Acquired: Pet store
New South Wales, Australia
Posted Nov 05, 2014
I've owned Cockatiels for years now, both indoor and in an outdoor aviary. My favourite is Bob, my indoor cockatiel. He lives in a cage in the kitchen and is always part of everyday family life. He's moved from house to house with us and is always in the middle of everything with us. He's hand raised and very tame and loves to come out and sit with you or have a fly around the room.
Easy to look after and very cheap pet. Need to have ready supply of water and seed. You can buy cockatiel mix or small parrot mix, but budgie seed is fine too. Sunflower seeds are a good treat, but a little oily as a regular food. Fruit and vegetables should be offered too. As a treat, Bob loves rice bubbles, when he sees them out he'll start screaming and can't get to the bowl quick enough!
Cleaning involves cleaning the cage and water/seed dishes regularly and that's about it.
I've never bothered really training my birds, but they are easy to hand raise and tame. Most of mine haven't talked, but you do hear the odd words that they pick up and one of mine used to be able to ring like a telephone, so with time and patience I think it would be fairly easy to teach them to talk, I've just never actively gone out of my way to do so.
If you want something a little different to a budgie or canary, a cockatiel is a good alternative. They come in different colours, they are still smallish type birds and they are easy to look after.