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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Care Guides > Cockatiels Setup Steps

Cockatiels (Nyphicus hollandicus)

Experience Level: Beginner

Cockatiels

Did you know? Scientifically speaking, Cockatiels are actually the smallest members of the Cockatoo family, based on important traits like the presence of a gall bladder and powder dander.

Step 1Choosing a Habitat

Housing
• Your Cockatiel’s cage must be large enough for your pet to comfortably stretch its wings, climb and play with toys. Minimum cage size is 18x22x18".

• Cockatiels can also live in pairs (larger cage required) or in aviary settings as a group.

Perches
• Place a minimum of two (A) perches at different heights. Do not place over (B) food bowls. Provide perches of differing widths, diameters and textures to keep your pet’s feet healthy.

Cage Placement
• Place your Cockatiel’s cage away from drafts and open windows. Cover the cage at night to prevent drafts.

• Be aware that Cockatiels are sensitive to smoke, scorched Teflon and strong odors. The cage should not be placed in the kitchen.

 

Step 2Play and Hide

These items are essential for your pet’s comfort, health and wellbeing.

Toys
(C) Provide at least 2-3 toys (at all times) to keep your pet busy. Foraging toys provide the additional benefit of a food reward for successful task completion and may reduce boredom and/or feather picking behaviors.

Baths
• Provide a birdbath 2-3 times per week. You can offer a warm-water bath or gently mist your pet with warm water from a clean spray bottle.

T-stand/Playpen
• Cockatiels enjoy time outside of the cage with these activity centers.

 

Step 3Bedding

Types
(D) Corn cob bedding, aspen, wood pellets or recycled paper products can be used. Cage liners are also appropriate.

Cleaning
• Bedding should be spot cleaned weekly and completely changed monthly.

 

Traits and Behavior

Social
• Cockatiels want to interact with their Pet Parents as much as possible. They require at least one hour or more of daily interaction.

Intelligent
• Smart and easily trained, these birds can be taught basic commands such as “step up” onto your hand and “step down” when putting them back into their cage. This will ensure easier handling.

Messy Eaters
• Your Cockatiel will drop a lot of food while eating.

HEALTH
New surroundings and environments can be stressful for pets. Prior to handling your pet, give her 3-4 days to adjust to her new surroundings while monitoring her behavior for any signs of excessive stress or illness.

THINGS TO WATCH FOR
• Decreased appetite; weight loss

• Decreased activity and grooming behavior

• Change in droppings in excess of two days

• Prolonged sitting at the bottom of cage

• Discharge from nose or mouth; sneezing

• Feathers fluffed for prolonged periods of time

If you notice any of the signs described above, speak with a PetSmart store associate or avian veterinarian about the health of your pet.

PETSMART CARES
Pets purchased at PetSmart are part of our exclusive Vet Assured™ program; a program designed by PetSmart veterinarians to help improve the health and well-being of our pets.

The program includes:
• Specific standards our vendors agree to meet in caring for and observing pets for common illnesses.

• Specific standards for in-store pet care.

• The PetSmart Promise: If your pet becomes ill during the initial 14-day period, or if you’re not satisfied for any reason, PetSmart will gladly replace the pet or refund the purchase price.

cockatiel in habitat

HEALTH
New surroundings and environments can be stressful for birds. Prior to handling your bird, give her 3-4 days to adjust to her new surroundings while monitoring her behavior for any signs of excessive stress or illness.

THINGS TO WATCH FOR
• Decreased appetite; weight loss • Decreased activity and grooming behavior

• Change in droppings in excess of two days

• Prolonged sitting at the bottom of cage

• Discharge from nose or mouth; frequent sneezing

• Feathers fluffed for prolonged periods of time

If you notice any of the signs described above, speak with a PetSmart associate or your avian veterinarian regarding the health of your pet.

PETSMART CARES
Pets purchased at PetSmart are part of our exclusive Vet Assured™ program; a program designed by PetSmart veterinarians to help improve the health and well-being of our birds.

The program includes:
• Specific standards our vendors agree to meet in caring for and observing pets for common illnesses.

• Specific standards for in-store pet care.

• The PetSmart Promise: If your pet becomes ill during the initial 14-day period, or if you’re not satisfied for any reason, PetSmart will gladly replace the pet or refund the purchase price.