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  1. #1
    Brand New Egg Krissy's Avatar
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    Is my cockatiel depressed?

    My cockatiel used to have a companion before, but the poor thing died. :[
    She died about a week ago because she got sick(to be honest, it was a parakeet, but they got along pretty well). Now, my single cockatiel seems to be a bit lonely. I'm not sure if he really is or not. He doesn't seem to sing as much, but he still does. He kind of just sits still. Whenever I sat next to the cage before and whistled to him, he'd pace back and forth to come out. Now he doesn't do it anymore. Now he just kind of looks at me. He also gives me a harder time about coming out of his cage. I'll do the "up" command and instead of stepping up he does what some call "rapid-fire" biting. I eventually get him to step up but he always wants to go back to his cage. What's up with him?

    If there is something wrong with him, what can I do about it? Besides, of course, taking him the vet. If it comes to that, I will though.

  2. #2
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    Re: Is my cockatiel depressed?

    Hello there,
    The exact same thing happened to me it seems… not too long ago. This is an e-mail I wrote to a friend. She and I each have three ferrets. I don’t want to type the whole episode over again…cut and paste.

    Hey Corie!!
    How was your New Year's? We went to Amanda (Ry's sister) and Matt's house for a pajama party and game night. Yes, I said pajama party. We looked like a bunch of drunken third graders.
    It was like a nightmare when we got back home though. We went up stairs and Ry said, "The birds are out..". The cockatiel was in the middle of our bed. Ry looked in on the ferrets. Immediately he yelled, "Oh no!". The poor parakeet was at the bottom of the ferret cage...dead. They killed her. She got in to the next room, and flew right through the bars into their cage probably mistaking it for her's, not knowing of the danger. I had left the door to the bird cage wide open while changing the water and seed. I some times do that. They step out, stretch..you know. I must have been thinking about something else and forgot they were out. We were running late already and the snow was coming down hard New Year's Eve. I must have just opened the doors to the bird room and ferret room (to keep the heat/air flowing, It gets stuffy in those rooms) and ran down stairs to go out the front door.
    I was like crazy person carrying on and crying hysterically..Ry's like don't look..don't look. He cleaned up everything for me. I gave the ferrets a bath. They smelled like death. I feel so awful for the cockatiel. He is so heartbroken. He has been calling for the parakeet. Singing his lungs out for her to come back. Every time I look at/hear him I'm racked with guilt. I'm not responsible enough to have birds. I want to find him a new home. One with another cockatiel. I know Chelsea said she had one of her own. Reggie? I can't remember his name. She seems to really love her's. I wonder if she would take another. She doesn't smoke..right?
    Do you still have her e-mail address/talk with her? I feel terrible. It took forever to get through this message. I've been putting it off. If you still want to have lunch with a neglectful pet owner I'd be grateful for the company. I'm doing the vegan thing now. You could come over and I'd make us something. I promise it will be edible. Watch a movie. Whatever. When do you need to go back to school? How are you and Greg? How are your furries and pooch? Alive and well I hope. Okay thanks for reading this God awful depressing e-mail. Write back if you dare. Love, Sarah

    I'm twenty-five. Ryan is my husband. Corie is my girl-friend, and we had lunch, she still loves me. It’s been twenty-two days since my cockatiel has been without a buddy. He is singing, flying, as normal as can be now with out her, considering, but he does have this unrelated issue….read my thread “Enlarged Nostril”. I took him to the vet and I’m keeping him until he has fully recovered, might be a few months. I feel terrible about what happened to the parakeet and am hesitant about bringing another bird into our home. I don’t want him/her to end up like the last. But I am darn sure, everyone is secure in their cages before we go out now.

    I do think all animals need a mate/friend. I would suggest getting another cockatiel for yours. I like to keep pets in pairs or trios. I have two dogs, Indie and Willow (Pomeranian, and Miniature Am. Eskimo), three ferrets (Theo, Lisle, and Cameron), many communities of tropical fish, and I used to have two birds.

    I asked my friend about my cockatiel being lonely and depressed. Corie said, “Birds heal from a loss, it just takes time.” (Her mother had two parrots and one passed away.)

    What did your parakeet die from? I would make sure their cage is disinfected, all toys are washed, food/water dishes cleaned, etc. You don’t want another bird catching the same illness.

    What I have done….

    I get my cockatiel, Satine, out of his cage everyday so he doesn’t suffer from boredom and give him all the millet he wants. This is probably a big no- no, but I figure it’s his “comfort food” and I will cut back when he is fully recovered from his loss and injury/illness. (My vet told me Satine is a bit over weight and millet spray is like candy.)

    I have a radio on in his room for him in the day, NPR, turned down low when we're out. We do this for the dogs as well. I would suggest no heavy metal....

    Do you have any mirrors in his cage? Satine has three now. Maybe yours can amuse himself with his reflection in the meantime.

    I am far from being and “expert” or even that experienced with birds, but I hope my message helped a little. Good luck! Sarah

  3. #3
    Extremely Experienced Brand New Egg
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    Re: Is my cockatiel depressed?

    Curious as to exactly what you are feeding him? Is he fully flighted or clipped? Does he get outside into the natural bright sunshine, as often as possible or do you instead have good quality F.S. Lighting indoors? Any idea of why his cage companion died, other than just saying he was "sick"? Maybe this Tiel caught something from the budgie, as Budgies are know to be "carriers" of certain diseases?




    Quote Originally Posted by Krissy View Post
    My cockatiel used to have a companion before, but the poor thing died. :[
    She died about a week ago because she got sick(to be honest, it was a parakeet, but they got along pretty well). Now, my single cockatiel seems to be a bit lonely. I'm not sure if he really is or not. He doesn't seem to sing as much, but he still does. He kind of just sits still. Whenever I sat next to the cage before and whistled to him, he'd pace back and forth to come out. Now he doesn't do it anymore. Now he just kind of looks at me. He also gives me a harder time about coming out of his cage. I'll do the "up" command and instead of stepping up he does what some call "rapid-fire" biting. I eventually get him to step up but he always wants to go back to his cage. What's up with him?

    If there is something wrong with him, what can I do about it? Besides, of course, taking him the vet. If it comes to that, I will though.

  4. #4
    Brand New Egg
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    Re: Is my cockatiel depressed?

    Yes, the lights are a good thing to mention….

    I have a “grow” light bulb (50 watt) in a lamp, and in the over-head light as well, in my “bird room”. There are a ton of tropical plants in there with him (his little jungle to see not eat). There is a big window as well, for actual sunlight/natural light. My bird too, I believe is benefiting from the lights. He perks up and starts singing in the morning when I flick them on. Like a rooster with the sun, but much less obnoxious. The grow lights seem less “harsh” then regular household bulbs.

    My brother suffers from SAD (seasonal affect disorder), Asperger’s and he’s schizophrenic. Winters are hard on him. My mother (I am older now and live with my husband) told me about his SAD lamps when she first got them (years ago) and the grow lights have been in the bird’s room (spare bedroom) ever since. My plants were looking shabby and I knew birds liked sunny areas (Not direct sunlight, so they’ll end up with heat stroke in the summer, though) so I gave them a whirl.

    Just don’t forget to turn them off if you do decide to try them. Your bird could become really stressed out if he can’t get rest, because it’s “day” all the time.

  5. #5
    Brand New Egg Krissy's Avatar
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    Re: Is my cockatiel depressed?

    Quote Originally Posted by HootOwl View Post
    Curious as to exactly what you are feeding him? Is he fully flighted or clipped? Does he get outside into the natural bright sunshine, as often as possible or do you instead have good quality F.S. Lighting indoors? Any idea of why his cage companion died, other than just saying he was "sick"? Maybe this Tiel caught something from the budgie, as Budgies are know to be "carriers" of certain diseases?



    I am feeding him regular cockatiel seed, though I want to change to pellets soon. I recently started clipping my cockatiels wings simply because of safety. I live in Florida so he gets to go outside and enjoy the nice weather often. But lately its been pretty cool with the cold fronts that keep coming in, he hasn't been outside for about 2 weeks. Other than being outdoors, his cage his next to a window. If its too shady, I'll open the blinds. If its too bright and in his eyes, I will adjust it so it won't be so bright. I have no idea what disease the parakeet had. It was sudden. But I'm almost positive that my cockatiel didn't catch it. My tiel's feet are warm, he has happy body language, and he sings to me, though not as often. I've never seen him at the bottom of the cage or any signs of sickness. Once I saw that the parakeet was sick, I took him out of my tiel's cage and placed him in a seperate cage so it wouldn't spread to my tiel. Its been at least a week since my keet died.

    So what do you think?

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