Cockatiels are among the most popular pet birds species because of their beautiful colors and diminutive size. However, they are social pets that require a lot of social interaction every day. That’s why you need to spend a few hours a day socializing, entertaining, and playing together to keep them happy. In this post, we will talk about how much attention do cockatiels need to stay in a friendly and happy mood.
How Much Attention Do Cockatiels Need?
How Much Attention Do Cockatiels Need? А single cockatiel needs to spend 2-4 hours of one-on-one time with you daily. You can spend this time playing together, talking, petting and singing. You can even walk around with your cockatiel while it is perched on your shoulder. A lack of attention can cause side effects in cockatiel, such as depression, loneliness, and destructive behavior.
A pair of bonded cockatiels can meet each other’s social needs. So if you are concerned that your cockatiel can not struggle as a lone bird, then getting a second cockatiel will be very helpful.
Do Cockatiels Need Lots Of Attention?
Cockatiels, as we have already said, are popular birds to keep as pets. They are small birds that reach a maximum length of 13 inches and require only 24x18x24 of cage space. Cockatiels are affectionate towards humans and are easy to tame. One aspect of keeping cockatiels that may seem a little daunting at first is how much attention they need. Cockatiels are social birds that thrive in interaction with their owner and with other birds.
The ideal companion for one cockatiel is another cockatiel. Their deep devotion towards their mate is how the cockatiels got their names. A pair of bonded cockatiels will spend their time preening, playing, and feeding together. Getting a second cockatiel will fulfill the social requirements of your existing cockatiel. A pair of cockatiels will occupy each other throughout the day.
You will still be able to play, pet, and talk to your cockatiels as much as you want. However, they will not need much attention from you to be happy but provided that they have got each other’s companionship. However, cockatiel without a mate can become lonely and depressing. This can have a devastating effect on the mental and physical well-being of the cockatiel. Therefore, if you have a single cockatiel, you will need to spend more time one-on-one with them.
Do Cockatiels Have to Be in Pairs?
Do Cockatiels Have to Be in Pairs? It is unnecessary to keep cockatiels in pairs, but they are happiest when they are part of a bonded pair.
Cockatiels are social birds that interact with others of their species. When they are not together, they will call each other over long distances to communicate and keep the flock together. Cockatiels live in small flocks, which can range in number.
It is unnatural for a cockatiel to be socially isolated from its species. When a wild cockatiel’s mate dies, it will pine for its mate and show signs of sadness. You can see the same behaviors in captive cockatiels that are housed alone. That’s why most owners keep cockatiels in pairs or small same-sex groups. Keeping its social needs fulfill is the easiest way to make one cockatiel happy.
That doesn’t mean that you cant keep a cockatiel alone. However, you must be prepared to devote time and attention to it. Lonely cockatiels show signs of poor mental health and can develop unhealthy habits, such as plucking feathers.
Do Cockatiels Bond with Their Owners?
Do Cockatiels Bond with Their Owners? Cockatiels can form strong bonds with their owners, as do most other bird species. However, a cockatiel’s bond with a human will never be the same as with another cockatiel.
A pair of bonded cockatiels can understand all the manners, movements, and vocalizations of each other. They can communicate with each other in a way that you and your cockatiel can not. While cockatiels enjoy human company, especially if they are hand-reared, they will always prefer their own species. So if you want to satisfy your cockatiel’s need for social interaction, you will need to spend a lot of time together. You will need to dedicate a few hours each day to your cockatiel. The more time you spend with your cockatiel, the happier and lonelier it will be.
How to Entertain Cockatiels
There are various ways to interact with your cockatiel, including:
- Talk together
- Foraging opportunities
- Climbing apparatus
- Shoulder perching
- Chew toys
As long as you are giving attention to your cockatiel, it will appreciate any interaction with you. If you talk to your cockatiel regularly, it can learn to mimic your speech.
Do Cockatiels Like to Be Handled?
Do Cockatiels Like to Be Handled? Cockatiels are birds that like to be handled and enjoy moving around on your shoulder or forearm while you walk around the house.
And about the question of, do cockatiels like to be held? It depends on how tame your cockatiel is and whether it trusts you. The more time you spend interacting and socializing with your cockatiel, the tamer, it will become. If your cockatiel is reluctant to perch on your shoulder at first, do not force it to do so. Never grab your cockatiel or try to pick it up from above. An excellent way to earn the trust of your cockatiel is to start feeding it from your hand. Put a few treats on your palm and place your hand flat on the surface. Your cockatiel will perch on your wrist while eating.
Once your cockatiel gets used to perching on your wrist, you can train it to hop from one hand to the other. Slowly increase the distance between your hands until they start flying from one to the other. This is an entertaining game that most cockatiels enjoy. Cockatiels often like to be touched. They will beg you to rub their feathers behind their crest against the feather’s grain. In addition, cockatiels can like their cheeks rubbed, the most on the bright red patch on their cheeks.
When cockatiels are affectionate, they will also appreciate the attention of the ambient too. Therefore, they are also happy when they are out of their cage while you engage in a quiet activity such as watching TV or reading.
Do Cockatiels Like to Be Petted?
Do Cockatiels Like to Be Petted? Yes, cockatiels like to be petted most often on their cheeks, head, neck, and beak. However, it is also essential to be careful not to pet your cockatiel in the wrong places. Otherwise, you may inadvertently stimulate its mating response.
Never stroke your cockatiel on its back or under its wings or tail region. These areas are groomed only by the cockatiel’s mate (sexual partner). Touching your cockatiel in these places can cause it to become sexually frustrated, resulting in behavioral problems. In female cockatiels, this can also result in unwanted egg production and egg binding.
How Much Time You Should Spend with Your Cockatiel?
How Much Time You Should Spend with Your Cockatiel? The minimum amount of time you need to spend interacting one-on-one with your cockatiel is 2 hours per day. However, if you are at home all day, then this figure should be closer to 3-4 hours per day and even more.
Give your cockatiel at least 1 hour of interaction in the morning before you are going to work or school. Then, make sure you can fit another hour before dinner and 2-3 hours after dinner. Ideally, your cockatiel should spend at least 4 to 6 hours out of its cage during the day. Unfortunately, many homeowners allow their cockatiels to roam the parrot-proofed room when they are at home constantly.
How Long Can Cockatiels Be Left Alone?
How Long Can Cockatiels Be Left Alone? Cockatiels should not be left alone for more than 12 hours, whether they are alone or in pairs. After that, it will get lonely without interacting with anyone. This can result in stress and related mental and physical health problems.
Work responsibilities mean that we have to leave our homes for several hours at a time. If you have a busy lifestyle, you will indeed be concerned if you leave your cockatiels alone at home. However, a pair or group of cockatiels will not mind being left alone while you are at work or school. This is because they will have each other for company, social interaction, and entertainment.
To avoid boredom, place your cockatiels in a large cage. There should be room for your cockatiels to fly around inside. Please provide them with three perches, a climbing apparatus, foraging, and toy opportunities. If you need to leave your cockatiels for longer, ask a friend to take care of them. Ideally, you should pick someone who your cockatiels know and trust.
Do Cockatiels Die When Alone?
Because cockatiels are social birds, staying alone for extended periods can be stressful. Prolonged loneliness and stress can cause anxiety and depression. These mental health conditions can result in:
- Aggression and biting
- Lack of curiosity or interest
- Decreased appetite and weight loss
- Stereotypical behaviors
If your cockatiel shows the above symptoms, it may be lonely. Rumors that cockatiels can die of a broken heart or loneliness are a myth. However, it is still not good for the cockatiel’s health to be left alone for too long. Getting a second cockatiel is the best way to resolve the loneliness of your cockatiel. If this is not possible, then spend time petting and interacting with your cockatiel. This should be for a minimum of 2 hours daily.