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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey there everyone :) This is a cockatiel question but first allow me to introduce myself:
I'm an Airman studying Arabic at the Defense Language Institute. I live in the barracks here and my boyfriend lives off post , probably a 10 minute walk from the gate. I enjoy seeing him after school, pt, and details and before curfew if I have an hour or two to spare during the week and we usually spend the whole weekend together in his apartment.
I have a fish there to try to fill the empty "pet companion hole" in my heart but it really makes me sad to not have birds, dogs, cats, and horses like I used to. Ever since I left my life for the military I have craved that companionship and now that Chris is here I have the chance to keep birds in his apartment!! I used to have 2 cockatiels so I am not new to this but when I had my cockatiels I was always available to them and time was not an issue.

Chris and I contacted a breeder a few months ago and have been preparing for and excited about the 2 male cockatiels we had reserved before they had even been eggs. They are now 6 weeks old and we have been visiting them 2.5 hours away on the weekends. <3 I fell in love with mine. He already trusts me and falls asleep in my hands. I named him Cheerio. All I can think about is him and I have his pictures everywhere like he's a baby on the way.

But I want them to have the best lives possible and when Chris leaves for BMT and tech school it will only be me trekking down there every day to feed and spend time with them. I might not have more than 30 minutes to spend with them on some days because life here is S T R E S S F U L.
They would have my full attention all day at least twice a week though and would have each other, a large cage, and PLENTY of toys (already purchased.)

Please give me your thoughts. The last thing I want to hear is don't get them, but I want to know if I can still bond with my Cheerio that way.
I am a responsible caretaker and have trained and grown up around animals my whole life so I understand their individual needs. Need the input of the community. Thanks everybody. :) <3

Mae
 

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I know you don't want to hear "no" answer, but I wouldn't get cockatiels at this point if I were you. Your life sounds so busy right now. And what about your future travels?
 

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I was in the military and I'll tell you right now, unless you have someone willing to take them its probably not a good idea. I'm not saying you can't bond with them, but what about duty days when you CAN'T leave base? Or what were to happen if they locked down the base while your boyfriend is gone because of a drill or something (the marines got locked down on Pensacola back in '07 it CAN happen)? Especially as a fresh airman out of boot, I would be leery about getting birds or any animal for that matter right now. If you get sent overseas, its a really big hassle to get birds approved for travel. Just some things to think about.

On to your question...is half an hour a day enough to build a bond? Depends on the bird. It can be...but males go through a bratty teenage stage and if Cheerio does and is grumpy every time you see him it can make it discouraging and hard.
 

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I am a stay at home mom, I got a cockatiel because I needed something a bit more "needy" then my cat and dog who ignore me half the time. I spend all day long with Tiki and could not imagine how sad he would be if he could only spend a very short amont of time with me during the day. I even made extra arrangements this summer with my sister and my aunt just so I can take him on vacation with me the whole summer when I go to visit my family in Florida. To me Cockatiels are extremely dependent on their people, more so then other birds. If I had a job and a busy life, I would never have a cockatiel. I feel they need to be with their human companions way too much for that. I understand your strong need to have one, but please think about the bird and not just about how badly you want one. It would be sad to see so little of you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hey thanks for the replies.
Im disappointed in the answers because I did say Chris will be here to help me with them , and I know cockatiels in pairs are fine for people with busy lives... It is not impossible and the birds would get used to our schedules.
I just would like to know what I can do to help the birds be more entertained during the day and enhance the times we do bond, as well as introduce myself and make some cockatiel friends. :/ positive feedback is appreciated..:)
 

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You definitely have friends here! But I think what people are going off of with these comments is this:

But I want them to have the best lives possible and when Chris leaves for BMT and tech school it will only be me trekking down there every day to feed and spend time with them. I might not have more than 30 minutes to spend with them on some days because life here is S T R E S S F U L.
We aren't trying to be negative. We just are trying to help and want your birds to be as happy as possible. We also love pictures so if/when you get your birds, please post dozens of them ok? :D :)

We have no doubt that you would love your birds and be as best as you possibly can for them! :love:
 

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You definitely have friends here! But I think what people are going off of with these comments is this:



We aren't trying to be negative. We just are trying to help and want your birds to be as happy as possible. We also love pictures so if/when you get your birds, please post dozens of them ok? :D :)

We have no doubt that you would love your birds and be as best as you possibly can for them! :love:
Yes, I agree.
Not trying to be negative at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Aw well thanks for replying again and being reassuring. :tiel3: :)

Yes that IS how life is here. Yes I would be trekking up and down the hill on crazy days with only limited time to spend. But on the other days, I would spend all my time with them. Like I said they're only about 6 weeks old right now! When I get them, I was thinking about how they would probably get used to my schedule and it would benefit me that they don't just automatically right away expect me to spend all my time with them and then get sad when life gets crazy later and I can't. 5 months out of their entire lives will be that time that only I am able to provide for them and Chris is gone and I am busy. Other than that time, he will also be there to help out and when I'm done with all of my training our time together will hugely increase. I'm sure it can be done. :) I guess I just want support because it will be a challenge but I am determined and looove this little bird.

And yes, I have had to give up animals before for their own good and would do it again if it proves to be impossible for me. I will make their lives wonderful or will give them to someone who can, but first I want to try. :wf lutino: :) So yes, I will post a ton of pics! :D Cheerio is a cutie. And Chacci (his little brother) is a troublemaker haha.
 

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I would say to try to get as big a cage as you can and provide lots of toys for them to amuse themselves with when they are alone together.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have the large economy flight cage on the way, by doctorfostersandsmith :D :D :D So excited!!!!!
They are white faced cinnamon pied I believe. I will make another thread with pics of them and stuff when we visit again.
AND I HAVE GREAT NEWS!!!!
Found out that when I get TPG status (in may at some time) I wont have a curfew at all!!! SO I will be able to spend tons of time with them and not have to rush back at night!!! YES!!!!!!! :D
 

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Hi, my son went to dli too studying Hebrew. It was very stressful for him too. Your birds might be great to get your mind off of studying and relax while you spend time with them. I agree with getting a big cage and lots of toys. I hope everything works out great. I also want to send best wishes to you on your studies and your future carrier. It is a great accomplishment!!!


Joey and Oscar
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Did he??? :) My roommate is studying Hebrew. I am in Arabic. Kicks my butt. Yes a big reason for getting birds was the anti stress factor. When I go home on Christmas holiday I will take tem with me on a flight that allows them as a carry on. :) So excited to be apart of this community and CANT WAIT to bring my babies home :D And yes they are getting tons of toys!!! I will post the setup when it is all up and ready
 

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Can't wait to see the set up and your new birds :) glad you found out you get to spend more time with them. They're going to love the flight cage.
 

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OK, that's good that you'll be able to spend more time with them. Cockatiels in pairs might be "fine" without much human interaction, but it's unlikely that they will be friendly, and although some people in the forum disagree with this, I think that a pair of birds who do not get sufficient human interaction will bond closely with one another and ignore or even antagonize the humans.

I don't mean to be negative but they are very, very, very high-maintenance pets. This is incredibly rewarding if you have the time to bond with them, but discouraging beyond belief if you don't. My BF and I are young professionals with long work hours and I've had crying meltdowns over trying to train our birds. Recently I had to move for a new job and so I haven't seen the birds in well over a month (I will this weekend) and now that it's getting warmer and we don't think it's too cold to transport them we're going to follow through with our plans to rehome them.

One thing I will say is that the forums here are SO helpful when you are having difficulties with your birds. Don't hesitate to ask any kind of question no matter how dumb you think it is.

ALSO... double check that you are absolutely sure both birds are males! While you have time for cockatiels, I don't think you sound like you have time to raise babies, and hormone control methods to prevent breeding can be time-consuming in and of themselves. You said above that the tiels are 6 weeks old... that is too young to sex them visually so unless they have been DNA tested you cannot be entirely sure yet.
 

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I don't necessarily agree or disagree with Caterpillars first point about bonding. I personally have not had issues with my Skiddles (cockatiel) and Louey (Quaker) - they are both velcro birds and I am at work five days a week, I leave at about 7.30am and am not home until 7.00pm. I don't think this causes problems if thats what they are used to. Maybe being only there for 30 minutes a day it could have a different result and they maybe bond to each other more. There is also the issue of if they don't get along. I don't have experience with two or more cockatiels in one cage. So its just a thought.

I do disagree in relation to high maintenance though - Skiddles was sick and required many vet visits and medication for the first 6-8 months of her life. The highest maintenance for that was the drive to and from the vet - but I would do it again in a heart beat.

You seem very committed and have clearly thought about this. I think birds are a great de-stresser. :)

I do want to say in Caterpillar's defence - from the posts I have read...rehoming wasn't an easy option and or easy way out. From memory Georgia and Elvis have been a 'difficult' pair :p.

Can I just ask one thing...what happens if you go to feed them and spend a short amount of time with them and one is sick or injured - are you able to rush them to the vet? Its probably just something to be aware of.
 

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Lots of good points here....I'm worried about you getting two birds and them bonding to each other and not to you. Personally, I would start out with one bird and go from there, see how it goes. Then, if you bond well with the one, you can bring another in to work with. The reason being, its harder to bond with two birds at the same time and each bird would need alone time with you to bond. Yes, you can bond with them together, its just a longer process.
 
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