If you have looked after your old cockatiel well over the years and fed him a varied and healthy diet, as well as taken him for regular health checks, the chances are good that your old cockatiel will still live a long time.
There have been cases of cockatiels living to 30 years old, but in most cases, they turn into old cockatiels from the age of about 15 years. Their average lifespan is between 15 and 20 years.
If you are the proud owner of an old cockatiel you can give yourself a pat on the back, as you have looked after your little pet really well over the years. However, as nothing lives forever, you may start to notice subtle changes in his appearance and behavior over time.
These are signs that your cockatiel may be getting old:
- erratic molting
- feathers become sparse
- preening himself less often
- looking a bit untidy
Unfortunately just as we get old, so does your cockatiel, although maybe a little quicker.
Older birds have an increased need for health intervention.
They can become prone to a range of illnesses, including (heart disease, liver or kidney diseases, cancer, musculoskeletal issues like bumblefoot, weak bones and arthritis, feather loss, eye problems and reproductive issues.
An old cockatiel will tend to get sick more easily as their immune systems go into decline.
The only time we could be outlived by our pets is if you own a large parrot. Many of these parrots go on to live into their 80’s.
Relatively little is known about the nutritional requirements of older birds, but most avian vets suggest an easily digestible diet with fewer proteins, phosphorus, and sodium. The diet must also be sufficient to keep the cockatiels weight constant.
Higher levels of vitamins A, E, B12, thiamin, pyridoxine, zinc, linoleum acid and lysine may help an old cockatiel cope with the metabolic and digestive changes that come with old age.
Make His Living Quarters Comfortable
Depending on your old cockatiel’s condition, some cage alterations may have to be made.
If for instance, he has feet that don’t work too well at gripping anymore, you may want to put him in a cage with horizontal bars to make climbing easier. This is a good example of a cage with horizontal bars.
You could also give him thicker or flatter perches to make him more comfortable. I have seen many older birds that prefer to sit on wooden platforms rather than perches. If he battles to get around his cage, some ramps could be fitted to allow ease of movement.
If your old cockatiel looks uncomfortable when eating, you may need to get him shallower food and water dishes, or even move them to a more accessible place in the cage like near to the floor.