I am feeling like I should rehome my cockatiel and get a budgie companion for my budgie instead. Obviously they would make better companions (they could even ride in the birdie backpack together to go on trips!) and reduce the allergies, mess, and volume I’m having trouble dealing with. Also the cockatiel might benefit from a home where the humans are home more, since he prefers humans to his budgie companion.On the other hand, I love my cockatiel and last time I tried to rehome him I broke down in tears even though it was a wonderful home. I worry that he won’t get enough flight time or other forms of care. I also do like having a cockatiel to spice things up since I’ve had budgies all my life and my cockatiel now whistles tunes I taught, snuggles with his head, picks treats up with his feet, and maybe could learn to use a flight harness. Also, gets along with the budgie (in his own way) which is a huge plus because they free flight when I’m home. On one hand I tell myself, I was only fostering him (someone found him outside) until he could find his forever home and to see if cockatiels would work in my household (given my tendency toward allergies). I think we were much happier when we used to have 2 budgies, in spite of the cool things about the cockatiel. On the other hand it has been a year and in spite of his minor neuroses he is attached to us (and slightly to the budgie) and we him.P.S. I feel like an awful person for even considering rehoming when I know I can provide a decent home and it just means small amounts of daily stress on my part. The only way I would do it is if I could find an even better home, guaranteed.
Oh, another option is to have the cockatiel live with a foster family for a month to give me a break from the stress, a chance to miss him, and an opportunity to reflect on what it would be like if I rehomed him. In that time I could also work on rebuilding my connection to the budgie.
It is very hard to know what it is that you are asking and it is difficult to give you any honest assessment when you are concerned about " judgements" because if we say that this is wrong or you could improve this by doing this or that then we run afoul of your no judgements requirement. To try to help you to make the best of the situation that you have and turn it into a positive one requires us to make judgements and you have already stated that these will not be well received and in fact I am cutting it pretty close just by saying this much. However, anything that we would say, could be taken as a judgement even though it is not intended to be a judgement of you as that is not our intent, desire or our place. You sound confused to me in that on the one hand you sound like you want to find a solution to having a mixed species household and your desire to rehome the cockatiel. This makes it very difficult if not impossible for us to help you in any manner at least until you make a decision as to what you want more.
That is not a crisis. I always said a person with an only child is not living up to the roll of parent. It is when you have two that the fun begins.My birds don’t poop in flight. I put paper down where I know they will perch. Poop wipes up or if it dries before you find it then scratch it up. You just have two kids.I have a crisis going on in my house. Myrtle is acting up and terrorizing everything else in the house. The worst is what she is doing to Rambo.
Thanks for your honesty wolf. I like constructive criticism, I just didn’t want this to turn into, "You clearly are a bad person for what you are doing or how you are feeling! Shame on you for even having birds."I guess it does boil down to do I want a mixed bird situation which means more mess, allergies, and painful noise or a two budgie situation where they would be easier to manage and bond better but offer only the singular enjoyment of budgies.At this point, if I had a clean slate, I feel like I would err on the side of two budgies. I will have kids in the next few years to provide me some diversity in “training,” heh. Unfortunately, I do not have a clean slate, I have this that I rescued…_________________As far as poop, I put cloths under all the perches. There is one bird tree that hangs from the ceiling with a 4’ x 4’ cloth under it that works fine, but everything else (cages, standing bird trees, wall perches, covered chairs) the cockatiel is very tidy, he makes sure to find the edge and poop over the edge of it.It was hilarious until we realized how quickly things got messy. =P
Keeping bird is not easy as they can be both noisy and messy, and some of them produce a dust that they use to waterproof their feathers and adds to the mess. I don’t have a cockatiel but I do have a larger dust bird, an African Grey, I run too air purifiers to help with the dust that she produces. I think it is wonderful that you have the budgie and cockatiel that have bonded well enough to live in the same cage with each other, although I would be concerned that the budgie might be too aggressive for the cockatiel and keep it away from adequate food and water. I think that it is much better for you to feel that you may have gotten yourself into a more difficult situation than you thought and are looking for a solution even if that means rehoming of one of them than to keep both and end up neglecting the needs of one over the other. For me it means that you care about them as individuals and the quality of their lives. And with my having made some mistakes as well as currently having 5 different species of birds I am quite aware of the difficulties that it can pose. I did try to rehome one species of them but the home was not up to par so I took them back. Again I do understand. To be brutally honest with you, it was never my intention nor my desire to have any birds living in my home with me. The closest that I wanted was to have some chickens running around outside to lay eggs, help with insects and the occasional meal. But one cold spring morning, well it wasn’t quite spring a young parrot arrived at my home and tried to come in when the door was opened. I spooked my Lady and scared the parrot which then landed in a tree in the yard. The bird was hungry, thirsty and nearly frozen so it was granted sanctuary and has been part of the family since that time. Such was my introduction into the world of caring for parrots and I knew absolutely nothing at all. This parrot bought me time to learn some of what I needed to know to rescue my second bird and I started the wheels towards acquiring that bird even before it arrived to the home it would have for most of that summer and I was lucky enough to acquire it before cold weather arrived. The thing is that once it started the birds that needed a good home kept arriving almost as fast as I could provide for them until I had almost too many of them. I really did not have or take the time to consider how they might or might not get along with each other and at the time just barely understood what bonding meant to the birds. Given the circumstances and the conditions of the birds that came to live with me, it is possible that they would still have this home, but I would have considered things much differently if I had know more at the time. But no matter they are here and I will give them a good home and life. I think that I am really hearing that you would prefer to keep both of these birds, now that you have them, but are not sure how to get things on the right track, that you are out of your comfort zone and if you could redo it you would opt to remain with what you were comfortable with. I am also seeing that you are already attached to both of these birds. Well to make things worse there are no guarantees with whatever choice you pick, but I do not see anything in you situation that can’t work and improved on. Part of it is knowledge of the species that you have, part of it is husbandry and part of it is desire. The only part of this that we can’t help you with is desire, that must come from you. If the desire is there we can help to make this work better. If the desire is not there then you are better with rehoming the cockatiel and getting another budgie. Let me know what you think.
I guess you edited out the ‘no judgments’ part because I read your posting three times and couldn’t find it, so now you are out of luck Now, you will have to excuse my denseness but what, exactly, is so stressing that you cannot cope with? I mean, you have just two little birds so how much trouble and work can they be? Small aviary species (like budgies and tiels) are the easiest birds to keep bar none so I must be missing something in terms of the ‘stress’ they cause - can you clarify? Now, if the problem is allergies, then the answer is self-evident and you need to rehome the tiel. And, although I hear on the worry of whether his new home is good enough, it’s easy to take care of it, all you have to do is make a list of all the requirements and wait until you find the home that can fulfill them. I would say that the best home for him would be one where they have other tiels, feed them right, keep them to a solar schedule, don’t breed them, don’t clip them and allow them flight every day. It might take you a bit of time to find a home like that but it’s not impossible as more and more people are slowly becoming more conscientious owners and providing much better conditions that we did years ago.
Wolf, thanks for your detailed and honest account! I was in a place where my budgie had just passed away after 12 years and after a year of grieving I thought I might like a different type of parrot for a change, since I had learned so much. I almost got a from a rescue but I couldn’t bear the thought of restricting my birds’ flight time to half the time and/or different rooms to prevent aggression. So when a friend said she found a cockatiel I thought it would be a perfect balance. I slowly introduced them and eventually learned that they liked each other and that unlike many budgies, mine is surprisingly not pushy. Sometimes he will try to join the tiel at the food bowl (which makes the tiel leave) or play with him, but he backs off once the tiel says he doesn’t want that interaction. Also there are multiple sources of food and places to hang out so they sometimes just spend time apart. Other times they hang close and the tiel puts his head down for the budgie to groom it!____________________________Pajarita, I did edit out the “no judgements” The reason I put that in to begin with was just because my crisis is not external (birds attacking each other, sick, feather plucking, bored, etc) as an internal crisis (what is the right direction to go from here?). I think the fact that I try so hard to provide so much for my birds makes me more concerned that another home won’t live up to mine, but you make a good point that I can just wait until I find one. I have a list of requirements (hopefully not too ideal…) and rather than post them I was going to just have people explain what their care routine would be. If they are close I would give them some pointers (such as in diet and entertainment). You’ve resolved some of my “crisis” because before yesterday I was thinking, “Am I really going to get rid of a bird?” Since I could see pros and cons to each possibility, I interpreted myself as selfish either way. What I really am thinking is, “Now that I know the idea home for this bird, let me see if anyone comes closer to it than I do.” If not, I’m happy for him to stay. If so, I will be sad to see him go but happy that I made sure he’s experiencing life to the fullest.As far as “problems”-- you also missed my huge list of pros/cons and behaviors of each bird! After Wolf’s post I cut it down (it was waaay too long, probably like this reply). I did get an air filter do help (a little) with dust and I have a shower perch for him. I only have minor bird allergies so it is only a problem when it combines with other minor seasonal allergies to become major allergies. I deal… The mess I just continuously try to follow up on, which is stressful because I’m so busy right now getting a second master’s degree and working. It would help if he stayed in his cage/designated areas better but I’m still working on that. As for volume… it would help if I didn’t have a minimalist house! (We have to put our bed away during the day, so it is just a small echo chamber in our room). Also I’m not as concerned for the moment as for when I have little babies that I need to sleep. When we babysit his normal contact calls hurt the child’s ears (and mine). I’m open to tips. I’ve implemented:-full spectrum lighting-stimulating walks-revised diets (including fresh food, sprouts, etc)-lots of flight time-foraging centers in both rooms-large cages with diverse toys-bathing opportunities-keeping a strict sleep schedule-not responding to screams (using wolf whistle for contact call)-clicker training activities
Yeahhh… that last reply was too long. Maybe the problem is partly that I’m a perfectionist and so the fact that I can provide nearly perfect care for budgies makes me happy but providing sub-par care for a cockatiel (not being able to clean up after him as often/easily for example or keep him entertained) makes me stressed.
Here is my solution. I guess I’ll just wait and see if anyone is interested.Craigslist:My cockatiel loves to sing Saria’s Song and make up rap songs in the shower. For quiet times he likes to snuggle his head against you while you work at the computer. [video of him]I would like him to spend some time in another home so he can get used to being with other people. The situation would be that we agree on a contract where you foster him for a period of time. This requires a safety inspection and opportunities to visit. We will provide the supplies, so if you aren’t sure if you want a cockatiel in your home it is a perfect trial run! If you are a cockatiel-whisperer, there is a chance we will let you adopt him so he can be with someone as wonderful as you.To apply, email us with a detailed plan of the care you would provide. If you are interested in long-term adoption, detail also how you would care for him for the remainder of his lifetime and what you would do if you were no longer able to care for him.Joys:- loves to spend time with people, especially snuggling with his head against you- sings a couple of whistles, including Saria’s Song - likes to hold things in his foot while he eats them- steps up reliably with a stick (someone less reliably with a hand)- gentle, never has bitten (though we’ve never harassed him)- enjoys quiet times watching movies or hanging out while you play games - experience with target training- experience riding in a birdie backpack to go on walksHazards:- poop where you don’t expect it (though easy to wipe up)- loud contact calls (especially when getting settled in)- hisses when your hair tickles him while on your shoulder