Ask Lafeber


April 5, 2021

should i get my cockatiel a friend

Hi, I have a female cockatiel she was not treated well before I got her so she bites a lot. I can not give her a lot of attention because I have school and I have to switch between my parent’s houses every two weeks and she has high anxiety she also has a huge cage. She is good with other animals like my dogs but I am still not sure if she will get along with another bird


Hi Jade,

It’s hard to know if she would accept another bird. If she is tame and you handle her – in spite of her biting – then she will get worse with another bird in the cage. If they get along, they are likely to bond and not remain tame at all. If she is basically cage bound, and not handled at all, then she does need some type of companionship. However, adding another bird is not as easy as buying one and putting them together. You should get another bird that is around the same age. You can’t bring a new bird home and put it with her. They would need to be in cages side by side to give them time to get used to each other. If they seem interested, then you can slowly introduce them with close supervision.

As to her anxiety, if she is moving back and forth with you, this might make her anxious. Or if she is left alone with one parent while you are at the others, this can also be a problem. It’s best for her cage to be located where she is not near a door or entry. Birds are prey animals, so it makes them nervous if someone suddenly appears next to the cage. It’s best to have the cage located where the bird can see people when they approach. If she is near a window, people or animals outside can alarm her. With some birds, they do better if you put a cover over part of the cage. This gives her a safe area to go to, where she feels like she can’t be seen. If she is left at one house while you are away, make sure someone talks to her at least once a day and gives her some attention.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,


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