Posted Feb 03, 2009
Some Cockatiels were older when we acquired them and because we now breed Cockatiels some started at age zero.
As to what is the best bird for a pet, we have only had Cockatiels and Parakeets.
I will say any bird that has been hand-fed hand tamed will be friendlier and easier to handle. We have found that the Cockatiels we hand-fed
(actually my wife does most of that) grow up to be much more gentle then those that were not hand-fed. All of our young Cockatiels that we sell are hand-fed and hand-tamed. A hand-fed hand-tamed Cockatiel would go off the charts for gentleness especially if you acquire it shortly after it was weaned, about 2 or 3 months old. We have recently bumped into a owner of two of our Cockatiels that we hand-fed hand-tamed and she is very happy with her Cockatiels.
Another customer who was a working teenager sent me some updates by e-mail on the progress of her Cockatiel, She was enjoying morning and evening play times with her Cockatiel. That Cockatiel was also hand-fed.
Being that Parrot type birds, including Cockatiels are somewhat smart they need toys (in their cage) and companionship as well as play time outside of their cages.
If their wings are clipped it is easier during play-time to keep your bird on your shoulder and handle it or just watch it as it explores and climbs your furniture etc. Also, wing-clipping prevents accidental escapes out doors with family members going in and out for various reasons. We learned this the hard way years ago when we only had one Cockatiel and she flew out the door before we had a chance to close it. So now we clip our birds wings. Their wing feathers do grow out again so you have to keep up with it.
Clipping wings is a controversy among some but it is better then having our birds accidentally get outside in Maine with our freezing winters.
Unlike dogs and cats while you are shopping they are safe in their cage and not getting into anything in the house. Also, sometimes landlords who do not allow cats and dogs will allow a bird in a cage like Cockatiels and Parakeets.
When we say a bird in a cage: you can still let them out of the cage.
With children I would suggest this under an adult's guidance.