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Cockatiel Care Tips
August 15, 2023

Cockatiels are one of the most popular pet birds. These cute fluff balls are very charming and adorable, and form very close bonds with their humans. A Las Vegas, NV vet offers some care tips in this article.

How Do I Set Up A Cockatiel’s Cage?

A cockatiel’s cage should be, at the very least, at least twice her wingspan, or 20″ x 30″ x 30″. However, bigger is better. Add several perches of different sizes, heights, and materials. Just don’t put them over your feathered friend’s food or water dishes, as droppings will ruin her food. For lining, you can use a paper bedding, such as butcher paper or newspaper. (Cleaning hack: put a pile of paper sheets down. When you’re cleaning, you should only have to remove the top one.) Add lots of fun, safe toys. Change out toys and perches regularly to keep things fun.


Choosing the right spot is also important. Don’t put Polly near any areas where she will be exposed to drafts, cooking fumes, or any strong vapors or scents. A family room or den is usually good. If possible, choose a room with a window, so your winged pal can get some natural sunlight.


Polly can have commercial bird seed for her main meals, supplemented with safe fruits and veggies. Some good options include dark, leafy greens and berries, melon, and papaya. For treats, you can offer millet spray or honey sticks. Your winged pal will also need fresh, clean water available 24/7. Ask your vet for more information.


Cockatiels are very sociable, and get extremely close to their humans. Spend time with your little buddy every day. You’ll need to take care to thoroughly birdproof any rooms she’ll be allowed in. It’s also important for you to provide plenty of fun toys. You’ll also need to bathe her a few times a week. 

Veterinary Care

Polly will need to see her vet regularly. Cockatiels are susceptible to certain health issues. These include liver and kidney disease, parasites, infections, and obstetrical issues, such as egg binding. Watch for warning signs, such as feather pulling, lost appetite, weight loss, unusual behavior or vocalizations, and changes in your pet’s waste. Call us immediately if you notice anything off.

Our Advice on Cockatiel Care Tips in 2024

What is the minimum recommended size for a cockatiel’s cage?

The minimum recommended size for a cockatiel’s cage is at least 20 inches by 30 inches by 30 inches. This size allows enough space for the bird to ings and move comfortably, essential for its physical and psychological health. However, more significance is always better when it comes to bird cages. Providing a larger space enables more room for perches, toys, and exercise, contributing to a happier and healthier cockatiel. Adequate cage size is crucial for preventing stress and promoting natural behaviors.

How should perches be arranged in a cockatiel’s cage to maintain cleanliness?

Perches in a cockatiel’s cage should be strategically arranged to promote cleanliness and the bird’s well-being. It’s essential to avoid placing perches directly above food or water dishes to prevent contamination from droppings. Incorporating perches of varying sizes, heights, and materials supports foot health by mimicking a more natural environment and encourages physical activity. Regularly changing the position of the perches can keep the environment stimulating for the bird, reducing boredom and promoting healthy behavior while maintaining cleanliness and hygiene within the cage.

What foods should be included in a cockatiel’s diet for optimal health?

For optimal health, a cockatiel’s diet should include a balanced mix of commercial bird seed formulated specifically for cockatiels, supplemented with various safe fruits and vegetables. Dark, leafy greens, such as kale, spinach, carrots, peas, and sweet potatoes, provide essential vitamins and minerals. Fruits like berries, apples, and melons can be offered in moderation as treats. Additionally, small amounts of cooked lean proteins can be introduced. Always ensure fresh, clean water is available. Consult a veterinarian for specific dietary recommendations tailored to your bird’s health needs.

What are some signs that a cockatiel needs to see a veterinarian?

Signs that a cockatiel needs to see a veterinarian include noticeable changes in behavior or appearance, such as reduced activity levels, lack of interest in food, or weight loss. Other alarming signs include difficulty breathing, discharge from the eyes or nostrils, changes in droppings (color, consistency, frequency), feather plucking or loss without molting, unusual vocalizations, or signs of distress. Any form of limping, lethargy, or unexplained aggression should also prompt a visit to the vet. Early detection and treatment of potential health issues are critical for a cockatiel’s well-being.

What are some common health issues that affect cockatiels?

Common health issues affecting cockatiels include respiratory infections, often indicated by sneezing or nasal discharge; gastrointestinal problems, such as diarrhea or constipation; and parasitic infestations, including mites and worms. Cockatiels can also suffer from nutritional deficiencies, particularly calcium and vitamin A shortages, leading to weakened bones or poor feather quality. Psittacosis, a bacterial infection transmissible to humans, and liver or kidney diseases are also concerns. Additionally, behavioral problems like feather plucking may arise from stress or boredom. Regular veterinary check-ups can help identify and treat these conditions early.

Do you want to learn more about caring for a cockatiel? Contact us, your local Las Vegas, NV pet hospital, doday!