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We adopted our first Cockatiel 2 days ago, I have a few question that I am unable to get clear answers with a google search.

We adopted him and was told by the guy that he is a 2 year old male, How do we know for sure or with a reasonable amount of certainty that this is fact. He is a whiteface color, the guy seemed to be honest and genuine but you never know these days.

Second, how long before I can start training him to talk and sing. I read 8-10 months is best but still possible with mature bird with time and patience? I said to wait a few weeks until the bird is comfortable in its new home. He will sing a bit in the morning and yesterday was whistling back at us but is otherwise quiet most of the time other than the odd squawk and chirp. He will come to me with little to no hesitation after a day. And seems content.

Finally how fast do thier feathers grow, he has had many feathers trimmed. I would prefer him to be able to fly a bit just in case he ever gets out of his cage as we have a year old dalmatation.

Regards Jimi
 

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You can do a DNA test that is about $20-30 either at the vet or online. You take a sample of few breast feathers that you pluck out then send it. That is the only way to know for 100% that he is a male. If you don't want to do that you can watch his behavior. If he does start chirping, whistling, and being noisy then he is a male. If he starts doing the heart wings then he is a male.

I think you can start trying to train him now by just leaving a recording of whatever phrase or song you want him to learn while you are out of the room (or in the room if you can stand to listen to it). Just make sure the recording repetitive and has about 20 seconds in between the phrase or song you want them to learn. They say that they can listen for about an hour at a time, but if you want to leave the recording on while you go to work for hours I don't think it hurts.

They say with clipped feathers that it takes about 2 to 3 weeks to start growing back in, but I have had my cockatiel for a month now and they have grown some but aren't nearly as long as they could be. Based off of that, I think it would take a few months for the feathers to grow all the way in and him to be a fully flighted cockatiel. My cockatiel can fly some right now but not long distances or get a lot of height.
 
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