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Parrots/Cockatiel

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Question
Hello. I have a cockatiel that is almost four months old. He is very friendly, and loves to cuddle.
I was thinking about getting a second cockatiel for him. If I do, would I loose the bond I have with him? I would be spending lots of time with each of them individually daily.
What is your opinion on housing two cockatiels together?
Thanks so much,
Sydney

Answer
Hi, Sydney!  It just depends on the individual birds and your knowledge/experience with aves.  Since birds prefer other birds to humans, it's risky, but can be done.  All might be well and good until they start reaching sexual maturity, then hormones take over, and you are the 3d wheel so to speak!  The best pet bird is a single bird in the home.  A single bird will bond with you as it's "mate."  When you introduce a second bird, the second bird usually becomes the "mate" and you could be left out in the cold.  But this isn't always the case...it just depends on the personalities of the individual birds involved.  If you spend time with each bird individually on a daily basis, your chances are better, but again, any animal prefers others of it's own species over humans.  I've housed as many as 50 tiels together...some remained tame pets; others bonded with another bird and wouldn't have anything to do with me. If you do go with a second bird, I recommend purchasing a hand tamed, hand fed bird, and bonding with that bird like you have with the first bird before you introduce them to each other.  This way they are both bonded to you before they have a chance to bond with each other, but this, too, can backfire.  You would have a chance to bond with bird #2 while you have him/her quarantined for 30 days (you should always quarantine birds from other birds for a period of time to ensure they are healthy before introducing to your other birds).  Be aware though that during breeding season, even tame, paired birds often won't have anything to do with their human until breeding season is over...this is perfectly normal.  You should also consider the fact that 2 birds...male and female...will produce offspring at some point...are you ready to deal with this?  And sometimes, birds of the same sex don't get along.  Again, it just depends on the individual birds!  

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Chrys Meatyard

Expertise

I`ve been raising/breeding/handfeeding/selling parrots for over 20 years (parakeets/budgies, cockatiels, 6 subspecies of conures, parrotlets, amazons, lovebirds, etc.). I've been published in "Budgies" and "Cockatiels" offered by Bow Tie Productions, and have written avian articles for publication in England. I can provide advice in raising healthy birds, handfeeding/weaning babies, some health problems, nail/beak/wing clipping, general husbandry, etc. I also have experience with racing/showing homing pigeons. I cannot diagnose specific illness over this website. If you suspect your bird is ill or if you have an emergency, contact a certified avian veterinarian or emergency pet clinic ASAP.

Experience

Experience: Over 20 years raising parrots and over 13 years raising pigeons. Organizations: Currently, American Racing Pigeon Union. Prior member Miami Valley Bird Club, Southern Ohio Pigeon Association, National Cockatiel Society, Miami Valley Sportsman's Club, others. Publications: Monthly newsletters of bird clubs.

Education/Credentials
American Federation of Aviculture, completed Level I course, Fundamentals of Aviculture. Keeping/breeding parrots and other birds for over 20 years.

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