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How to look after a Cockatiel | Kellyville Pets

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This comprehensive care guide will show you how to look after a Cockatiel in 3 easy steps

Fast Facts:

How long will my Cockatiel live? They can live 15-25 years

How big will it grow? 30cm including tail

What size of enclosure is recommended for my Cockatiel? A wire enclosure of 35” X 20” X 35”

What does a Cockatiel eat? A mix of seed and pellets with fruit and vegetables

Cockatiel Housing

Hand raised Cockatiels have been raised by humans usually from 3 weeks old, making them accustomed to handling, cages and many noises that occur in everyday life.

A small-medium gauge wire cage with dimensions of at least 35”(W) x 20”(D) x 35”(H) will give your Cockatiel enough room to spread out and exercise without risk of injury from hitting the wire sides.

Open top cages with perching areas are ideal for hand raised birds as they provide more freedom and interaction with their family. At night the cage should be covered with a sheet or cage cover to prevent drafts and reduce visual stress.

Cockatiel Care

Cockatiels are predominantly a seed eating species so their captive diet should consist of a mix of pellets and seed. An appropriate seed would be a small parrot mix, which should contain a variety of seeds such as french white millet, plain canary, hulled oats, pannicum, japanese millet, saff flower and sunflower.

Grit assists with digestion so small amounts should be added to their daily seed. Seed lacks important vitamins and minerals so their daily diet should be supplemented with small portions of fresh fruit and vegetables such as apple, carrot, beans, peas, corn, broccoli and spinach. Never feed your Cockatiel lettuce or avocado, and always remove the seeds from apples. Fruit and vegetables should not be left for prolonged periods of time as they will easily spoil and this can lead to illness from the bacteria and yeasts that grow on spoilt produce.

Vitamin supplements such as Soluvite D or Multivet can be added to your Cockatiels water two or three times a week. Calcium and Iodine can be provided through cuttlebone and iodine bells.

Fresh water should always be available and should be changed on a daily basis. Worming should be repeated every three months with a broad spectrum bird wormer.

Cockatiel Feeding

Enrichment is all about enhancing the quality of life for your Cockatiel and generally relates back to activities they would usually perform in the wild. Foraging plays a big part in enrichment for birds. To search for food is a natural instinct all birds possess, so it is the perfect way to exercise both their body and mind.

There is a vast range of foraging toys to suit all species of birds and keep them mentally stimulated for when you are not at home. It is a good idea to have several different types of foraging toys available, and to rotate them in the cage every couple of weeks.

Natural branches of varying lengths, shapes and thicknesses should also be provided. There are many native branches that you could offer your Cockatiel such as eucalyptus, gum, grevillea, bottle brush and lilly pilly, many of which have natural nuts and flowers that providing a foraging opportunity for your Cockatiel. This also allows your Cockatiel to properly exercise their feet and beak as they can chew and strip the bark perches.

Did You Know?

The Cockatiel is known to be one of the smallest members of the cockatoo family. In the wild it lives a nomadic lifestyle and is seen in flocks ranging from several birds to several hundred.

Cockatiels are the ideal pet for first time bird owners. When properly hand raised they are completely non aggressive, cuddly, sociable and make great whistlers so they can be taught your favourite show tunes with ease.

We have created a Shopping list to show what you need to look after a Cockatiel:

  • Cage; 35”x20”x35” small-medium gauge wire
  • Water bowl
  • Food bowl
  • Perches
  • Ozpet Litter
  • Cage Tidy
  • Cage cover
  • Carry cage
  • Seed
  • Vitamins
  • Worming
  • Avicare disinfectant
  • Cuttlefish
  • Lice & Mite spray
  • Natural perches
  • Cement perches
  • Foraging toys
  • Colourful toys
  • Ladders
  • Parrot Pad
  • Play stand

      Common health issues in Cockatiels

      Psittacosis: A type of bacterial lung infection commonly carried by wild and domesticated birds, and able to be passed onto humans.

      Respiratory Infections: Usually caused by bacteria infecting the respiratory system of birds due to vitamin A deficiency, however can be caused by many other factors such as fungi, parasites and environmental toxins.

      Bacterial Infections: There are many common bacterial diseases birds are susceptible to and is usually caused by lack of hygiene or stress, especially when there is another factor compromising the birds immune system.

      Red flags

      Is your Cockatiel showing any of the signs of disease or illness? If yes, please contact your vet.

      • Fluffed up feathers
      • Nasal discharge
      • Lethargy
      • Out of character behaviour
      • Discoloured poo or diarrhoea
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          At Kellyville Pets, we encourage responsible pet ownership.

          CARE GUIDE © Copyright 2016 Kellyville Pets - All information found in this care guide is based upon our own experience. The information provided is not the only information available. In any medical situations,  you should always consult your vet, including questions regarding your pet's diet.