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To get another cockatiel or not???

1976 Views 6 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Sophia
Hi all

I'm new to the forum and have been a cockatiel owner for quite a while now.

I have only ever owned 1 cockatiel at any one time but am considering getting another. My cockatiel is called Chico, he's not exactly tame, he will sit on your hand, shoulder, head, hates fingers but will take food from you. He squeals so loud and can be very annoying for my partner. He scream,s when I leave the house or the room, actually even if my partner does too. Lately he has been chatting to his shadow or reflection in a window.

My question - if I got another cockatiel, would they both start screaching for attention or could it possibly calm Chico down a little. He does these amazing little chatters to himself and I was thinking maybe getting another cockatiel would calm him a little. I have a feeling I am wrong and could possibly make matters worse and have 2 screaching birds instead of just one. I wasn't planning on putting them both in one cage as Chico gets quite possesive of his 'house' when it comes to me having to go in.

I would like to hear anyones thoughts on what I should do.

Thank you all in advance.

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As a single bird it would be expected that Chico might call you you and your partner (his flock) when you're out of the room, though it could be something else too. Boredom can cause screaming, does he have a spacious cage (no smaller than about 18"dx18"hx30" wide) with lots of toys to keep him occupied when his "flock" is away? The other thing i can think of right away is does he get enough sleep. Tiels need to be covered (or in dark/quiet) for at least 10hrs a night, but 12hrs is even better. When i just had Cookie she would SCREAM ALL THE TIME, always calling for me, worried to be left on her own. However, i started putting her to bed at 9pm rather than 10:30pm with the budgies. She's barely screamed since.

As to whether a friend would help, i would say definitely, but you wouldn't want to use the second tiel to calm him down. I would try the first things i mentioned (lots of space and toys if he doesn't already have that, earlier bed time, again, if he doesn't already have it) to try to stop most of the screaming before adding a friend. Keeping them in separate cages had potential to create more screaming if they really want to be with each other, but if you've got a large enough cage you may find that Chico won't mind sharing so much. If you introduce them out of the cage first, and let things move slowly i doubt you'll have a problem at all. Rearranging all perches and toys in the cage will help make Chico less territorial too. Tiels are fairly gentle and peaceful birds, most of the time. ;)

And remember, as with any new bird, 30 days minimum quarantine in a separate cage and room is an absolute must. :)
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Thanks for your reply.

First thing in the morning he chatters, then it progresses to a screech screech screech until you get up (no need for an alarm clock). I then feed him, change his water, and put him outside, hung up under our balcony. He is happy there for a while, lots of things to look at, then as soon as he sees you walk past the window he starts screeching again. Very demanding. His cage is quite large, 12 in wide, 18 in length, 35 in high. He has a swing which he absolutely adores and even sets himself off swinging when he's flirting with his shadow, so funny, he has a ball which he freaks out at, and a home made toy with rope. I don't want to over crowd his cage. Also, here in Bulgaria there's not a lot of choice of toys.

He sleeps in the next room to our lounge, the lights are off in there from 9 ish, covered and he starts screeching anything from 6.30 on a bad day and 9 am on a very good day.

The second bird was to calm him down, but for me it's a good excuse to have another one, that's what I told my other half so now I have to be able to almost guarantee this happening for him which is impossible. We went to the shop yesterday to get another tiel but they were all males and I am thinking that maybe a female would be better seeing that he flirts with his shadow, a male may be heading for more trouble!!

Chico does come out of his cage, he has a habit of flying and landing on my head or just sitting on top of his cage, again, if close enough to the wall, he then struts up and down with wings shoulders slightly out displaying to his shadow and some major flirting going on.

Now, they guy in our shop says that getting 2 tiels will make the screeching worse, but I actually don't really rate him as a knowledgable animal person. This is why I am asking all you tiel owners who will have a better idea.

So come on everyone, do we go for it or leave Chico the way he is, I don't want to upset my boyfriend with another screecher, but if getting another bird gives Chico some company and calms him down then I have to go for it. Oh what to do???!!!
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You were probably right that the pet shop man isn't the most knowledgable person to talk to. ;) First thing, if you want a second you will need a bigger cage. The one you have would definitely not be large enough for two. In my opinion you don't want anything smaller than 18"d x 30"w x 33"h for two cockatiels. Check out this topic showing members Cockatiel Cages for some good examples. If you can provide that then i would go ahead and get a second, put Chico in the new cage, and use your current cage to quarantine the new one. ;) Two cockatiels provides a whole new experience as they will behave like a flock and more bird like, but often still stay human friendly.

I just had another idea to keep Chico quieter, because i think he must be bored to screech so much. Why not make him some homemade foraging toys? :D I've made a really simple and cheap one which my guys loved and it kept them busy and quiet for a couple of days. :)

All you need is a paper bag, some cotton string, shredded paper (you can do this yourself with scissors if you don't have a shredder), and some millet sprays. Stuff the bag full of shredded paper, mix in some millet, then tie it up with string. If you want you can make some holes and tie more shredded paper to the outside. Foraging is a natural behaviour for birds, so this is a good way to give tiels treats. ;)
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The toy idea sounds great, trouble is I haven't found anywhere to buy millet, I should have bought some whilst I was in the UK some weeks ago, oh my dads visiting next month, my list is growing!!

I changed his cage around today which did shut him up for quite a while (this usually happens), now he is a little louder although it is bed time now.

We have another cage which is about 30cm x 40cm x 45 cm. It was Chico's original cage when he was younger. I have not seen any cages any bigger than Chico's cage now 12 in wide, 18 in length, 35 in high, so not sure I could get a cage big enough for 2! I really don't know what to do!

Thank you for all your advice, gonna have a chat with my boyfriend and take it from there. I'll let you know what happens.

Thanks again for your home made toy idea. Any idea what to use instead of millet??
Chico's cage is quite a strange shape, it's usually better to get ones that are long rather than tall as birds don't fly up and down. :p It's definitely better than his original cage though, so i'm sure he's happy with it. :D Have you thought about looking online to find somewhere that might ship to you? A lot of people buy their cages online as the options they can find locally just aren't that great.

For the toy, put any dry food that he loves in it. :D Something that will reward him for foraging in his paper bag toy.
Chico, probably screeches because you are his companion when you are there but when you are gone he is all alone and even though he may have many things to do, he might want to play and have someone around.

Getting another Tiel will cheer chico up and make him a new friend.

Good look with the chat to your boyfriend. :)
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