Is it better to have one cockatiel or two? That depends. Do YOU want one cockatiel or two? Some people suggest keeping two if you aren't going to have a lot of time to spend with the one. I suggest if that's your reason, don't even bother getting the first. Cockatiels are social animals, so yes, a second bird might be appreciated. But if you're spending plenty of time with the bird, that's enough social interaction for him. Also, keep in mind that though cockatiels are social animals, that doesn't mean they will love being thrown in with another bird. Some cockatiels will tolerate other cockatiels, and some will not. If that is the case, you must be prepared to keep them housed separately. And two cages is twice the work. Is quarantine important? Yes. If you have an existing bird, and have bought another, it is IMPERITIVE that the new bird first be checked by an avian vet, and even if given the thumbs up, must be kept quarantined for at *least* 30 days, and preferably 45-60. Birds, when stressed, tend to "shed" germs that they may or may not be infected with. The last thing you need is to have your whole flock ill when all you have to do is keep the bird in another room and wash your hands after handling it. My male doesn't seem to "get it" when it comes to breeding. He ends up mating the tail, etc. How can I show him the correct way? Well, I really doubt he will appreciate you climbing in his cage and demonstrating the proper way to mate. And I really doubt he'd understand. The reason why your bird isn't mating correctly is likely because he is too young or immature. Male birds need to be at least a year to breed, and preferably two. Females should be, at minimum, 18 months, preferably 2 years. The closer you are to these ages, the more likely the clutch will be successful. That said, separate your birds, give a good long think as to *why* you are breeding, and try again later. What size cage should I get for my cockatiel? The minimum size is 18"x18"x18", enough room for the cockatiel to fully expand its wings and flap around a bit. And yes, they do that. But if you're only going to put forth the minimal effort to keep your bird happy, you might want to consider a guppy instead. If the issue is available space in your home, look into a smaller bird. Canaries can live in 12"x12"x12" but would be happy to live in the 18"x18"x18". And they sure sing a lot prettier than cockatiels. Bigger is better, and longer is better than taller. Never get one of those circular cages where the wires meet at the top: toes get pinched, bird goes crazy, and ends up breaking a toe or foot. Most of the bird cages sold in pet stores are not big enough. If it says cockatiel cage on it, it's still probably not big enough. Your best bet is either an actual bird store, or a bird expo where you can pick up bird cages very inexpensively. My birds are mating daily. Should I get them a nestbox? Are your birds related? Are you sure? Do they each have very desirable traits that would benefit the cockatiel gene pool? Have they both recently been checked by the avian vet and received a clean bill of health? Are they the proper age to have babies safely? Do you know how to handfeed? Are you willing to handfeed from Day One (every 1.5 hours, including when you'd rather be asleep)? Can you afford the extra food, cages, toys, perches, healthcare? Do you WANT babies? Your birds don't *need* to have babies. I find a lot of people ask me this question, and back it up with, "well, I assumed they wanted to have babies because they were mating." Do people always want babies just because they are mating? :) I find a split cage allowed the pair to still be close to each other, but prevent any eggs from being laid.
Make your own free website on Tripod.com