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Breeding Parrots, Cockatiels and Lovebirds.
      

Introduction

Cockatiels -They are adorable, beautiful and quite intelligent. Cockatiels are inexpensive and easy to care. They learn easily to whistle little tunes and near a bird like a canary they can learn to sing beautifully Those who can not afford an expensive Cockatoo, can buy a "smaller one" and a lot quieter. Their colour variety is amazing and you can tame them easily. Their size is good to handle and they are blessed with a lively good character (they can live with smaller species without any harm).

The basic classification of Cockatiels is that they are members of the parrot-like group of birds known as PSITTACIFORMES. Their beaks are of the hook type, and their feet have two toes facing forwards and two backwards (zygodactyls). Their size is about 12 inches (31 cm). They usually have a beautiful bright yellow crest and adorable orange cheek patches. Sexing can be done after 5 to 7 months of age. Only males have the ability to whistle nicely and this attribute may help to sex a bird under 5 months of age.

Native from Australia, they are well able to survive in arid places and fly over miles in search of water, that's why you rarely see them drinking water. They are extremely easy birds in terms of nutritional needs. They love seeds, nuts unsalted, vegetables, fruits, and their biggest passion: Corn!Cockatiels are small, usually grey birds with a movable crest, long tail, and white "racing stripes" on their wings. (They are, by the way, native to Australia and I think are considered desert birds.)

They are also available in all white, and all sorts of other. Adult males usually have a yellow face, which often, but not always, distinguishes them from the females (two of the biggest exceptions to this rule are with Lutino cockatiels (cockatiels without the grey pigment), in which both genders have yellow faces, and apparently adult pied cockatiel males may have grey faces like females!).

In general sweet-tempered, a tame cockatiel will often love to do things like: take showers with you, wolf-whistle, demand head scratches, demand to be let on your shoulder for a ride, and in general make cute noises and ask to be picked up and played with. If they learn to associate crackers or corn chips with the sound of crinkling bags, beware! You'll have a cockatiel demanding whatever crunchy food it is you're eating out of a bag.

Cockatiels are generally quiet and clean, but they produce lots of "cockatiel dust," which resembles a cross between dandruff and fine grey greasy powder. Cockatiels compared to lovebirds - Cockatiels seem more content to just generally hang out on your person than the more active lovebirds (which would climb all over you and explore sleeves, collars, etc.); however, they don't like a lot of physical touching (except for having their heads scratched), and they are more flighty (literally) than lovebirds.

They are also active in demanding head scratches by plunking their heads down or by butting your face. Their voices can be piercing and persistent but nothing like a shrieking lovebird! Their biting style tends to be rapid and not as precisely and deliberately applied as a lovebird's, but it can still hurt! Finally, older cockatiels are apparently far easier to tame than lovebirds (especially with poor hand-feeding or no hand-feeding).

Cockatiels do have some minimum maintenance requirements: they want nice big cages (big enough for them to stretch their wings). and they should be converted to a high-nutrition diet. This means: DO NOT LET THEM EAT JUST SEEDS! A good choice is to feed them a diet of pet bird pellets, fresh veggies, and treats like whole-grain bread, bits of chicken meat, boiled egg (boil for at least 15 minutes), and an occasional bit of fresh seed. If your bird refuses to eat new foods, though, certainly don't let it starve! Work with patience.

It's the owner's job to get to know the pet and its needs, and to help introduce it to healthy foods safely.A cockatiel also needs companionship. If you can't devote at least 15 minutes to half an hour per day of intensive company to your bird, either don't get it in the first place, or buy it a cockatiel companion (make sure to quarantine the new bird for at least a month first, though).

A hand-fed cockatiel, "pre-tamed". Look for an alert and curious bird with clean feathers, a clean vent, clear eyes, and good posture; make sure the pet shop or breeder keeps the cages, food bowls, and water bowls mostly clean as well. See if the seller has a guarantee, a contract that says you can bring back the bird if an avian veterinarian's exam shows the bird is sick. Birds hide sickness very well (it's a bird thing), and so careful tests must be made.

Female vs. male difference: from what I have observed of my male cockatiel, I agree with the general assertion that males seem to be quite vocal and somewhat easily offended - watch for a personality change after adolescence (as happens with some male cockatoos).

But if you want a bird that's likely to learn to whistle short tunes or “maybe” talk, a male is a good choice (they're cute when they sit on your shoulder intently staring at you as you whistle). Females supposedly are mellower and just love to snuggle, but they are quieter than males. However, young birds are all coloured like adult females, and most cockatiels are generally sweet birds (even when in a bad mood, they mostly just squeal and attack your fingers without causing real pain or damage). In other words, don't worry about it too much.

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