|I've done a lot of
reading and research into the feeding and proper care of cockatiels.
Because I'm a "stay-at-home-mom", I have the luxury of being able to develop
a routine for Pirko which seems to ideally suit his nutritional needs.
If you are considering getting a cockatiel, and wish to know what I've
found works for us, well, read on:
|The following is a
true conversation which took place between Michael and myself. I
am using the version which I posted on the "Tiel Talk" message board.
To access the message board, click here:
Here's The Tale:
Speaking of husbands... I've been debating whether this is okay to add, so if you have any sensitivities to some accidental "slightly off-color" humor, please stop reading now.
During a moment of quiet, reflective time together recently, my husband said to me, "I don't know what I'd do without you." I couldn't help it, but my thoughts wandered to my pets, and I laughed, "Oh Heaven forbid anything should happen to me! How would you ever be able to care for all of my animals?" I continued, "Poor Pirko! You wouldn't have any idea how to properly take care of him!" Michael said, "I'd just go onto the internet and find that message board you like so much... Cock Talk."
I couldn't help it. I started cracking up and corrected him, "It's TIEL Talk, Honey! TIEL Talk!"
Oh my gosh! Could you imagine if he did an internet search for... Eek! *LAUGH*!!!!
the photographs above, Pirko's broken toenail is pictured (the top left
of both shots). Here's what happened:
On October 16th, I came home from grocery shopping to find that Pirko had somehow ripped a toenail on his left foot. It was bleeding pretty heavily, so I worked on getting the bleeding stopped using flour (I would have preferred cornstarch, but I was out). I kept an eye on him after getting the bleeding under control, to make sure he was behaving normally. I could not determine what he could have caught his toenail on to cause such a break.
The next night, I was expecting a houseful of guests. I was busy preparing for the arrival time when I noticed Pirko had, once again, ripped the nail. This time the bleeding was even heavier than it had been the first time. I went into "birdie emergency" mode, trying desperately to get the bleeding under control. I was also very determined to find the cause of the problem. After treating Pirko (it was kind of a continual process through the night, even as the guests arrived), I checked his toys. This time I noticed something I hadn't noticed the evening before. One of the "apple skewers", which I used to hang Pirko's cuttlebone and fresh vegetables, was broken. Pirko had apparently chewed off the top decorative bit, leaving a very sharp area exposed. Pirko loves to play acrobat, crawling all over the bars of his cage and using his toys as jungle gyms and swings. There was no doubt in my mind that this was the source of the bloody toenail. I removed it immediately and haven't had a bloody toenail problem since.
Below I have included
pictures of the skewers. After my experience, I would strongly caution
against using these types of holders in a cockatiel's cage. At the
very least, I would suggest checking them often for any signs that a tiel
has been chewing on them. As Pirko has proven, broken plastic can
Above: On the left (green) is a skewer as it should appear. To the right of it (pink) is the one off of which Pirko chewed the very top.
Right: The same two skewers, shown in their entirety.
Left: Front view of a normal skewer up close.
Above: Close-up shot of the broken one.