Also one thing I didn't mention is it is not just about the budgie's companionship. I got the cockatiel with the goal of giving it a temporary home (it had none) and taming it to be prepared for its next home, and keeping him if he was a great fit for me. I chickened out and kept it even though he's not a great fit because:
- Dander: I have allergies and asthma. I have a HEPA filter and I encourage him to bathe but I'm not sure it helps that much.
- Volume: I have sensitive ears to begin with, and he's much louder than budgies. I alos have a small house with hard floors and minimal furniture, so it is painfully loud sometimes. I'm also afraid when I have a baby he will constantly wake the baby.
- Mess: For my budgie, I have drop cloths under play trees and barriers to block seed debris from flying everywhere. This is good because I am not a big fan of cleaning but if it is all in one spot and simple I form good habits. My cockatiel purposely tries to find somewhere OUTSIDE the vicinity of any of my mess collection measures (he wants to keep his home tidy that way) to drop his poops and seed pieces.
- Relationship: I have trouble relating to the cockatiel. I spend more time with him just because he demands it. Most of my time is trying to make sure he is on a designated perch and not pooping all over the back of my monitor or chairs or doors... Other times I'm trying to eat without him landing on my food. He does like to sit on your shoulder and hold his head against you which is adorable, except when he freaks out spontaneously and hisses/attacks your ear. He's harmless but he stresses me out and I already have so much to stress me out.
I guess I'll just work on improving my general bird husbandry and see if these issues go away. Right now I'm working on 2 masters' degrees and working 3 less than half time jobs so maybe if I just had more brainspace he wouldn't stress me out so much. As for the allergies... its hard to say, but I know I don't want to traumatize him with rehoming.