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How Big Do Cockatiels Get? [Average Size & Weight Expectations]

Cockatiels are one of the most popular household avian pets and companion parrots throughout the world. They are small birds, considered the smallest of the cockatoo family. But understandably, you may want to know how big do cockatiels get; what is their average size and weight? This post will include everything you need to know about a cockatiel’s size, as as a chick and as a full grown adult.

A cockatiel will reach an average length of 30 to 33 cm by their full age, and they weigh on average ~90 grams. On rarer occasions, they can even weigh up to 110 grams. Cockatiels are much smaller than their cockatoo cousins; cockatoos, whom can be anywhere from 30 to 60 cms in length by their full age.

When you own a cockatiel, it’s easy to understand why they are so popular. Cockatiels are playful, active, and comical; they are fantastic pets.

If you have a cockatiel, are expecting chicks, or are thinking of getting one, size is important to note! Its always good to consider food requirements, space needed, cage size and general handling concerns. Let us now explore the topic further.

How Big Do Cockatiels Grow?

The average lifespan of a cockatiel is twenty years. They reach full maturity by the time they are six to nine months old. However, they may not reach full breeding age until they are one to two years old.

To understand how big your cockatiel may get, you should weigh each chick daily, before the first feed in the morning. Weight gain signifies healthy growth and development. A sturdy chick will put on weight every day. If a chick is not gaining weight or is losing weight, it could indicate a problem and you should get your chick to an avian vet straight away.

Fledglings will lose weight, and that is expected as their muscles develop and prepare for that first flight. Cockatiels typically have their first flight at around five weeks old.

Chicks require 10% of their body weight in feed to grow strong and healthy. Your vet may advise you to offer supplements to your chick if they are not growing at the average and typical rate.

As stated in the paragraph above, cockatiels can live for twenty years or more, but an unhealthy chick may not live past a few weeks, so you must ensure that they are putting on healthy weight.

To understand how big do cockatiels get, please take note of the following table regarding age and average weight of a cockatiel chick in grams.

You will notice that they won’t put on as much weight by the time they start flying, and a healthy bird will maintain a certain weight, and they will keep that into adulthood:

Cockatiel Size – By Age and Weight

AgeWeight
3-6 Days5-12 grams
1-2 Weeks12-45 grams
2-3 weeks45-72 grams
4-5 weeks75-80 grams
5-6 weeks80-90 grams
6-7 weeks80-95 grams
7 Weeks to Adult90-110 grams

Hand Feeding Issues

Of course, food is important and imperative to the growth and health of your bird. As such, hand feeding is often recommended in the early stages of their life.

It is easy to see the rewards of hand feeding a cockatiel chick, it produces a calmer and friendlier bird and ensures they are getting all the nutrition and weight gain they need.

The Kaytee Exact Hand Feeding for Baby Birds formula, available for a great price on Amazon, is excellent; being nutritionally complete and easy to feed. It is often cited as one of the best formulas by fellow pet bird owners.

Kaytee Exact Hand Feeding For Baby Birds, 18 Ounce, 1.12 Pound (Pack of 1)
  • Balanced High-Nutrient Formula Helps Babies Grow Faster, Wean Earlier And Develop Stronger, Brighter Plumage.
  • Contains Probiotics To Encourage A Healthy Population Of Intestinal Microorganisms.
  • Digestive Enzymes Are Included To Ensure Adequate Digestion Of Carbohydrates And Proteins. These Enzymes Offer A Particular Value To A Newly Hatched Baby Or In A Bird Experiencing Digestive Difficulties.
  • Exact Hand Feeding Formula Has Compatible Tastes And Ingredients With Exact Conversion And Exact Adult Daily Diets To Help Reduce Digestive Upsets During Weaning
  • This Product Is Formulated For Use With: Baby Parrots (Including Parakeets, Lovebirds, Cockatiels, Conures, Cockatoos, Macaws, Amazons, African Greys, And Other Psittacines) & Baby Passerines.

When feeding a young chick, you must feed them regularly throughout the day.

Sometimes cockatiel chicks do not survive regardless of all the things that you do. They are delicate and vulnerable during this phase of life. As such, death can occur even after all your efforts to feed and care for them. However, on other occasions, uninformed mistakes can arise when you are hand feeding your chicks placing them in danger.

Therefore, it is imperative that you learn how to hand feed chicks correctly as soon as you can. Its best to seek out somebody experienced with cockatiels – like an avian vet. This is very important as feeding is essential to the health and growth of your bird.

While it isn’t a complicated technique, you must know where, when, and how much formula to feed your chicks. When thinking of hand feeding, many things can go wrong.

Let’s take a look at four of these issues and please take note of them:

Hygiene

Chicks don’t have a functioning immune system when they are born. Therefore, they are more susceptible to fungal and bacterial infections.

Chicks can encounter germs and bacteria, unintentionally being contaminated by your hands or coming into contact with a dirty object. Make sure you use warm water and anti-bacterial soap to wash your hands before any feeding. Your hands must be clean before touching your bird and even before making up the formula. Containers used to mix the formula must be made out of glass and not plastic.

Use boiled water to make up the formula and always make a fresh batch for every feed.

Use one syringe per chick and make sure to clean and sterilize syringes, spoons, and any feeding equipment you use to feed your baby birds.

Aspiration

Aspiration occurs when a chick inhales formula into its lungs or the trachea while hand fed. This issue is usually a result of a bird being reluctant to hand-feeding; however, it may also occur if you feed your chick too slowly or you offer the wrong amount of formula.

You will know aspiration is happening when you notice your bird coughing or sneezing, shaking his head, and gasping for air.

You must bring your chick to a vet where he will have clogs removed from nares followed by a treatment of antibiotics to prevent any microbial infection of the upper respiratory tract.

Chick Isn’t Growing

This can be the result of many issues that include malnutrition, infection, inept food intake or low quality nutrition. This is why it is important that you seek out a high quality formula, like Kaytee as referenced above.

Other issues to be aware of is that your chick might be too hot or too cold in their environment, parasites may be present in their system or they may be suffering from a congenital abnormality.

If you are concerned about any of the above issues, then contacting a vet is advised.

Chick Refuses Food

You may have a very sensitive chick on your hands; they may not eat if their feed is not hot or cold enough.

They might be stressed or frightened. Perhaps they do not like the taste of food. These are all things to be aware of and monitor.

How Much Room Does A Cockatiel Need?

cockatiel in cage

Cockatiels are spirited birds and you must provide them with a cage large enough to suit their long tail and head crest.

The more spacious the enclosure, the more comfortable it will ultimately be for your bird.

A cage should be no smaller than 24 inches in length and 18 inches in width. However, the more space you can provide the better.

A proper cage must have horizontal bars on two sides, at the very least. Horizontal bars provide an excellent climbing space for your cockatiel. Spacing between each bar should not exceed 3 1/4 inches to prevent potential injuries.

The Prevue Wrought Iron Cage is one that meets all such criteria. Its a best seller on Amazon.

Moreover, cages should have two to three perches of varying sizes, textures, and shapes to provide much-needed stimulation for your bird.

Perches must be big enough for your bird to stand securely on them and not lose his balance.

A perch should be no smaller than 3 1/4 inches to 4 inches in diameter. Opt for perches made from different materials like natural wood branches, wooden dowels, and bonded sand, and rope. There are plenty to choose from on Amazon.

Finally

Cockatiels are considered a small bird, reaching an average length of 30-33 cms and around 90-100 grams in weight. Sure, there can be exceptions, and some bird owners report that they can even exceed 110 grams. While this is rare it does happen.

While cockatiels are small, they have a big heart and spirit; their presence will makes a significant impact on your life as an owners. They are great fun to have in your home, and they will cheer you up on days when you most need it.

You must make sure to check the weight of your cockatiel during the early stages of life. Every day is recommended as their weight signifies the state of their health. Make sure you don’t skip any days and be sure to contact a vet if you are concerned or require further information.

Despite their small size, they are playful and active birds, and when it comes to getting a cage, the bigger, the better, and these beautiful birds deserve it.