Cages and Aviaries: Cockatiels
The dimensions for a cage can vary, depending on the number of birds that you have. If you plan to have a single bird, a cage of around 50 x 45 x 45 centimeters is fine. A cage for a pair of birds should have dimensions no less than 100 x 60 x 60 centimeters.
There are a variety of toys available such as ropes, bells, chains (make sure the links are large so your bird does not get hurt/stuck), ladders, swings, mirrors, etc. Many people may notice that cockatiels like key rings and the keys that come on them. Mirrors and shiny objects will be appreciated by your bird. Just be sure that your bird cannot break the mirror as the fragments can cut or harm your bird. One thing that you want to avoid when you are buying toys is rubber toys. The reason for avoiding them is that birds like chewing things and rubber has toxins in it that can cause death to them. Other toys can include toys/blocks of hardwood, and rawhide, fresh bark covered tree branches gourds, banana skins, coconut shells, raw veggies (carrots and potatoes), etc.
Understand that your bird may not accept its new toy right away. It can take a few days, or even weeks before it will begin playing with it. Any and all toys must be sterilized at regular intervals.
If you decide to make your own aviary, it should have three sections to it: a night shelter, an open free-fly area, and a partially covered free-fly area. The night shelter will provide your cockatiels with protection against the weather, shade in hot and sunny weather, plus it will allow your birds to rest peacefully.
It should be noted that cockatiels will not be out of place in an aviary. They will live peacefully with other cockatiels or even other exotic birds, only if there is enough living space though. Make sure that other parrot- like birds are not included, as this may cause fights among birds in the aviary. This does not mean that a fight won't start. So always stay alert when it comes to your birds, that way you can spot any bullies before it is too late. Also keep an eye on any new birds that you put into the aviary.
Many bird fans are against placing budgies and any other hook-beaked species in an aviary that contains cockatiels. The reason for this is because they aim for each other's toes in an act of aggression, and will aim for a cockatiels as well.
There is one area that cockatiels are fussy about-perches. As you may know, cockatiels and other birds like being up high as it will give them a sense of security. Thus, to prevent quarrels between birds, place a number of perches as high as possible. They should be placed at the same height, that way the birds still don't fight over the highest perch. They should also be place close to a wall. Also, no perches should be positioned so that if one bird has to take a dump, it does not land on another bird. Allow perches to be a range of thicknesses, so that it helps a bird with its grip, and so that it helps keep the bird's nails short. The thickness of the perches should vary from 1/2 inch to 1 inch in diameter.
To help avoid even more fights, place several food and water dishes/hoppers around the cage. This way it is not a matter of "I get first picks!" The aviary should also have many nest boxes positioned for those who wish to breed. Do not hang them close together, that way you can avoid arguments.