Are you considering buying a bird for your child and too have as a family pet.
Consider a Cockatiel. They are wonderful pets for families with young children. For most children 8 years old is a good age for a child to learn the responsibility of taking care of a pet. Hands fed babies are very tame with sweet loving dispositions.
Cockatiels love to be out of their cage to be part of the family, they are like small children and they need an adult to monitor them. Please don’t buy a cockatiel just because the children want one. The adults in the family need to want one also. Purchasing a Cockatiel should be a family event. They could be a part of your family for 15 or so years. Cockatiels are companion birds; they get lonely if neglected.
Cockatiels are native to Australia, they are found in pairs and small flocks. They are very nomadic. When the food source runs out they move on. The Australian government instituted a strict ban on the export of these native birds in 1894; consequently, all the cockatiels in the United States are from captive breeding stock. They are readily available in the pet industry in their natural grey coloration as well as in the many color mutations.
Cockatiels have a powder on their feathers which they use to clean themselves. This powder can be a problem for very allergic persons; in most cases it is not a problem, but if you are a neat freak or highly allergic, this bird might not be the best choice.
Of the over 340 species of psittacine birds the Cockatiel is second only to Parakeets in pet bird popularity. They are hardier then there Parakeet rivals and have a lifespan of up to 20 years. A Cockatiel can quickly learn several words and phrases and are champion whistlers!
If you are considering a Cockatiel the cage size is very important. The minimal size should be 18x18x18. This is ok for a bird that gets a lot of time outside of his cage. The bar size shouldn’t be any wider then ¾ inch. Any larger and the bird could get his head caught in it. When buying a cage remember; bigger is better. A bird spends a lot of time in his cage and he needs room to flap his wings and move around. There also needs to be plenty of room to hang toys.
There are many species of birds but if you are considering an addition to your family a Cockatiel could become a wonderful flock member for many years of enjoyment.
Owning a Cockatiel is a privilege – not a right so equip yourself with as much knowledge as you can about the responsibility of owning one.
I recommend buying a cockatiel from a reputable cockatiel breeder that bands the baby birds – a closed traceable band. Find out how old your bird is and learn the correct things to feed him, there are many things to learn about the care of your bird before bringing him home. There are some wonderful books available on Cockatiels. We recommend you read several of them. You will be in for quite an adventure with your new Cockatiel.
Patrick & Barbara Paur
Mt. Rushmore Birds