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Hi all, I am a 16 year old female and I've been researching parrots as pets for some time now. I want a bird that is cuddly, intelligent and one that I can spend 1-3 hours with daily. I have many reptiles at home but I find birds to be truly fascinating as well as rewarding to work with. I had originally been looking into budgies, but what threw me off about them is that they generally aren't very cuddly. I am now looking into cockatiels and while they do require a bit more effort, it seems like the perfect bird for me. Of course I have plenty of questions and concerns though!!

I worry that I do not have enough of a routine for a cockatiel. While I'm in school my routine will be quite stable for my bird. However, during the summer I will be able to spend more time with my bird but won't have as much of a schedule. Also in the summer I go camping with my family on weekends much of the time. We always camp in the same spot so I would likely bring my bird with me and he can spend time outside with me.

One big question I have is where I should locate the cage. These are social birds of course, but I also know that they are sensitive to commotion and loud noises. I have two dogs who go ballistic every time someone walks by our house, so I was considering housing my bird downstairs in my bedroom. Would that be too isolated? Would that help with night frights? I want my cockatiel to be comfortable but I don't want him to get lonely all alone in my room. Of course, I plan to spend every minute I can with my bird. I will setup a play gym on my desk so he can interact with me while I get ready for the day, and after school and in the evenings he can cuddle and play with me.

In your opinion, is my situation a good situation for a cockatiel? Obviously since I'm young my life will change, but whichever way it changes my bird as well as my other pets will be included.


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First of all I would definitely get a hand reared bird as these are cuddly from the start and don't require as much training. This is the right breed to choose as a first bird. Glad you're doing the research.
 

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From what you said about your age and schedule, I highly encourage you to get two birds. Since you spend so many hours away from home, and you will definitely be busy even in the summer (friends, perhaps a part time job), a single bird will be lonely.
 

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A cockatiel would be a great option. They are very dusty though. If anyone in your family has an allergy to dander, you may need an air purifier.
 

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Welcome to the forum!! To me it sounds like a tiel would be a great idea. Honestly, I would start out with one bird and go from there. Getting two right off the bat can be rough for bonding and such. I would say that you can house the birds in your room at night, but during the day for more interaction they can hang out in the living room in a cage. They will get used to the dogs barking pretty quickly.
 

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Welcome to the forum! :)

A hand-reared cockatiel would be perfect for you. I, too, would just start out with one and see how that goes. If the bird has plenty of mental stimulation, he/she should be fine as a single bird as long as you can provide plenty of attention each day.
 

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Welcome to the forum from Milo and I! I agree with one at first and definitely a hand reared tiel. I have two little yippers who bark at anything and Milo has adjusted and my keet learned how to bark along with them :p They are wonderful birds, and as long as you spend some time with them they can be very happy. Get a larger cage for them and some toys, learn about feeding them right and you will have a great start. Sounds like you are doing all the right research :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all the welcoming replies! I'm definitely planning on getting a hand reared baby. I want to try with one bird but if I can't provide my bird with enough attention I will consider a second.

Eduardo- I don't have friends, one of the many reasons I want a bird! I do understand your thoughts on having a job though. I want to get employed before I get my bird so that I can even better schedule time for my bird as well as make sure I even have the time.

It's difficult to say exactly how much time I will be able to spend with my bird daily. Some days I might have unlimited time, while others I can only manage around 2 hours. Nobody is home during a few hours of the day; my mom is at home the most but she's not too keen on birds. I could also house my bird in my downstairs like vying room, where I keep all my reptiles(caged!) while reptiles aren't very good at interacting, but they can provide amusement and a friendly presence. I know a basement sounds dark and lonely, but I am down there quite often and there are plenty of Windows so it's nice and bright. My bird will spend every morning with me; at least 45 minutes if not an hour. In the evenings I will always be able to provide an hour for my bird as well, but most days I can spend even more time.


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Welcome to you from Percy and me :)
 

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Welcome welcome!

In my short experience with my little girl ( I'm also a new bird owner myself trying different things ) I understand your concern on play-time having a job etc.

I'm out of the house for 9+ hours per day usually 12:00-21:00 so I can be with her all morning and for a couple of extra hours at night before bed. The only thing I made sure is to keep her busy with toys in her cage if she gets bored during the day but she usually sleeps some extra time off as she lacks her straight night sleep most of the time without having any trouble until now.. She actually has learned my timetable and chirps when she see's me getting ready to go or is already at the cage edge nearest to the door for my return at night.. It's actually funny :p

Just giving my 2c of how I'm dealing with her atm ( although not experienced, any experience counts :> ) as I'm not in the state of getting another tiel to keep her company. The only extra choice I could think of is taking her with me @ work if I see any change in her behaviour etc...
 

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One thing you might take into consideration (and perhaps you have since you have other pets) is that, even though you plan to include your pets as your life changes, it may be difficult logistically. I adopted Nimbus from a girl who was going to college and had tried to find a place where she was allowed to have a cockatiel, but just couldn't.

Based on your age, I'm guessing you're in high school or something equivalent and that you currently live at home? If you plan on going to college in a couple years, a lot of them won't allow pets in dorms, and my college required you to live in the dorms for at least the first year. Depending on where you go, there may or may not be a lot of affordable housing options in places where pets are allowed, and not all roommates will want a pet.

If you plan on moving out and going straight into the work world, some of the same challenges may still apply. In my hometown (where I'm currently living at home but planning on leaving soon), there aren't a whole lot of affordable housing options, particularly if you have pets. Fortunately, I live pretty close to a much bigger city with a lot more housing options. I know people there who have similar financial situations and have pets in their apartments, and I live close enough that I can commute to work there if necessary if for some reason it takes me a while to find an appropriate living situation. So, even though it's early, you may want to look ahead at stuff like that in the area where you live.

Anyhow, I sincerely hope that you are able to find some appropriate housing arrangement when the time comes, because cockatiels are the best, and you're clearly thinking about this very carefully. If the logistics work out, I'm sure you'll be a great bird mom! :)
 

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Hello and welcome from Joey and me. :)

A tiel is a wonderful friend to adopt. The joy of each new thing they learn, whether a word or song, or something that builds trust, is so exciting.

Just to add to what was said above about longer term thinking of the future, some no pets allowed buildings do make occasional exceptions. You'd have to ask in advance, and there could be stipulations. Our landlady made an exception for Joey, but make it clear if any of the neighbors complained, he'd have to move out. We've been here nearly a year, and so far so good. Mostly we get people pausing outside our door to listen when they walk by and hear him singing, or to listen to us call out 'peekaboo' to each other when I am in the kitchen and he can't hear me, and I am cooking so he is caged and can't come find me. Other places we tried that were pet free were strictly pet free, not even goldfish allowed. Always worth asking though.
 
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