Cockatiels are social, and it is best to keep them in twos – but can you put a male and female cockatiel together? Do they become friends, or is it all about mating? Let’s figure it out.
A single cockatiel is a lonely cockatiel. If your current birds don’t get along well or are lonely – this could very well lead to depression.
It’s best to get them a friend they can age with.
However, birds are creatures of routine and territory – so you need to introduce new birds in the proper way to mitigate future problems.
Let’s see how you can introduce new friends to your birds and whether males and females get along if you try to put them together.
Do Male and Female Cockatiels Get Along?
The best behavior is commonly seen in birds of the same gender. Two females can especially get along very well.
If two males are housed together, the dominant one may get territorial. In general, cockatiels are social birds and do well in pairs or small groups.
Still, it’s important to monitor their behavior and provide plenty of space and toys to prevent any potential conflicts.
For any gender mix, aggression and territoriality can arise at any point.
If introducing two new birds, make sure you make the transition as peaceful and smooth as possible.
It’s best to have birds bonded with their keeper to avoid conflict with their cage mates.
Can You Keep a Male and Female Cockatiel Together?
Due to their evolutionary needs, male and female cockatiels can be housed together. However, whether they get along or not is another matter altogether.
Cockatiels bond for life and are monogamous. Hence, a male and female pair is good in the long run to avoid aggressive behavior and fighting.
However, for a pair that does not get along, you might see the male dominating and fighting with the female birds.
Since they are life-long mates, finding compatible partners is a common challenge that keeps face.
You can solve this by having a large aviary that houses a flock.
But, keeping more than one couple can result in fighting due to rivalry. If you see aggression in your birds, keep them in separate cages and visit the vet to decide a course of action.
If You Want To Have Babies
A breeding pair will usually mate during the breeding season. For wild cockatiel birds, this time is around spring and early fall, when food is plentiful.
To encourage your pair to mate, you need to create an environment that stimulates them – by being rich in food, nesting material, and favorable conditions to have kids in.
Some common steps are:
- Keep the pair in a single cage, and offer them at least 10-12 hours of light (artificial if needed).
- Create dark, safe nesting enclosures in the cage. Offer them foraging toys and distribute other nesting material within the cage.
- Give them a healthy diet of fruits, pellets, and high-calorie seeds. Increase warm and soft foods.
If You Don’t Want Them To Breed
Here are some steps you can take to discourage your females from laying eggs:
- Do not create nesting spaces for your cockatiels. You can discourage eggs from laying on the floor by buying cages with a metal grate at the bottom.
- Make food hard to find (less plentiful) and encourage foraging.
- Give your bird fruits and veggies and less food that is high in calories.
- Only pet your bird on their heads, as petting elsewhere can be arousing.
- Remove dark spaces (nesting areas) from the cage. Limit their daylight hours to 8 to 10 hours. Long hours (with red or incandescent light) can signify nesting season. Give them darkness for at least 12 hours to sleep.
How Do You Introduce a Male and Female Cockatiel?
Introducing a pair is a slow process. You should first allow them to get used to each other’s company without stepping on the other’s territory. Here’s what you can do:
- Introduce the two birds in separate cages. Keep the cages in their usual play area and open the door. Allow the birds to interact with one another on neutral ground.
- If you see any signs of aggression that persist even after a few days, it is unlikely that the birds will bond.
- Eventually, your birds will get used to each other’s presence and even choose to go into a single cage. Once they start bonding, you can house them in a single cage.
If you do not have separate cages, then you have to house them in a larger cage. But make sure to give each bird its own space.
This includes its own food and water bowl, perches, and toys.
Before introducing either bird, make sure both of them are tame and trained. Check each for parasites or any diseases.
Why Does My Male Cockatiel Bite the Female?
Sometimes a pair may simply not bond – at other times, you might notice the male getting aggressive.
Signs of aggression can include nipping at the female and attacking her when she gets close to the food or water dish.
One reason could be that the pair is too young to be a breeding pair.
If the male prevents the female from going into the nest box, he could either be too young or too old to nest again.
Sometimes, there is no particular reason for this cockatiel behavior. But the best course of action is to separate a bickering pair.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I have two cockatiels in the same cage?
Yes, you can keep two cockatiels in the same cage as long as the cage has enough space for them to move around and fly from perch to perch.
Sometimes, two birds may not get along well and show signs of aggression. In this case, it’s best to separate them.
Should I get my male cockatiel a female?
Cockatiels are social birds and exist in flocks. If your male, single bird is lonely, or you cannot spend enough time with them – it’s best to get them a companion.
Both male and female cockatiels – with the proper introduction – will make suitable companions. However, experts agree that the best method is to let the cockatiel bond with its owner.
How long does it take for cockatiels to get used to each other?
This will depend on the cockatiel’s personality.
Some pairs may bond in days, others in weeks, and yet some others may not choose to bond at all (without getting aggressive).
You can make the transition smoother by introducing them slowly, using the steps I have explained earlier.
Do female and male cockatiels talk?
Females are not as vocally capable of mimicking and have a limited vocabulary.
The males “talk” a lot and may mimic and whistle tunes they hear. Within themselves, both genders communicate with one another using various calls.
Males also use talking, chatting, and whistling as a way to attract females.
While I know that cockatiels should not be kept with larger birds that can bully them, you can keep them with smaller species of birds like zebra finches or other cockatiels.
The latter is often the best option for socializing instead of keeping them with females of their species.
Unless you want little baby cockatiels and are prepared for the responsibility it demands, try to keep the gents and ladies separate.
Thank you for reading.