Cockatiels are faithful and affectionate companions. When given the proper care, cockatiels live up to 15-20 years on average. Owning a cockatiel is long-term commitment, but the joy of having a cockatiel is worth the effort. Applying a few key elements in the proper care and housing of a cockatiel will help it live a long and happy life.
Cockatiels thrive on fresh seeds. Cockatiel seed mixes are readily available in most pet stores. These typically contain white french millet, jap millet, panicum, sunflower and canary seeds. Some mixes come with excessive sunflower seeds and this can lead to obesity in birds. Thus, some pet owners prefer to buy the seeds separately and make their own cockatiel seed mix. Cockatiels are efficient at taking the seed out of the hull. Because of this, sometimes their food trays may look full but only contain hulls. Therefore, it is a good idea to change the food tray on a daily basis.
Fruits and Vegetables
While seeds are essential to a cockatiel's diet, fresh produce is also necessary. Fresh fruits like apples, mangoes, grapes, oranges and strawberries are good additions to a cockatiel's diet. Such vegetables as broccoli, carrots, celery, lettuce, spinach and sweet corn also contain beneficial vitamins. Thoroughly wash all fruits and vegetables. Give a small amount of one or two of these fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. While a cockatiel may be hesitant to try new foods, with time it will grow accustomed to and enjoy the variety. Remember to always change the bird's water daily.
While there is no rule stating the exact measurements that a cockatiel cage needs to be, cockatiels thrive on having a lot of room to move around. Take into account the length of the cockatiel's tail and wingspan and choose a cage that will not make it feel cramped. Also, extra room is needed for the food and water dishes. Buying a cage with a removable plastic tray will make cleaning easier.
Change the papers that line a cockatiel's cage daily to promote good health. Let a cockatiel out of its cage at least once a day so it can get proper exercise. Bathe a cockatiel three mornings per week, as this will give it time to dry off before nighttime. Find an experienced cockatiel veterinarian and take the bird for regular checkups and wing trimming.