Some people like dogs, some people like cats, but I have a more...refined...desire for pets. Birds are a class of pet that is often forgotten due to many reasons, but as an owner of two cockatiels, the risks are worth it. 

Domesticated birds like cockatiels and parakeets are tailor-made for those looking for an inseparable companion through the darkest of times. Birds will bond to their owners and wish for nothing more than to be near you. 

That said, there are some risks involved when taking care of your feathered friends in Southern Utah.  

The first thing to note is that birds are LOUD. If you have a family or roommates that aren’t OK with that kind of thing, then you’re probably going to run into some issues. There are some ways of alleviating such problems such as soundproofing your room or placing the birds in a decent room from the main living area of your home. 

Birds are also messy. They see something shiny; they need to poke and prod it until nothing is left. I had an air conditioning unit plugged into the wall while living in Cedar City, and my birds decided the cord leading to the electrical outlet was the enemy of all mankind.  

Another issue that comes with taking care of a bird in Southern Utah is the lack of bird veterinarians in the area. If someone knows of one, I would love to hear about it, but as far as I know, there aren’t any pet care professionals who specialize in bird care in Southern Utah. 

Despite all the risks, I haven’t regretted a single decision regarding my two cockatiels. They’ve allowed me to appreciate all forms of animal life and to not be afraid to try new things.  

Another risk I would state is that birds are expensive, especially if you’re buying them straight from the pet store.  

Baby birds tend to be more expensive while adult birds are easier on the wallet, but adults can be a bit more difficult to train since they already have living habits.  

The last risk can also be interpreted as a benefit depending on who you ask, but birds live a long time. A simple parakeet lives around 8 years on average while cockatiels tend to live over 15 years. If you get an exotic breed of parrot like an African grey, then expect a lifespan of over 40 years. 

I personally hope my birds live beyond 15 years, as I can’t imagine my life without them. 


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