When buying your cockatiel you may wonder which is better, hand-fed or a parent raised bird?
No matter where you buy your cockatiel, it is always best to find a hand-fed/reared bird if you want a cockatiel as a pet. Hand-fed cockatiels normally cost more than parent-raised ones, as the hand-fed ones have been raised by people and have been labour intensive to raise. This process ensures that the cockatiel will bond with people. Nevertheless you must be prepared to handle and play with your cockatiel every day to keep him tame and lovable.
If you purchase a parent-raised cockatiel, it is going to take extra time and care for the cockatiel to become tame. These types of birds are better for use in breeding programs, as they will make good parents as they were raised by their own parents. Hand-fed cockatiels on the other hand pay more attention to human companions than to other birds, so they may not always make ideal breeding birds.
If you want a pet, it may be worth it to spend the extra money on a hand-fed parrot. If you purchase a young parent-raised cockatiel you can tame them yourself with a little patience and time. The older the bird, the more difficult it is to train.
Once you have found a selection of hand-fed cockatiels it is time to select your pet. The best way is to start by observing the birds that are on sale. Take your time and watch for a while. Notice which of the birds are bolder than the others and consider those first, as you want a curious, robust and active pet, not a shy animal that hides in a corner.
A good idea is to let your cockatiel choose you. If one bird waddles up to you and wants to play, or seems to like you, that may be just the bird for you.
Make sure that the birds look healthy. They should look alert, have bright eyes and not be all puffed up and sleeping. Take note of the droppings on the floor of the cage. They should be firm and hold their shape, not runny or watery. They should have a full-chested appearance and be actively moving around the cage. The wings should be firmly held in and not droopy and his feathers should be smooth. The nostrils should be clear of discharge, and their should be no regurgitated food visible around the beak area or on the surrounding feathers.
Also make sure that the outlet that you buy your cockatiel from is reputable and clean. Take note of the other animals in the shop. Do they look healthy and happy. Are the cages clean, and does the shop smell pleasant.