Totally Tiels: Cockatiel Facts VS Myths. - Totally Tiels

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Cockatiel Facts VS Myths.

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 11:02 AM

Myth: Babies you finish weaning out yourself make better pets.
Fact: There is absolutely no fact or evidence for this. In fact, by selling to inexperienced handfeeders can result in crop burns, infections, starvation, and perhaps death.

Myth: Cockatiels need grit to digest their food.
Fact: Cockatiels hull their seeds, there is no reason to feed them grit. It can actually impact their crop, and lead to starvation.

Myth: Seed is the best diet for my bird, it's what they get in the wild!Fact: Seeds are high in fat. Birds on an all seed diet have high cholesterol and are more prone to disease and cancer. Birds on seed diets generally have shorter lifespans than those on a varied diet. Though the argument "it's more natural!" has been used, often people forget that wild birds spend a lot of their time just in search of food! They receive far more exercise than our house pets. Also, birds in the wild eat more than just seeds - they eat greens, fruits, nuts, and flowers too! A good diet for your pet bird will include pellets (60-75%), veggies, fruits, pasta and rice, and a VERY small amount of seed (<10%).

Myth: Cockatiels don't need baths, because they groom themselves.
Fact: Birds naturally take baths in the wild, most do it daily. Misting your bird helps to relieve itchy skin when it is molting season, as well as controlling dander. It makes the feather sheaths soft, easier to remove, and more comfortable for your pet. Baths also improve the overall feather condition of your bird.

Myth: Clipping one wing on the cockatiel is better than clipping both.Fact: How did this ever get started? Clipping one wing will make your bird lopsided. If you remove one wing off of an airplane, what happens? It does a spiraling nose dive. Same with cockatiels. Clip both wings evenly, which will allow the bird to glide to the ground, instead of bonking into it beak first.

Myth: It is cruel to clip a bird's wings.
Fact: Not only does it not hurt the bird (it's like a person getting a haircut), it helps keep you more in control of your bird. But there is constant debate rageing about whether this is good, or moral.

Myth: Birds need mite protectors on their cage.
Fact: They need a mite protector as much as you need an open box of mothballs right beside your bed. Cockatiels don't usually carry mites unless they are exposed to outdoor birds.

Myth: Vitamins should be added directly to the water!
Fact: Adding vitamins to your bird's drinking water is an open buffet for bacteria. If vitamins must be added, and only if your avian vet recommends them, add them to their daily pellets. Try and offer them a variety of veggies and other foods instead of using vitamins.

Myth: Cockatiels are parrots, thus great talkers.
Fact: Many males can talk, but it is usually not very clear and is limited. If you're buying a bird purely for talking ability, you should consider a larger parrot such as the African Grey.

Myth: Cockatiels don't get lonely.
Fact: 'Tiels are social animals, and thrive on attention. If you neglect your bird, you will end up with a much different creature than the sweet one you originally had! Cockatiels can easily become feather pickers, screamers, or just plain mean if not handled and stimulated daily.

Myth: You can sex a young cockatiel by the dots on its wings, bars, etc.
Fact: The only way to sex a young cockatiel (before its first molt), other than through genetics, is by a DNA or surgical test. Until their first molt, baby cockatiels all look like females. There are some mutations, such as the lutino, where the male and female look exactly the same.

Myth: You can sex a young cockatiel by swinging a pendulum over it (pendulum sexing).
Fact: Does this even need to be explained? This is an old wives tale, with no reasoning behind it whatsoever. It doesn't work, though many people will claim it has never failed them. Ahem.

Myth: My birds won't breed if I don't provide them a nestbox.
Fact: They'll lay their eggs in their food bowls or on the bottom of the cage. The only foolproof way to prevent your birds from breeding is by separating them.

Myth: When my bird screams, I should flick it in the head.
Fact: Never, ever hit a bird. Flicking the bird will only make it angry and possibly violent. First, figure out what's wrong, then just ignore the screaming. Reacting will only make the bird continue, because it has learned that through this negative behavior, it gets attention.

Myth: Squirting with water is an effective training method.
Fact: Your bird will never allow you to mist it again.

Myth: When your bird lays an egg, if you take it away, she'll stop laying.
Fact: If you take away your bird's egg, she will lay more to make up for it. Best let her sit on it until she gets tired of it, or remove it and replace with a "dummy" egg.

Myth: You should completely cover a bird's cage at night so it will be quiet and get a good night's sleep.
Fact: Birds need to be able to see at night, to watch for "predators," as they do in the wild. Keeping them completely covered may lead to night frights, where the bird thrashes around wildly and can injure itself.
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#2 User is offline   blitzwing 

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 01:47 PM

Wow glad I read this. I covered my babies up totally last night, thinking that would help them feel secure. :(

At least this morning, Pancake started preening, which I believe means it is becoming accustomed to its surroundings.

Cookie however still hisses at me. The breeder was a really nice guy and it was clearly evident that he loves all of his birds. It doesn't hiss at my partner, but then, she picked him (her?) and handled him (it?) first. Maybe its just scared of my size.
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#3 User is offline   blitzwing 

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 06:14 PM

I should also ask what these pellets are. I had no idea that they shouldn't be eating a mostly Trill cockatiel see mix with veg & fruit on the side.
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Posted 09 September 2008 - 06:39 AM

Different birds prefure different brands. What you want to do is just try them on little samples. If you can't find any that seem sutible, then the next best thing to do is to soak some of the birdseed for six hours, in a nice, clean place, then leave it to sprout overnight. This will seriously cut down on the levels of fats in the seed. And your birds are sure to love it.

Feeding a bird on an all, or mostly seed diet diet, is the equivelent of a person eating a couple of big-macs a day. It won't effect the bird immedietly, bit over time it definatly will.

And whatever you do, you shouldn't make a drastic change to your birds diet all at once. You have to slowly introduce new things, bit by bit. This way, you can make sure that the bird is eating properly, and isn't having any reactions to the food.
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#5 User is offline   Liv 

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 08:09 PM

Twitter :wow: WOW :wow:

Brilliant article!!!! Thank you soooooooo sooooooo soooooo much! your contribution is greatly appreciated!!!!



Blitzwing, I am a seed feeder myself. Mine get small parrot mix with sunflower seeds and hulled oats. They also get fresh veggies each day and lots of fresh branches and leaves. i am a natural is best girl and i personally wouldn't feed pellets when they often contain many poorer quality ingredients and artificial additives - There is many HUGE debates on seed verses pellets and each side is right in their own way and its all about personal choice in the end ^_^
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#6 User is offline   blitzwing 

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 02:28 PM

Thanks once again Liv!

What types of branches and leaves do you give them?
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#7 User is offline   Liv 

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 02:38 PM

I give any branch from the Australian gum and eucalypti range. Their favorite is the peppermint gum which also has medicinal properties :D

Eucalyptus nova-anglica (New England Peppermint)
http://www.rkm.com.a...lica/index.html

Here is a list of safe and toxic plants/trees etc
http://www.plannedpa...com/plants.html
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#8 User is offline   Paul 

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 08:07 PM

Very interesting Twitter :goodpost:

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 05:27 AM

Wow. I don't even remember writing this.

Cheers.
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#10 User is offline   Flossy_09 

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Posted 14 March 2016 - 11:51 PM

View PostLiv, on 10 September 2008 - 02:38 PM, said:

I give any branch from the Australian gum and eucalypti range. Their favorite is the peppermint gum which also has medicinal properties :D

Eucalyptus nova-anglica (New England Peppermint)
http://www.rkm.com.a...lica/index.html

Here is a list of safe and toxic plants/trees etc
http://www.plannedpa...com/plants.html


Hi liv. Thank you for this list of household toxins. I was wondering if these are solely when ingested. Ciggarette smoke wouldnt be an issue as i wouldnt smoke in his room anyway but other things such as house hold cleaners and such would the fumes from them harm my bird? I realise how stupid this sounds but i dont want to get him and then cause him harm without knowing.
Thank you for your post.
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