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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all! My name is Morgan and I only have experience with budgies, but I've been considering a tiel as my next bird :)
My sister and I co-own a budgie currently, but he will be moving out with my sister soon. I absolutely love birds and I want to know everything about cockatiels before I decide to adopt one, which is why I joined this forum! :)

Meet Stormy!
 

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I consider cockatiels the "best buy" for parrots :D
They are calm, affectionate, clever, pretty and good singers :) while being probably the easiest parrots (still a big commitment) and cheap.
I'd go for a tiel!
 

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I,have budgies, tiels, a parrotlet and a conure, although my conure is my favorite bird, my tiels are my favorite species, easy to deal with, sweet friendly, love to cuddle, just overall sweet birds with lots of personality. Very interactive.mand easy to care for...
 

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Hi Morgan! Totally agree. Cockatiels are my favorite bird. They have the personalities of bigger birds while still being small. There is a ton of life in them. I love my guy to bits.

Also, my riding instructor's name is Morgan :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
My biggest concern is the price of a larger cage. Obviously I want a cage large enough to keep my bird happy, but I can't find anything that isnt over a hundred dollars. As a college student, I just don't have that kind of money :(
Opinions on buying second-hand cages off craigslist?
 

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If the cage is going to stay inside the house, just build it yourself with wood bars and metal grid, it's gonna be easy and cheap..
 

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Check out craigslist etc... I just found a Prevue flight cage for a young customer of mine (she bought one of my babies) for $50 on Craig's list...
 

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My biggest concern is the price of a larger cage. Obviously I want a cage large enough to keep my bird happy, but I can't find anything that isnt over a hundred dollars. As a college student, I just don't have that kind of money :(
Opinions on buying second-hand cages off craigslist?
Part of being a responsible pet owner includes having financial stability. A hundred dollars is not a lot of money. What would you do if your bird suddenly got sick and needed an emergency vet visit? Please make sure you can afford any unforeseen expenses.

I suggest having at least $500 set aside for pet emergencies, AFTER purchasing all the necessities. More would be better.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Part of being a responsible pet owner includes having financial stability. A hundred dollars is not a lot of money. What would you do if your bird suddenly got sick and needed an emergency vet visit? Please make sure you can afford any unforeseen expenses.

I suggest having at least $500 set aside for pet emergencies, AFTER purchasing all the necessities. More would be better.
Oh no I completely agree! I have much more in emergency funds! My cage budget is low, though. I'd rather not spend that kind of money unless I have to. I just want to do plenty of looking before I buy a $200 cage that I could have gotten for $50 on craigslist! :)
 

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Many cockatiels who are hand tamed have what I call a soft bite. They'll kind of run their beak along your finger like they're biting but won't put much pressure down. However, that's not all tiels; some of them can be nasty biters if you push them. There was a cockatiel at the rescue who broke a feather, and I saw some blood, so I had to grab the bird to examine it and she gave me a bite to remember! Pretty painful, and broke the skin; I bled. Just bear in mind that they're beaks are bigger than budgies, and like any parrot you will get bit sooner or later. It may just be a soft bite, but it may also be a hard bite. However, a tiel (unlike a macaw or cockatoo) isn't going to break your finger!

In general, cockatiels are the gentlest, nicest, easiest to handle species I've ever met. And this will probably be true for you. However, you always need to bear in mind that there is no such thing as a good bird or a bad bird, only the way that the bird is treated/trained. If the bird is mistreated, neglected, etc, expect some problems.

I don't mean to be the heavy, I just thought I'd add this in amongst all the positive reviews. For the most part, cockatiels are really great, easy to handle, easy to train little guys.

Also, have you considered rescuing rather than adopting? It's usually less expensive to rescue (at the one I work at there is NO adoption fee at all, but you have to volunteer for awhile first so that the director can see that you are a responsible owner), and by spending less on the bird you may have more room in your budget for a cage.

Also, there is more money that goes into birds than just the cage and emergencies. You have to purchase the bird itself, toys on a regular basis, perches, food, treats, and likely healthy stuff such as cuttlebones mineral blocks and fresh fruits/veggies, if you plan on taking them outside a harness or flightsuit is heavily recommended because even clipped birds can get away on a breeze, and grooming if you aren't planning on doing it yourself.

Now here's some of the things I love about cockatiels:
*They may be louder than budgies, but compared to bigger birds even their screams aren't too bad. If you don't like the screaming, simply putting them in another room is usually enough to drown them out
*Like cockatoos, it's very easy to read their body language due to their expressive crests and tendency to make heartwings :)
*They're usually very loving and easy to handle/train (though if you're looking for a bird that wants to cuddle, some may be cuddly, but most 'tiels don't like being manhandled)
*Many have "soft bites"
*They have HUGE personalities packed into little bodies. These guys are basically cockatoos, but more colorful and not as good at talking
*Their singing is beautiful, and they can talk too (but teach it to talk before you teach it to sing, otherwise it's not likely to ever talk)
*Depending on how tall you are, you can usually put them on your shoulder without worrying about height dominance because they are below your eye level
*They are absolutely beautiful
*When they are happy they cover the bottom half of their beaks with their feathers, which is the most adorable thing in the world

And so on and so forth. Sorry about how long the post was, I just wanted to be thorough so that you know exactly what you're getting into. All in all, if you're willing to pay for the expenses, I'd say just keep in mind that it is bigger than a budgie, and so can be louder, can bite harder, and definitely takes up more space. If you can deal with that, they make very sweet, loving, birds who are easy to train and handle and are always a joy to be around :)

What exactly are you looking for in a pet bird?
 

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Oh no I completely agree! I have much more in emergency funds! My cage budget is low, though. I'd rather not spend that kind of money unless I have to. I just want to do plenty of looking before I buy a $200 cage that I could have gotten for $50 on craigslist! :)
Glad to hear. I definitely recommend looking for second hand cages. I scored a $300+ cage for $50 :) Just make sure to clean and disinfect it very well before using. F10SC is the best disinfectant!
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Many cockatiels who are hand tamed have what I call a soft bite. They'll kind of run their beak along your finger like they're biting but won't put much pressure down. However, that's not all tiels; some of them can be nasty biters if you push them. There was a cockatiel at the rescue who broke a feather, and I saw some blood, so I had to grab the bird to examine it and she gave me a bite to remember! Pretty painful, and broke the skin; I bled. Just bear in mind that they're beaks are bigger than budgies, and like any parrot you will get bit sooner or later. It may just be a soft bite, but it may also be a hard bite. However, a tiel (unlike a macaw or cockatoo) isn't going to break your finger!

In general, cockatiels are the gentlest, nicest, easiest to handle species I've ever met. And this will probably be true for you. However, you always need to bear in mind that there is no such thing as a good bird or a bad bird, only the way that the bird is treated/trained. If the bird is mistreated, neglected, etc, expect some problems.

I don't mean to be the heavy, I just thought I'd add this in amongst all the positive reviews. For the most part, cockatiels are really great, easy to handle, easy to train little guys.

Also, have you considered rescuing rather than adopting? It's usually less expensive to rescue (at the one I work at there is NO adoption fee at all, but you have to volunteer for awhile first so that the director can see that you are a responsible owner), and by spending less on the bird you may have more room in your budget for a cage.

Also, there is more money that goes into birds than just the cage and emergencies. You have to purchase the bird itself, toys on a regular basis, perches, food, treats, and likely healthy stuff such as cuttlebones mineral blocks and fresh fruits/veggies, if you plan on taking them outside a harness or flightsuit is heavily recommended because even clipped birds can get away on a breeze, and grooming if you aren't planning on doing it yourself.

Now here's some of the things I love about cockatiels:
*They may be louder than budgies, but compared to bigger birds even their screams aren't too bad. If you don't like the screaming, simply putting them in another room is usually enough to drown them out
*Like cockatoos, it's very easy to read their body language due to their expressive crests and tendency to make heartwings :)
*They're usually very loving and easy to handle/train (though if you're looking for a bird that wants to cuddle, some may be cuddly, but most 'tiels don't like being manhandled)
*Many have "soft bites"
*They have HUGE personalities packed into little bodies. These guys are basically cockatoos, but more colorful and not as good at talking
*Their singing is beautiful, and they can talk too (but teach it to talk before you teach it to sing, otherwise it's not likely to ever talk)
*Depending on how tall you are, you can usually put them on your shoulder without worrying about height dominance because they are below your eye level
*They are absolutely beautiful
*When they are happy they cover the bottom half of their beaks with their feathers, which is the most adorable thing in the world

And so on and so forth. Sorry about how long the post was, I just wanted to be thorough so that you know exactly what you're getting into. All in all, if you're willing to pay for the expenses, I'd say just keep in mind that it is bigger than a budgie, and so can be louder, can bite harder, and definitely takes up more space. If you can deal with that, they make very sweet, loving, birds who are easy to train and handle and are always a joy to be around :)

What exactly are you looking for in a pet bird?
Thank you so much! I appreciate such an honest response :)
The reason I'm leaning towards a tiel is because budgies dont like to be handled as much (in my experience). I like that tiels are larger too, so I can cuddle with them without being worried about accidentally crushing them!
I just think they're so pretty and so lovable.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Glad to hear. I definitely recommend looking for second hand cages. I scored a $300+ cage for $50 :) Just make sure to clean and disinfect it very well before using. F10SC is the best disinfectant!
I do love a good bargain! :lol: Where can you buy F10SC?
 

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The reason I'm leaning towards a tiel is because budgies dont like to be handled as much (in my experience). I like that tiels are larger too, so I can cuddle with them without being worried about accidentally crushing them!
I just think they're so pretty and so lovable.
I find that accurate. My budgies are not tame, one will nibble on my face if he's in a good mood but the other really couldn't care if I dropped dead right in front of him. They're cute though. Cockatiels are much more hands on in my opinion. Also, to me, budgies bite MUCH harder. I've had blood inducing bites from each and the tiels I've been bitten by (totally my fault) just give a firm chomp. The budgies I've been bitten by bit down and grinded. It actually kind of hurt!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I find that accurate. My budgies are not tame, one will nibble on my face if he's in a good mood but the other really couldn't care if I dropped dead right in front of him. They're cute though. Cockatiels are much more hands on in my opinion. Also, to me, budgies bite MUCH harder. I've had blood inducing bites from each and the tiels I've been bitten by (totally my fault) just give a firm chomp. The budgies I've been bitten by bit down and grinded. It actually kind of hurt!
My budgie bit me so hard once, right on the soft webbing part between my thumb and index finger. He held on for a good 30 seconds and drew quite a bit of blood :( I know what you mean by the grinding part! Lesson learned from that one: Stormy does not like his head scratched one bit!
 
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