In the lobby of my clinic, Arizona Skies Animal Hospital, we have two cockatiels. Mango and Della entertain the dogs, cats and people with a variety of behaviors. Mango parades back and forth whistling the tune to The Andy Griffith Show. Della climbs to the closest perch to get a studied look at the visitor. As a hand-raised chick, she thinks people are strange members of her flock.
But living in the lobby on display can also be stressful. Dogs jumping or pawing their cage probably feels like an earthquake. Loud people make it hard to nap. That’s why I recommend a hiding/resting place for all animals in public areas. Look closely at the upper right and left hand corner of the cage. See the two pieces of fabric that hang down to form a curtain? Inside is a perch that allows Della and Mango to give themselves a timeout whenever they need it. I call these spaces ‘the bedrooms.’ Originally, I only installed one bedroom for the birds to share. After one week, Della kicked Mango out! Poor Mango sat on the branch below looking up longingly at his girlfriend. So, I made the second bedroom on the upper right side to give Mango his own space. Della then decided that the new room was superior and took it over leaving poor Mango the now slightly used original bedroom on the left. (See below)
For more information on caring for animals who live in public places, see my next blog.