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hello! i’m thinking about getting a cockatiel in the upcoming months and had a few questions. :)

do cockatiels often poop on their owners? is there a way to stop this if so?

i’ve had quite a few really messy pets in the past and i’m wondering exactly how messy a cockatiel is. i think that it is recommended to sweep around their cage daily, clean the bottom of their cage pan every week, and deep clean their entire cage once a month (please correct me if I’m wrong). the thing i’m wondering about is the amount of mess they can fling out their cage in a day (if anyone has a pic it would be helpful) how long does it take to clean? cleaning isn’t the biggest deal to me but i want to know what i’m getting into if i get a cockatiel.

thanks so much!
-kaylor
 

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do cockatiels often poop on their owners? is there a way to stop this if so?
yes, they do. cockatiels poop around every 10-20 minutes, which means that if they perch on you, you will most likely get pooped on. i own two cockatiels who enjoy perching on my shoulder by the end of the day my shirt (and pants, if they were in my lap) needs to be washed. and if your cockatiel likes getting on your head like mine do, you might also get poop in your hair unless you wear a hat. as for preventing this, i have heard of people "potty-training" their parrot so that they poop in a designated area. however, i, myself have not done this with my two tiels.

and not only will they poop on you, but your furniture as well. my windowsills, curtains, television, bedsheets, and bed frame are frequent victims of my cockatiels.

now, as for how messy they are, my two cockatiels are notorious at flinging their food as well as pieces of their shredding toys everywhere. i have to vacuum the carpet once a day to keep their space looking nice. obviously, they aren't as messy as, say, a cockatoo. but they are far from being clean.

everyone's cleaning routine is different. personally, i change my cage papers every morning personally, as well as spot clean the cage grate, toys, and perches with unscented all-natural baby wipes. i deep clean their cage once a week. however, i think that a deep clean once a month would also be fine, as long as their cage isn't getting too grimy.

i also would recommend cleaning out their food and water bowls once a day with mild dish detergent (dawn is my personal favorite) and hot water to keep bacteria from growing.

how long does it take to clean?
on an average day, i would say around 30-40 minutes. when i deep clean it, it usually takes around an hour to 1 hour 30 minutes.

unfortunately, i don't have any pictures to show you right now, since i just recently vacuumed the carpet.

another thing to keep in mind is that cockatiels are dusty. cockatiels have something called power-down feathers that, when the cockatiel is preening itself, dissolves into a powder that coats the skin and feathers. in turn, this creates a lot of dust. frequent baths can help reduce the amount of dust, but you can expect anything near your cockatiel's cage to get pretty dusty.

i don't want to scare you away from getting a cockatiel with all of this, but i think it's important for anyone who is thinking of buying a bird to know that they are not low maintenance pets. not only are they messy, but they require attention daily, as well as shredding and foraging toys to keep them engaged while they are in their cage. they chew on everything and anything that they can get their little beaks on. they are essentially feathered toddlers that never grow up. but, in the end, they make wonderful companions if you give them the TLC that they require, and i find that the work is worth it for their companionship.
 

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It's also worth noting that if you catch the poop quickly i.e. Just after they've done it it doesn't cause too much mess and is very easy to clean if your cockatiel is healthy most poops will be what my vet calls cupcake poops, they are soft but will formed, if you get to them before they get squished, you won't even see the evidence. As for inside the cage that depends on where their toys are, most of the toys I have for cockatiels hang from the roof of the cage or from the sides. Only the ones on the bottom get pooped on. Dust is definitely a problem or rather feather dander and seed dust but I also learnt from my vet that if you only feed them what they need each day rather than filling up their seed bowls this reduces seed mess considerably. I find that yes I need to do a quick sweep/vacuum every day but only 5 mins worth to clean up the mess of my two. That being said they are not out of the cage as much as mentioned above as one of my cockatiels is very timid and had to be having a very good day to come out, and the other one likes to be near him at all times. Even if she is out of the cage she is usually still sitting on it if she is not on me.
 

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Totally agree with kaylor. I like Dawn detergent. We have a male potty trained (took 4 days), but our female is more stubborn and it has not worked. Lots of dust, but I do not mind cleaning either so it is a labor of love. We also feed them what they need. Works well. You can purchase shower holders so they can get some moisture (never put them directly under the shower). This helps with dust. Spraying with warm water (couple of squirts once or twice a week) can help. Ours love it and they do not get too cold. We live in NC though so winters are mild.
 
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