Budgie and Cockatiel are two of the most popular pet birds out there. As such, many bird lovers often wonder whether these two birds can share a cage. After all, they seem to get along just fine in the wild, peacefully coexisting for thousands of years. And housing them together would save you some cash.
But is it safe? Should you just put them together and observe? Are there some rules of engagement? Well, today we are going to answer these and other questions about this tricky situation.
Is it safe to keep Cockatiel and Budgie together?
Since Budgie and Cockatiel are both sociable birds, they usually get along well. However, this isn’t a guarantee – there is always a risk that they will hate each other, fight, and seriously hurt each other. This is mainly because unlike in the wild, a cage is quite space-constrictive, making clashing more likely.
Space aside, the personalities of the birds are a good determinant of whether they will get along or not. For instance, an easy-going cockatiel would get along well with a budgie who likes to take on leadership roles. On the other hand, when both the budgie and cockatiel are dominant, chaos is imminent. Ultimately, the more tolerant both birds are, the higher the chances of peaceful coexistence and even friendship.
How to introduce a Cockatiel to a Budgie
If you want to increase the chances of your budgie and cockatiel getting along, you need to introduce them properly. You can’t just wake up one day and add a new bird to the cage – the older resident may view the new bird as an intruder and a threat, creating a basis for conflict.
So to ensure the introduction goes smoothly, make use of neutral space. To start off, you can get each bird a different cage, put them next to each other, and observe them. Afterward, you can have them play together outside their cages and see how that goes. If you don’t have enough space for them to play you can get a third bigger cage where they can have their playdates.
Don’t rush them through – let them have several playdates a week for around 3 weeks before you think of settling them into a shared cage. The more playdates they have, the more they get to know each other, and the more you get to see if they are a good fit. If they play well together, sing/chatter together, and are affectionate toward each other, it is okay for them to share a cage.
However, this is not where your work ends. To confirm that their relationship hasn’t gone south, you still have to supervise and check in on them regularly in the first few weeks after the move. Check for signs of intimidation, injuries, and bloodstains. And always have a spare cage on hand.
Can Budgie and Cockatiel Eat the Same food?
Since budgies and cockatiels have similar dietary requirements, they can eat a lot of the same food. In fact, they eat the same vegetables, fruits, and treats. The main differences in their diets appear when it comes to seed mixes and pellets.
First of all, budgies can’t eat large seeds or pellets. So if you are planning to feed them anything that is meant for cockatiels, you are going to have to get rid of the larger pieces and observe them as they eat just in case they have any trouble chewing. Secondly, since budgies are smaller than cockatiels, their seed mixes usually have lower concentrations of sunflower and other oily seeds.
So to keep your budgie healthy, you shouldn’t regularly feed them seed mixes marketed for cockatiels. Once in a while is fine though.
Can Budgie and cockatiel share their toys?
Yes, budgies and cockatiels can share toys. This is particularly common if they have built a rapport and like playing with each other. Such birds can even share perches and other cage equipment without conflict.
Who is more jealous?
Both budgies and cockatiels get jealous. However, since cockatiels require more affection and attention from their owners than budgies, the latter are more likely to get jealous if you have both birds in a cage. This may result in your budgie lashing out at you and/or the cockatiel.
On the other hand, a cockatiel who is used to getting all your attention can attack a new budgie you bring in and openly dot on. Ultimately you’re going to have to find a way to strike a balance between the attention you give each bird.
Are cockatiels louder than budgies?
When compared to other birds of the parrot family, both budgies and cockatiels are quiet. But when compared to each other, cockatiels are usually quieter and calmer. Budgies are very active and chirp a lot. As such, budgies are usually recommended for younger people while cockatiels are more suited for older people.
Don’t be fooled though, if their lives depended on it, cockatiels could be much louder than budgies, particularly due to their larger size. Also, keep in mind that male budgies and cockatiels tend to be more vocal than their female counterparts.
Top considerations when keeping a budgie and cockatiel in the same cage
If you have decided to keep your cockatiel and budgie in the same cage, you’re going to have to do much more than conduct a killer introduction and observe them. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Ensure the cage is big enough
To ensure that both birds have enough space, get the biggest cage you can afford. As a rule of thumb, its length should be at least 26 inches, its width at least 21 inches, and its height at least 36 inches.
Place a dim night light in the cage
Since cockatiels sometimes get night terrors, they can startle budgies in the night and cause injuries. Having a night light in the cage can prevent this.
Ensure there is enough food
One of the best ways to avoid fights is to ensure that there are enough vegetables, fruits, and treats for both birds.
Serve their seed mixes separately
Since they have different seed requirements, you should serve their seeds in different containers and even place them at different ends of the cage. If you notice that one of the birds is eating too little of its own food or too much of the other bird’s food, you may have to feed them separately or at different times of the day until you figure things out.
Provide hiding spaces within the cage
When setting up the cage for the two birds, incorporate hiding places like dome-shaped toys and small hollow logs where a bird can go when they feel intimidated or need some alone time. This is particularly helpful to budgies because they are smaller than cockatiels and can easily be intimidated.
Include enough perch space
To avoid fights, have at least two spacious perches in the cage, one at each end. This prevents overcrowding.
Tensions are bound to rise – Budgie and Cockatiel 👀
No matter how friendly your birds are, they’re always one change away from a major conflict. All it takes is a moody or hormonal bird to set things in motion. So if you’re not ready to do any conflict resolution, you should keep these birds separate.