So, you are all geared up to bring home your new pet. Excitement is through the roof. You are dreaming of creating a bond with your birdy friend. But hold it! Buying a pet is not just about fun and play. You need to look after them with care too.
They are entering a new zone and need your support to feel at home in the new environment. For a cockatiel, the cage is the most important part. You must decide on buying the best cage and then learn to set it up as well. How do you do it when you have never done it before?
Don’t freak out. We have got you covered!
Here is all you need to know about setting up a cockatiel cage.
Let’s dive in!
Cage should be ideal
Here are some points you should keep in mind when choosing for a cockatiel cage.
Size of the cage
Try to buy a large cage for better comfort of your bird. Your bird needs space, and it is important to buy a cage that has plenty of it.
A single cockatiel should have a cage that is at least 24 inches in length, 24 inches in width, and 24 inches in depth as well.
Bar spacing is crucial for safety. If bar spacing is not correct, cockatiel could escape the cage through bars or get its head stuck in between them. For cockatiel, the ideal bar spacing is ½ inch.
Get a strong, sturdy cage
A cockatiel has a strong beak. Make sure that you buy a cage that is strong and sturdy. The cage should ideally have thick bars and be made of stainless steel or powder-coated steel.
Putting up your cockatiel in a flimsy cage will increase the risk of your bird escaping it.
It could also hurt itself by rubbing against the chewed area.
Buy a variety of perches for the bird
It is better if you buy at least 3 or 4 perches for your bird. Most of the perches are traditional wooden perches but there are some other types of perches as well that serve various needs of the bird.
Take an example of cement perches, also called grooming or pedicure perches, which serve the need of keeping a cockatiel’s nails round. This will save your time as you will have to trim your bird’s nails less often.
Another type of perch you should consider investing in is the one made of natural wood. They are very comfortable for the cockatiel to stand and chew on. You can find natural wood perches in different diameters.
Aside from these, there are rope perches. The distinguishing factor of rope perches is that they are flexible. They come in different sizes and lengths. There is an adjustable wire at the very center which allows you to mold their length and shape to fit the place you want to put it in.
There is also a swing perch. As the cage is not just a place of living for the cockatiel but a place for entertainment as well. So, having a swing perch that moves, and swings is a great way to ensure your bird has a good time while perching.
Buy quality food and water dishes
The most important thing you need in a cockatiel cage is the food and water serving dishes. You must look for sturdy food dishes for your bird’s habitat. Place the food dish in a place where your bird has a place to perch on while eating.
Another point to consider for your convenience is the material of the dishes. Buy dishes made from a material that is easy to clean like stainless steel or plastic. The food dish should also have a wide opening so that the bird does not have a problem locating where the food is.
For hygiene purposes, you can buy a covered food dish. The birds tend to defecate while they are perching on the dish. So, to prevent the food and water from being contaminated, it is more hygienic to buy a covered food dish.
Most of the time, there are two food dishes and one water dish for the bird. However, you can purchase this essential item based on what you are planning to feed the bird and how many different food items you want to put in the cage.
Cuttlebone and Mineral block: A cuttlebone and a mineral block, both, provide the bird with essential nutrients like minerals, salt, calcium, and more. They also provide an outlet for your bird to put its chewing instinct into action. The bird’s beak keeps on growing and these chewing and nutritious items help slow it down. You can usually buy these for low prices from any pet store.
Toys keeps your Cockatiel entertained
To choose a wonderful toy for your pet’s entertainment and enrichment, take ideas from what they like to do in the wild. Some birds like chewing while others are a fan of preening. You can buy them a toy according to their like to them busy with their preferred activity.
For a cockatiel, shredding toys, cuttlebone, and a mineral block, wooden toys, swings, mirrors, etc. are a good idea. One unique present your cockatiel is sure to love is a bell. Birds are insanely attracted to ringing a bell and playing with it.
And last, there’s always your creative genius. You can try out any pet toys you want. Mix and match your favorite ones. See what works. If the bird doesn’t like it, keep it for yourself.
Toys are very essential as they keep the birds life entertained . There are various toys you can look for . These parrots ,budgies ,cockatiels almost share same type of toys . I already wrote a detailed article for toys you can see here.
How to organize the cage for your bird?
Got all your essential stuff?
Then you are ready to set up the cage by bringing together all the essential items. Here’s how to do it.
Choosing the right spot for the cage
Cockatiels are ambiverts. They would love to be a part of your family but won’t like to be in a crowded or hectic place. The best place to put the birdcage is in the corner of a family room or living room. In this way, the bird is in the corner but is still included in the hustle-bustle of the house.
Don’t put the cage under a sunny area but try to find a spot near a window. This way the bird will be able to engage with the activity outside and there will be plenty of sunshine. Just make sure the entire cage is not heating up by being under direct sunlight all day long.
Never put the cage in the kitchen. There are too many smells and fumes from pots and pans which can harm the bird or be suffocating for it.
Put paper at the bottom of the cage
After you have put the cage in the spot, it’s time to start bringing the insides together. A trick here to help you is to maintain the cage’s cleaness is by puting the paper at the bottom of the cage. This makes it easy to clean the cage as the paper can be easily removed and thrown away. You can also use newspaper or any sheet, so the actual floor of the cage is not messed up.
Take the paper (or the alternative) and shape it to fit the bottom of the cage. Add a few layers. Some cages come with a pan at the bottom which can be removed. You can wrap the newspaper over and around the pan too so the dirty paper can be easily removed. Make sure to clean the pan as well and do it weekly.
Put the toys and other items in the cage
Place the toys you bought and the enrichment items like a cuttlebone or chewing sticks, inside the cage. Spread the items in different parts of the cage so there is something fun to do for the bird all around its home. Also, this will keep the bird physically active as it moves from one part to another of the cage.
To keep the bird mentally active, keep the toy your cockatiel loves the most in a hard-to-reach corner so the bird can figure out creative ways to reach it. You can also tie the food to the bar of the cage or use puzzle feeders to make the bird do some mental work before getting the food. This will keep your cockatiel mentally stimulated.
Put in the food and water dishes
Keep your bird’s food and water dishes always filled. It is better if you put the water and food dishes away from each other or on opposite ends. This way food won’t get mixed up in the water dish. Make sure the dishes are properly secured with the cage walls as the birds tend to perch on them and even chew on them while feeding.
Make changes to the layout as needed
Your first arrangement of the cage might not work as expected and it’s totally fine. You can always change the layout of the bird’s habitat. It could be that you need to replace a toy, or the food dishes need to be placed in another position for better access. Don’t be afraid to reorganize as birds adapt easily.
Cockatiels make for great pets. Any bird is sure to brighten up your place with its vibrant features and colorful personality. All you need to do is to provide a safe and fun environment to live and enjoy your exceptional friendship.