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Thinking about getting a cockatiel

1363 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  lbeckman

I have had my two budgies, Franky and Eleanor, for almost two years now and have been considering buying a baby hand-fed cockatiel from a nearby breeder for quite some time now. The main reason I have been thinking about getting a cockatiel is so that I can have a bird that is more interactive with me (likes to be scritched/pet and hang out on my shoulder). I got my budgies from a chain pet store as a pair so they are much more bonded to each other than they are to me. The only reason I have been hesitating to pick up a cockatiel is because I am worried how it might effect my budgies' happiness or if the budgies may become aggressive to the new bird in their home. Although the budgies are more bonded to each other, they still really enjoy sitting on my finger while eating treats and screaming at me for more treats so I could see jealousy potentially becoming an issue.

I have no plans whatsoever of housing the cockatiel in the same cage as the budgies. I would however hope that they would use the same playstands. The budgies currently have their cage open most of the day (except for 2-4 hours), but they choose to stay in their cage for most of that time. When they do venture out, they only stay on their playstand or they'll fly a quick few laps around the living room and then land right back in their cage. With this in mind, I feel like they would physically stay away from the cockatiel's space, but may be territorial about the cockatiel entering their play area.

I have read a lot of stories of people introducing a singular budgie to a singular cockatiel, resulting in the budgie being annoying and the cockatiel defensive, but I haven't really heard much of how a pair of budgies would interact with a cockatiel. My biggest fear is that I would have to let them out at different times of the day, which would mean that my budgies don't get the same amount of freedom as they do now. If anyone reading this has two budgies and one cockatiel, I would love to hear what the dynamic is like. Thanks!
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I have never owned a cockatiel, but I just want you to be aware that just because it is a hand raised cockatiel doesn't guarantee it will enjoy be petted. Just something to think about.
It's good that you are considering the possibilities of the flock dynamics before bringing a cockatiel into your home.

You are quite correct in that the budgies may well be territorial about their play areas.
As there are two budgies, they may also feel more confident in their efforts to "harass" the cockatiel when it is out of the cage.

I do believe you should be fully prepared to recognize that giving the birds out of cage time at separate times or in different rooms may well be the best option.
Budgies harassing a docile cockatiel would be stressful emotionally for the bird.

I have a lovebird that is very bonded to me.
I also have 9 budgies.

If I bring the lovebird into the same room where the budgies are having their out-of-cage time, the budgies want to bother the lovebird whenever he goes into their various play areas.
In my case, while lovebirds are more dominant than laid-back docile cockatiels, I still must be super vigilant. I rarely bring him into the room when they are out of the cage, both for their safety as well as his.
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I have two cockatiels and, at the moment, 11 budgies who are either mine or who I am fostering for a rescue. I had one cockatiel (Simon) and several budgies (fosters) before getting the second cockatiel.

Simon likes having other birds around and made friends with a couple of the budgies before I got a second cockatiel. Now, he sort of regards them as pests, but pests who he likes to boss around. The budgies for the most part ignore him, except for two who will stand their ground and have been known to grab at his tail in retaliation. I do let them out at the same time, but if any of the personalities were even a touch more combative, I wouldn't be able to.

I would say that there is no knowing what would happen. As another poster said, hand raised is no guarantee of what the cockatiel will want as s/he grows up; there's also no knowing how the budgies and the cockatiel would interact. It could be great, but you would have to be prepared for a wide variety of outcomes, even, "well, this didn't work out well" and re-homing the cockatiel.

On the difference between having a cockatiel and budgies: in my experience, the budgies are perfectly happy to on with their chirpy little existence without me when I'm busy. The cockatiels, on the other hand, are a bit more demanding ;). Some of them can be quite loud about it. Their poop also makes a much bigger plop and they generate a lot more dander :) I do love my cockatiels all the same.
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