The Importance of Reading


We are all told as children that read- .
ing enhances our life. I never came to
find this more true than when I
decided to purchase my first cockatiel.
Always admiring the beauty of the
cockatiel, I finally convinced my husband
that I just had to have one so on
our anniverasary one year he led me
to the pet store to choose which one
I'd like.
Knowing nothing about cockatiels, I
did know at least the basics of looking
for a healthy bird. When I chose the
most alert, attentive one there, the
store clerk removed her from the cage
and clipped her wings. I had never
seen such a process before and was
advised that this made it easier to train 

them. With my new bird (who now
had stubby wings) and a "How to . .. "
book under my arm, we left the store.
The very first lesson I learned about
cockatiels was that when they were
upset ... they hiss/You could have
imagined the look on my face when I
first saw her do this. She also did a little
rocking side to side to accompany
this hissing noise. I had no idea what
was wrong with her. I did get the
impression that she definitely was tlying
to intimidate me. So for the first
few lessons of trying to get her out of
her cage I used a perch-stick. She
found that less intimidating than my
The second lesson I learned was 

that even though her wings were
clipped, she could still fly somewhat,
not enough to gain height, but well
enough for me to have to chase her.
Her perch training had begun down a
long hall with all the doors shut with
no where for her to go except by me.
She realized that every time she flew
to the floor from her perch, I was
going to retrieve her and place her on
the perch again. After a few of these
ill-fated attempts, she gave up. Every
time she did sit still she got a treat of
millet spray or some loving from me.
She learned to sit so well that my
husband constructed a playpen for
her to sit on during the day. This was
kept on my coffee table in the middle
of the living room and this suited her
just fine. She loved to be where the
action was. She ended up becoming a
regular member of the family, more so
than a pet. The playpen consisted of a
wooden swing, a spiral step ladder
and a tall balance beam. There were
cups available for special treats. She
turned out to be a ve1y healthy, happy
She developed a bond with me,(I
spent most of my time wih her and
trained and tamed her alone.) We had
a little deal going between us. She
loved to have her head scratched, and
I loved being kissed. So it always cost
her a kiss for a scratch. I think that's
pretty fair.
A couple of years later, she began
laying eggs. She did not have a mate,
nor was there another bird in the
house. This got to be quite a problem
because she would lay egg, after egg,
after egg. This is where the reading
began. I had talked to several different
people in pet stores, and it seemed the
more people I talked to the more confused
I became. It seemed that no two
people had the same answer or
advice. I figured I would get my hands
on everything I could concerning
cockatiels. I borrowed books from the
library, I subscribed to different magazines,
and I sent away for mail-order
books. After reading all the material I
could, I then could form my own
opinion on what the right treatment
would be for each situation. If I had
only done that first before I had purchased
my cockatiel, I probably could
have done things better. Not that I
didn't meet with the same results, I
would have just gotten there faster.