cockatiel in a wood heated home .....

Discussion in 'Working and Companion Animals' started by woodsmokeinherhair, Nov 15, 2006.

  1. woodsmokeinherhair

    woodsmokeinherhair it's bout quality of life

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    Well, if I had thought about it at the time, I would have refused allowing my son to have the cockatiel. But it was summertime, and, well, it just didn't cross my mind that the poor little thing might get cold in my woodheated home.

    The first night it got pretty chilly, I decided that one of the phrases we wanted to teach the poor bird was "I'm a TROPICAL bird!" lol .... he hasn't picked it up yet, but we keep trying .... cause I obviously need the reminder! lol.

    Anyhow, what I would like to know, is if there is anyone else who keeps indoor birds in a cage and heats with woodheat and what they might be doing to improve the quality of life of the poor bird. I am thinking to make a fairly heavy cover for the cage out of cotton fabric. I am thinking that will keep any breezes off (I have a ceiling fan in almost every room, and this bird lets you know when he's too close to it! lol). But will covering the cage actually help in keeping him warm when it is cold outside and we are out for the day or maybe overnight?

    I know in a chicken coop, that it is a combination of the heat from the manure on the floor and a roof that keeps the heat in .... I'm just not sure if one small bird in a clean cage would produce enough body heat to actually be of any benefit. I also have a small electric blanket (throw size) .... I'm just not sure if that is a good idea either.

    I appreciate any advice given.

    Woodsmokeinherhair!
     
  2. dagwood

    dagwood Well-Known Member

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    Put the boid in the oven.....but don't turn on the heat! :p
     

  3. watcher

    watcher de oppresso liber

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    I don't currently heat with wood but what we do to keep our's warm is tie a heating pad on the bottom of the cage w/ perchs starting as close to the bottom as we can.

    If its cold she will get closer to the heat. You do have to watch it if you cover the cage at night. We don't cover unless she's being a pain with her yacking.
     
  4. woodsmokeinherhair

    woodsmokeinherhair it's bout quality of life

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    lol .... ya sure .... but and however! I could put her in a corner with a lamp directly over her cage, or maybe to one side, so she could get closer as needed .... now there's an idea! So thank you, but I think my oven has seals and air actually can't get in there at all! so probably not a good idea all in all, lol :rolleyes: ......

    But thanks for the light idea! lol

    Woodsmokeinherhair!
     
  5. woodsmokeinherhair

    woodsmokeinherhair it's bout quality of life

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    Okie dokie! so if I put this bird in the corner, with a light to one side, and maybe put part of this little electric throw under the cage, and then tack it up on the opposite wall, then she'll get the heat from the light during the day and I'll turn the throw on at night .... I am thinking I will make a cover for the cage that only goes around, maybe, just 2 sides, and not necessarily all the way to the bottom, ..... Hopefully it will help retain some heat in the top (as heat of course rises) , but she can get down in the bottom if it's too much.

    I'm in the middle of fall housecleaning and getting ready for the Christmas tree, which should be up next week! OMG! lol .... so I'll just reserve that specific corner for her for the rest of the winter :).

    But if anyone has any other ideas, I'd still like to hear them :).

    Woodsmokeinherhair!
     
  6. fishhead

    fishhead Well-Known Member Supporter

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    What about placing a low wattage bulb under the cage so that the heat can rise up from below. With a short cover it would capture the rising heat.

    You could also place a short cover over the top of the cage to capture the body heat but still allow air exchange. Kind of like a roost hood used in some chicken coops.
     
  7. Rouen

    Rouen Well-Known Member

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    I would try to avoid covering the cage completely, cockatiels suffer from night frights and when they cannot see anything they can flip out so badly that they break a wing, leg or their neck, it gets a toasty (lol) 50 degrees in my bedroom at night and my birds all do fine, if it gets colder than that in your house I would recomend getting either a thermoperch, an infrared light or a ceramic heat emiter.
     
  8. Karenrbw

    Karenrbw Well-Known Member Supporter

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    While cockatiels are tropical, they can adapt to lower temps. If you are ok, he should be ok. If he has experienced the change in seasons, he will adapt himself to cooler weather. This isn't to say that he can live outside when it is cold, but he should be ok in the house. My parents lived in NC and raised blue and gold macaws, greenwing macaws, and African Grey parrots. They are native to Africa and South America. My parents built an aviary out in the yard and kept the birds outside year round. The occassional snow and freezing temps didn't bother them. The main thing is to protect from drafts and a cage cover will do that quite efficiently.
     
  9. redroving

    redroving Well-Known Member

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    I found a cockatiel in my driveway one year and put her in with my tame doves outside. She lived there for 7 years before passing away (didn't know how old she was to begin with but she was healthy and happy courting one male dove). I live in CA but the weather can get below freezing a few times a year. My pen was covered on the roof but open on the sides.
     
  10. woodsmokeinherhair

    woodsmokeinherhair it's bout quality of life

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    oh! well, if they can survive a little bit of cold, then we should be just fine! My house is really quite well insulated, pipes have never froze or anything, so I'll still put her in the corner (as opposed to beside a window where she is now) and put a light near, and if I am gone overnight and it's going to be below freezing, I'll just leave a light underneath the cage and maybe just a top cover on.

    She's really a pretty nice bird, still a little wild, but taming up to where she will get on my hand to eat birdseed. And except for wanting to talk the most when I get on the phone! lol ..... my son and I would be real disappointed to lose her.

    Thanks for all the help :)

    Woodsmokeinherhair!
     
  11. watcher

    watcher de oppresso liber

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    Just make sure you don't get it too hot for it. That's one reason we use the heating pad. Here it has been running ing the low 40's at night and into the low 80's during the day so we don't run any heat. When the birdget's realy cold she can sit on the bottom of her cage all nice and warm. Then if the room warms up through the day she can move away from the heat.
     
  12. zookeeper16

    zookeeper16 Karaoke Queen

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    Birds can handle a little cold; its the drafts that can be dangerous.
     
  13. naturewoman

    naturewoman Well-Known Member

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    I'll reinforce that...drafts can be deadly to birds, so your ceiling fans in cold temps could really be a problem for her. Shielding her from drafts, and ceramic heat elements are the best way to go, set up so the bird can get close to them for heat, or away from them when needed. They don't emit light, so you can have them on all night. You can find them in most large pet stores (they are often sold in reptile section), or on-line. They are expensive, but have a heavy element inside that is durable and will last for many years. Just use one of those cheap clip on aluminum lights with a ceramic base. They also cannot explode if hot and splattered with drops of water from a bird shaking it's head or taking a bath, like a light bulb can. I have two lovebirds, and it does get pretty cold in here at times...as long as there is no draft they normally do fine. If you see signs of illness, get your bird to an avian vet immediately. They respond extremely well to the right antibiotic when they have upper respiratory problems, but they need to be put on it right away.

    I built my lovebirds a sleeping/nest box that helps hold in their body heat (just a small wooden box with a small round hole and a hinged door to clean it, that hangs from the top of the cage). That won't work as well for a bird with a long tail, but there are bird buddies (fleece pockets) that your bird can snuggle in...they hang from the top of the cage. Birds love them and they don't cost very much. Again, available at any large pet store or on-line. Once you see what they look like, you could probably make your own if you sew.

    Good luck and enjoy your little girl.

    Oh...forgot...if you don't have her wings clipped and you let her fly around, please turn off the fans until she's locked up...they will fly into them.
     
  14. MoBarger

    MoBarger Goat's Milk soap for sale

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    Karenrbw is right - cockatiels are native to Australia, and not exactly tropical. What they cannot take is drastic changes in temps. But they can take cooler temps.
    We live in a wood-heated home and my tiel does well. He also takes a shower a couple times a week. If the air is cold inside, I use the hair dryer! He loves it.
    He also gets covered at night. This is more for our comfort than his ;)
     
  15. catmar

    catmar Well-Known Member

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    Cockatiels are a very hardy bird if they are out of drafts. Here on Long Island there are wild flocks. I also have an outdoor aviary (retired birds), it is only heated to 45. The Birds get used to it.
    Cockatiels are parrots and they can live 20+ years. You have to be prepared to take care of it when your don goes to college. :rolleyes:
    You can learn to clip the wings so it will not fly too high (ceiling fans). Cockatiels can still fly when thier wings are clipped.
    Since you stated that you heat with a wood stove, you need to know that cedar is toxic to all birds. Do not use the cedar shavings in the bottom of the cage & do not burn cedar wood in the same house as a cockatiel.

    They might seem like alot of work, but they are worth it. I love walking around my house with my favorite pet bird Lucky on my shoulder. My kids also share in the experience of cleaning cages, watching the incubator, banding babies, etc. Breakfast is always enjoyed by the whole flock, humans & parrots. :dance:
     
  16. woodsmokeinherhair

    woodsmokeinherhair it's bout quality of life

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    Oh my! I didn't know that. I do try to stay away from burning cedar, and we only use newspaper in the bottom of the cage, so we haven't had any problems, but that is good information to know.

    I moved Make-up (that's the bird's name, it ryhmes with her owner's name, Jacob and Make-up, lol) over to the corner of the room, and sometimes I put a piece of fabric over the top of her cage, like if we are using the front door a lot, so as to keep the drafts down. She has gotten to the point that when we put our hand in the cage, she comes over, ducks her head down and gets right under our hand ...... practically demanding that we pet her head, lol. Still won't hop on our finger though. But we're still working with her.

    Thank you :).

    Woodsmokeinherhair!
     
  17. catmar

    catmar Well-Known Member

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    Covering her is fine. It will also keep them quite at night. I've had a few that have night frights, so there are night glo lights in the bird room. :shrug:

    To get her to go on your finger, she must step up. Put your finger to her breast bone, about an inch or so above her feet. She'll get the hint.

    If you need any more help, don't hesitate to ask.