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So I only have the experience of owning Maxi, and that's it cockatiel-wise. She's 17 now, and in terms of numbers I would have thought that meant she was an "old" bird (sorry Maxi!). But in real terms -- she seems healthy, she's very happy, she moults as normal/has good feather condition. She's into everything, biting stuff, and was naughty tonight flying some laps and initially refusing to go back to her cage and was chirping her head off (and enjoying the attention she got from this!).

My point is... what age do you consider "old" for a cockatiel? What experience do people have of older cockatiels?
 

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I have a 21 year old who is also very healthy and active. He sleeps more than my 3 year old, but I wouldn't say he acts in a way that I would consider old or feeble. When I got him in the 90s, we were told he might live to be 10 if we took really good care of him. When he was around 12, I kept thinking he was really old and probably going to die imminently. Now here we are 10 years later. These days, I just focus on giving all of my birds a good life and don't worry about how many more years that will be.
 

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Wow you guys! 17 & 21 year old cockatiels! What is your secret?? I hope my cockatiel lives to be that old - sans nasty attitude, though..lol
 

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A lady who worked in a pet shop once told me that her cockatiel was 35. She was probably 35-40 herself, so they must have grown up together.
Then there was another shop nearby where I always saw a cockatiel who chirped all the time. Then once I entered the shop and the cage was empty. The owner was distraught and said that the cockatiel had unexpectedly died in her hands at 20. She wanted him to live much longer. She was an old lady and didn't want to buy a new one because she said she would probably go soon too...
 

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I was told that a tiel is considered old by the time they're between 15 and 20 yrs old.
 

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I think 15-20 is "old" for a cockatiel, given the lack of proper education most bird owners have for proper bird care. For folks here that are educated then I'd probably say 25-30+ is old.

Like Brandon, I think my birds will live to be around 30. They are fed a varied diet of seed, pellets, grains, veggies; all which I think are necessary to have happy healthy birds. In additional to a varied diet, they are out of their aviary for at least 8 hours a day to exercise their wings.

I'm also trained to provide emergency supportive care, so in the event that they become sick they have a really great chance of pulling through because I can deliver them food even when they've stopped eating on their own.
 

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I also think it depends on the bird's history. I don't think my rescue girls, who grew up in terrible conditions and have chronic health problems as a result, will live to be as old as Sunny, no matter how good a job I do a as an owner. Then again, you never know -- risk factors may never translate to actual bad outcome, and a bird that has always appeared healthy can suddenly have a fatal event.

The same is true of humans, btw, and I try to take the "make no assumptions" approach with my human patients as well. All we can do is our best.
 
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