Cockatiels are popular medium-sized, trim birds that adapt well to captivity. Although color mutations are highly valued by some aviculturists, the inbreeding required to produce unusual colors has resulted in some genetic disorders, including decreased disease resistance, reduced life span and hatching defects. The "normal" grey cockatiel has the best chance for a relatively long healthy life. Cockatiels are relatively quiet (nondestructive) entertaining birds that are easy to care for. Because of their gentle nature, they are excellent as companion birds for children. Even though they do not tend to bond with an individual person, they retain better companion bird qualities as a single bird rather than as a pair. Cockatiels are limited talkers (males may be better), but some individuals are so good at whistling that their tunes are recognizable.
Cockatiels bred with lutino ancestry (those with a reddish iris and a tendency towards yellow in the normally white feathers) have a tendency toward liver and kidney disorders. Other common problems of obesity, fatty tumors, xanthomas or reproductive and feather problems in cockatiels are reduced or eliminated in cockatiels fed Harrison’s Bird Foods.
Recommended Harrison’s Bird Food for adult cockatiels: High Potency Fine or High Potency Superfine for 3-6 months then Adult Lifetime Fine or Adult Lifetime Superfine. Recommended Harrison’s Bird Food for adult cockatiels during molt, laying eggs, feeding chicks or recovering from an illness: High Potency Fine or High Potency Superfine during and for several months following these episodes. Recommended Harrison’s Bird Food for hand-feeding cockatiels: Neonate Formula for the first three weeks of life; this can be used up to weaning or switch to Juvenile Formula for faster weight gain and fewer feedings.