Cockatiels are very social creatures that form close bonds, so owners often consider getting a second cockatiel. The new cockatiel can be friends with the first cockatiel, leaving you more time with this. However, adding another cockatiel in the same cage will have to be managed carefully. So let’s take a closer look at how to introduce cockatiels to each other.
How To Introduce Cockatiels To Each Other
It would help if you introduced the cockatiels to each other gradually. First, place the two cockatiels in different cages and different rooms. Once the new cockatiel has calmed down, place the cage in the same room as the first cockatiel and bring them closer together. Then put the latest cockatiel in a cage with the first cockatiel and follow them. If they quarrel, separate them or reward them with treats if they get along.
In the coming days, try to help the pair bond with additional positive reinforcement. If they form a bond, do not separate them. Avoid putting more than two cockatiels in one cage unless you have an aviary or a large cage.
Can Two Cockatiel Live In The Same Cage?
Two or more cockatiels can live together in the same cage only if:
- The cage is large enough.
- If they are of the same species.
- The introduction is managed properly.
- Enough toys, food and drink are available.
If one of these factors is not present, then your cockatiels may be struggling. Unfortunately, this can lead to side effects such as stress, injury, food hoarding, and self-mutilation. In the best-case scenario, the cockatiels will become traumatized and have a lousy bond with each other. As a result, they will refuse to spend time with people, and it won’t be easy for you to comfort them if they are separated from each other.
It is never wise to keep more than two cockatiels in the same cage unless you have a large aviary. This works best for this species of bird that does not need much space.
How Much Space Do Cockatiels Need?
Cockatiels can have a smaller cage. However, because they belong to a group of very active birds, they require more space to move. Therefore, for a cockatiel, you will need a cage that is:
- 1.7 feet long.
- 1.5 feet deep.
- 1.5 feet wide.
But if you add a second bird, the size of the cage should increase. Some owners provide up to 50 percent more space when adding another bird. This is acceptable, but only if they play, explore and socialize outside the cage. Smaller cages often cause aggression in birds.
How To Make Two Cockatiels Get Along
Two cockatiels will get along well only if they get to know each other in the right way. Here is a brief guide to this:
Keep the Cockatiels in the Separate Rooms and Cages
When you bring your new cockаtiel home for the first time, do not let it meet your existing cockatiel. Instead, it is best to take it to a separate room and place it in its own cage. Again, avoid allowing them to see each other or communicate with each other.
This is because the new cockatiel will be very upset by the new environment. It’s encountering new people, smells, and sights. Seeing with another cockatiel will only confuse him further.
The best step is to help him calm down and adjust to his new environment. Keep it separate from your existing cockatiel for at least a week and two weeks if necessary. The time will be extended if the cockatiel shows.
Continues With Stress
Your new cockatiel should calm down after a week. However, if it is still very strung, give it more time. Try not to move anything in the room or cage. Keep light, different foods, and even your tone of voice consistent. Cockatiels are upset by the changе, especially when they are already stressed.
The cockatiel is more likely to stay upset if caught in the wild than being hand-raised by domesticated parents.
According to Oxford Experimental Biology, wild cockatiels show more stress than captive cockatiels. This is because they have some new challenges every day.
Your new cockatiel may have diseases or illnesses from the pet store or the breeder’s cages. The few disorders that your cockatiel carries may not be noticeable at the moment. However, It can still be contagious, and the symptoms will appear a little later.
If you notice that your new cockatiel is out of shape, extend the separation time. This should take a month or more. Check for signs of illness such as diarrhea, runny nose, or sudden changes in energy or vitality.
Allows The Cockatiels To See Each Other
Once the quarantine and settling-in time are over, you can allow your cockatiels to see each other. Bring your new cockatiel to the same room as your existing one. Both cockatiels should stay in their respective cages.
At first, keep the cages a few meters away. If the room is small, you should place each cage at the opposite end. Then you can gradually move the cages next to each other over time. In the meantime, observe the behavior of both cockatiels.
Please take note whether one of the cockatiels flutters its feathers or retreats to the back corner of the cage. The presence of the other cockatiel may stress it. Therefore, you should avoid moving their cages closer until both cockatiels look comfortable.
After a while, you can put the two cages closer to each other. This will allow them to see each other up close without fear of an attack.
Let The Cockatiels To Meet
The next step you need to do is put your cockatiel into the cage with the existing cockatiel. This is the most sensitive step, so handle it carefully. Next, take your new bird and place it carefully in its new home.
You can also take the two cockatiels out of the cages and let them meet face to face in an open area. However, it will be tough to catch or separate if fighting occurs, unlike the cage where the space is narrower, and you can easily separate them and prevent them from flying around.
If your cockatiel starts flapping its feathers or acting aggressively during this introduction, then you should try again a little later.
Maybe you will see your existing cockatiel walk up to say hello to the new one after a while. Let them smell, talk and look at each other without your intervention.
It is advisable to intervene only if they start arguing. If they scream, bite or hiss, separate your birds immediately.
Help The Cockatiels To Bond
If your birds are accepting each other, then keep them under close supervision. You can leave them in the same cage and watch how they communicate. If they agree but still have a little tension, then put them in separate cages at night. Surely you don’t want a fight breaking out when you’re not there to resolve it.
At this stage, you must help your cockatiels to bond. Use the following steps, and you should see a relationship within a few days.
1. Positive Reinforcement
Be sure to reward your cockatiels for good behavior. The Journal of Comparative Medicine shows that birds respond to training through positive reinforcement.
- Offer both cockatiels enjoy whenever they are in the same cage together.
- Scratch their heads with affection when you spend time with them.
- Encourage them whenever they are friendly to each other.
2. Provide Еqual Аttention
During the introduction, avoid letting your existing cockatiel feel as though the new one is replacing it. Of course, you will be focused on your new cockatiel to help it adjust and feel comfortable. However, do not forget to give equal attention to your existing cockatiel with
- Talk to him quietly
- Petting it every time you pet the new cockatiel
- Treat them evenly
- Let the existing cockatiel see and play with all the new toys you will offer.
Identify Bad and Good Behavior
Even if the cockatiels are doing well, they may still have conflicts over the next 1-2 weeks. These fights do not break out suddenly, and you will instead have warning signs. To calm the situation or separate them if necessary, you need to watch out for good and bad behavior.
Raising On Their Wings
Cockatiels often flap with wings when they are of excitement. However, if your cockatiel raises its wings and holds them motionless for a long time, then it is trying to dominate the other cockatiel. Therefore, raising the wings makes your cockatiel look more prominent and scarier.
Some cockatiels groom each other, gently picking at the other’s head. This is a positive behavior that should be encouraged. However, if one cockatiel does this aggressively and the other backs away, it may be trying to assert dominance.
Cockatiels make different sounds depending on their mood. Yours may chirp or whistle at each other, which is a good sign. However, if your cockatiels hiss, then this isn’t very nice. In this way, he tries to threaten and warn the other cockatiel.
If you notice one cockatiel chasing the other around the cage, it may be a sign of aggression. It is not uncommon for cockatiels to playfully chase each other. However, if only one cockatiel is giving chase to the other for a long time, it can try to hurt or intimidate the other.
Defend their Food Bowl
One cockatiel may stand by the food bowl to prevent the other from getting closer. This can be a form of intimidation. However, it can also happen when the cockatiels do not have enough space. A larger cage can help you deal with this dominant behavior.
What To Do If Your Cockatiels Fight?
Your cockatiels may run into conflict whether they quarrel immediately or after a few days.
Cockatiels can not fight with something that is not present. If conflicts occur multiple times, then separate them.
Cockatiels fight even if they have excess energy. You can help direct this energy to other things such as bells in the cage, ropes, toys.
There are times when your new or existing cockatiel wants to be left alone. If the cage is too small, they will not be able to allocate space for themselves. You may need to invest in a larger cage or place them in separate cages and bring them closer.
If these strategies do not work, you may endanger the cockatiels. With their beaks, they are capable of inflicting significant damage. The best solution for all owners who are concerned about injuries is to separate the cockatiels.
If you think cockatiels are fighting due to insufficient space, consider upgrading a larger cage or even an aviary.
How Many Cockatiels Should I Have?
The number of cockatiels you own all depends on how much attention you can give them. Cockatiels are birds that require significant social interaction. Ideally, this will come from you.
You, as the owner, need to spend 8 hours or more with your bird. If you can not provide this, then the best solution for your bird is to get a companion.
If you can not fulfill the social needs of your cockatiel, then it is best to get a second cockatiel to help keep the first one entertained. This will make sure that they always talk, eat or play with each other. However, there are always concerns that you should always be aware of.
Never place cockatiels in too small a space, leading to feelings of stress and aggressive behavior towards each other.
Owners who bring a new cockatiel home should be aware of any aggressive tendencies their new pet may have. Aggression in cockatiels can be caused by:
- The cockatiel was not socialized properly when it was young.
- The cockatiel belonged to an owner who did not pay enough attention to him and abused him.
- He is jealous of other birds in order to attract the attention of his owner.
- It feels like its territory has been attacked
What Is Cockatiel Bonding Behavior?
The best way to know if your cockatiels agree is with bonding behavior. Because cockatiels are social beings, they form close bonds with their companions. They will keep company with each other and defend each other in times of danger. In some cases, these bonds can last a very long time. So when you notice those signs, it means that your cockatiels have accepted each other.
Also, sometimes even bonded cockatiels can fight from time to time. Although their conflicts will be rare, there may still be disagreements.
This is because captive cockatiels are very difficult to choose their mates. Unlike your pet, wild cockatiels have a wide range of options, will bond with what they desire. As a result, cockatiels may be unhappy with your choice.
Hormones also play a significant role in the aggression of male and female cockatiel. For example, if you adopt an older female cockatiel with a younger male who has not yet reached sexual maturity, then the older cockatiel may show aggression to the younger one. However, this aggression is rarely present in cockatiels with hormone levels that are in sync.
However, these hormones can be controlled by a variety of factors. For example, some studies show that hormone levels in birds vary when exposed to artificial light at night. This finding suggests that captive male-female cockatiels may show more aggression because they are far from their environment.
Separating Bonded Cockatiels
It is advisable to avoid splitting bond cockatiels. This can lead to stress, depression, and other mental health problems for both cockatiels.
This separation anxiety may not be remedied by offering your bird a new mate. In fact, your cockatiel can react aggressively to any newcomer. For these reasons, always avoid separating bound cockatiels if you can.
The best way to introduce cockatiels is slowly over several weeks. By watching out for aggression and encouraging bonding, cockatiels are often accepted by each other. Just be patient and watch out for any negative behavior.