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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all, bare with me bit of a long post.

i Have 2 cockatiels, both male, one about 12-18 month (Mario) and the other less then a year old (Luigi)

I have owned Mario for coming up to a year and Luigi 4 month, both bought from pet shops, different ones.

I have just found Mario dead on the bottom of the cage (on his back,stiff, head tilted abit to the side, eyes and beak open) I think hes just died and fell off the perch. He was he was fine 4 hours prior. He was showing no signs of illness but he was showing some now to think about it weird traits.

About 2 weeks ago I came home to find my other cockatiel Luigi on the bottom of the cage, barely alive, he was fine in the morning and when i came home was on deaths door. He looked as if he had a stroke like falling over to one side and was barely alive.

I took him to the vet and they injected him with calcium, anti biotics and they also re-hydrated him. I had to give him anti biotics at home for the next 2 days, he came back to him chirpy self so I was pleased.

I've noticed Mario getting more and more yellow in colour mainly on his chest area, thought it might be just the time of the year but hoping you guys can shed some light.

But the big thing ive noticed the past couple of weeks is they tend to mate, I thought it was Luigi instigating it originally as Mario makes some weird noises when its happening but today when i was in the same room as them, I seen Mario like pester Luigi which he ignored for abit but eventually Luigi gave in and climbed on top of Mario and he started doing humping motions while standing on Marios back, Mario had his tail feathers spread and again was making these weird chirping noises. I thought that he was just going through a "Horny" phase.

So would any of these be a factor, im guessing whatever Luigi had has spread to Mario and i just haven't been able to catch it as there were no physical symptoms i could tell at the time.

Any help would be greatly appreciated as I think im a jonah of some sort and am not destined to keep birds.

Many Thanks
 

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Are you sure Mario was male? Was he a standard grey with male markings? Was this yellow colouring of the plumage or the skin? Because if Mario was female it could indicate egg issues. Yellowing of the skin could mean an egg yolk leakage in the oviduct (Egg Yolk Peritonitis), but could also be egg binding (may see a large bulge near vent), but Mario would likely have also been on the floor straining or at least visibly poorly before passing.

The noises you indicate sounds like the chittering females do see.

Of course if he really is male and colour was plumage, I'd mainly suspect liver disease. Could also be case if female. What sort of diet was he on and Luigi still on? An all seed diet is often the cause for liver problems.

That's all for now. Sure other members also have some knowledge to share or the answers to my questions could help in this diagnosis.

I'm sorry for your loss.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thats what the guy at the pet store told me when i purchased him, he had very male traits like would not let you go near him and would hiss at things. on his Feathers mostly on his stomach it was very noticable yellow. If he was a female then that explains things, he was very submissive to Luigi

Yes he was a standard grey and his cheeks were very dark orange colour, luigi on the other hand is all grey and even the vet couldnt say what sex he was by looking at him lol, again got told he was a male from the guy at the pet store.

Yes im feeding them a lovebird and cockatiel mix, they also have access to millet on the bottom of the cage and every now and again seed bars.

Thank you for your reply :)
 

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Hissing and being timid isn't really a male trait, that's just the tameness and trust level of the cockatiel. (my female is hand-reared but still hisses if a stranger gets too close to cage)
Male traits can start showing roughly between 4-6 months. Being vocal (singing), repeated banging on things and heart wings are male behaviours. The latter is the best indication. See heart wings and it's a male. (when they raise the shoulders, lower their heads a bit and slowly strut. The shape of the wings look like a heart from the back). Takes a bit longer to be sure of a female as could always be late blooming male.
Common greys and pearls, along with similar mutations can be sexed from appearance. Others such as lutinos and pied are judged by behaviour. But of course can also be DNA sexed for definite.
Luigi could possibly be judged from appearance, from looking at inner wings and tail. From behaviour you've mentioned I'm sure he's male. Females have spots on inner wings and stripes inner tail. (Before first molt at 6 months, colouration appears female)

As for the diet. It's best for Luigi's health if you start switching to a healthier diet. All seed for birds is pretty much like if I fed you fries and nothing but fries for every meal, everyday, for the rest of your life. You'd enjoy them of course because they taste great and if I offered boiled cabbage or fries, you'd go for the fries.
cockatielcottage.net has a good list of healthy food you can feed and tips on getting them to eat it. For instance, my birds enjoy raw broccoli to nibble on. Spinach hung up like strips of paper to nibble on. Egg scrambled in a pan to tiny dry grains (not more than once a week). And well cooked mashed sweet potato.
Pellets are a good alternative to the seeds. That site has a page for how to switch. Mine will only have the smallest size you can get, harrisons brand
I found Nutriberries a good start. They are a mix of hulled seed, pellets and dried veggies. I crush up the balls though as mine don't like to crush them themselves.
They are picky eaters. It can take some experimentation to find what they like. Your cockatiel might like carrots for instance, but only if cooked and cut into tiny pieces. Or maybe he likes them mashed. Or maybe raw. Or thinly sliced into strips and hung up.
Millet should only be a treat. It's very fattening.

Believe me when I say that nutrition is important. It can save you alot of money on vet bills from nutritional deficiencies and illnesses that take advantage of them.

*Also get a cuttlebone and you can get a mineral block too. Just don't get grit. Cockatiels don't need grit like chickens.
 
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