pardon My Pearls Please Tailfeather Oh Mowsie's Avatar
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    Re: question bout cockatiels

    LOOL Katie!!!!
    Visit Apache, Neo, Silver, Taxi, Tieka, Trinny, Buzz, Tiggy, Paris, Persephone & Hektor at Nikkie's Cockatiels More of what the flock is up too at their blog. Tiel Tales
    "Somewhere out there
    Someone's singing a prayer
    That we'll find one another
    In that big somewhere, out there"~


    Prayers for Paris- Please come home!

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    THE AMBASSADOR Chick Fenris's Avatar
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    Re: question bout cockatiels

    Whoa.... o.o I'm not even going to TRY to type as much as some of the others....wowzers!

    Tiels rock. Mine enjoys screaming at paper towels, chewing on sweatshirt strings, and showing my friend where on her glasses to put "nerd tape". (He does this by chomping the bridge of the glasses.) :P Well, I hope to see you around the boards!!

    ~your new pal-for-life, Fenris
    See my profile to read about my animals!

    Banner made by my best friend!

    Like Death Note? Join Death Note Domain, a great new forum! It's awesometastic.

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    Re: question bout cockatiels

    Tiels are wonderful pets-if you're looking for a long term "best friend", they are right up there near the top of the list. I've had guinea pigs, dogs, cats, rats, frogs, and a huge aquarium as a pet owner, and I've liked the 'teils the best. Why?

    Let's start out with the obvious-a healthy teil will be your buddy for 20-25 years. My hubby bought me my Bailey bird after my beloved dalmatian had to be put to sleep for kidney failure. Don't get me wrong, I've loved all my pets, but it's a heartbreaker to love another living creature, and have them die of old age after just a few short years.

    Teils are also smart-a heck of a lot smarter than most dogs I've known. Fortunately, most don't use their power for evil. *grin* Except Ebo. I'd say they are about on a par with most two year old children.

    And the rest? Well, my babies cuddle, demand attention, eat off my plate, take showers with me and my kids, wait for me to get home at night, and (most importantly!!) aren't borderline nuts like all too many of the bigger parrots are. That means very little aggression, no self-mutilation, and only a little hormonal weirdness.

    Hmmm...I think I've spouted off enough for today. Good luck on your search. *hands back microphone*

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    cassi189 Brand New Egg
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    Thumbs up Re: question bout cockatiels

    Thank you all for all the advice!!

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    Re: question bout cockatiels

    Just 2 pieces of advice before getting one.
    1. Get a book about them! It will tell you A LOT. Things they can eat and things they CAN'T. It will go over general behavior and health concerns. I have 2 really awesome books. They are my cockatiel bibles!
    2. They need A LOT of attention!!! But it's very rewarding. Ideally, you should spend at the very minimum 1 hour of one on one time! If you can't do that don't get one! Because I have seen the effects of unsocialized birds, and it makes me very sad.
    So good luck, I hope you find as much information here as I have! Everyone here is really great, esp our moderators! I swear we'd be lost without these guys! Take care
    ~Angie

  12. #12
    I shouldn't let Dan change my title...he's not very creative Found a Mate flyingduster's Avatar
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    Re: question bout cockatiels

    One note on Angies suggestions. They're great suggestions, BUT be very wary of WHAT books you get!!!! And take what they say with a pinch of salt, and if in doubt, come on here and do a search or ask!!! Books are brillient, they're right there when you need it, but they can lack info, and give wrong info, and there's nothing to cross reference to... That's where the internet is better. The internet isn't always there when you need it quickly, but the info on it is unbeatable. And the simple fact that you get so many different opinions and ideas means you can actually make an informed desicion!
    Anyway, I think there's some reccomended books somewhere, so see if you can get them before you buy any old tiel book!

    Angie is right about time though, and no one has remembered to mention it yet, well done Angie!
    Tiels DO need a good hour a day out of their cage with people around. Obviously more hours are better, but at least 1 a day really is minimum. But it doesn't have to be a solid hour out. Maybe 20 mins out in the morning while you're having a shower (tiels tend to love having a shower with you!) and have breakfast (they love that too!) and then later when you get home from school another how-ever-long out with you while you're online, doing homework, watching tv.... whatever! They love to hang out with you while you're doing something. Sitting there, playing and giving them your sole attention is fun, but it desn't have to be ALL that to spend time with them. Tiels are social creatures, and like to be in on things and 'help out' with anything they can get their beak onto!

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    cassi189 Brand New Egg
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    Re: question bout cockatiels

    Ok thanks. I will be looking for some books on them when i go to book stores and other places.

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