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Discussion Starter #1
Hi! So I've been watching three cockatiels (now about 2.5 years old) for a year. They belonged to an elderly neighbor of my aunt's, who died and left the birds with my aunt. Soon after my aunt's house was damaged by a fire, and she has been living elsewhere and unable to keep birds since. I took them originally planning to try to find them a home with a family member or friend. I am moving to a smaller apartment in a few weeks, and I'm a grad student and don't have enough money/time to take adequate care of these birds for the rest of their lives.

The three birds are siblings. Two are semi-mated: they preen each other sometimes. But sometimes he ignores her, and he doesn't seem completely bonded to her--he does heart wings and bobs his head for me (and used to get very jealous around my ex boyfriend!). The other male is friendly with his brother and he and the sister ignore each other completely, unless they want to same food at the same time--if that happens, they squabble until one of them moves. The female and non-mated male are not hand tame at all, although the male steps up onto a stick inside and outside the cage. The third male, who mates with his sister, is quite tame, but the other two birds get very vocal and upset if I try to take him away from the cage to spend time with him. When they get upset, he gets upset too and flies back (their wings were trimmed when I got them but I've let them grow out because they enjoy flying around the apartment and I don't want them to be bored; also because they fell off their perches a few times when their wings were clipped and it seemed to really upset them).

So my question is this: I have finally found a potential home. This person (who is not experienced with birds at all) is willing to take all three. But their relationship doesn't seem ideal to me; I think the friendly one would thrive if he were separated from his siblings. Is this a good idea? I'm gone for most of the day, but at night I'm usually around and awake for at least several hours, and I could leave a radio on for him during the days. In the future, I may be able to take him to work with me sometimes. I really think that he'd bond with me completely if not for his brother and sister. But since the other two have no real relationship, would taking away the friendly one, with whom they are both fairly bonded, be bad for them? If the two are alone together, will they bond?

I really think that the current situation is untenable; the female has been plucking her brother/mate's head feathers (under the crest; not so extreme yet that it's noticeable except from certain angles) and the non-mated male gets very agitated and hormonal--he seems to want a mate.

Sorry for the long question!
 

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i would separate all 3, no offense... theyre siblings and shouldnt be allowed to mate...

do you know if this person wants them for breeding? i would screen them very carefully and seriously consider selling all 3 separate from eachother... inbreeding is not a good thing at all
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The person does not want to breed them, but I agree, ideally they'd be separated. Bird rescues in my area have six week wait lists and I always planned to give them to someone I knew just so I could be sure they wouldn't be fed to pythons or abused or bred or whatever it is unscrupulous bird adopters do.

So you think separating them won't be too traumatic? And that Buddy (the one I plan on keeping) will be OK on his own? Thanks for the reply!
 

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as theyre all not overly bonded to eachother, i think it should be fine to separate all 3 and give them new mates if wanting to. but ideally siblings shouldnt be housed together like that. especially if theyre mating as it is. so best thing to do would either sell separately or make sure the person buying them cages them separately.
 

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I think it does take a toll on them to be together so long then all alone. I had two and one bird died two weeks ago and I've been spending alot more time with the alive bird so that she feels okay about being on her own. That said I think being all alone during the day when no ones home is hard on her.
 

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at the same time, theyre not bonded. also, they can do just fine on their own. as long as they get enough attention its not a problem. or they could find a new mate for their tiel if thats a concern. dally is a single bird and she'd rather be an only tiel... shes bonded to me very strongly.

separating in this situation is best because theyre all related to eachother and theyre mating. inbreeding is not good so its a concern. and having birds in separate cages next to eachother works too for companionship. i have the same issue with my lovies. cant put them together as theyre brother and sister but they do fine in separate cages beside eachother. theyre far from lonely and do quite well.

so thats an option too, i would just separate their housing at least. maybe leave the males in the same cage and female in a separate cage. that works too, unless the males dont like eachother at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the advice. Yesterday I took Dewey and Sadie to their new home. They'll be housed together for a short time, but then Sadie will be given away to some people with an aviary. They want to breed her, which isn't something I wanted for her, but I think she'll be happier to have a real mate. Buddy seems pretty upset by the whole thing. He's being very clingy (always wants to be held or sitting on my shoulder) and has started flock-calling whenever I leave the room or go out of his sight. He's also not eating very much, but I'm keeping a close eye on that and have been hand-feeding him pellets and sweet potato to make sure he's at least eating something. I'm sure he'll adjust, especially once we're both settled in my new apartment (at the moment all the packing is probably stressing him out further because everything must look unfamiliar to him).
 
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