You share your life with a cockatiel and now you wonder if the bird can also have free flight and get out of its cage?
The answer to this question is a resounding yes.
Every bird needs a little freedom, even if it has a large cage. Whether the parakeet has just moved in or has been living with you for a long time is irrelevant.
When it comes to free flights, you should follow general rules and keep in mind and consider various things. In this article we will tell you what you should keep in mind during a free flight with your cockatiel, so that it can be relaxed.
Before the first free flight – make the room safe for flight
Before you let your cockatiel fly free, it is important to make a tour of the selected room.
You should also keep in mind that cockatiels are a somewhat larger bird species that need more space to fly than perhaps a budgie. Therefore, the selected room should not be too small.
Be sure to eliminate the following hazards:
1: Close any gaps and cracks.
A bird-proof room is designed so that there are no gaps between cabinets and the wall. This is because the bird could fall into this gap during flight and it could become a deadly trap in the worst case scenario.
But do not worry, with a board or a piece of cardboard you can close these gaps, you do not have to change the entire room.
Even small gaps can be dangerous, because the parakeet could get caught here with its foot. Therefore you should close also each column from a width of two to three centimeters well.
2: Windows or mirrors hold further dangers
Windows, glass doors or mirrors can also be dangerous for cockatiels during free flight.
Here it is called, as far as possible cover!
The window should therefore have a curtain or a window grille. Window color pictures, however, are not necessarily suitable, because they cover too little of the window. You can cover a mirror with a cloth while the parakeet is in free flight.
Glass doors can be covered with foil.
Thus, these transparent or reflective objects no longer pose a danger to the birds, because they could otherwise fly here with their heads against in the assumption that behind it continues.
However, such an impact is not harmless for the delicate birds and it can lead to drowsiness, trauma, concussion or even death.
3: Always keep windows and doors closed in the room during free flight.
It is also very important to always keep the windows and doors well closed during a free flight. Even the tilt position does not offer any safety here, because the cockatiel could sit on top of the tilted window and thus get outside.
If you still want to keep a window permanently open, then you should attach an aviary wire firmly and securely.
4: Other traps
Other objects that could be dangerous to the bird during free flight in the room are:
open filled water containers
here threatens drowning
Empty, cover or remove buckets, pots, large vases or watering cans
In addition, you should close all cabinet doors, drawers or other openings before free flight, so that the cockatiel does not climb in here unnoticed and you then accidentally lock him in.
5: Power cords invite nibbling
Exposed power cords can also be a big problem, as cockatiels like to nibble on everything and could get electrocuted here.
Here, it is helpful to clear away any loose electrical equipment and move unavoidable cords into a conduit or in such a way that the bird cannot reach them under any circumstances, such as under a rug or behind a cabinet.
6: Remove poisonous plants from the room.
There are many poisonous houseplants that could spell doom for the animals in general.
For cockatiels, which are relatively small in this context, it is therefore better to remove any plants you are not sure about from the free-flight room. This is because the birds also like to nibble on these and in the worst case scenario, they could poison themselves.
7: Remove other pets from the room
Only if you are really sure and the animals like dog or cat and cockatiel have grown up together, you should leave them together in one room.
Otherwise, it is better to remove the other pets from the room for the time of free flight and also not the possibility of getting back in any way.
Allow plenty of time for the first free flight.
There’s no point in thinking about letting your cockatiel fly for the first time on a stressful day. You should plan a free weekend for this, as it can always happen that the bird does not find its way back to its cage.
Depending on which room it is then the free flight room, you don’t have the option to leave simply because you have work or an appointment. This is because trapping is not ideal for the first free flight, as the bird may lose the confidences it has already acquired.
Prepare the cage for the free flight
To make it easy for your cockatiel to get out and in of the cage, it makes sense to attach a board to the exit. However, this should be absolutely safe and provide a good approach for the parakeet.
A millet placed at the exit will attract the birds outside.
The first free flight
Now that the room is absolutely ready for flight, you can let your cockatiel out of the cage.
The bird does not have to be hand-tame to fly freely for the first time.
Therefore, you can let your parakeet out of its cage after a few days or weeks. The important thing here is that you do not trap him to put the bird back into the cage. The return should be absolutely voluntary.
After the free flight back into the cage – so it succeeds
When the cockatiel has made its flying rounds in the room, it needs a high spot to come to rest.
If there is already a cupboard or a shelf in the room, this is perfect if it has already been secured, as described above. From here, the bird will also return to the cage on its own.
Do not offer food in the flight area
In order for the cockatiel to return to its cage on its own, it should also be offered food only here.
Hunger will drive him back into the cage all by itself.
On the first days you can also hang a millet in the cage so that the parakeet can watch you. If you then leave, he will fly into the cage, because birds are curious by nature.
However, if you think that your cockatiel should be allowed to stay in free flight for the whole day, then it is important that the bird gets food and water here as well.
This is because birds have a brisk metabolism and need a little food every hour. After a few weeks of free flight, the parakeet will have reached the point where it will always visit its cage during the day for food or a resting hour before taking off for a new free flight.
Keep a regular daily routine for free flights
Cockatiels prefer a regular daily routine but also a lot of patience and rest.
For example, the feeding bowls should be filled at the same time each evening before the first free flight.
This ritual is also observed on free flight day. This way, the cockatiels return to the cage more easily in the evening.
If the cockatiel is to be captured
If the parakeet is not yet properly acclimated and does not come to you by itself on the hand or shoulder, then you can try to hold a small stick under its belly.
Often the parakeet will reflexively climb onto the stick and you can carry it to the cage. However, if the bird shows fear, you should retreat immediately.
A night outside the cage is not bad
If the cockatiel has not yet found its way back to its cage in the evening, then it is not bad if it spends the night in the secured room and spends the night outside the cage here.
However, you should leave a light on so that your bird can keep its orientation.
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