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Old 01-09-2019, 06:58 PM
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Cockatiel needs a pal. EB okay?

My sister was given a tame, flighted male 'tiel two days ago. He contact calls throughout the day, presumably to his former flock mates? She says he's barely eating the food he came with and he doesn't touch anything new. I gave her some toys just his size, but he seems afraid of them. She was perusing Craigslist and looking for another 'tiel to be his pal...but she landed on an EB juvenile and fell in love.

I don't know much about cockatiels or English Budgies. I have two Peach-faced Lovebirds and two American budgies. Can the EB be housed in the same cage with the 'tiel? The cage she got is very large (see link). There's plenty of room for both, but she wants to be sure they'll be safe together of course.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 01-09-2019, 07:05 PM
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Re: Cockatiel needs a pal. EB okay?

Not at first, and maybe not ever. You have to quarantine the new one in a separate room preferred. Then you have to see if they like each other. Even birds that like each out of the cage can't share a cage without fighting..... So you have to plan on them never getting along... Tadah and Neptune love each other, always together out of the cage. In a cage together they fight after about an hour.... So they have their own cages..

Two days isn't enough time for the new guy to settle in. His whole world has changed, and not eating very much the first couple if days is normal. Your sister really needs to spend a bunch of time with him, so he bonds with her.

Also completely bird normal, to be afraid if new toys. Can take weeks to accept new toys.
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Old 01-09-2019, 07:09 PM
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Re: Cockatiel needs a pal. EB okay?

Ohhh...I don't think she wants to start collecting birds in cages. She was hoping they could be housed together, but that's a valid point. I'm not sure what to tell her to do about the cockatiel. He seems depressed, according to her. I told her to be consistent in her daily regimen and to continue offering him new foods and toys. Hopefully, he'll come around. Thanks for the info!
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Old 01-09-2019, 07:20 PM
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Re: Cockatiel needs a pal. EB okay?

Read the tips on bonding thread. Abd he is intelligent and like a young kid in a new home, everything is scary. Sit next to him and read out loud, read her texts from friends outloud to him... If he likes to be held have him out with her. She needs to be spending st least three hours a day interacting with him. Mine like to watch YouTube vids with me.. she is his new family. And it takes time.
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Old 01-09-2019, 07:22 PM
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Re: Cockatiel needs a pal. EB okay?

2 days is nothing at all....nothing....at....all...
Even if it had been 2 months, I would always advise against getting a bird for a bird...especially when you/sis are already having issues with the one she has (but honestly, you aren't having trouble...this is normal...2 days is too little). The assumption is that this bird wants a friend etc, but 2 days in (and even 2 months in) is too early to know much--bonding and adjustment takes weeks and months. If you did get another bird (at any point) you could end up with birds that don't get along at all (and the screaming may or may not be contact-calling). Another possibility (aside from disease exposure from a new bird) is that they bond and then you are faced with new territorial/mate-defending behaviors and a non-existent relationship with either one.

I am not saying people have never managed to have multiple birds, but I would get very comfortable with the one you have (and work through issues independently) rather than assuming another bird will be a bandage for the situation. For perspective, imagine adopting a child from the foster-care system (one with baggage) and then assuming that any other adopted child or adult could take the place of the people from his/her past relationships and expedite the child's adjustment to a totally new home. As you know, a random woman will not replace a mother, a random child will not replace a sibling or a best friend...see what I am saying? I truly believe that this is a time issue and even if the bird is really upset over the loss of its flock (uncertain at this point), a random new bird probably won't solve the problem.

Please remember that birds move in slow-motion, so if you anticipate that an adjustment period should last for 2 weeks, up your estimate to 2 months etc.

I think it is great that you are concerned, but all birds are stressed by change and they will scream when upset or needy or bored or when looking for you etc etc. My bird didn't step up for 3 months (and she knew how, as I adopted her as an adult re-home).

Stay the course and be patient. I really think you should not get another one at this point.

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Old 01-09-2019, 07:27 PM
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Re: Cockatiel needs a pal. EB okay?

Also is his cage in the main room of the house do he can see his flock and be part of everything?
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Old 01-09-2019, 09:02 PM
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Re: Cockatiel needs a pal. EB okay?

Laura and Noodles gave very good advice! Two days is not long at all! In a new home..new people around,totally new surroundings..Wouldn't YOU be scared out of your wits if that happened to you??? Give him/her time! Tell your sister to sit next to his house and talk softly to him..tell her to try and offer him millet..most cockatiels love millet. New toys can be frightening too!!
Tell your sis she just needs to be patient and go SLOWWWWW..he WILL settle in in time..it may take a couple weeks.
Cockatiels are very intelligent creatures and can be so loving with the right care. PATIENTS is the key!!



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Old 01-10-2019, 07:08 AM
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Re: Cockatiel needs a pal. EB okay?

She passed on the EB, which I think is wise...especially after reading your responses. Thanks for the advice! She spends time talking to him a great deal of the day as she works from home and his cage is right next to her desk. She's careful to take him out of the cage because she has cats and a dog. Hence, the reason for a much bigger cage for him. I'm helping her set it up today, but I think we'll wait to move him into it until he's more comfortable being in this new environment. He's a very sweet bird and allows some handling so she's hoping he'll allow her to pet him someday. I look forward to watching their progress.
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Old 01-11-2019, 10:43 AM
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Re: Cockatiel needs a pal. EB okay?

I'm glad your sister didn't go out and buy another bird...The #1 Rule of bird owning is and should always be "Never buy a second bird for your first bird!" It ALWAYS ends badly when someone brings a second bird home for their current bird because they think that they "Need A Friend" or "Are Lonely"...And this rule applies FOREVER, not just when you first bring-home a new bird. You cannot EVER bring home a second bird with the plan that it will be a "friend" or companion for your current bird, not at any time or under any situation, and that includes if you are wanting to breed them.

Birds form bonds/relationships with other birds in much the same way we as people do. There is no way to "force" them or even encourage them to "like" another bird you bring home. They either like another bird or they don't, and there is no rhyme or reason as to why they like one bird but hate another, just like we as people don't like everyone we meet...And there are many variables and types of relationships in-between them loving and hating another bird too...They my absolutely fall in-love with another bird, bond closely to them, and start breeding/mating with them if they are of the opposite sex...They may like them but not bond closely enough with them to mate/breed with them or to be able to live with them in the same cage/territory (IT'S VERY RARE THAT YOU WILL GET TWO BIRDS THAT WANT TO SHARE THEIR "TERRITORY" WITH ANOTHER BIRD UNLESS THEY WERE RAISED TOGETHER AS SIBLINGS IN THE SAME BROODER/WEANING-CAGE)...They may not really like each other much at all but will "tolerate" the other bird being around...They may absolutely HATE each other and not want anything at all to do with each other...And then what often happens is that they HATE each other so much that they are extremely violent and aggressive with each other and they can't even be out of their cages together ever.

***And you can't EVER bring home a new bird with the plan of just throwing them into the cage of your current bird...This is a recipe for disaster and will usually end in bad injuries or death. Birds are extremely territorial over their cages and everything inside of them...So even if you are bringing home another bird because YOU WANT IT AS A PET FOR YOURSELF, you still cannot just put it in your current bird's cage or even on their play-stands and their general "area", you must ALWAYS buy or already have another full cage set-up ready for every new bird you bring home; you must also ALWAYS do a full 30-day Quarantine with any new bird you bring home, where the new bird's cage is kept in a totally different room from your current bird(s), preferably behind a closed-door that latches so that they aren't sharing the same air-space. And even after the 30-day Quarantine, you can't just put them together and go "Here, love each other!" The best way to introduce a new bird to your current bird (AFTER the 30-day Quarantine in a totally different room) is by moving the new bird's cage into the same room as your current bird, but ACROSS THE ROOM FROM EACH OTHER so that they can see each other and talk to each other, but so that there is no stress/anxiety caused to either of them...After having their cages across the same room from each other for a few weeks to a month (hopefully you've been spending one-on-one time with each out of their cages alone in a totally separate room from where the other bird is to avoid any causing of jealousy), then you can try moving their cages next to each other and see how they are interacting with each other, if they are even trying to interact with each other...And any out-of-cage-time together must be strictly and closely supervised, being ready to break-up any sudden fighting that often starts...They may NEVER like each other and NEVER be able to be out in the same room together, and this is why YOU must want the second bird for yourself, because if you don't then you're going to be "stuck" with a second bird that you must be it's "Flock" to.

****Now that all being said, your sister has only had her new Cockatiel for 2-days? Yeah, it might as well have only been an hour, lol. It's going to take time for the new bird to settle-in, to adjust to his new environment, his new people, etc. This can take months and months to happen, but it will happen gradually, over-time, and your sister will see the bird showing little bits of progress every day or every week, but it won't just happen all at once. So her Cockatiel's behavior right now is totally normal and honestly it's expected...Your sister is going to have to "Earn the Trust" of her new Cockatiel before the bird starts bonding with her, and this will take time, some birds longer than others, but usually at least a few months or so...What your sister needs to keep in-mind is that birds are "Flock" animals, meaning they naturally and innately always want to be "Among Their Flock"...YOUR SISTER IS THIS BIRD'S "FLOCK", ALONG WITH ANYONE ELSE WHO LIVES IN YOUR SISTER'S HOME WITH THE BIRD. So as long as your sister and the others who live with her spend ample time with the bird every single day, giving him lots and lots of out-of-cage-time with them, and most-importantly locating his main-cage in the "main-room" of her home so that he always feels like he is a part of the "Flock", then he will bond very closely with her and the rest of the household soon enough.

As Laura already mentioned above, your sister needs to locate her new Cockatiel's cage in the "main room" of her home, meaning the room of her home where the people who live there (the bird's "Flock") spend most of their time when they are home. Usually this is the Living Room, Family Room, Den, TV Room, etc. It's the room where the people who live in the home watch TV, read, play video games/board games, get on the computer, eat meals together, spend time talking to one another, and where visitors to the house usually spend their time...Even just having her bird's cage located in the main-room of her home so that the bird is simply "among his Flock" whenever someone is at home will serve to not only speed-up the bonding process, but it will greatly strengthen that bond...This is called "Passive Interaction", meaning that even though your sister won't always be directly interacting with the bird or paying the bird attention, because the bird is a "Flock" animal, just being "among his Flock" will make him feel much more safe, secure, and comforted. And this will encourage him to entertain himself inside of his cage with his toys, because he's "among his Flock" and not constantly worrying about not being among them when they are at home. Usually when people put their bird's cage in some spare-bedroom or back-room away from "where the action is" and where they typically spend their time together when they are home, the bird ends-up never wanting to play with his toys or entertain himself at all, and they usually also end-up doing nothing but screaming all day long, trying to contact their "Flock" members that they know are home and who they can hear, but who they can't see and aren't "among"...

As long as your sister locates her Cockatiel's cage in the "main room" of her house, as long as she's giving him at least 4-5 hours every single day of out-of-cage-time where he gets to be with her and the rest of his people, he'll be just fine and he'll start bonding with her and slowly start playing with toys/entertaining himself, etc. He shouldn't ever "need a friend", meaning another bird, because he has your sister and the others in her home, and she is "his Flock". That's all he needs as long as she is fully involved and giving him ample time and attention and involving him in all the "Flock activities"
that go on in her home...


And just as a side-note, make sure that your sister knows that if she were to go out and bring home another bird, and let's say that her Cockatiel and the new bird were to actually bond-closely to one another, then usually what ends-up happening is that neither bird wants much at all to do with the people in the house any longer, and if that were to happen, she would lose her bond to her Cockatiel and would never form one with the new bird in the first place. This happens because when a bird is given the choice of having their "Flock" be people or having their "Flock" be another bird in the house that they like and have bonded-closely to, they are almost always going to choose having their "Flock" be with the other bird and not with any people or person. And that really just makes sense, that when they are given the choice of having their "Flock" and their "Flock-mates" be people that they are bonded closely with or being another bird or birds that they are bonded closely with, of course they are usually going to choose birds over people...So that is always the other risk you run when you bring home a second bird to be "a friend" to your current bird; they might hate each other and not be able to be out together without hurting/killing one another, or they may bond-closely, love each other, and choose each other over any of the people, and then just let go of any bonds they have with people in the house...
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