Choosing Cockatiels as a Pet

Cockatiels makes a great pet. The males can very easily learn to whistle tunes and can even be taught to talk. They are capable of mimicking speech although they can be difficult to understand.

Cockatiels are easy to breed in either cages or aviaries and are originally from Australia.

Normal Grey Cockatiel

Normal female grey cockatiels have a fully grey body, with a grey face that has dull cheeks that are usually orange. Males have a fully grey body with bright yellow faces and orange cheeks.

Pearl Cockatiel

Pearl Cockatiels are a grey brownish colour, with markings on their body that look like pearls. Male pearl cockatiels lose their pearl markings after their first moult. Males usually have bright yellow face with orange patches while females, unlike the males keep their pearl markings, but have a greyish brown face.

Lutino Cockatiel

These Cockatiels are not grey at all, but pure white or yellow with orange patches on their cheeks.

Petmania Cockatiel2

The average lifespan for a Cockatiel is 12-15 years.

Company for Cockatiels

It is advised to get a pair of cockatiels so they can keep each other company. They also need human interaction, therefore it is advised you try to pet them daily. Cockatiels are sociable birds and should be kept in the same breed and sex (e.g. pearl breed, female and female). If you put a male and female together they may breed, so be aware of this.

Where Cockatiels Like to Live

A wire cage with a climbing bar is perfect for Cockatiels. The size of the cage depends on the amount of cockatiels, if you are planning on getting one cockatiel the cage should be a minimum of (60cm x 40cm x 60cm), the minimum size cage for two cockatiels is (100cm x 70cm x 130cm).

The base of the cage should be rectangular, with sand sheets or beach chippings used as bedding.

A large perch should be provided to prevent the cockatiels claws from getting to long.

Exercise & Play

No matter how big a Cockatiel’s cage is, exercise is important for them. They should be let out of their cage for at least one hour a day if their wings are clipped. However, if their wings are not clipped a play pen is an option. Your house should be bird proof to prevent the cockatiel from flying away (i.e. close windows and doors in the house).

In addition, toys should be provided in its cage to occupy the cockatiel; for example, wooden ladders and swings.

Diet & Nutrition

A good Cockatiel mix is the main part of the diet; fresh fruit and vegetables can be used but must be put in a separate dish. The Cockatiel mix should consist of canary seed, white millet, naked oats, hempseed and flaked maize.

A cuttlebone is a good source of calcium and good activity for the Cockatiels, this helps maintain and prevent their beak from becoming overgrown.

Millet sprays, honey bells and seed bars can be used as a treats for rewarding your cockatiel. Fresh food and water should be provided on a daily basis.

Cockatiel Health & Hygiene


Your Cockatiel’s cage should be cleaned on a weekly basis using a bird safe disinfectant, along with any perches or decorations in the cage. Water and food bowls should be cleaned out on a daily basis.

Clipping flight feathers & Nails

Clipping a Cockatiels flight feathers is not necessary; but when done correctly helps prevent injury or escape. A Cockatiel’s nails should be cut, to prevent them getting too long.

If you decide to cut the bird’s nails, be careful as they have a vein in their nail and if cut too far in they will start to bleed. A perch will also help wear down their nails.


Like most birds, it is difficult to sex a Cockatiel when they are young. When they are mating the males will whistle and the females will screech.

Take Me Home Checklist

When taking your Cockatiel home, you will need to make sure you have some things in order to help keep them healthy and happy. We’ve put together a simple ‘Take Me Home’ checklist for new Cockatiel keepers. In conclusion; if you have any questions, or need any further advise, please drop in to your local Petmania and talk to our Petcare Advisors.

  • Wire cage (60cm x 40cm x 60cm for one Cockatiel, 100cm x 70cm x 130cm for two Cockatiels)
  • Food – Cockatiel mix not parrot mix
  • Bedding – sand sheets or beech chippings
  • Water & food dishes
  • Toys, like ladders, perches, & swings
  • Cuttlebone & holder
  • Bird safe disinfectant
  • Treats like millet spray & holder, honey bells & seed bars
  • Cockatiel book
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