Now that you’ve picked the perfect cage for your pet, where will you put it in your home? Your cockatiel will be happiest when she’s part of the family, so the living room, family room, or dining room may be among the best places
for your bird. If your cockatiel is a child’s pet, she may do well living in her young owner’s room. (Parents should check on the bird regularly, though, to make sure she’s being fed and watered and that her cage is clean.) Avoid keeping your bird in the bathroom or kitchen, though, because sudden temperature fluctuations or fumes from cleaning products used in those rooms could harm your pet. Another spot to avoid is a busy hall or entryway,
because the activity level in these spots may be too much for your pet. Set up the cage so that it’s at your eye level if possible, because it will make taking care of the cage and visiting with your pet easier for you. It will also reduce the stress on your cockatiel, because birds like to be up high for security.
Setting up the cage
Make sure you have the cage all set up and ready before you bring your bird home, to help ease the transition for your pet. Here’s how to set up your cockatiel’s cage.
• Select the right location. Your cockatiel will be more comfortable if her cage is set up in a part of the house that you and your family use regularly, such as a family room. Your cockatiel’s cage should be out of the main traffic flow of the room, but still part of the room so you can include your bird in normal activities, such as watching TV. (Don’t put your bird’s cage near the kitchen or bathroom, because cooking and chemical fumes from these rooms can harm your cockatiel.)
• Set the cage up with a solid wall behind it. Your cockatiel will feel more secure if she has a solid wall behind her cage because nothing can sneak up on her from behind.
• Stagger the perches within the cage. Don’t place the perches at all the same height in the cage because your cockatiel will be happier if she can perch at different heights at different times of the day.
• Arrange the perches correctly. Don’t place perches directly over food or water bowls because pet birds eliminate regularly during the day, and you don’t want your pet’s food or water contaminated by her droppings.
• Add some toys. Your cockatiel will need toys in her cage to help entertain her during the day. You should rotate the toys regularly to ensure your bird doesn’t become bored with the same toys. You’ll also have to replace those that your pet destroys during playtime. Don’t overfill the cage with toys because your bird still needs room to move around. She needs to climb around in the cage and maybe even take short flights from end to end for exercise. She also needs to be able to get to the food and water bowls without interference from her toys.
• Provide a cage cover. Your cockatiel will benefit from having her cage covered when she goes to sleep at night. Covering the cage will help your bird settle down at bedtime, which helps her establish a good daily routine.