Just got a lutino female cockatiel. Any tips on how to keep her happy and healthy would be appreciated. This is my first bird so i have no idea what to do lol. Thanks
Hi David – congratulations on your new relationship. I’m hopeful it will be fruitful and long-lasting. I don’t know if you’ve been following on our blog or if you are on our email list but about five months ago we acquired a white face Lutino through a rescue.
We’ve chronicled some of Popcorn’s stories. A couple of weeks ago I related how we decided to keep her flighted and the work we were doing with her to make her better flyer. You can read about that here and then decide if you want to keep your bird flight it or not.
Volumes have been and will be written on how to have a good relationship with cockatiels. It’s important to start at the beginning and understand birds are instinctively “flock animals”. Now you and your family have now become your birds flock and she expects to have interaction with you verbally and physically. Shall want to be part of your conversations and shall want to be with you at the dinner table. Because popcorn wanted to walk across her plates we now give her a little something of whatever we are eating and lock her in the cage just so we can get through a meal without cockatiel prints in the mashed potatoes.
Popcorn is very hand tame and has never bitten us and that’s the first place that you would want to start. It will make the relationship more enjoyable. Be sure that you pet her around the head and the neck area, no lower so as not to stimulate her hormonally.
Cockatiels can live in a birdcage 18 x 18 but we prefer to see them in something closer to 22 x 17 or bigger. Plenty of fresh food and water are a given. They can be messy and it took a few days but popcorn is now very comfortable in her Seed Coral it really eliminated the seed mess
Cockatiels are agile and great climbers don’t worry about making it easy for her to get around the. Make sure that you have plenty of perches so that she is constantly exercising her feet. Popcorn is a prolific chewer and we have lots of chew up toys that were constantly introducing to her that keep her busy when she is in the cage this is one of her favorites
Popcorn whistles a lot but doesn’t verbalize and I’m told that female cockatiels are not good talkers You may run into an occasional male that talks. Whenever she’s chirping about its her way of communicating to you and sooner or later you’ll begin to realize what some of her sounds mean. I can tell you it’s very clear that when we have left her alone for more than a few hours which is very rare, she will bawl us out for several minutes even if we open up the cage door – it’s always good to be missed:-)
We encourage you to introduce some sort of full spectrum lighting above or around the cage so she gets at least 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness. (Covering the cage at night). This is because cockatiels are from Australia close to th equator and their bodies anticipate a more than even type of lighting unlike sunlight that is constantly changing in North America – the shorter days in the winter stresses birds out.
if you see your bird hanging upside down with its wings spread like a bat, that’s a good thing that mean she’s just being happy and playful.
BTW, I like the old truck in your cover photo, check out my cover photo sometime – It’s a Vincent Black Lightning written by its designer Rollie Free in a speed record attempt at the Bonneville Salt Flats, 1948 – he stripped down to his shorts to reduce wind resistance – he reached a record average speed of 150.313 mph – for real