Are Cockatiels High Maintenance? (Essential Tips for Beginners)

Compared to other pets, cockatiels are a comfortable alternative for those who cannot assume the commitment of a pet that demands high maintenance, they do not have to be taken out for a walk and are cheaper to maintain.

This makes cockatiels excellent birds for beginners as their first pet, but that does not mean they do not need any care. Keep in mind these basic recommendations if you intend to acquire one:

The cage

It is important that it remains in a warm place, where the air circulates and preferably the sun shines. This during the day. Cover it at night with a blanket to protect the bird from the cold.

Cockatiels must have plenty of room to move. The size of the cage should be at least 20 to 24 square inches. They should have at least two perches spaced far enough apart to jump or fly between them.

Natural branches are ideal perches, as well as material to chew on. Do not use sandpaper perch covers as they are very abrasive to the feet.

A small rope hanger is also fun. Toys should be provided to keep the cockatoo busy.

The cage should be placed so that it is not directly under an air conditioning vent or in direct sunlight but should be in an area of the house where there is a lot of activity.

Cockatiels are very sociable and like to be the center of attention. If you keep your cockatoo in the kitchen, always be aware of the dangers of Teflon poisoning (from overheating), cleaning chemicals and oven cleaners.

Do cockatiels need Cuttlebone?

Cuttlebone in Cockatiels cage

The cuttlebone is an element that we will find many times inside many bird cages .

The fact of having a cuttlebone in the interior of the birdcage is because of the high amount of calcium that naturally produces the skeleton of the cuttlefish. This high contribution of calcium makes it possible to complement the birds’ diet, which is deficient in calcium, It is also quite cheap and easy to get.

Food and drink

You can give them concentrate, birdseed and sunflower seeds, depending on the species. The feeders and drinkers (containers for food and water, respectively) should always have food and liquid so that the cockatoos eat as they wish.

Cockatiels are capable of growing on a diet of seeds but will eventually suffer from malnutrition, particularly if they mate.

To feed the cockatiels with only a granulated diet will often result in problems with the kidneys as the bird ages.

The easiest way to raise cockatiels is to combine a granular food made for cockatiels, half and half, with a good, clean mixture of cockatiel seeds, which is relatively low in sunflower.

Cockatiels tend to be resistant to the introduction of new foods and will accept few vegetables and fruits. It tends to enjoy wholegrain bread, carrot shreds, hard-boiled eggs and grated vegetables and is an ideal supplement for domestic birds.

Often they will consume apples and enjoy broccoli. But broccoli shouldn’t be consumed daily due to its oxalic acid content, which may cause kidney and calcium metabolism problems.

The grain should not be offered. Vitamins and minerals should be supplemented if more than 50 percent of the diet is seed.


Permanent cleanliness is essential. You can put recycled newspaper on the floor of the cage so that the bird’s manure falls on the paper. It must be replaced daily to prevent the spread of disease.

Among the accessories to bathe a cockatiel, there are baths for birds, which are extremely economical, you can also have a bottle with a spray so you can fill it with water and “shower”.

The cockatiels have particular feathers, called powder, that generate dust that will clean the feathers.

This might be a concern for those people with allergies. Frequent bathing may help to control it. The birds enjoy baths and they should be bathed twice a week to preserve their good plumage.

Nails too large can be risky; hold them with a nail clipper, watching for the speed (vein) inside the nail. Most cockatiels’ toenails are all white and the vein is clearly visible. It is best to have an avian veterinarian or professional show you how to best do this initially.

To cut the feathers you will need well-sharpened traditional scissors, but to cut the nails you will need a special bird clipper, both accessories quite inexpensive.

It is important to emphasize that you should never add shampoo or soap to the bathwater.

Do cockatiels like being sprayed with water?

Some Cockatiels also like to be sprayed with a sprayer, especially in summer. They use a sprayer when their cages are hung outside to air out.

The sprayer can simulate rainwater from nature, try not to spray their face directly, rather, spray their abdomen and legs and adjust the evaporator to a gentle stream.

It is not convenient to put the external bathtubs since the Nymphs have a great tail and they would not have hardly mobility inside these bathtubs. Despite this, there are bathtubs specially adapted for them.

Toys and Accessories

Cockatiels in captivity are subject to a medium in general very little enriched (the cage and their environment), not very stimulating and unknown to birds, a fact that makes it very unpredictable and can easily cause an undesirable level of stress.

In addition to this, cockatiels are intelligent and curious birds that need to be entertained as well, need a variety of toys, but especially when it comes to toys. Because the most fun is getting to the bottom of things (i.e., cutting them up with the beak), no toy will last more than a few days. use bird or toddler toys that cannot be broken into small pieces.

There are several types of nymph toys available on the market, the following being the most recommended:

  • Strings
  • Bells
  • Stairs
  • See-saws
  • Mirrors

Whatever you choose for your cockatiels, never fail to take advice from the pet store where you can buy these fun entertainments for your cockatiels. In the stores, they will recommend you the most convenient ones for the bird’s safety.

With these toys, you will have the guarantee that the pet will not be put at risk, that they do not contain toxic paints, that the woods or plastics and their fragments cannot be ingested or hurt them, that they will be and will only be a game for the and for our delight as volunteer observers.

Aspects that are not so favorable to take into account when maintaining a cockatiel

Behavioral problems

A great part of the birds presents behavioral disorders. This can be seen in various pathological behavior patterns, such as compulsive head shaking or plucking of feathers.

In addition, some owners are unable to handle the characteristics of cockatiels in the long-term: with their shrill vocals, which can go up to 100 decibels, or the fact that their play instinct will bite off anything that comes before their beak.

the intimate relationship that the animals establish with their owner is also a concern repeatedly. They can be very possessive and get angry when someone approaches their caretaker. In the most extreme situation, other guests will be attacked.

No individual keeping

Whoever wants a cockatiel, in any case, should look for a qualified cockatiel breeder. You can also obtain recommendations on how to proceed after purchase.

In any case, it is advisable that you don’t buy just one bird, but a couple or a group, depending on the species.

Cockatiels are birds in groups that form lifetime relationships and maintain regular social contact. Humans can not substitute any conspecific for them.

Cockatiels are prone to obesity

In some cases, food and water bowls are attached to the supports at a high of approximately 1.20 meters. They must be positioned so that there is no seating on them. Otherwise, they are permanently contaminated with feces and must be cleaned daily.

Cleanliness involves changing the water in the bath regularly and disposing of food residues, the humidity in the aviary needs to be at a minimum of 60 percent. Without this, the birds’ mucous membranes dry out, potentially leading to respiratory diseases.

A wholesome diet includes special pellets or seed mixtures, so the ratio of high-fat grains, such as sunflower seeds, should be low.

Because some cockatiels, particularly pink ones, have a tendency to be overweight. But they also require a lot of fresh fruits and veggies and they like to eat wild fruits such as rosehips or forage plants such as dandelions.

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