S&S Exotic Animals,inc.

Cockatiel Care Sheet

Cockatiel Care Sheet


  Found in the open fields, usually near water, in Australia.


  Cockatiels are bred in a variety of colors. Some of the color strains are gray, lutino, cinnamon, albino, white-faced and pearl. In sexing, female cockatiels have horizontal barring on the tails but this barring is absent in male cockatiels. The average life span of a cockatiel is 15 to 20 years.


  Cockatiels should be fed a good cockatiel seed mixture and/or pellets on a daily basis. Fruits, vegetables and greens will provide variety in their diets and should also be provided on a daily basis. Fruits may include apples, honeydew melon, grapes and watermelon. Vegetables my include broccoli, cucumbers, grated carrots and zucchini. Greens may include spinach, endive and parsley. You can add bread, whole grain breakfast cereals or cooked pasta as an addition their diet. Do not feed cabbage, potatoes, avocados or citrus fruits. Keep in mind that tastes vary among birds. Vitamin supplements can also be added to their drinking water. Cuttlebone or mineral stones should be given to add minerals to their diets. Spray millet is an excellent daily addition to their diet. Grit should be available in a separate dish at all times.


  The best cage for a cockatiel is made of metal wire and should be a minimum of 16 inches wide by 24 inches long. The cage should be placed near a window but make sure the bird is able to retreat to the shade. Do not place the cage near a heater as hot air dries out a bird´s mucous membranes. Perches should be thick enough so that a cockatiel´s toes can´t reach all the way around. Water containers should be cleaned daily to avoid any build up of bacteria. A bath should be provided early in the day. The bath can be provided by misting warm water on the bird or by using a commercial bathhouse made for cockatiels. Never give your bird a bath too close to nighttime because the bird could become chilled. Toys should be made of metal, acrylic or hard wood for the cockatiel to play with and chew on.


  Allow the cockatiel at least two weeks to adapt to its new environment. You may then offer treats but if the cockatiel gets nervous, you should withdraw your hand. Talk to the bird so that it gets used to your tone of voice. Continue to offer treats until it perches on your hand.


  Many cockatiels excel at whistling notes or tunes. Whistling the same tune over and over is the best way to teach the melody to the bird. The ability to talk is not as impressive in cockatiels as in other birds. Repeat the words you would like the bird to say as often as possible. Always use the same words and tone of voice until it learns them and then move on to the next words.

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