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Cockatiel Q&A

cockatiel-q-a

Meet Rocky!

In June of 2010, my family and I got a cockatiel, and we named him Rocky. He has been living here for a while now and everyone who meets him, loves him. (Unless they have a general fear of birds...)

I have made some other pages on cockatiels and I have been asked questions about them. So, I thought that this page would be helpful for people who have questions. The answers will come directly from me and as quick as I can. Also, I assume that getting answers from an actual owner would be more comforting.

Keep in mind that I am NOT a bird professional or anything. My answers will be based on what I know about cockatiels, Rocky, and other trusted sources. And I hope that along the way, I will learn more too.

So, ask away!

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I Have Some Good News!

And Some Bad News...

Okay, so good news: This lens has been very successful! But with over thirty questions asked and answered, I was concerned about the efficiency of this page. So, I made another one! Cockatiel Q&A: Part Two has been launched and I hope that it gets just as many questions as the original! The question asking for this page has been shut down, but no worries! The previously asked and answered questions will be kept up for your viewing and you can ask as many questions as you need to on the new site! Also, you can still comment about this site in general or ask more personal questions at the Guestbook in the bottom of the page if you so choose!

Bad news: To ask your question, you are going to need to make one more click to the new site... (Not too bad of news, right?) But make sure you check out the questions that I have already answered on this page!

Click Away: Cockatiel Q&A: Part Two

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Shy Bird?

Asked by: Tamina Beveridge

Q:"We are looking after a friends cockatiel and he's really shy. He runs away from you and you can't touch him. I was wondering if that was normal."

A: It is normal for a cockatiel to be shy around people that they don't know. They don't really like change. So, give him a few days and see if he gets used to you. Don't chase him around, slowly get closer and let him get used to you being around. If it doesn't get any better, then maybe he's just shy in general. I hope that helps and have fun with your temporary cockatiel ;)

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Paper Eating?

Asked by: Unknown

Q: "my cockatiel eats the paper in the bottom of his bird cage. is it okay to remove the paper and let him walk on the grate"

A: You shouldn't remove the paper from the bottom of you're bird's cage. If you do, the poop will be a lot harder to clean up. If you're bird is really eating the paper, you could try to bend it down or cut it to the right size so it doesn't stick up.

But in reality, it's quite alright. Most cockatiels bite things off just to spit them back out. Though, if you notice him actually swallowing it, then there may be a problem. Consider consulting a vet or bird professional if that happens.

Plus, most cages have the grate above the paper anyway. So, if you're still concerned, maybe consider getting a new cage?

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Sleeping Habits?

Asked by: Unknown

Q: "is it normal for cockatiels to sleep on their back"

A: It depends on what you mean by its back.... If you mean their head is tucked into their feathers on their back (like the picture), then that is normal. That's actually how Rocky, as well as most other cockatiels, sleep. But if you mean that your bird is literally on the bottom of their cage, on their back, then that's definitely not as normal. Although different birds sleep differently, you might want to bring it to a local avian (bird doctor) right away incase it's sick. Make sure you keep a close eye on your bird!

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I wish you and your cockatiel the best of luck.

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Protective?

Asked by: Unknown

Q: "Do cockatiels guard their owners?"

A: Cockatiels can often become attached to their owners. Once they get used to you and are comfortable, they are very friendly and sweet. It is unusual for your bird to guard their owners, but I wouldn't obsess over it. If you feel that there is something wrong with your bird, you can bring them to an avian (bird doctor) to make sure everything is okay. Most likely though, your bird just really loves you.

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Too... Much... Poop!

Asked by: Unknown

Q: "How do you stop cockatiel from pooping outside the cage?"

A: You can't really stop your bird from pooping outside of their cage unless they don't leave their cage. But of course, that would be unhealthy for the bird. If your bird is out of the cage, then the best way to keep the floors clean is to know the 'sign'. When birds are about to poop, they puff up in a certain way every time. This way, you can quickly get a napkin to either catch it or clean it up.

If you have the problem where your bird is on top of the cage and is pooping of the side, as many do, you can buy a seed guard for the cage. Seed guards attach to the bottom of the cage and catch seeds and poop. Some of them have things on them that you can use to attach to the cage. Rocky has a clear plastic one that we have attached velcro to his cage. (It can be seen in the picture.) We clean it when we clean his cage. There are also fabric ones that you can hang. Seed guards can be found online and at pet/bird stores.

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Abnormal Behavior?

Asked by: Richard

Q: "My 2 year old male has become obsessed with my feet. He constantly wants to stand on them and bite my toenails. He literally runs on the floor next to me as I move from room to room.

He has become very aggressive, and often bites me hard enough to draw blood when I try to get him to climb onto my finger, especially if he is on the floor at the time. He was not this way when I first got him. Any suggestions?"

A: For the first issue, I'm not exactly sure why your cockatiel is doing that. Maybe the first time it occurred, he tasted something he liked and now he keeps going back in hopes of that same thing. Or maybe your feet are just appealing to cockatiels... (That was a joke, but I guess it could be possible.) Don't let him near your feet, if you can. Keep him away and hopefully he'll get the message.

Now, he could be biting you for three different reasons; he could be afraid, defending territory, or it could be due to hormones. I would suggest not to leave him in his cage all day. That wouldn't help anything, and could even make it worse. You should still hold him and play with him. I'm sure you're concerned about him really hurting you. If this happens, you shouldn't react to it, you shold keep on your "poker face", so he doesn't think that he can control you. Just give him a firm "no".

If you are concerned about your bird's health and think that it could be a health related issue, then you could call your avian/vet and make an appointment. If you don't want to bring him anywhere and you just want some professional advice, then you could call an avian and ask for their opinion about what's going on and what to do.

I hope this helped you. Good luck, and I hope that you and your cockatiel can work it out. :)

**Note that Rocky can not fly due to a wing injury which is why he is outside in this picture. Do not bring your bird outside, they tend to get away from you**

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Tame in the Wild

Asked by: Unknown

Q: "will a tame cockatiel survive in the wild"

A: The simple answer: No.

Why? Well first, it would starve in a short amount of time. Even less than a week. A domestic bird wouldn't know how to find its own food in the wild since it is used to having a bowl filled with food in the same place every day. Also, it wouldn't know how to defend itself from other animals that may attack it out there. And to top that off, it is illegal to set a non-native animal free in the wild. Birds deserve so much better. You sould find another person to take it or take it to a pet shop if you are considering setting one free.

**Note that Rocky can not fly due to a wing injury which is why he is outside in this picture. Do not bring your bird outside, they tend to get away from you**

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Hot House?

Asked by: Unknown

Q: "can cockatiels live in a hot house"

A: I am pretty sure that cockatiels can live in a hot house since they are native to the hottest parts of Australia. But in general, they are fine up to about 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Remember, your bird should always have fresh water available to them since dehydration is a major cause of cockatiel deaths. The water should be supplied always, even if your house is cold.