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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 33755
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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I have a 10 year old cockatiel who lost his two female cage

Customer Question

I have a 10 year old cockatiel who lost his two female cage mates 2 years ago. Having been given two young budgies ( their owner can no longer look after them) . I have had their cages side by side for 2 weeks and they seem to be interested in each other. Can I put them all into 1 cage? Both cages are plenty big enough to accommodate all 3 birds. If so which cage would I use. The cockatiel is quite territorial.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 4 months ago.

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Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 4 months ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. To answer you directly, yes, and neither cage should be used. Instead, a new cage unfamiliar to both the budgies and cockatiel should be considered.

As a general rule, it's advisable not to mix parrot species. Most important, any conflict between a cockatiel and a budgie is likely to be at the budgie's disadvantage since cockatiels are thrice as large and generally more aggressive. Your cockatiel is known to be quite territorial to boot. The following is a typical and apt post found on avian forums:

"Of course, each bird has its own personality and some are more peaceful and tolerant than others. If you want to take the risk to keep budgerigars and cockatiels together, you should introduce them slowly to each other on neutral ground. This way, none of the birds will see each other as an intruder and start a fight. Keep them in apart cages and take them out together so that they can play and become friends. When everything goes well, you could risk putting them together, as long as you make sure there is plenty of space in the cage. When they fight, you will have to keep them apart because they might not stop and hurt each other. But it's not all bad news. Some people had a budgie and a cockatiel. The cockatiel loved to preen the budgie and talked to it a lot. He even taught the budgie to sing a little. So it really depends on the personality of the bird, and how careful you are as an owner."

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.