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jestergurl200

Cockatiel Owners

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So I have been looking for a pet, and have decided on one of a cockatiel, a hedgehog, or a sugar glider. My top contender is currently a cockatiel. I have done a fair amount of research on each of the three.

But I would like to hear your stories about cockatiel ownership, the good, the bad, everything you experienced, as I am trying to make an informed decision before taking one on. Please help and share your knowledge with me! Thanks :)

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I have always wanted a Sugar Glider! And my Aunt had a Hedgehog and loved it.

I had a Cockatiel for many years. I have found them to be messy, noisy, and if they don't receive the appropriate amount of handling, mean. But that's my opinion I'm sure someone else will tell you they are the best pet in the world, they just weren't for me, birds that is.

My Cockatiel became very aggressive towards anyone who put their hands near the cage even though he was socialized from birth. He just became old and grumpy and mean. He hissed at everyone and it was a pain to clip his wings. I would never own a bird again.

Edited by baylady02

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My cousin had a sugar glider, which I thought was absolutely fascinating and I would love one, but my mom is terrified of them and I would feel bad when I had to bring it to my parents house if I went home for weekends.

Thanks for your story of the cockatiel. That is sad about your experience with him :( How often do their wings need to be clipped?

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We've had a couple cockatiels over the years and or first one was meaner then heck to men but we think he was mistreated. The second was hand fed and was a great bird... Both could be rather noisy....RATHER noisy... both had quite the vocabulary too. Males talk better then females. Easy to care for. Loved mine and if I spent more time at home I'd get another one. I didn't clip my birds wings. He got to get out most days and loved to perch on the curtain rods.

I have heard that sugar gliders are high maintenance but I don't know that for sure...

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to answer the question how often....

depends on if you want to let them fly, fly or just short flights. If you are not afraid to just let them fly you really do not need to clip the wings just watch open doors and windows so that they do not get out where you could not catch them.

Now if the above is an issue and just for safety's sake you want to keep the wings clipped. You will end up clipping about 2-3 times a year after a moult.

this website has quite a lot of info http://www.cockatielcottage.net/molting.html

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I had a cockatiel as a child and it hated me. It would screech when I came around it. We finally figured out why he hated me, it was because the first day we had him, he nipped my finger and I screamed. I must have scarred him for life! ( :ashamed0002: I was only in elementary school, I should've known better)

My sister on the other hand, he LOVED her. He would cuddle under her chin and lay on her chest and gently chirp to her. She could get him to sing and dance and they were buddies.

He was a lovely bird, really. He just hated me. Between the three you listed, I would recommend a cockatiel. They truely are good companions if you dont scar them for life on their first day home!

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As a breeder and pet store supplier of cockatiels and other pet birds I think one of these lovely little birds is a great choice for a pet! They are inexpensive to buy (as compared to other hookbills) and to keep, they are long lived (I know one that is 32 years old, though 15 to 20 or 25 is a more average lifespan), are very outgoing and inquisitive and, if well socialized and cared for, will remain loving and friendly. Males can be great talkers and mimickers, females less so.

If you decide a Tiel is for you, be sure that you get a young one that has been hand-fed and will willingly step up onto your hand. If you can get one young enough to "finish-out" the hand-feeding once a day for a couple of weeks then a great bond will develop. It's not hard. There are many good hand-feeding formulas available at most pet shops. Once a young bird has been weaned it needs to be handled regularly daily to keep it from becoming aloof, grumpy or fearful. I would suggest you a birdcage with a "playpen" built in or placed on top. Keeping the wings clipped will keep your little friend from accidentally flying out an open window or door. Clipping should be done as needed, the feathers are moulted out and grow back 3 or 4 times in a year. A good pet store can show you how...no more painful than a haircut! LOL!

We acquired a very young male cockatiel years ago when our children were small. Our then 4 year old daughter called him "Goomba". Being longtime bird owners we were very disciplined about doors and windows and allowed Goomba full flight. He loved our little girl and would follow her all over the house. It became a game for her to run down the hallway to her room with the the little bird giving chase. He would land on her head, bend down and look at her and say "HI GOOMBA!", which caused hysterical laughter on her part! We lost him just last year at nearly 18 years of age.

Very sad.

I have raised many, many over the years and have fond memories of several special ones. One I named "Chopper" because of his habit of revving up and hovering like a little helicopter at feeding time! Another time a big beautiful adult Pied male was given to me and I matched him up with a gorgeous Lutino lady bird. He insisted on calling her "CH-ch-ch-Chester!" so I assume that was what he was called in the past. They made the most beautiful babies! I managed a pet store at one time and would take many babies that were still being hand-fed to the store. People got to know the feeding schedule and would stop by on their breaks and lunch times to watch. Many of the babies were sold that way, with customers picking out their favorite, visiting and handling them daily and taking them home when they were weaned. That way they were already bonded by that time and the transition was easy!

The previous poster mentioned noise and mess...one bird isn't bad, but they can be loud, especially at dawn and dusk OR when you're on the PHONE! LOL! It's their way of keeping in touch with their "flock" and asking for attention. A well made cage with a seed guard will keep most seed, hulls and feathers contained. If the bird is out a lot, you will have to contend with it's droppings. They're smallish and are easy to brush away or vaccum off of most surfaces when dry. Be sure to keep a bottle of "Poop-Off" handy! Yes, it's a real product...there are other similar products available at many pet stores as well.

By the way, both Sugar Gliders and Hedgehogs are nocturnal! You won't see them much during the day, but they'll keep you awake all night with their rattling, leaping, digging, scurrying and exercise wheel squeaking! Much like Hamsters! They also require a certain amount of live foods! Moths, crickets, worms and grubs! Straight commercial feeds aren't quite enough and they are both already rather short-lived critters!

Good luck in what ever you choose! Have fun! Kudos to you for doing your research...so many people make spur-of-the-moment decisions to become pet owners and then become bored or overwhelmed with their choice. Then the poor little critter suffers or is forgotten and dies, especially when purchased for young children.

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One thing to keep in mind about birds if you don't clip their wings and let them fly around in the house. Turn off the ceiling fans first! I almost lost a pet Blue Jay years ago to a ceiling fan.

We've had sugar gliders and as mentioned above, they're nocturnal. They can also be a bit smelly. They were more Vickie's and our daughters thing than mine.

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they are the BEST! Pets? forget the others!! and PLEASE look to the rescues 1st! as there are a lot of good birds out there that need new homes and they do live to be 35! which make them end up on a LOT of rescues! and if you can't find one that WORKS for you a hand fed(from a good breeder) for sure! I did that and he was wonderful I took him everywhere w me and his wings I kept clip'd ! for sure! ceiling fans! [Crazy] I lost him one day off my 2nd floor balcony as I didn't know he was going down to see me and got caught between a bush and the nextdoor neighbors wall!broke my heart!! so even w/ clipt'd wings you must watch them! but they really bond w you ,go get ya one!!! [Yay]

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NOISY...screaming beasts! [surrender]

We have two, and one of these days....cockatiel fricassee [shocked]

They love being outside on the swing, and talking to the wild birds too.

Linda bought the first one, and the second just flew into the yard and was talking to ours that was sitting on the swing. I went over and caught him, so he is here to stay.

( Unless I cook him! [Crazy] )( Just kidding!)

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I had a female cockatiel growing up she was very noisy, not really overly messy, and usually a great pet......but if she had an egg in there look out!! she would charge the bars of the cage and bite at your fingers to protect that egg. The only person in the house she really seemed to like was my dad. I don't know if that is normal or not she was the first and only bird we ever had. Good luck!

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Thank you so much for all the replies, from both happy and not-so-happy owners! I'm not too worried about noise, as I am home most of the day, so they will not be confined to a cage, and would ideally have free run of at least the main and top floor of the house (not so much the basement).

Vicka'sMom, if I end up with one, would you mind if I PM you with any questions? I would really appreciate the input of an experienced owner/breeder if I have questions.

I do know that both hedgehogs and sugar gliders are nocturnal, and I can't put them in the living room or another room, which is part of why the cockatiel is my top choice (among other reasons).

I have been browsing internet ads mostly, for people who are moving or can no longer care for their bird, so I will see what I can find.

Thanks again for everybody's input, it is greatly appreciated! :)

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I vote cockatiel. The first pet I bought all on my own was a lutino cockatiel named Garth. She was great, super friendly, not very loud unless she thought I was ignoring her :-)

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NOISY...screaming beasts! [surrender]

We have two, and one of these days....cockatiel fricassee [shocked]

They love being outside on the swing, and talking to the wild birds too.

Linda bought the first one, and the second just flew into the yard and was talking to ours that was sitting on the swing. I went over and caught him, so he is here to stay.

( Unless I cook him! [Crazy] )( Just kidding!)

LOL, Siseley, that is what my hubby thinks too.

However, I love my noisy, screaming beast. Cockatiels are noisy, but they can be very sweet. Just make sure you get one that has been hand raised and is young.

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You've gotten some very good advice. I have always gotten my 'tiels from breeders or good, bird oriented pet stores. I've always gotten hand fed one's that were friendly when I picked them out. I've never really had a nasty one, though my last one didn't like Joe. I think that's just because she only knew me until she was older.

They do need plenty of regular handling to keep them happy and friendly. They are smart and get bored and lonely if left in a cage for days on end. That's usually the only time I had an issue with lots of noise - when they were lonely or bored. Lots of cage toys rotated regularly helps too. However, just be aware that if you do it right, they aren't low maintenance. They need lots of time spent with them.

The only thing I haven't seen mentioned is feather dust. Yuck! When new feathers come in they are in a sheath. The sheath is either stripped off by the bird, by you with your nails (they LOVE this if you are very gentle) or comes off on it's own. It leaves a white powder everywhere. It is a bit messy, in addition to the feathers, flung seeds and poop. Not a huge deal if you have cage with a skirt, but you will have to clean around the cage as well, regularly. I wouldn't want a cage on a carpet or rug, without something very large under it. If you get in the habit of cleaning on top of, in and around the cage daily, it never gets too bad.

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I had a hedgehog a few years ago. My brother found a couch on the side of the road and brought it home we thought there was a rat in it...when My dad came back with the bbgun we lifted of the cushions and there was the hedgehog! We loved the little fella we named him FD for Forrest Dweller haha. He was super fun would cuddle up with you climb into your hand and super easy to feed...he liked cat food. We also gave him veggies. We had him for about 5 years until he died. We also have some Teils. We got our grey male oh gosh about 14 years ago then when he was around 5 we got him a mate cause my mom wanted to breed. Well they never had any eggs come full term. Then one day our female (a gorgeous cinnamon) died then ever since that day we havent been able to handle our male. He was super friendly and tame before and while his mate was alive. We're still working on re-taming him.

I wish i knew what a sugar glider was haha

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