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Thread: Should I get my cockatiel a friend?

  1. #1
    Brand New Egg
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    Mar 2020
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    Should I get my cockatiel a friend?

    I am considering getting my cockatiel a friend, but it is a bit of a unique situation. My current male cockatiel is 4 years old and I've had him since 4 weeks (mom wouldn't care for him). Because he was taken from his mom so young and has never been around other birds, I'm not sure if he would even be interested in another bird. He used to be out with me all the time, until he got lead poisoning. We limited his circle until he was only on my shoulder, but he still somehow got a toxic metal. For his safety, he is now cage bound in a stainless steel cage with all wood and stainless steel toys and perches. Because it is stainless steel, I cannot get another cage and am not sure if this one is big enough. It is 20"x18" base and about 30" tall. He is a small cockatiel, only 80 grams. He used to be out all the time, but now he can't be so I am worried that he is not getting the social interaction he needs. His cage is rolled all over the house with us, we talk to him, if we're gone for more than 4 hours he goes to my mom's house (but this will only be the case for another year, then he'll be alone), we play and sing with him, and he has plenty of toys that get switched out regularly. However, if we start to walk away from him at all, he completely panics and starts screaming and running around his cage. I don't want him to be lonely, or lacking socially, or scared to be alone when we do have to leave him. Any suggestions on if he needs a friend or other ways to help these issues? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Tailfeather boomer girl's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
    Colfax, California
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    Re: Should I get my cockatiel a friend?

    I am sorry your bird got lead poisoning. When Boomer first got sick they thought it might be lead or metal toxicity so while waiting for the test results to come back he was on the meds to detox him which was delayed for a few weeks because of the only lab that tested at the time was closed due to fire. It made him awfully ill and even caused him to forever have a irregular heart beat which lastly forever. It is so very hard on their delicate bodies and I am very happy your boy made it through it. He was a lot like your bird and very needy and spoiled and got really loud and paced in his cage when he couldn't see us. The only time he was comfortable and somewhat quiet was when he was out of his cage with us. We use to leave music on when we left to keep him company, he loved music. As far as him being alone and being afraid I am not sure if he really is because we thought Boomer was freaking out when we were not home as well. We taped him with a old school tape recorder and he never once made a peep except for when a song he knew came on and cheep sang to it. Not saying this is what your bird does but if there is a way you can video him or tape him do it to see what he really does when no one is around.

    I cant help with a friend because no way would Boomer accept another bird. We tried a few play dates and all Boomer did was want to attack the bird. We actually got Boomer from my sister who had to give him away because silly Boomer attacked her big Amazon every time my sister let him out. He also attacked our friends cockatiels when we tried to see if he would get along with them. He was just part our family and was out with us just like your bird when we were home.

    I also have to give you a huge cyber hug because mentally it is hard on us humans to have a bird that is physically not well and very fragile. It takes so much to walk out the door sometimes because of the fear deep inside you that your bird might need you. Hugs to you!! You are amazing and so strong to be there for your sweet bird.
    Fly Free Boomer, we will forever love you.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    USA Midwest
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    Re: Should I get my cockatiel a friend?

    Hi, and welcome to the community. With all that has happened with your tiel, with the lead poisoning, and then recovery, I can fully understand his anxiety level. If you were to get him a friend, it would be necessary to get one that is also about four years old like he is. There should be bird adoption and rescues in your area.

    You are totally correct that he may not accept a friend in his cage. With all that has happened it is a possibility. But, we really will never know until we try to introduce a friend, and have a stainless steel cage for the new friend and for him. I would set the cages side by side, for awhile, before introducing them to each other. And I also suggest you get a male. Usually, two males get along well together, whereas with a female and male together they form a strong bond together, mate, hen lays eggs, and babies are hatched. Breeding is no easy task either. So in my view, a male would be the best choice.

    It may be that you will always have to keep them in their own cage. But. In my opinion, you will never know until you try. The main goal is to get an older male, and not babies or very young birds. I do know stainless steel cages are quite expensive. You could do a trial run with a new bird placed in his cage, but in my view, you need the second stainless steel cage, to always return the new bird to for safety sake. Your tiel could injure another bird in his cage. So, it is a tough decision for you to make, for sure.

    I hope this info is of help to you.
    Last edited by maxollie; 03-02-2020 at 11:15 AM.

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