Cockatiels are a very popular pet bird because they are easy to breed, easy to care for and provide great companionship to people. In fact, cockatiels are the second most commonly owned pet caged bird behind the common pet parakeet. Cockatiels are able to share cages with each other, but it is not a process that can be rushed. Rushing the process can cause illnesses to be spread amongst the birds, which can lead to medical problems and possibly death.
When first introducing a new bird into a home, that bird should be quarantined from other birds for at least 30 days. Most veterinarians will recommend a 90-day quarantine period to ensure that no illnesses slip by undetected. The quarantine is necessary because birds can mask symptoms of illnesses for long periods of time and could infect other birds if they are ill. All contact between birds should be prohibited, which includes sharing toys, water and feeding equipment and food items.
Once the new cockatiel has survived the quarantine period without any signs of illness, the process of introducing the bird to other birds can begin. A bird owner should take the new bird to an avian veterinarian to ensure that it does have a clean bill of health before introducing to other birds. The flight feathers should also be clipped by the avian veterinarian to make it easier for owners to train their birds. Proper training will help all the birds live together peacefully.
Introduce the new cockatiel to the current cockatiel resident or residents to start a socialization process that can lead to them sharing a cage. Begin by placing both cages near each other. After a few days, owners should let both birds out of their cages at the same time. Hopefully they will start to play and interact together. When you begin to notice the birds interacting together and enjoying each other's company, leave the bird cage doors open. The birds should start spending time together in one cage. Once this takes place, you can start to keep them in one cage as long as they are not showing aggressive physical behavior towards each other.
Signs of Incompatibility
Generally speaking, cockatiels are social birds that are going to want to spend time with one another. However, no matter what is done, some cockatiels will not get along. Hissing, screaming, biting, tail bending, feather pulling, lunging and other aggressive behaviors should be considered signs of incompatibility. If these aggressive behaviors continue, the two birds need to live in separate cages and their social time together should occur when they play outside of their cages.