Ask Lafeber


March 6, 2019

Cockatiel friend

I have a 18 month old male cockatiel, I am thinking of getting him a play mate, would this be ok?


Hi Julie,

If you want to get another bird then it needs to have its own cage. Birds don’t have playmates – they have flockmates until they get old enough and then they choose a mate. At that point, they do not have close contact with other birds.

If your bird is a pet, and you put another bird in the cage, they will eventually bond with each other and not want to be handled anymore. Even if you get another male, both birds will likely get wild or hard to handle.

A bird in another cage is fine and allowing some interaction when you are handling them is fine, too. Generally both birds will remain tame in this scenario, although they might get jealous or see each other as rivals.

You are your bird’s “friend” or playmate, so as long as you handle him daily and he has plenty of toys and hopefully a foraging diet to occupy the rest of the time, he will be fine.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,



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