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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We are new to birds and a month ago we rehomed a pair of cockatiels (female and male). The original owner said they were a couple and had been together for 5 years (they are both 5 years old, the female never laid eggs though). The original owner said the female is hand-fed and is close to human but he wasn't sure about the male.

It's been a month, from our experience, both birds love people, but in a different way. All the female wants is to stand on my shoulder (just me not my wife, we don't know why) and let me scratch her neck, otherwise she would keep making noise. The male is afraid of human hands but eventually learned to walk to my hand and stay on my shoulder. He doesn't want anything particular, but scratching his neck with my face and nose makes him happy (approaching him with hands will make him scream, not sure why).

The two birds never get along. The male bites female whenever he thinks she is on his way. The female would be scared and escape away.

Today, the male masturbated on my hand. Now I seriously doubt they are a couple. I don't know what to do next. I have a few questions and I really want some help.

1. Shall we separate the two and maybe get one of them rehomed? We sincerely feel the female would be happier without the male. (The cage is 19W x 14D x 23H (inches), they stayed in this cage for the past 5 years, we are thinking about getting a bigger one.)

2. They never feather preening for each other (we think that's why the female really wants us to do it). Once he bit 4 pieces of feather off the female. Is not preening for each other normal? We got the pair rather than just one because we thought they would keep each other company, so they would need us less (and potentially make less noise), but this pair doesn't seem to be that way.

3. Both of them are attention seekers. I mean, both make noise (louder for the male) if you don't come and pet them (mostly around 10AM - 4PM, but it varies). We work/study from home and it's been quite annoying for us (me especially). The worse part is, with the male, you have to use face and nose because human hands scares him so much. For the female, you can use hand, but she needs to be on your shoulder, just not very convenient.

4. The male keeps pulling his down out (never touches his body feather though), it's painful, we know because he makes a wailing sound when he does it. Is there anything we can do?

5. The biggest problem is, the female wants to stay on my shoulder, when she does it, the male is left alone. He would make noise to attract our attention. But if we place them together (like in or on the cage), the female would make noise hoping to get on my shoulder. We can't seem to satisfy both at the same time.

Thank you for reading though my long post!
 

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I had two female budgies that started fighting quite aggressively. I upgraded them to a 30 inch wide flight cage and they feel much better about each other now.

I would definitely upgrade the cage. I wouldn't kept my two budgies in the size cage you described much less two tiels.

Everyone is friendlier when they have personal space :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I had two female budgies that started fighting quite aggressively. I upgraded them to a 30 inch wide flight cage and they feel much better about each other now.

I would definitely upgrade the cage. I wouldn't kept my two budgies in the size cage you described much less two tiels.

Everyone is friendlier when they have personal space :)
Got it. Thanks! I will consider getting a more spacious one.
 
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