Cockatiels for Sale: Vivacious and Social Alternate Companion Pet
Cockatiels for sale remain among the most popular pet birds because of their engaging personalities and small and manageable size. Generally docile, cockatiels make excellent pets for seniors, couples, and children. Although their care is involved, cockatiels are good for beginners because they are sturdy, forgiving, and intelligent birds.
What Is a Cockatiel?
A cockatiel falls under a few categories.
- Hookbill – hard curved beak capable of crushing nuts and seeds depending on size of bird
- Small parrot
- Smallest cockatoo – cockatoo family is comprised of 21 species of crested birds
Cockatiels are native to semi-arid and arid regions of Australia and were first discovered in 1770. They tend to live in small flocks, although their larger cousins congregate in large groups. Cockatiels eat seeds, berries, and flowers that they forage for on the ground. They are also opportunistic, some eating insects. You will not find a cockatiel far from a water source. Its nomadic and migratory patterns are based on the proximity of bodies of water. The 1900s saw a rise in the cockatiel pet trade.
Cockatiels are about 12 to 13 inches long and weigh about three or four ounces. A standard cockatiel is a gray bird with a yellow crest and orange cheek patches. Yellow shading extends down the face. Several color mutations have developed.
- Emerald green
- Albino – no pigment, red eyes
- Yellow cheek patches
- Recessive silver – cool gray body with red eyes
- Dominant silver – warm gray body with dark eyes
- Pearl – white markings
- Lutino – absence of some pigment; white bird has pigmented cheeks, facial mask, and crest; has red eyes
How to Choose the Right Tamed Cockatiels for Sale Near Me
You want a healthy cockatiel that will make a great companion for you or possibly your son or daughter.
Your first criteria should be to pick a healthy bird. If you can visit your potential new bird in person, you should take advantage of it. A Craigslist cockatiel is a prime example of a bird that warrants a visit before purchase, even if the price is low. Inspecting a bird for general qualities is similar to any pet.
- No discharge from the eyes or nose
- Vent should be clean – no evidence of wet stool in the cage
- Smooth feathers – fluffed feathers can indicate a cold or sick bird
- Skin on feet looks healthy
- Bird is bright and alert and acts sociable
- A healthy cockatiel is active
Another consideration is the age of a cockatiel for sale. Any cockatiel under a year old is considered a young bird. A tiel should be at least three months old before arriving at its new home. The advantage of baby cockatiels for sale is that they tend to be more tameable and adjust more quickly to changes. Most young birds you encounter are hand-raised and thus very accustomed to people and being handled. When they first arrive in your home, frequent contact and attention are vital as they will suffer separation anxiety following removal from their flock. Older birds need more persistence than their young counterparts but are still quite tameable.
Cockatiels for Sale Near Me: Summary of Essentials
One of the biggest advantages to finding a nearby cockatiel for sale is that you avoid stressing your new bird out with a long transport. When you acquire a new cockatiel, prepare ahead of time by implementing the essential requirements your bird will have.
Just like a dog or a cat, your cockatiel will thrive on high-quality species-appropriate food. A well-balanced diet consists of approximately 25% seeds and 75% pellets. Portions are important. Keep that in mind as your cockatiel is likely to prefer the seeds. A seed-only diet cannot match how a bird in the wild eats a huge variety of seeds and will lead to malnutrition because of the fat composition.
To supplement your bird’s main diet, you should add green leafy vegetables to make up no more than a fifth of her total intake. Some experts suggest feeding veggies every other day while others say you should offer them daily. Another dietary perk is fresh fruit that you should also feed in limited quantities. Fruits will make up about 5% of your cockatiel’s diet or less. Stick to certain tropical choices or other produce approved by your nutritionist or veterinarian.
- Corn on the cob
Avocados are potentially toxic. While your cockatiel may enjoy lettuce or celery, they have little nutritional value. Talk to your veterinarian about supplements. The pellets you feed provide excellent nutritional balance but may be deficient in calcium and other vitamins and minerals depending on your bird’s age or reproductive status. For example, birds producing eggs need additional calcium. Vitamins and mineral supplements generally come in a powder form and the most effective way to deliver them to your cockatiel is as a light coating on moist foods such as fruits or veggies. You can also apply the powder to your pet’s water. Like any living being, your bird needs constant access to fresh and clean water.
The main features about your bird’s cage you should focus on are size, perches, and bars. While the minimum acceptable size for a cockatiel’s cage is 24 inches wide by 24 inches long by 30 inches deep, ideally, it should be one and a half times your bird’s wingspan. A cockatiel’s average wingspan is 19.5 inches, so a cage width of 30 to 32 inches is more appropriate than 25 inches or less. A smaller cage is acceptable if your bird spends a significant amount of time outside of it. Cockatiel cages require sufficient depth to accommodate your bird’s relatively long tail plumage. You should ensure the cage has multiple perches of varying diameters. Perches should not allow your bird to sit over food dishes or water bowls. As important as the perches are horizontal bars so your cockatiel can satisfy its instinct to climb. Bars need to be less than a half-inch apart to avoid injury or entrapment. Appropriate parameters call for a bar spacing of five-eighths to one-half inch. A cockatiel for sale may come with a cage, but you should always check its suitability before committing your bird to a lifetime inside it. Keep your cockatiel’s habitat out of direct sunlight and drafts. Breeding or other pairs require a cage more than double the size of that of a solitary bird.
You should spot clean your bird’s cage daily and perform complete sanitation at least weekly. Move your bird to a temporary enclosure during a major cleaning to avoid exposure to harmful chemicals or fumes. Use a 3% bleach solution to clean perches and toys. You should thoroughly clean food and water dishes every day.
Cockatiels are social and communal birds. If you do not provide an avian companion for your new cockatiel, you will need to provide all its needs for friendship. This includes a lot of time dedicated to mental stimulation and undivided attention. Even if you house a couple of birds together, you and your bird can benefit from a mutual bond. Cockatiels usually become tame easily and enjoy human contact. They particularly like to have their heads scratched behind their crest. Like dogs and cats, they benefit from play activities that provide mental enrichment. Properly socialized birds also enjoy accompanying you in your day-to-day routines such as computer work or relaxation and being held. Suitable avian companions are other cockatiels or nonaggressive species such as parakeets and small parrots. Less suitable birds are either too large or aggressive for your cockatiel and include lovebirds, finches, and large parrots like African Greys and Cockatoos. Cockatiels kept with other birds may develop a weaker bond with you as they enjoy stronger relationships with their cage mates. You can also keep cockatiels in small flocks, especially if you have an outdoor aviary.
Your cockatiel will need exercise outside of its cage. At least once a day, you should allow your bird out to walk and fly around. You can encourage movement by scattering treats or intriguing toys around a room or engaging in games like hide-and-seek. Keep in mind that your bird will still be able to fly if you clip its wings. Make sure to close doors and windows and shut down any potential hazards such as ceiling fans. Toys that encourage your cockatiel to engage its feet are both mentally stimulating and great for muscular strength. Tossing balls is yet another way you can create a stronger bond with your cockatiel.
Cuttlebones or cuttlefish bones are essential for your bird’s environment. They are oblong calcium-rich structures from the cuttlefish, an animal in the same broad group (cephalopods) as squid. Your cockatiel not only gets calcium from the cuttlebone but also uses it for beak sharpening and trimming. As a cage fixture, a cuttlebone can provide another source of stimulation for your bird.
Toys are important sources of mental enrichment for your cockatiel. Many of them also are excellent to encourage physical activities. A ladder can serve as an additional climbing apparatus besides the bars of your bird’s cage. You can use balls of various sizes inside and out of the cage to stimulate your bird visually, engage in mutual games, and promote exercise. You can train your cockatiel to balance on tennis balls, for example, to strengthen its legs and provide mental engagement. Foraging toys may stimulate your cockatiel to perform activities it would in the wild. Houses and trapezes can be additional sources of entertainment depending on your bird’s personality. You can also try to stimulate other senses besides the visual. Music is a great tool for many birds that may try to mimic tunes or learn to dance. Dancing is something you and your cockatiel can potentially do together.
Although your cockatiel originates from a dry environment, misting its feathers periodically will benefit their health as well as keep the dust down. Cockatiels produce a powdery down that creates a light film over everything. In place of misting your bird, you can provide a small pool for bathing. Many cockatiels enjoy submerging themselves in shallow water occasionally. You can provide a shallow but sturdy bowl with a small amount of water at the bottom of your bird’s cage. Perhaps a better option is to allow your cockatiel to bathe on a table or countertop, so you avoid a wet cage. You can use a pie pan or a skillet as well. The water should be lukewarm. A few birds like to take showers, but you need to take precautions.
- The water cannot be hot
- Your bird cannot be under the direct flow of the faucet – instead, she should get splash or mist off the shower walls
- Find a special perch for your cockatiel made for showers
Cockatiels for sale commonly live 10 to 14 years, but conscientious care can extend that by five years or more.