The Cockatiel, meaning ‘little cockatoo’, are originally found in Australia and are often known as desert birds. Their natural habitat is the lighter woodlands and grasslands.
They look more like parakeets than ‘true parrots’. Cockatiels though found in the wild can also be specially bred. Both wild and bred Cockatiels are found in varied color patterns and with crest.
Cockatiel nature is happy, cheerful and undemanding. Taming them is easier and they make wonderful first time pets. They can whistle little tunes with a soft and gentle whistle and also learn to say simple phrases when trained. Cockatiel love to frolic under showers with their owners and wolf whistle.
However, untrained Cockatiel can be a nuisance and an embarrassment.
To choose a Cockatiel as pet, look for an active bird which shiny and well settled feathers. Avoid a quiet bird with puffed feathers.
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Cockatiel Diet and Health
Cockatiel should be kept in large cages and given the right diet to keep them healthy. Seeds, fresh fruits, green vegetable, soft breads, hard boiled egg and cooked meat make a healthy diet for them. Millet corn muffins and kernel type corn are special favourites.
Cockatiels are healthier if they are bred in the spring or summer and Cockatiel health need your special attention if you want to have an active, lovable and full of fun pet.
Cockatiel are affected by common viruses like Pacheco’s virus and Polyomavirus. While the former does not live long, the latter is more difficult to control being airborne. Virus affected symptoms are weight loss, anorexia, diarrhoea, depression unusual droppings and behavior pattern accompanied a change in the amount of food intake
Wasting disease can also affect Cockatiel. This hits nervous system and the organs of a bird resulting in heart-attacks, seizures, tremors and paralysis. As an owner, you should be aware of all Cockatiel diseases and their treatment.
Cockatiel also show a runny nose when there is a shortage of Vitamin A in their diet. A part from these, Cockatiel can also be affected by Gout and e-Coli bacteria. To treat Gout, Cockatiel blood should be tested for blood urea. For e-Coli, indicated by lose droppings with strong odor, early anti-biotical treatment will help.
Cockatiel are high care and maintenance cost birds. To begin, the bird should be kept in largest, affordable cage. The cage should be maintained in good, clean condition. The floor should be covered by newspaper so that, apart from frequently changing it to clean, you can also examine the bird’s droppings. Occasional trimming of the feathers is essential to prevent flight of the bird. Further, it is essential to understand pet behavior, so that you can take timely corrective action.
Excellent Cockatiel care is the key to a well groomed and trained Cockatiel.