Pets are great, and there is nothing like the connection a human can make with another living being that is not of our species. The experience is like no other, and it’s easy to say it isn’t for everyone. However, animals have feelings and should be with owners who have what is needed to take care of them.
You came here wondering why you shouldn’t get a cockatiel? There are many reasons not to get this bird as a pet, and the most prominent argument I could lay before you is time. Birds are animals that need connection and interaction. They are brighter than other species and cannot be left alone for days, not that any pet should be left alone.
There are many things you need to consider before you get a cockatiel. We’ve taken the time to list them below.
What To Know Before Getting A Cockatiel
They Have Big Egos
One of the most important things to know about cockatiels is that they like attention. So if your cockatiel feels like it isn’t getting enough attention, then they will let you know in a myriad of ways, including banging their beaks on the cage, shrieking, screaming, screeching, and other loud vocal sounds that will make you jump out of your seat, which brings us to our next point.
They Like To Make Noise
Cockatiels are vocal birds, which is lovely if that’s something you enjoy. I love to hear my guy chirp or whistle along with some Mozart I have playing in the background while I write. But there are times when he feels he hasn’t had enough attention and sends a jarring sound flying through the air.
They Live A Long Time
The typical life span is ten to fourteen years, but they have been known to live much longer. My bird is now eighteen years old and, while he is an older man, his energy is relatively high for a bird that age.
Longevity Is something to consider if you are contemplating purchasing a cockatiel for your kids. In ten years, your eight-year-old will be eighteen and likely off to college or out on their own. Will they be bringing that cockatiel with them? Longevity is a definite consideration before getting a cockatiel.
They Poop Around The House
As an excellent bird owner, you will likely let your birds be soaring around the house if they can fly. When this occurs, there is always the likelihood of feces landing around your home. The feces maintenance with cockatiels is higher than cats and dogs.
Cockatiel Dust Gets Everywhere
Feathered creatures molt the same way furry friends shed, which primarily happens when it’s warm. Even when your bird isn’t molting, it will be grooming, which is the process of cleaning each feather with the beak until it is immaculate. What’s left behind is a substance called cockatiel dust all over the place. This dust can trigger allergic reactions in some people.
They Require A Serious Commitment
As we’ve already pointed out, cockatiels enjoy spending time with the birds they’ve connected with and humans they have bonded with. They aren’t as time-consuming as dogs when you compare walks, but they need together time; otherwise, you will have a maladjusted bird. The reason for this need is because cockatiels are highly intelligent and feed off interaction with humans.
Time You Need To Spend With Your Bird
When it comes to time, you should be spending a minimum of an hour each day with your bird in a one-on-one scenario. Birds should be allowed outside and time to fly around. They enjoy sitting on a perch outside of their cage. Outside time should be an hour a day as well. You can achieve these goals in intervals if you can’t do an hour in one sitting.
Birds can fly, which can put them into precarious situations in a typical household. Making sure your home is safe and secure is the best way to know that you are ready to take on the responsibility of owning a cockatiel. Here are the best practices to birdproof your home.
Before you let your cockatiels out of their cage for the outside time, you must turn off all fans, so they don’t get injured.
Cockatiels need to live in a climate between 65˚F to 80˚F, and they are temperature sensitive, so you can’t have drastic changes; otherwise, your bird could suffer. These birds are native to Australia, which sways toward the warmer side of the climate scale.
As we’ve mentioned already, cockatiels will poop around your house at times, but the good thing is that cockatiels do most of their popping also, these they are sleeping. So as long as you are not letting your birds sleep outside of their cage, which would be a dangerous thing to do anyway, the mess isn’t that bad.
When you compare it to digging for stools and urine blocks in a litter box, a cage is a much less maintenance. All you have to do is remove the paper, wash down the cage, and put a new piece down.
When we mentioned that cockatiels love attention earlier, we were just touching on the gravity of what that means. Birds are known to connect on a deeper level with their owners. Some birds go into a depression if they don’t get enough attention. Also, this is the kind of love and attention this species requires.
Cockatiels are a little more high maintenance than cats, so this is a serious point to consider before taking on a cockatiel. That said, I can attest that owning a cockatiel is well worth the extra time if you are willing to put it into a relationship with a pet. These are fascinating birds that are a delight for the whole family.
Peace is something you will get with a cockatiel in your home, but the bouts of quiet you will get can be few and far between. As we’ve mentioned, cockatiels love to talk, whistle, scream, squawk, bang the water dishes, and chirp so loudly at times. It’s all you can do to hear yourself think.
As if on cue, our cockatiel is chirping loudly now, likely because he is enjoying the classical composition playing while I write this piece. Music can get a bird going, and, at times, gentle melodies can quiet a bird down. I have personally found that my bird is calm and quiet when I am meditating and practicing yoga.
Cockatiels react to their surroundings so. If there is a great deal of chatter going on, your bird will join in gladly and win any “who can be the loudest” competitions that might be going on at the time.
There are ample ways to quiet your cockatiel down. For example, turn down the volume on the television, don’t keep them around when you are on speakerphone or in a Zoom meeting or move them to a room where there is silence.
One thing to remember is this. When you raise your voice or get loud, your bird will mimic your emotions. An anxious human will have an anxious cockatiel. If you want your bird to quiet down, talk to it in a whisper or take it out of its cage for some one-on-one time.
There is a great deal to consider anytime you decide to bring an animal into your home, no matter if it’s a bird, dog, cat, or a fish. Different species require unique circumstances and birds lay somewhere in the middle when it comes to care and maintenance but high on the scale in terms of attention.