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About a year ago, I adopted a male and female cockatiel whose owner had passed. At the time I had gotten them, they had been together for about 9 months. They don't quite get along.

When I rescued them, the foster family had purchased them an enormous cage (their original cage had been quite small). They had been feeding them seed, but the foster "dad" was a vet and gave instructions for slowly getting them to pellets without stressing them out. Over about 4 months, we got them transitioned.

My issue is that my female doesn't quite look healthy. She shivers quite frequently and just looks raggedy and unclean. She seems to drop quite a bit of feathers. She has a pretty timid personality which is in stark contrast to my male. He is loud, boisterous and troublesome (which we love). She does not seem to like the male on some levels because whenever he tries to approach her, she gets very upset and defensive. But, if he goes to forage at the bottom of the cage, she will follow and stay in close proximity. And if he leaves her sight, she goes nearly ballistic and will not stop screaming.

We've tried separating them in different cages, which is fine with the male, but the female just looks so bored and unhappy. I've just been plodding along because the large cage gives her enough space to move away if she needs to. I don't really know where to go from here. She doesn't seem to show many other signs of illness - she doesn't hang out on the bottom of the cage, she has a decent appetite, and when we take her out, she LOVES cuddling and sitting with us.

My guess is this is stress from the male. These are my first birds, so I'm not fully sure. Someone suggested maybe getting an additional cockatiel to hope that she will find someone to bond with. I don't know if this is a good solution or not. And I do want to make mention that we are not interested in getting rid of either of our birds.

Sorry, lots of detail because I know sometimes people mention food, cages, etc being sources of stress.
 

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I had 2 females with similar dynamic. Turned out the more raggedy one was sick, and because she was sick she was grumpy all the time when the other female approaches her for some friendly preening. She also didn't like to be left out of whatever the other tiel was doing and would scream if i take the other one away. She did get better though after I took her to the vet. She was happier for the other tiel to approach
 

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How long has she been raggedy and losing feathers? It could easily be a heavy moult causing both of those things. Since she's not showing other signs of illness that could be it. However more info is needed. How are her droppings? Could you share some pics of some fresh ones? And pics of her? Do you weigh them? Has there been a change in her weight?
How badly do they get along? Do they fight or are they just not best buddies?
Best thing to do regardless is take them both to an avian vet for a check up. You said the previous owners weren't great and even if a vet did foster them there's no guarantees they are still healthy or that he even did proper tests to check them out.
 
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