new cockatiel

by Andrew
(Philadelphia PA)

I was given a male cockatiel about 2 weeks ago. It seemed like he was sick because i saw him at the bottom of the cage in the corner just sleeping but he was very active the whole day. So i took him back to the owner who gave me the bird.

As soon as i brought him back to his family which were 4 other cockatiels he became all happy and everything seemed to be fine.Nothing abnormal said the owner. So we figured that he needs a buddy, maybe he was depressed of being alone.

Today i bought him wat I believe is a 4 month old female. He now sings all day and shes quiet the whole time. I guess she's trying to adapt. The question: Is it normal for the both of them to be at the bottom of the cage just walking around or just standing there? They are not there for long but they do tend to go down. BTW he won't stop singing now!!!!

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Dec 02, 2011
new cockatiel
by: Linda

Okay, here's the thing. Both of your birds have to be taken to an Avian Vet to be checked for infections which are very common with new birds. Though they may not yet act sick, the possibilities are that they are incubating an infection which has to be diagnosed and treated by an Avian Vet only. No over the counter meds or home remedies can be given because until you know what is wrong, it cannot be treated.

Unless the breeder or store owner has shown you a health certificate that is up to date, the chances are they may have infections. To be safe, I highly recommend a trip to Avian Vet to have them checked out. Have the avian vet do a throat swab instead of the anal swab because the throat swab is far more accurate. If they are both clear of infections, then that's great. If not, avian vet will give you meds for them to probably be given a couple times a day with an eyedropper or syringe. Give only the amounts and times per day specified by the avian vet and give all the medicine. Usually this will be a week's worth. Also have avian vet clip wings on both birds. The 4-6 long primary feathers are all that needs to be trimmed, and these are found at the ends of each wing. In case they get away from you or a door is open, you won't lose them.

We recommend all new birds be taken in for a physical checkup because moving is stressful which brings the immune system down and opens the way for infections of all kinds.

As for being in the bottom of cage, make sure you have a grate in cage to keep them out of their poop as this is a very good way to get infections. Birds walking in and/or eating poop will have chronic infections, so make sure grates are in place and kept clean like everyday if they continue to be in bottom of cage.

The young female will not be old enough for breeding until she is one to two years' old. If they start mating, and she tries to lay an egg, she can die from being egg bound which means she is not physically developed enough to safely pass an egg. Once she is about 6 months old, you will need to separate them into two cages that are kept close together, so this mating does not occur too soon. I guarantee your female will die if she tries to lay an egg before she is physically developed enough as I've had it happen to me.

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Thanks for writing,

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