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Old 08-01-2005, 12:03 AM
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 36,258
Can a cockatiel and a parakeet share the same cage?

My mother kept her parakeet's cage touching her cockatiel's cage. Both birds were alone. I always felt sorry for them, but especially since her parakeet died I've felt sorry for the cockatiel (Eddie), who now has nobody to sing the Andy Griffith Show theme with (he actually taught the parakeet to sing).

If we get another parakeet, do you think it would be alright for them to share a cage or will they fight? The cockatiel has never shared a cage since we got him when he was a few weeks old (and he was given to us because his father tried to kill him almost as soon as he was hatched).

For that matter, if I get my mother another cockatiel, is there anything I should do before introducing it into the cage with Eddie?

Thanks for any info.
Old 08-01-2005, 12:44 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: In your mom
Posts: 2,630
It's a good idea to start any new bird in a cage of its own, well separated from the other cage, for about two weeks (a quarantine period to make sure there aren't any health issues.)

For the first week, keep a blanket or other kind of visual block on one or the other cage, so the birds can hear each other but not see each other. It gets them used to the idea of having the other bird around. Then, drop the blanket so they can see and hear each other. Eventually, you can set the cages next to each other and then see if they can get along well enough together to share a cage.

They may never be able to "live together." I have two Amazons - a blue front and a yellow nape. I've had the yellow nape for eight months, and the blue front still tries to take a chunk out of it when they get close, so the cages stand, side by side, where the birds can look at each other, mimic one another, and even try to out-scream each other. But they're not allowed to touch.
Old 08-01-2005, 03:01 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: PNW ♀
Posts: 1,563

I have raised cockatiels, and my daughter got a budgie (parakeet) once. After a quarantine period they will probably enjoy each other's company, but in seperate cages. Believe it or not, budgies will attack the larger cockatiels, and, in my experience, the cockatiel will not defend itself sufficiently.

My cockatiel and my daughter's budgie lived together, side by side, in seperate cages. My 'tiel learned to speak budgie, and the two of them would have long conversations, but the budgie never did learn anything from my 'tiel, who had a few songs and sounds he would run through during the day.

A terrific site, where I learned tons about caring for my birds, is (I do hope it's alright that I posted that link). Lots of information, tips, and recipies to make your own bird food.
Old 08-01-2005, 04:32 AM
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Chicago
Posts: 2,059
Just a side note to all those of you who have or are planning to keep birds. Please, please, please don't keep your birds locked in a cage! That is the cruelest thing you can do to a bird. They need to fly. And they don't need height. They need distance. A long low flight path is okay. They get disoriented easily so it's best to set up a perch at each end of their flight path. Most often they will fly from their cage to a particular point and back again. Once this is established. mount a wooden dowel in the vicinity of that point and your bird, being a creature of habit, will either be in (or on) his cage or perching on the dowel. Then, for those of you who worry about the "bird's hit", place newspaper beneath the perch and you and the bird will both be happy. I've had parakeets and now have a cockatiel and their habits are the same. I've not kept them at the same time so for that matter listen to the folks above.
Old 08-01-2005, 10:52 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Western Pennsylvania
Posts: 6,581
I have seen a few cockatiels killed by budgies, and many more torn up but fixable. They should be housed seperately.
Old 08-01-2005, 03:18 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: PNW ♀
Posts: 1,563
I agree with Peanuthead regarding not keeping birds caged 24/7. When I had my first 'tiel, which was a rescue, he was a mess. It took time, but I nursed him back to health, got him off a seed diet and on to a pellet/raw and cooked diet, and gave him his freedom from the morning when I got up until I went to bed. He was one funny little bird, the stories I could tell!

Cockatiels also have that powder down thing going, so they appreciate a daily bath/misting, which helps keep the powder down....well, uh, down!!! I actually used to take my bird (okay, he came with a name, 'cuz I would never name a 'tiel "Chicken") into the shower with me, he had a perch in there, and he would perform his ablutions right along with me.

Chicken had become a self mutilator while in the homes he was in before me, and he had pulled his primary flight feathers so many times that they never grew back in, so I didn't have any trouble with him, he sort of glided down from high places he had climbed to. When Nelly came to live with us it was a different situation, she used to do laps around the livingroom airspace!

(after having him for about 6 months, a change of diet and daily attention, he did stop pulling out his feathers, and was a lovely lutino for the rest of his days)

A caution, keep your birds safe from cats. Even if the cat doesn't outright kill your bird, even a tiny scratch from the cat will make your bird very ill, if it doen't kill it. Cats have a bacteria in their claws which is deadly to birds.
Old 08-01-2005, 03:56 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 1,534
I believe that there's an early Star Trek with this very plotline. It seems that the crew comes across a planet wherein half of the inhabitants are cockatiel on the right side of their bodies and parakeet on the left, and the other half of the population has that reversed.

Kirk becomes involved in teaching the inhabitants of the planet (and we the viewers, by extension), a lesson about sharing our cage. I forget how it all turns out. A deft handling of interspecial bird relations through metaphor if you ask me, relevant then and now.
Old 08-01-2005, 06:02 PM
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Central Pennsylvania
Posts: 36,058
Can a cockatiel and a parakeet share the same cage?

"...without driving each other crazy?"

Sorry...I read that question and the Odd Couple theme just started up in my head...

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