Cockatiels are often thought of as excellent starter parrots.
They are lower maintenance, comparatively speaking, and they have excellent, playful temperaments that make them great pets for everyone.
The problem with many kinds of parrots, though, is the cost of buying them—so how much do cockatiels cost?
The price can range quite considerably, but they are usually cheaper than most other species. A cockatiel generally costs somewhere in the range of $80-$250. So, the initial purchase is quite cheap—but you do need to consider the ongoing costs of care, around $200-$300 per year.
Overall, then, cockatiels are definitely one of the better choices financially speaking in terms of parrots.
Some parrots can cost thousands of dollars and cost a great deal more per year to take care of, so cockatiels make great starter parrots for many reasons.
Let’s find out more.
What is the cheapest cockatiel?
It does depend a bit on how you acquire the cockatiel.
For instance, you can adopt cockatiels from sanctuaries pet rehabilitation centres, where they have been rescued and are trying to find new homes.
Generally, the fees for adopting cockatiels aren’t often much higher than $50 to $100.
This is quite a lot cheaper than the typical cost of purchasing one from a private breeder.
Your cheapest way to get hold of a cockatiel is always going to be through adoption, rather than buying privately.
However, in terms of which breed of cockatiel are cheapest, the price is generally quite uniform.
The yellowface cockatiel is probably the most popular and thus the easiest to find.
How cheap the bird also depends on a couple of other factors, though.
Some breeders will hand raise and tame the cockatiels, making them more expensive at the point of purchase.
Others will sell them at a much earlier stage in life without as much training, and this will naturally cost a bit less.
However, it really is pretty ideal that you ensure the cockatiel you’re buying has been properly raised by a reputable and responsible breeder.
Cockatiels that are not properly hand raised at the right age can be incredibly difficult to fully acclimatize to domestic life, and this is absolutely not worth the small amount of money you might save by buying one this way.
And don’t forget the ongoing costs of their care. On a good year, as I said, the costs can be as low as $200, for just things like their food and bedding.
But vet bills for parrots can be a lot more expensive than other pets, and they can really hike the price of maintenance up if something goes wrong.
How much is a grey cockatiel?
Grey cockatiels are another of the most commonly available breeds which can be found virtually anywhere, in pet shops and from private breeders.
Reportedly, in some places, you can get grey cockatiels from pet shops for as cheap as $50.
Again, though, I would be very wary of any cockatiel which appears to be too cheap.
Irresponsible breeders and even unethical pet shops are rife, and you never know what is going on behind the scenes with the breeding and the care of these animals.
Of course, on the one hand, you simply don’t want to end up with a parrot that you can’t handle because it hasn’t been raised properly.
On the other hand, you should try to avoid supporting the unethical areas of the birdkeeping industry.
A good guide price for a grey cockatiel would start at $100, and the upper limit would be around $250.
At this price, you can rest assured you are getting a bird that comes from quality care.
Of course, you should still nonetheless always do your research, whether it’s into the pet shop or the breeder.
Let’s turn to maintenance costs, now.
How much does cockatiel maintenance cost?
So, as I’ve touched on, cockatiel maintenance costs are relatively low overall.
Ongoing costs of food, bedding, and more occasional purchases like toys and other enrichment costs, should cost at most around $300 a year if you properly budget and shop smart.
Obviously, some pet stores are a lot more expensive than others, but you can get quality feed for cheaper than the premium prices.
The other main thing you’re going to need to budget for is vet fees.
Cockatiels, while easy to keep as parrots go, are nonetheless complex animals whose needs we can’t always understand.
Vet visits and checkups will be common even for a healthy cockatiel, and they can get really expensive.
For a full check-up including blood work and gram stains, you’ll probably pay more than you did for the cockatiel itself—up to $300.
That’s before anything has actually gone wrong, too.
So, while they’re cheaper to keep than other parrots, they certainly aren’t cheap.
And you’ve got to consider how long they tend to live.
How long do cockatiels live?
Another thing that makes cockatiels popular as first-time parrot is their lifespan.
Many species of parrot live for decades and decades, often even outlasting human lifetimes, when properly cared for.
Cockatiels are not really like this.
On average, cockatiels live for about 10-15 years.
So, in that sense, they live about as long as you might expect a dog or cat to live.
Compared to the 60 or 70 years that a macaw might live, a cockatiel is certainly the better option for beginners.
That said, 15 years is still a long time to commit to caring for something.
Be sure you are prepared for what you’re getting into.
Are they good pets, then?
Is a cockatiel a good pet?
Yes, cockatiels are great pets.
They have a friendly and playful temperament, they are intelligent and inquisitive, and form deep, lasting bonds with their owners.
They are gentle and affectionate, and due to their size, they do well in smaller homes and even apartments.
They love being touched and handled and can have a lot of fun interacting with you.
As parrots go, cockatiels are probably one of the better starting parrots.
They are quite easy to keep in check, and as long as you buy them from a reputable breeder that raises them correctly, you’ll have no problem with your cockatiel.
That said, there’s always a lot of research needed before you should buy a parrot.
They’re very different to other pets, and you need to fully understand what you are committing to before you do so.
As long as you’ve done your research and know what you’re getting into, cockatiels make fantastic pets.
Are cockatiels loud?
The short answer is yes. Cockatiels are loud, as indeed are most parrots.
If you want a quiet pet, then parrots are not for you.
That said, cockatiels are certainly quieter than most other parrots.
It can depend on the individual temperament of your cockatiel, but some can be quiet most of the time.
They will make loud noises from time to time, though, no matter what.
This is a natural part of their communication, and it will take the form of singing, whistling, squeaking, and other high-pitched noises.
The noise levels will fluctuate throughout the day, and they could be set off by certain stimuli.
Having limited noise throughout the rest of the house is a good way to keep them quiet, as they aren’t stressed by loud noises.
Do cockatiels talk?
Cockatiels are certainly totally capable of talking, possessing all the vocal apparatus needed to mimic human speech.
They will often pick up a handful of words and phrases.
That said, comparatively speaking, they aren’t the biggest talkers among parrots.
They often will not pick up any words at all, or may only say one or two.
They will mimic all sorts of sounds, like beeping microwaves or sirens, but they aren’t big talkers.
If you want to, you can try to train them to talk if you start from an early age.
Using treats and positive reinforcement are one method to get them to talk, but again, there’s really no guarantee they will ever pick up more than a word or two.
So, they’re not the biggest speakers, but they can do it to an extent.
Cockatiels are a great choice if you’re looking for a parrot on a budget, then.
And while they are lower maintenance than other parrots, that’s still by the standards of parrots.
If you’re inexperienced with keeping parrots, then it’s important that you understand what you’re getting into with owning a cockatiel.
They require a lot of care and stimulation and will quickly become problematic if they don’t get what they need.