The Cockatiel is the second most popular bird kept as a pet in the United States, and if you are looking to purchase one for your home, it’s natural to have several questions, especially about where you should buy it. If you would like to know more about these fantastic birds before you purchase one, keep reading while we look at several interesting facts about the temperament and diet of these animals as well as the best place to buy them.
Preparing to Purchase Your Cockatiel
A cockatiel can have a long lifespan of 15 to 20 years, so you will need to prepare yourself mentally to take care of your pet for that long. It will need food, a clean habitat, and a peaceful environment. However, as long you can maintain your pet, it will provide you with many years of entertaining companionship. It makes a wide variety of noises and can even imitate humans in some cases, but it usually prefers to whistle and will compose melodies or whistle songs it hears on the television or radio.
Set Up Your Budget
Once you are sure you want to own a cockatiel, you will need to set up a budget. We recommend setting aside at least $300 for the initial cost of the bird plus the initial setup of the habitat, food, and other supplies. You can also expect to spend between $100 and $250 each year for the upkeep of your bird, which includes one trip t the vet each year for a checkup.
Purchase Your Cage
Once you have your money saved, you can purchase your cage. Most experts recommend a cage no smaller than two feet wide, by two feet deep, by two feet high, but a larger cage is always better and will provide your pet with more room to be comfortable. The bars on the cage need to be no wider than 5/8” apart to prevent injury, and there should be at least three perches it can use. It will also need a food and water bowl, a birdbath, and a light near the cage because some cockatiels are afraid of the dark. The last thing you will need in your habitat is a few toys.
Purchasing your Cockatiel
Shelter or Rescue Organization
Once you have your cage set up, it is time to purchase your Cockatiel. One of the best places to buy your Cockatiel is at the local shelter or rescue organization. You can usually purchase your bird at a significant discount from these facilities, and you will be freeing up resources for other birds. Unfortunately, many cockatiels end up in shelters because inexperienced owners purchase them without thinking about the work that goes into maintaining them. Their lack of forethought provides you with an opportunity to save money and is our preferred way to purchase a cockatiel.
Pet Store or Breeder
When looking to purchase a cockatiel, your other option is to look for a reputable breeder or pet store. Most pet stores will use one or two breeders, and you can learn more about the quality of birds they offer by doing a little research in your area. There are plenty of groups on Facebook and other forums that you can join to speak with other bird lovers in your area that can tell you who has the best quality birds at the lowest prices and what breeders and pet shops to avoid.
- Choose a Cockatiel that has healthy plumage and colors you like.
- Choose a bird that is playful, talkative, and willing to let you handle it.
- Look for Cockatiel with clear eyes, no discharge coming from the beak, and no sneezing, all of which may indicate that the bird is sick. We also recommend avoiding the other birds since they might also be unhealthy.
- Avoid birds with damaged feathers.
- Avoid shy birds because they may never be comfortable around people.
- Always inquire about how old the bird is, and choose a young bird already weaned. If you aren’t sure, remember that as the bird ages, its beak darkens.
- Allow your Cockatiel to have two or three days in its new home before you attempt to handle it.
We highly recommend purchasing your next Cockatiel from the local animal shelter, especially if it’s your first bird. The shelter will have the best prices and purchasing one of these birds will save a life and free up resources for other animals. However, some pet stores can have great deals, and you can usually get a younger bird by choosing this option. These pets can be high maintenance because they poop a lot and mess up their cage, so you need to clean it frequently. It also makes quite a bit of noise which can take some getting used to, but once you get used to them, they form a strong bond with you and are great companions. It will keep you entertained with its amusing behavior and ability to recreate sounds it hears. It may even learn to mimic some of your words.
We hope you have enjoyed reading over this short guide and we have helped answer your questions. If we have helped convince you to get one for your home, please share this guide to where you should buy a Cockatiel on Facebook and Twitter.
Featured Image Credit: CapturePB, Shutterstock
Ed Malaker is a veteran writer who has contributed to a wide range of blogs that cover tools, pets, guitars, fitness, and computer programming. When he’s not writing, Ed is usually performing DIY projects around the house or working in the garden. He’s also a musician and spends a lot of time helping people fix their guitars and composing music for independent films.