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What is The Price of a Cockatiel?

One of the biggest pieces of information that pet owners use to determine which pet to bring into their home is the cost associated with the pet. Pet birds can be particularly expensive, even popular pet bird breeds such as the cockatiel. Find out how much the overarching price of a cockatiel is before buying one for your household.

Dr. Jess explains more about the costs of owning a cockatiel below:

yellow cockatiel perched on a females pointer finger

Cockatiel Basics:

Cockatiels are a very popular choice of pet birds in the U.S.

This small parrot is also known as a quarrion, and is part of the cockatoo family.

It is native to Australia [source], but is now a companion animal for families all over the world.

There are many reasons why they can make a great family pet for pet owners.

Cockatiels have a distinctive orange spot on either side of their face, males typically having a brighter orange spot compared to the female of the species.

They also have a crest that rests on the top of their head that can showcase their current state of emotion.

For example, when the bird is feeling excited, the crest on their head will stand straight up.

If they feel relaxed or tired, their crest will be oblique, or “half-staff”, relaxed and slightly opened on the back of their head.

A cockatiel’s plumage is white, grey, or yellow.

If the bird is angry, the crest will typically be seen lying flat against their head.

Cockatiels have long tail feathers compared to other cockatoos that they are related to.

These birds can carry a tune and even pick up and mimic their humans sounds and words.

Cockatiels are fairly easy to breed, which is a factor that can keep initial costs of purchasing the animal at a minimum.

Pet Cockatiel Price:

At the time of writing this article, large-chain pet stores who sell cockatiels, are selling them for a range between about $100 – $300.

However, just like most other pets available, purchasing the actual pet is just one of the costs of owning the pet.

There are many other costs involved in the day-to-day upkeep and the yearly overall health of your cockatiel.

So lets add on to that $100 – $300 purchase price of your potential cockatiel.

Below I break down the other costs that commonly occur alongside owning your pet bird.

Costs Associated With Pet Ownership:

With any pet, whether it is the classiest of show dogs, to the most basic of a goldfish, there are costs associated with purchasing and upkeep of every pet.

Many people forget that the costs of a pet does not stop at the purchase price of that animal. In fact, most times, the most expensive part of pet ownership is the maintenance of keeping that pet, safe, healthy, and happy.

Below are a few of the largest expenses associated with owning a pet.

1. Food:

Your pet bird will not be able to pick out the best and healthiest foods for their bodies.

In fact, if you give your bird many options of things to eat in their bird cage, they will simply eat what tastes good for them first, and leave everything that is less-tasty to them, for last.

This is why it is so incredibly important to feed your bird a well-balanced diet to help ensure that they receive the proper nutrition for their life stage, health issues, and other needs throughout their lifetime.

Bird feed pellets are the easy way to serve your pet bird a complete food, a food that delivers all the necessary nutrients to the animal as long as the animal ingests the proper daily amount.

Bird pellets range in prices, from around $5 at the time that this article is published, to well over $50 for a bag of pet bird pellets.

Any reliable pet food store will carry complete feeds for pet birds.

On top of pet food pellets, many pet bird owners give their birds seeds, vegetables, and fruits to compliment the complete feed that makes up the bulk of their bird’s diet.

Bird seed ranges in price, from around $5 at the time that this article is published, to well over $40 for a bag of pet bird seeds.

Fruits and veggies that are pet bird-safe range in prices to, with the average fruit or veggie being between $1 – $3.

Find out if birds can eat things such as celery, mushrooms, or grapes!

2. Water:

Water is one of the most important items, if not the most important thing that you can give to your pet bird. Luckily, water is inexpensive.

What will be a cost to you anywhere from $3 to over $30, is the apparatus that you use to dispense the water to your bird.

There are bird water bottles, bird water dispensers, and birdie water bowls.

Be warned, you will be cleaning out a water bowl continuously as it dirties easily from things dropping into it.

I recommend trying a water bottle or water dispenser and let that water bowl be for your bird to take a swimming dip or a luxurious bath. They’ll love you for the waterfront property!

Make sure that you offer your bird fresh water that is changed daily or sometimes even more than that if the water gets dirty.

3. Cage:

Your bird’s cage is extremely important, as they will be spending many hours of their life in it – it needs to be well-suited for them.

When looking for the proper cage for your bird, look at the size, shape, and material used to construct the cage.

Also looking at where the cage will be located is huge. Do not place the cage in a high traffic area, in an area that is drafty, or one that is well-lit at night.

Bird cages range from around $60-$70 to hundreds or thousands of dollars.

veterinarian at desk calculating price of a cockatiel

4. Bedding:

The bottom of your bird’s cage needs to contain bedding, something absorbent to catch and collect droppings, allowing the bedding to become soiled, and not the bird or their cage badly.

The cost of bedding depends on what type of bedding that you are using.

Bedding can range from around $5 to over $20 for a bag.

5. Cleaners:

Pet birds can be messy little guys.

Even if you are lucky and have a tidier bird, all bird cages will need to be cleaned regularly.

Bird cage cleaners can run anywhere from around $4 to over $25.

6. Toys:

How much you spend in this category depends a lot on you and a lot on what you bird likes to play with.

Your pet bird does not need ten million toys in their cage to play with, but they do need toys to engage and interact with.

Toys are very important for your pet.

How many toys you give to your bird will determine how much money will be spent in this category.

Most bird toys range from about $3 to well over $50!

7. Treats:

Treats are not a necessary item for your bird, but many pet owners like to give their bird a thoughtful treat every once in a while.

Bird treats range from approximately $2 to well over $20 per package.

8. Veterinary Care:

I saved the most expensive costs for last. Veterinary care can range in cost depending how healthy or sick your bird is.

Veterinary care can range from routine veterinary care of $200 or so, to thousands of dollars if your bird gets sick and needs lots of testing, treatments, or check ups.

Cockatiel-Specific Costs:

Cockatiels need a few specific things when considering how much a cockatiel costs.

First of all, their cage size is important. You can’t buy the smallest, most affordable cage you can find for your cockatiel.

In fact, they need enough room to move around in easily, with areas of their cage for eating, drinking, resting, and playing. They need a large cage compared to their size.

There is a LOT of debate on the smallest size cage that a cockatiel should be housed in, but I would not even consider something smaller than 24″ long by 18″ wide by 24″ for a single bird.

That’s the smallest I would go for a cockatiel.

I go with the mentality on bird cages – if you are trying to decide on which size to go with, always go with the larger option.

Price of a Cockatiel:

So to add up the purchase price of a cockatiel as well as all the other major expenses that go along with yearly cockatiel ownership, the low range would be around $400, and the high end could reach upwards of $1500 or much much more for the first year of cockatiel ownership.

Not only is there the purchase costs of buying the bird, but then there are material costs, such as a cage and bird toys, and then there are continual costs that you have to continuously purchase on a routine basis, such as food, bedding, etc.

On top of everything else, veterinary costs are always going to be a large portion of the cost of responsible pet ownership, and can vary greatly in costs from year to year and is hard to many times predict cost-wise.

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