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How to Take Care of a Cockatiel

Learn how to take care of a cockatiel from veterinarian Laurie Hess in this Howcast video.


Dr. Laurie: So perhaps the most common bird that we see in our practice in all the birds that we see is the cockatiel. Cockatiels are great first birds for people. They're fun. They're interactive. They're sort of a mini-, medium-sized parrot. They can live for up to 20 years and they can be really interactive. They're very, very social animals. Some of them can talk. They certainly recognize their owners. You have cockatiels, Sarah. Don't you?

Sarah: I do. I have three cockatiels and all three of them are males and they talk a lot. They sing. They learned the Star Wars theme song from me and they sing it a lot.

Dr. Laurie: Over and over, every day.

Sarah: Over and over and again, but they're very enjoyable. And I think they're a good beginner bird for people, because they're small. They're not too noisy, and it's a good time to learn about behavior and feeding and interacting with your bird, and I think they're a really good bird.

Dr. Laurie: Yeah, they're really terrific birds. I certainly recommend them as people's first birds. I would say the one thing to remember though is if you have a female cockatiel, they can lay eggs like little machines. They can actually lay an egg every other day and they can lay oh, 30 eggs at a time. So if you're going to have a cockatiel, particularly a female cockatiel, you must make sure that you have ultraviolet light in your house for them.

You know, directly on the cage, not just through the window, a special bulb. That you give them a good diet that is rich in calcium and good nutrition for laying those eggs. And that you really pay attention to them, because they're great, great birds, and again, they live 20-something years, but they do need quite a bit of care too.

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