Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Monday, April 30, 2012
Bringing your cockatiel home.
What do you need to purchase before you bring your cockatiel home? You will need to buy a cage, food, two food bowls and two water bowls if your cage doesn't come with them, perches, a cuttlebone or mineral stone, and appropriate toys.
What type of cage should you buy? The cage should be purchased and put in place in your home before you bring your tiel home. The cage should be big enough to provide your bird or birds with plenty of space to play and explore. When your bird stretches his wings, they shouldn't come close to touching the cage bars. The minimum size of the cage should be approximately a twenty inch square minimum for one bird. The cage bars shouldn't be spaced more than a half an inch apart.
The perches should be wood and you should buy one or two branches of different sizes to ensure the bird's feet are exercised and healthy. The perches and branches should be the right size, not too fat, not too thin. Make sure that the perches or branches are placed in a comfortable position, near the bowls, so you tiel can easily and comfortably access his food and water but not directly over the bowl, so your bird's droppings won't land in the bowl. Your bird might enjoy a swing perch or rope perch, but be sure there are stationary perches, especially for them to feed from. It would be quite uncomfortable for your bird to try to eat while on a swing!
As mentioned before, I suggest four bowls in total. This will make your life a little easier because in the morning, when you empty both bowls to clean them, you can fill the other set while soaking and cleaning the first.
Attach a cuttlebone or mineral stone to the bars in a place near a perch accessible to your bird. Both of these are sources of calcium and phosphorous and your bird will use them to sharpen their beaks on.
There are many types of activities you can add to the cage such as ladders, balls with bells in them, and all sorts of toys your tiel will enjoy. Don't overload the cage. Give your bird room to breathe.
And remember, it could take weeks before your bird even goes near some of these items, if he goes near them at all. Don't force him. Just introduce them to him and let his own instincts take over.