Cockatiel Diseases and Care

Cockatiels are generally hardy birds which helps make them one of the most popular pet birds. However, there are illnesses that are specific to the species. Getting to know what is normal for your bird (and normal is different for birds even of the same species) will help you to know when there is a problem and allow you to get help quickly. Here are 3 descriptions of diseases and their symptoms.

Pacheco's Virus has proven to be nearly 100% fatal because of its hard to detect symptoms and aggressive attack on the bird's system. Caused by the herpes virus, it is generally spread from one bird to another through spoiled food, water, and droppings; and birds that are stressed seem more susceptible. There has been some success in treatment with the use of a vaccine, but it causes side effects that are almost as problematic as the disease itself, mainly tumors at the injection site, paralysis, and death. It is the larger parrots that seem to have most of the negative reactions to the vaccine. The best defense seems to be a powerful offense on the owner's part by staying alert for any changes in your bird's eating patterns, elimination, energy level, or onset of discharge of any kind and then getting your bird professional help immediately.

Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease often abbreviated as PBFD is cause by a virus--psittacine circovirus 1 (PsCV-1), that attacks the immune system that presents with loss of feathers, deformed development of beaks, nails, and claws. Birds showing any of these symptoms should be immediately tested for the disease as early detection increases the chance of survival exponentially. This disease spreads through airborne dander, feather, dried fecal matter and secretions from the infected bird, easily infects other birds, but cannot be passed to humans. The good news is that often young birds survive and form a natural immunity to the disease.

Psittacosis sometimes referred to as Parrot Fever or Bird Fancier's Lung (BFL), is a disease that all species of birds are susceptible to, and one that can be passed to humans as well. Pet birds are the most frequent transmitters of the disease especially many types of Parrots. Because it is caused by virus-like bacteria, it can be effectively treated with antibiotics when detected early. There is a good recovery rate for birds and humans. Spread from minute particle of infected fecal matter that dries and becomes airborne, it is a menace to other birds as well.


A cockatiel is one of the most popular birds today. They are extremely sociable, gentle, intelligent and not very demanding. This makes them wonderful pets even for beginners. Owning one of these birds is very rewarding and not very hard work.
Cockatiels are actually a species of parrot. They get their name from a Dutch word, "Kakatielje" that means little cockatoo. Cockatiels belong to the cockatoo family and originated from Australia. There are many color varieties of cockatiels, including yellow, gray and white. With the proper nutrition, cockatiels will live for 15 to 20 years.
Cockatiels are extremely sociable birds. By nature, they are very gentle, docile and only moderately active. These birds need to be played with, talked to and touched. They will try to get your attention by doing tricks or singing. They are generally very happy cheerful birds. They are also very affectionate and will often groom your hair. Because of their affectionate nature, they especially love to be stroked and cuddled. They will even put their heads down for you to stroke them! Cockatiels can be taught to talk and whistle tunes. However, their speech is not as clear as the larger parrots. Males are usually more vocal than the females.
Even though cockatiels are from the parrot family, they are much smaller, quieter, cleaner and bite less than most other parrots. This makes them great family pets. When choosing a pet, make sure that it is hand-fed so that it will be tame and used to people. Also, you will need to decide whether you want a male or female. Females are more nervous than males, but also more friendly and affectionate. Males are a little more aggressive but will talk and sing more than females. Cockatiels are not an expensive bird.
Cockatiels need a cage at least 18" X 18" X 18". If they are going to be in the cage a lot then you should get a cage at least 36" X 18" X 24". This will give flying room that he will need for exercise. Try not to keep the cage in a draughty area. You should try to let your bird out of the cage as much as possible. There are even bird diapers now to prevent messes in your house! Because of their intelligence, cockatiels need lots of mental stimulation. You should change the toys in their cage every few weeks so that they won't get bored. Cockatiels do chew on things, so make sure the toys you get are safe.
In order to keep your pet healthy, it is imperative that you keep them on a good diet. Do not put your bird on an all seed diet. Try and get a pellet-based diet. If you do not get a pellet based diet, you will need to prepare fresh fruits and vegetables every day. Foods that are good for them include fruits, vegetables, cereals, bread and cheese. You can give these as treats if you have your bird on a pellet diet. Also, cockatiels need between 10 and 12 hours of sleep every night or they will become ill.
Cockatiels make great companions. If you only have one, it will form an extremely strong bond with you because it will think you are its mate. Cockatiels love attention and are very gentle and affectionate. They are excellent pets.

Caring For Cockatiels

Cockatiels are extremely good birds for novice bird owners, since care for cockatiels are not hard at all. All you have to keep in mind is a few things that I will show you in this short article. So without further beating around the bush, let's get started.
You've probably heard this a hundred and one time, but your cockatiel bird is really smart bird. And even though it might sound nice it also means that it's an additional task to keep its mind stimulated all the time, so your cockatiel is happy.
Even though you might think that this is not that important thing to do, it is very important for your cockatiel. The thing is that your cockatiel might even start plucking its feathers out, just out of the boredom. Continue not providing mental stimulating exercises for your cockatiel and soon you might have a completely naked cockatiel. Though it might sound funny, it's definitely not because such condition might be fatal to your cockatiel.
OK, so how can you avoid such disaster? I'm glad you asked, because it's pretty simple.
No math textbooks are needed for this one. Only thing that is required is that you provide your cockatiel with sufficient amount of toys, which it can chew, toss around and play with.
Make sure those toys are of different color and that you change them at least once a week. This will take care of your cockatiel being interested and always using its little mind to find out how these things work.
But before going to the nearest toy store and grabbing a truckload of toys, make sure that those are completely safe to your bird. What I mean by this is that you have to make sure, those toys doesn't contain any chemical elements and are completely safe to be chewed on, tossed around and plucked apart.

Things That Can Go Wrong With Your Cockatiel's Health

Although cockatiels are generally healthy birds, they can succumb to health problems. In this article I will discuss some of them. Most of these illnesses can be avoided by feeding your cockatiel a healthy diet in the first place.
1. Giardia
Giardia is caused by a protozoan called Giardia Psittaci. Signs of Giardia include weight loss, loose droppings, picking of the feathers (mostly under the wings), depression and loss of appetite. Giardia is a difficult infection for a vet to diagnose. Giardia is spread through contaminated food and water. If Giardia is left untreated, it can lead to other symptoms such as weak jaw muscles, slow eye blinks, poor digestion and overall decreased fertility.
To treat this condition, antiprotozoal therapy and supplemental vitiman E/Selenium are used.
2. Conjuctivitis
Conjuctivitis is seen more in the Lutino cockatiels than in the greys. The eyelids of your cockatiel will look swollen, and there will be a discharge from the eyes. This condition is treated with topical ointments, but is usually recurring. This is usually a genetic thing, so avoid breeding with cockatiels that get conjunctivitis.
3. Candida
Candida is caused by the yeast Candida Albicans. Young cockatiels are particularly susceptible to this, especially when the diet is low in vitamin A. Symptoms of candida are usually white growths in the mouth and throat. Your cockatiel will show signs of regurgitation, vomiting and loss of appetite. Often candida can go unnoticed, and also be spread in an aviary. To avoid this, it is best to make sure the cockatiels diet provides adequate amounts of vitamin A. A vet will prescribe antifungal drugs to clear candida infections.
4. Round Worms
Round worms are normally contracted from dirt or sand. They are two to five inches long and look like spaghetti. Mild infestations will result in loss of appetite, growth abnormalities and diarrhea. Heavy infestations will result in bowel blockage and eventually death.
Your vet will be able to diagnose round worms in the cockatiel's droppings and prescribe a course of treatments to clear the infestation.
5. Sarcocystis
Sarcocystis is a parasitic disease, and is normally found in countries such as North America where there is a large opposum population. Sarcocystis is more prevailent in the winter months, and male cockatiels seem more susceptible to this condition than female birds. There are usually no symptoms, as the cockatiel will appear healthy one minute and dead the next. The best thing to do is prevent opposums from entering your avairies. Cockroaches can also carry this disease, by eating opposum feces, and then getting eaten by a cockatiel.
6. Papillomas
Papillomas are benign growths that can occur anywhere on a birds skin. These are not normally a problem, but if they get picked at by your cockatiel, it is perhaps best to have your vet remove them.

What You Need to Know About Cockatiel Health to Prevent Your Bird From Illnesses

If you will be raising any pet, say for instance a cockatiel, the pet's health is a very important consideration since it largely affects the creature's well-being. This makes cockatiel health a big thought for cockatiel owners. The characteristics of a cockatiel indicate how it can be handled and cared for. Well, if you plan to raise one, it is essential to care for them extensively to make them communally and physically dynamic as well as for these pets to live longer.
To maintain good cockatiel health, the key is to provide them with the required essentials to achieve optimum health like a proper diet, a good sleep, and owners who are always aware of their wellness. It is also essential that they should follow a normal daylight schedule so make sure that your pet sleeps in a clean place, away from any interruption. This is because sleep greatly affects their health, and sleep particularly defines significantly their state of well being.
As to their diet, supplements can be added to their food even if you ask an expert and or an avian vet. Proper cockatiel health food includes edible weeds, veggies, pellets, fruits, flowers, and even nutritious human foods. On the other hand, do not offer them specific foods like chocolate, garlic, onions, avocado, caffeine, lactose and alcohol-based beverages. Lactose-containing foods are risky to cockatiels.
Do you know that cockatiels can hide their illness? They can do this to appear string against possible predators. To prevent that, be very conscious of cockatiel health for you to determine if they are healthy or if they require medication and more attention. To keep them in good physical shape, observe their activities and their usual behavior.
Should you observe something wring or weird in their behavior or movement, instantly consult an avian veterinarian in order to seek assistance and avert further complication. Cockatiel owners must know that cockatiel health could readily deteriorate, thus it has to be considered right away. Their illness can indicate diverse signs or symptoms. Be watchful of any physical abnormality, sleeping pattern, feather appearance, growth, breathing or their droppings.
Changes in their daily activities as well as interactions with humans and other birds should be watched out for. Because coming in contact with a sick or contaminated one will affect their health. Further indications of a poor cockatiel health can include bleeding, existence of bodily discharge, swelling of any part of their body, loss of appetite or vomiting.