We’ve all had cold feet at a certain point in our lives. They can be rather unpleasant, and they frequently appear out of nowhere, especially when the weather becomes cold. This is especially true for cockatiels. Cockatiels usually have warm feet, making it surprising to find your cockatiel’s toes cold. Although it is normal for cockatiels to have cold feet sometimes, in some cases, it can be a sign of a more serious health issue. But why does my cockatiel have cold feet?
In this article, we will discuss the possible reasons why your cockatiel has cold feet and what to do to prevent it.
Why Does My Cockatiel Have Cold Feet? It’s usually perfectly normal for cockatiels to have cold feet. The reasons for this are cold room, improper nutrition and freshly bathed. But if your cockatiel’s feet are always cold, it could be due to illness, malnourishment, poor blood flow, circulatory issues, cold temperatures, or stress. Also, if a condition gets out of control, it may disrupt your cockatiel’s circulation letting its extremities get colder than they should. Even heart disease, psittacosis, shock, and blood clots could be responsible when paired with other symptoms.
If your cockatiel is uncomfortable with the temperature of its feet, it will tuck one at a time under its feathers to warm up. However, cold feet can also warn you of illnesses or stress in your cockatiel if they stay consistently chilled.
But if your cockatiel’s feet are cold for typical reasons, then provide a heat lamp, heated perch, and cover up its cage. This will bring up the temperature, especially at night. However, you should be concerned if the cockatiel constantly shakes, shivers, puffs up its feathers, or appears lethargic. In these cases, you should seek treatment from your veterinarian.
6 Possible Reasons Why Your Cockatiel Have Cold Feet
Most cockatiels have warm feet, but that doesn’t mean cold feet are immediately dangerous or harmful. Like any creature, no part of a cockatiel’s body remains perfectly consistent. So your cockatiel’s feet might get cold now and then, just like yours do.
The key lies in the average. The cockatiel should warm back up and keep its overall average body temperature the same. This is around 104-106 degrees. As long as it spends more time in this temperature range than in a lower one, it’s healthy.
However, there are times when the cold feet are not just a random, normal dip. If your cockatiel’s feet stay cold all the time, or it manifests symptoms like shaking and lethargy, this is terrible news.
Below are all the reasons why your cockatiel’s feet are cold. That will help you narrow down exactly what is happening with yours and if you need a vet’s help.
1. Cold in the room
If your cockatiel’s feet are cold, it may be as simple as the room around it being cold. Like humans, cockatiels only direct a small portion of their overall blood supply to their extremities.
While the cockatiel’s abdomen might be cozy and warm, especially under those feathers, the legs will not be. This is because the skin on certain body sections is thinner, the blood supply is limited, and there are no feathers at all. This will cause the cockatiel to have colder feet than expected, but it isn’t dangerous.
After all, if the cockatiel gets uncomfortable, it will lift one of its feet and tuck it into its plumage. So as long as the cockatiel doesn’t shake, shiver, or grow lethargic, it’s no more harmful than you having cold toes in the winter.
2. Improper nutrition
This is another common reason for cold feet in cockatiels. If the cockatiel is underfed or given nutritionally imbalanced food, its entire body will deteriorate. Without the proper fuel, it’s much harder to keep up the cockatiel’s metabolism, energy levels, or immune system.
This will cause its heart rate to drop, its activity levels to diminish, and its circulation to deteriorate. All of that, individually but especially together, can decrease your cockatiel’s overall temperature. But unfortunately, it can also encourage the development of illnesses or diseases, which might cause cold feet.
If it is for this reason, your cockatiel’s feet won’t get cold overnight. Instead, it will be a gradual process that coincides with signs of malnourishment or vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
3. Freshly bathed
Also, your cockatiel may be a little cold because it just finished bathing. This might have brought the cockatiel’s internal temperature down a small notch. Even if the water were perfect, some wet skin or feathers airflow would cool the cockatiel.
Cockatiels will prioritize drying out their feathers and preening so that they can stay warm. However, there is nothing to be done about the feet. The legs will stay colder as bare skin until the cockatiel warms up overall or until it tucks a leg into its feathers to heat up.
4. Severe cold
A cold room can make your cockatiel have cold feet, which is not a problem. However, if your cockatiel is routinely exposed to low temperatures and has no escape, all this can change. Cockatiels cannot easily handle temperatures of 60-65 degrees or lower.
It may begin to freeze if the cockatiel is outside during the winter, exposed to a draft, or kept in a heavily air-conditioned room. Hypothermia is extremely dangerous to cockatiels. Even if they do not get this condition, they may be vulnerable to future illnesses based on their body’s stress.
The cockatiel’s feet will get cold simply because the surrounding temperatures absorb all the heat. Cockatiels usually combat this by puffing their feathers or hunkering down atop their feet. However, if that doesn’t work, they will begin to shiver in hopes of generating heat. If any of these signs appear, warm up your cockatiel immediately.
Stress will often increase your cockatiel’s overall body temperature, giving it extra warm feet. However, if the stress goes on long-term, you may find the cockatiel starts to do the reverse. It will begin to deteriorate due to the stress, and its body heat will decrease.
After all, being cautious and on edge takes a lot of energy. Once this energy runs out, the cockatiel may get cold feet and show other signs of illness.
Stress can be caused by environmental changes, loud noises, animals or children messing around their cages, and bright lights. If your cockatiel is fearful for any reason and its feet become cold, you should take this seriously. The feet are not in danger as a result of the temperature shift. Instead, it is a warning sign that the entire body is in trouble.
If your cockatiel has cold feet all the time, or this persistent condition developed only a few days ago, then your cockatiel may be ill. Many diseases result in cold feet. However, the most common for cockatiels includes:
- Cardiovascular disorders
- Avian flu
- Parasitic infection
- Circulation issues
Many types of research show that cardiovascular disorders are more common for cockatiels in captivity than wild. This is due to:
- Movement restriction
- Stressful conditions
- Nutritional imbalance
- Inadequate exercise
The heart forms part of a cockatiel’s cardiovascular system since it has chambers that pump blood throughout the body. When blood flow is limited, different body parts experience fluid accumulation. This causes a drop in body temperature, including your cockatiel’s feet and toes.
Similarly, psittacosis is a bacterial infection that can be fatal. So if your cockatiel frequently has cold feed accompanied by shaking the legs, take it for a check-up quickly.
What To Do If Cockatiel Has Cold Feet
A cockatiel’s internal temperature should be around 104-106 degrees. A cockatiel’s feet can be above or below this range, but it should not be drastic.
If you notice that your cockatiel has cold feet, you can examine it for signs of illness. If these symptoms arise, contact your veterinarian right once. However, if the disease is not a factor, there are plenty of ways to help your cockatiel warm up again. That is especially true in the winter when the nights can dip below a cockatiel’s comfort range, even indoors.
1. Keep its cage away from windows
To keep your cockatiel warm, you should place its cage away from windows and doors to prevent exposure to cold air. In addition, it is best to position the cage at a place where room temperature is consistent. This helps your cockatiel retain body heat, even when the temperature outside drops.
If your cockatiel has cold feet, it may just need to warm up after a bath or snuggle close to a heating lamp. If you notice any other symptoms, though, it could mean your cockatiel is ill and need to see a vet.
2. Use a heat lamp
Infrared heat lamps are ideal for warming up your cockatiel’s cage. This will raise the overall temperature and, depending on the kind you pick, will give your cockatiel some valuable UV rays.
3. Place thermal perches
A cockatiel’s feet might get cold if it’s holding a metal perch all the time. This is because it will be expelling heat through its legs and taking in colder temperatures through contact with the perch. The use of thermal perches can aid in this regulation.
Heated perches will help the cockatiel absorb more heat without needing to puff up its feathers. It can adjust its own temperature needs as long as it has various perches to choose from.
A cockatiel’s feet might get cold if it is holding a metal perch all the time. This is because it will be expelling heat through its legs and taking it.
4. Cover your cockatiel’s cage at night
At night, when temperatures are low, use a fleece, thick cotton, or wool blanket to cover your cockatiel’s cage. It should be large enough to ensure no cold air enters the corners.