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Thread: mental health--companionship?

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    Red face mental health--companionship?

    Hello. Newbie to the forum. My husband and I are considering adopting a 12-year old male cockatiel from a co-worker. He is a single bird but lives in a room with 3 other caged birds.

    My question is: I've read sites that say a single bird will be very lonely during the day while we are at work all day. Because he's used to sharing a room with other birds, is this equivalent to him having companionship, i.e. a cage mate or human at home all day?

    Your general thoughts and experiences with new adoptions would be greatly appreciated.

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    Re: mental health--companionship?

    I would agree with this somewhat. I have a single cockatiel who lives in a big cage all by himself, BUT he's in a room with four other parakeets, so he's not totally alone. He seems to do just fine. My boyfriend and I both work 8-5 Monday through Friday.

    Personally, I'd want him to have some kind of noise/companionship during the day, but it's a personal choice you have to make. If he will be alone all day, make sure you give him plenty of out of the cage time when you're home. Also, take him out for a little while during the morning, too. I take my cockatiel in the shower with me most mornings.
    Mateo (cockatiel), Chirpa (parakeet), Nigel/la (parakeet), Nico (parakeet), WeeWoo (parakeet) and Peri (parakeet).

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    Part Owl Tailfeather BrandonK's Avatar
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    Re: mental health--companionship?

    If he's been in that situation for all his life that's going to be a huge change. For a first bird I would recommend one that isn't used to such a situation.

    Most tiels will handle that kind of alone time very well provided they get a couple hours of direct interaction in the evening. However he is used to having someone around all the time so he might not handle it as well.

    Hope that helps.

    Welcome to TF.
    "Questions open the door to knowledge."

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    Re: mental health--companionship?

    Thanks for the information. I liked your morning routine about taking him/her into the shower with you in the morning. How does that work? Where does he hang out with you during the morning bathroom routine. We've never had a bird, so this will be all new to us. My husband and I are about 1/2 hour apart on our morning routines, so a bird could probably have more than an hour of bathroom time with us in the morning. That sounds fun! Would love more of your thoughts and insight.

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    Re: mental health--companionship?

    Quote Originally Posted by BrandonK View Post
    If he's been in that situation for all his life that's going to be a huge change. For a first bird I would recommend one that isn't used to such a situation.

    Most tiels will handle that kind of alone time very well provided they get a couple hours of direct interaction in the evening. However he is used to having someone around all the time so he might not handle it as well.

    Hope that helps.

    Welcome to TF.
    Thanks for the insight Brandon. I'm hearing from others that if we give him some nice morning time before we leave for work and lots of time in the evenings then he may be just fine. The gal we'd be adopting him from is a co-worker and she is gone all day too. She has moved him away from the other birds to see how he does.

    Hey, what do you know about house temperature for birds? My co-worker keeps her house very warm (around 72 degrees...for her and the birds). We tend to keep our house quite cool at night and during the day when we're not home. Do you know about a specific range of a healthy temperature would be for him? We're researching cage radiant heat panels. Also, know they can't tolerate drafts, so would be conscientious of that issue.

    Lots to learn and want to make an educated decision with this adoption. Thanks for your help.

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    Re: mental health--companionship?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tammiepa View Post
    Thanks for the insight Brandon. I'm hearing from others that if we give him some nice morning time before we leave for work and lots of time in the evenings then he may be just fine. The gal we'd be adopting him from is a co-worker and she is gone all day too. She has moved him away from the other birds to see how he does.

    Hey, what do you know about house temperature for birds? My co-worker keeps her house very warm (around 72 degrees...for her and the birds). We tend to keep our house quite cool at night and during the day when we're not home. Do you know about a specific range of a healthy temperature would be for him? We're researching cage radiant heat panels. Also, know they can't tolerate drafts, so would be conscientious of that issue.

    Lots to learn and want to make an educated decision with this adoption. Thanks for your help.
    I think that is reasonable as far as time but try leaving the radio on low for him while you're gone maybe? Just a thought.

    Keep in mind that 'tiels are native to Australia so are much more resilient with temp than most seem to learn. I'm not sure where those rumors began.
    It is, however, good to avoid drafts or very sudden temperature fluctuations of any kind, so it's good that you will be careful of that. Cool in the evening is just fine. You will know if she's cold and you can put a heat lamp nearby if needed.
    "Questions open the door to knowledge."

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    Re: mental health--companionship?

    Do lots of research too....eg birds don't just eat seeds.
    Tiels are one of the most forgiving birds and I feel one of the easiest adapting.
    Welcome to TF. A tiel is a great choice for a first bird.

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    Re: mental health--companionship?

    Hi Brandon -- me again. You said, you will know if she's cold. How will I know if she's cold? ....sorry for my ignorance.

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    Re: mental health--companionship?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tammiepa View Post
    Thanks for the information. I liked your morning routine about taking him/her into the shower with you in the morning. How does that work? Where does he hang out with you during the morning bathroom routine. We've never had a bird, so this will be all new to us. My husband and I are about 1/2 hour apart on our morning routines, so a bird could probably have more than an hour of bathroom time with us in the morning. That sounds fun! Would love more of your thoughts and insight.
    Mateo has a little suction cup perch he can sit on while we take a shower. Most pet stores will sell something like this. He seems to like being with us, though doesn't necessarily like taking a shower. The humidity is good for him though, esp in the winter months. Just make sure it's not too cold when you take him OUT of the shower.

    We keep our house at 70 all winter and our birds have always done fine with that. Birds are more resilient to cold temperatures than you think, it's just keeping the temp consistent is important.
    Mateo (cockatiel), Chirpa (parakeet), Nigel/la (parakeet), Nico (parakeet), WeeWoo (parakeet) and Peri (parakeet).

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    Re: mental health--companionship?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tammiepa View Post
    Hi Brandon -- me again. You said, you will know if she's cold. How will I know if she's cold? ....sorry for my ignorance.
    You will know if she's cold 'cause she'll be shaking and fluffed up. Fluffed up is ok, but shaking is not.
    Mateo (cockatiel), Chirpa (parakeet), Nigel/la (parakeet), Nico (parakeet), WeeWoo (parakeet) and Peri (parakeet).

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    Re: mental health--companionship?

    Quote Originally Posted by callisto9 View Post
    You will know if she's cold 'cause she'll be shaking and fluffed up. Fluffed up is ok, but shaking is not.
    Exactly.
    "Questions open the door to knowledge."

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    Re: mental health--companionship?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tammiepa View Post
    Hi Brandon -- me again. You said, you will know if she's cold. How will I know if she's cold? ....sorry for my ignorance.
    No need to apologize, it's GREAT you're asking all these questions. The more you know, the better life your cockatiel will have. I love helping out inquiring new pet bird owners.

    Birds will fluff themselves up to keep warm, but will also look fluffy and listless when they're sick, too. A contented bird will often look a little poofy as well. You will soon become adept at knowing the difference. There's a great thread on here somewhere about parrot body language...let me see if I can find it...

    Here it is:
    http://www.tailfeathersnetwork.com/c...light=language

    Check out post #6.
    Mateo (cockatiel), Chirpa (parakeet), Nigel/la (parakeet), Nico (parakeet), WeeWoo (parakeet) and Peri (parakeet).

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    Re: Tiel body language link

    Hi Erin: Wow! Thanks for the link about Tiel body language. That will be very helpful to refer to as we're getting used to our new bird.

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    Re: mental health--companionship?

    Thanks Brandon and Erin.

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    Re: Tiel body language link

    Quote Originally Posted by Tammiepa View Post
    Hi Erin: Wow! Thanks for the link about Tiel body language. That will be very helpful to refer to as we're getting used to our new bird.
    You're welcome! Mateo is my first and only tiel, so we had a lot to learn about him. I'd parakeets all my life, and they are definitely not the same as cockatiels.

    Enjoy your new friend and always ask questions! The more you know, the better your bird's life will be.
    Mateo (cockatiel), Chirpa (parakeet), Nigel/la (parakeet), Nico (parakeet), WeeWoo (parakeet) and Peri (parakeet).

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