Acquired: Pet store
Florida, United States
Posted Nov 20, 2014
Pets are hard. Some of them are very friendly and easy to train, while others not easily integrated into a home. Unfortunately, our family had experience with the latter kind of avian pet when we got a cockatiel.
The bird came home and was immediately unhappy. Perhaps it was the amount of noise in the house (we had a lot of other pets) or maybe he was inbred from the pet store. Whatever the cause, he did not enjoy his new home, and he never really adjusted to the environment.
We attempted to make the bird happy by removing him from the rest of the household animals, increasing his toys, and giving him a timetable of interaction with people. He got a special room, and plenty of one-on-one attention from his favorite person in the house. We attempted to teach him to repeat words, to follow our fingers, and so on, but he was disinterested. He did enjoy flying freely about his room, though, which is how he was caught and almost murdered by a dog.
After this attack, the cockatiel was obviously never the same. He had what can only be described as panic attacks and was terrified of loud noises, including thunderstorms. It was during one of these afternoon showers that he succumbed to a heart attack.
I would suggest people who are considering a cockatiel as a pet consider the other pets in their household before bringing one home. Also, the bird's temperament should be accounted for and, if it is not a good match, the bird be placed in another household instead of kept at the place where it is unhappy.