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I told myself that it wouldn't happen. I swore it upside down and sideways. But then my partner bonded with Popcorn, "our" IRN, and she didn't want anything to do with me. I'm not sad, of course -- animals are animals! -- but I wished I had a bird for my own, who didn't bite me and scream when I got near her.

So I looked around. And I didn't find anything. I figured it was a sign, and I stopped looking.

And then one day, I went to the pet store for some guinea pig food, and I stopped to look at the birds. (Warning! Never stop to look at birds. This is always, ALWAYS a mistake, haha!) In the large enclosure was a single, sad-faced cockatiel. I've never seen a cockatiel who looked so excited for someone to "play" with them -- that's usually a conure trait -- but this girl seemed to enjoy my soft words and even came over to me, raising and lowering her crest and making all sorts of cute noise. But I told myself, "no, you don't need another bird, don't do it", and I didn't.

Well, I came back to my pet store almost a month later, and she was still there. I was really surprised, and asked about her just to find out what was going on. The staff member told me basically that CC was not for sale because she had just laid a clutch of eggs. Obviously the eggs were unfertilized, as CC had been alone in the cage prior to the laying, but either way they wanted to give her the time to incubate the eggs so that she would not begin compulsively laying. (I love my local pet store. Much better than a chain.)

A month after that I called again, because I had been looking for a cockatiel and couldn't find a breeder near me or any in the rescues I usually watch. I didn't want a bigger bird, because I am not sure how long I will still be living in an apartment, and I would not want to lose a bird over noise; besides, I had read a great deal about the sweet temprament of cockatiels and thought they might be a better choice for me than my ex's more independent, aggressive IRN.

Well, turned out CC was still there. The pet store was refusing to hide that she'd laid eggs, because they worried that she could continue and become egg-bound or have vitamin deficiencies if the new owner didn't know what to look for. But now no one wanted her because they didn't want to deal with the added stress of an egglaying bird. I went and looked at her again.

I was still in love.

Darn.

So, $300 later (after a large cage, toys, pellets and her) I have a wonderful, sweet female gray cockatiel. OMG....I LOVE HER. She and Popcorn are like night and day. She's this adorable, loving, affectionate thing who likes to be sung and read to, and she coos like the dove!! No biting. No hissing. No screaming. I feel like I've finally found the species for me, and I discounted them all this time! I mean I know that all birds are different, but WOW!

I've been singing her a goodnight song every night since we got her a week and a half ago and she loves it :) She perks up and wiggles her crest when I sing it. It goes:

I'll love you forever;
I'll like you for always;
So long as I'm living,
my birdie you'll be.

:)

From a book I read as a kid (only in the book it was "baby" not "birdie").

If anyone has advice on:
  • Hand-taming
  • Diet and feeding
  • Ideas for fun toys
  • Things cockatiels like
  • Or anything else!

I would love to hear it! I want to SPOIL HER ROTTEN!!!

:D

Thanks!

Erin Mallory
 

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Aww, what a sweet story :lovehearts: I would keep a cuttlebone in her cage at all times so she has added calcium in case she lays again. When you're petting her, only pet her head. Don't pet her body - that can stimulate egg laying. If she does start laying for you, you can cover her cage and limit her daylight hours to trick her into thinking it's "winter" and not breeding season.
 

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there is some one on another forum who has a bird that lays and she sticks to a strict sun system the min the sun starts going down the bird gets covered and it seems to work
 
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