How Do Cockatiels Grow? A Guide to Cockatiel Development and Care.

Cockatiels typically lay eggs in clutches of four to six eggs, with an incubation period of around 18 to 21 days. During this time, the eggs should be kept in a warm and humid environment, with the mother bird sitting on them to keep them at a consistent temperature. Once the eggs hatch, the hatchlings will be naked and blind, relying solely on their parents for warmth and nourishment.

The First Few Weeks

During the first few weeks of a cockatiel’s life, they will grow rapidly. They will start to develop feathers, their eyes will open, and they will become more active. It’s important to ensure that the baby cockatiels are kept in a warm and draft-free environment, with plenty of food and water available. At this stage, the parents will take care of feeding the hatchlings, and it’s essential to ensure that the parents are being fed a nutritious diet.

Feather Development

As the cockatiel grows, their feathers will start to develop. Initially, they will have a soft, fluffy down that will eventually be replaced by contour feathers. These feathers will help the bird fly and regulate their body temperature. Around six months of age, the cockatiel will start to grow their adult plumage, which is much more vibrant and colorful than their juvenile feathers.

Adult Plumage

The adult plumage of a cockatiel is a sight to behold. It’s important to note that male and female cockatiels have different feather patterns, with males having a brighter and more distinct pattern. The adult plumage will continue to develop over the bird’s lifespan, with regular moulting occurring throughout the year.

Behavioral Development


Cockatiels are social birds and require socialization to thrive. They will form strong bonds with their owners and can even learn to recognize their voice and respond to their name. It’s important to spend time with your cockatiel and provide them with plenty of opportunities to interact with you and other birds.

Training and Tricks

Cockatiels are intelligent birds and can be trained to perform a variety of tricks. Some common tricks include stepping up onto a perch, waving, and even talking. Training your cockatiel can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it’s important to be patient and consistent.

Establishing a Routine

Establishing a routine is essential for the well-being of your cockatiel. This includes providing them with a consistent feeding and sleeping schedule, as well as setting aside time for play and exercise. A routine can help reduce stress and anxiety and make your cockatiel feel more secure in their environment.

Dietary Needs

Types of Food

Cockatiels require a balanced diet that includes a variety of foods. This includes a high-quality pellet diet, fresh fruits and vegetables, and a small amount of seeds. It’s important to avoid giving your cockatiel too many seeds, as they can be high in fat and low in nutrients.

Feeding Schedule

Cockatiels should be fed twice a day, with access to fresh water at all times. It’s important to monitor their food intake to ensure that they are receiving the right balance of nutrients. Cockatiels are prone to obesity, so it’s important to provide them with plenty of opportunities for exercise and limit their intake of high-fat foods.

Health and Wellness

Signs of Illness

It’s important to monitor your cockatiel for signs of illness, as they can be prone to a variety of health issues. Common signs of illness include lethargy, loss of appetite, difficulty breathing, and changes in behavior. If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to seek veterinary care immediately.

Common Health Concerns

Cockatiels can be prone to a variety of health issues, including respiratory infections, feather plucking, and beak and feather disease. It’s important to provide them with a clean and safe environment and take them to the vet for regular checkups to catch any issues early on.

Maintaining Good Health

Maintaining good health in your cockatiel is essential for their well-being. This includes providing them with a nutritious diet, plenty of exercise and playtime, and a clean and safe environment. It’s also important to take them to the vet for regular checkups to catch any health issues early on.

Environmental Factors

Cage Size and Setup

Cockatiels require a cage that is large enough for them to move around and spread their wings. The cage should also have plenty of perches and toys to keep them entertained. It’s important to clean the cage regularly and provide them with fresh food and water daily.

Temperature and Lighting

Cockatiels require a warm and humid environment to thrive. The temperature in their environment should be between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and they should have access to natural sunlight or a full-spectrum light bulb to provide them with essential vitamins.

Playtime and Exercise

Cockatiels require plenty of playtime and exercise to keep them happy and healthy. This includes providing them with toys to play with and plenty of opportunities to fly and explore their environment. It’s important to supervise them during playtime and ensure that their environment is safe and secure.


Cockatiels are wonderful pets that require proper care and attention to thrive. By understanding their physical and behavioral development, dietary needs, health and wellness, and environmental factors, you can provide your cockatiel with a happy and healthy life. With the right care and attention, your cockatiel will be a beloved companion for years to come.

ThePetFaq Team