Acquired: Pet store
Posted Dec 11, 2014
When I started highschool back in 1995, my mom got us a cockatiel as a pet, which we named Mr. Magoo. We loved this bird a lot and I found that it was not a pain to feed it or to keep their cage clean.
I enjoyed that Mr. Magoo was very friendly and enjoyed being around people, yet at the same time he did just as well if we did not interact with him as much on a given day. He would perch himself on my finger or on my shoulder. We used to feed him seeds as well as put lettuce and strawberries in his cage. We used to keep his cage raised, but open, and we had a little stair case that lead from the floor to the cage so he had the freedom to get in and out and walk around the house (we kept his wings clipped so that he would not get on the curtains.)
At first, doing this (letting him out of the cage) proved not to be such a great idea, because then he would "go" anywhere he pleased in the house. But, then he got used to "going" in his cage and it was no longer a problem. Aside from being very sweet, he was not a biter, was very friendly with the family, and a pleasure to have. Plus, everyone who came to visit us, would be amazed at how friendly this bird was.
We ended up having to give him away after about 5 years because my mom kept complaining about the feathers on the floor. (Birds drop little feathers all around the cage.) She also claimed that she was allergic to the feathers. I don't know how, because she was not allergic to them for the first few years. Anyhow, she did not let us keep the bird after five years, and we gave him to another family (friends of ours).
My overall experience with cockatiels has been a very positive one. He was not really a talker and he was also not very loud. He did chirp just like any other bird would, and it made the house feel alive.
I recommend this bird to anyone who likes birds and enjoys interacting with them. Try to keep their cage in some kind of corner of your home so that when they shed their feathers (which all birds do), they don't get all over the place. Just keep a little vacuum handy and you will be all set. Other than that, they are easy to keep. Feed them seeds which you can get anywhere. It is safe to leave their cage open (provided you don't have any cats or dogs, or other animals in the house that might attack them, and you will be fine. Also, I recommend that you have a pair of cockatiels instead of just one, that way they have a playmate.