How Much Do Cockatiels Cost – A Vet’s Guide

Imagine the soft chirping of a cockatiel filling your home. These charming birds, with their vibrant personalities and colorful feathers, make delightful pets. But before you bring one into your life, it’s crucial to understand the financial commitment involved. The cost of owning a cockatiel goes beyond the initial purchase price, encompassing food, healthcare, and other essential expenses.

Typically, the price of a cockatiel ranges from $30 to $250. However, for some rare types, the cost can escalate to $300. Additionally, the annual expenses of maintaining a cockatiel, including food, healthcare, and other various costs, can total between $375 and over $1000.

Eager to learn more? Dive into this comprehensive guide to explore the detailed breakdown of cockatiel costs, money-saving tips, and additional expenses to consider. Embark on this exciting journey of cockatiel ownership, well-prepared and informed!

How Much Does Buying a Cockatiel Cost on Average?

When considering adding a cockatiel to your family, the first question that comes to mind is, “how much does a cockatiel cost?” The average cost of a cockatiel ranges from $30-$250, and it can go as high as $300 for rare types. The price depends on various factors including the type of cockatiel, its age, health, and the breeder’s reputation and location.

Detailed Price Breakdown by Cockatiel Type

In the world of cockatiels, variety is the spice of life. Each type of cockatiel brings its own unique charm and price tag. Let’s delve into the detailed price breakdown by cockatiel type, shall we?

1. Price of a Cockatiel Gray

The Gray Cockatiel is the most popular choice among individuals, known for their white-lined wings and tails and attractive orange patches across the cheeks. On average, you can bring home a Gray Cockatiel for about $70.

2. Price of a Cockatiel Harlequin

Also known as Pied Cockatiels, Harlequins have a non-specific color pattern, with white patches and markings of varying shapes and sizes. They all share the same yellow crest color and orange cheek patches. The cost of purchasing a Harlequin Cockatiel is around $110 on average, potentially rising to about $170.

3. Price of a Cockatiel Cinnamon

Cinnamon Cockatiels are easily distinguishable by their brown pigmentations, with tan & cinnamon shades. The males and females are distinguishable by the face and cheek patches color. A Cinnamon Cockatiel costs about $130 minimum, which could rise to about $160.

4. Price of a Cockatiel Lutino

Lutino Cockatiels are known for their white pigmentation and pale yellow coloring across the tail, wings, and chest. If you find a Lutino attractive, be prepared to pay between $150 and $250 on average.

5. Price of a Cockatiel Pearl

Pearl Cockatiels have specks or dots of white or yellow across the wings, nape, and back, with a yellow face and orange cheeks. For a healthy Pearl Cockatiel, be ready to pay as high as $200 on average.

6. Price of a Cockatiel White

White Cockatiels are the most expensive due to their scarcity in the pet bird market. They can be purchased from reputable cockatiel breeders for as low as $200, which may rise to $300.

Each cockatiel type brings its own unique beauty and personality to your home, making the investment all the more worthwhile. Remember, the price of the bird is just the beginning. Consider other expenses like cages, food, and healthcare to ensure your new feathered friend thrives in its new environment.

Considerations Before Buying a Cockatiel Bird

Before you embark on the delightful journey of cockatiel ownership, it’s essential to consider various factors to ensure a happy and healthy life for your feathered friend

The Bird’s Age

Young cockatiels are inquisitive and adaptable, making them ideal for first-time bird owners. It’s essential to choose a bird that shows signs of good health and activity to ensure a smooth transition to your home and a long, happy life. The age of the cockatiel can influence the price, with younger birds generally being more expensive due to their longer potential lifespan and greater adaptability.

Health and Activity Level of the Bird

A healthy cockatiel is active, alert, and interactive. Before making a purchase, observe the bird’s behavior, feather condition, and interactions to ensure it exhibits signs of good health. Avoid birds that appear lethargic, have ruffled feathers, or show signs of respiratory issues, as these can indicate underlying health problems. Ensuring the health and activity level of your prospective pet is crucial for a joyful and lasting companionship.

Reliability of The Seller/Breeder

Ensure the breeder or seller you choose is reputable and ethical. A reliable breeder provides healthy, well-socialized birds and is transparent about their breeding practices and bird care. They

should be willing to answer all your questions, provide references, and allow you to meet the birds before purchase. Purchasing a cockatiel from a trustworthy breeder ensures you’re bringing home a healthy, happy pet and supporting ethical breeding practices.

Breeder’s/Buyer’s Location

The location of the breeder and buyer impacts the overall cost and accessibility of the cockatiel. Consider local breeders to avoid additional costs and stress associated with shipping the bird. Local breeders also offer the advantage of visiting and interacting with the birds before making a decision, ensuring you choose the perfect cockatiel for your home.

🌟 Insight: The location plays a significant role as local breeders offer the advantage of visiting and interacting with the birds before making a decision, ensuring you choose the perfect cockatiel for your home.

Annual Costs of Owning a Cockatiel

In my years of experience as a veterinarian, the number one thing new bird owners ask me is about the costs associated with owning a cockatiel. It’s crucial to understand that purchasing a cockatiel is just the first step of ownership, and you should be prepared for the annual expenses that ensure your pet thrives.

🤔 Did You Know? Cockatiels can live for up to 20 years with proper care. Budgeting for their long-term needs is essential for their well-being!

Health Care

Just because your pet is healthy, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t set aside some cash for emergencies. Besides the annual vet checkup, you might have to take your pet to the vet if it gets sick or injured. And instead of dealing with a general vet, you should look for an avian vet. They are few, but they are more qualified to care for your parrot

Therefore, you should set aside between annually. You can use the cash for the annual checkup routine or when it gets sick. If it’s injured, you should try and stop the bleeding using the styptic powder before taking it to the vet. But with proper cockatiel proofing, you won’t have to deal with too many vet visits.


A balanced diet for your cockatiel should include veggies, fresh fruit, and pellets and can cost around $100–$350 Per month. Fresh veggies and fruits comprise about 20-25% of the cockatiels’ daily diet. The seeds are pretty delicious to our pets, but they are nutritionally lacking. Therefore, they should make up a small percentage of your pet’s balanced diet. So to be on the safe side, you can purchase the pellets in bulk and grow the veggies and fruit in your backyard.


Grooming this bird includes nail and beak trimmings and can cost $15 to $20 Every Month. A healthy bird’s beak has a constant length as it can wear it down. But if it grows too long, it can be a sign of beak cancer or liver disease. Don’t assume you can trim the beak yourself; it may seem easy, but many blood vessels at the center of the beak and nail can bleed if nicked. You can also clip its wings as part of the monthly grooming session.

💡 Tip: Regular grooming not only keeps your cockatiel looking good but also helps in early detection of potential health issues!


Since you won’t be around for the better part of the day to spend a few hours with your pet, you need to get them a source of entertainment. Generally, toys can provide endless hours of playtime and improve the life of your pet. Therefore, buying your bird a wide range of toys is best, and you can invest in some new toys every month that can generally cost $100 To $200 Every Month .

Environment Maintenance

As a pet owner, your main goal is to keep your pet healthy and in a clean environment. Therefore, you should replace the cage liners daily and clean them thoroughly at least once weekly. Most bird owners prefer using super absorbent commercial liners that can reduce odor in cages which can cost about $250.

Total Annual Cost

Adding up all these costs, the total annual cost of owning a cockatiel can range from $375 to over $1000 significantly based on your choices and unexpected expenses, but preparing for these can ensure a happy and healthy life for your cockatiel.

Additional Costs To Consider

Owning a cockatiel is a delightful experience, but it’s essential to consider the additional costs that come with it. If you plan on leaving town for a few days, you’ll need to hire a pet sitter to take care of your feathered friend. 

  • A pet sitter charges between $15 to $30 per day, and they can perform various other chores like watering your plants and even getting your mail. 
  • On the other hand, pet boarding facilities charge about $20 per night. Another aspect to consider is behavioral training. 
  • If you can’t train your pet, you’ll have to pay for the courses, which are about $25 per course. 

These additional costs ensure your cockatiel is well taken care of, even in your absence, and helps in nurturing good behavior in your pet.

Owning a Cockatiel On a Budget

Owning a cockatiel doesn’t have to break the bank. Here are some practical tips for saving money on cockatiel care:

  • Adoption: Consider adopting a cockatiel from a bird rescue agency. The cost of adoption is between $50 and $100 on average, offering a significant reduction compared to buying a new bird.
  • DIY Toys and Accessories: Get creative and make toys and accessories for your cockatiel. It’s cost-effective and can be a fun activity!
  • Bulk Buying: Purchase food and other supplies in bulk to save in the long run.
  • Regular Health Check-ups: Prevent hefty vet bills by ensuring regular health check-ups for early detection of potential issues.
  • Proper Training: Invest time in proper training to avoid costly behavioral issues and damages.

Remember, proper budgeting and financial preparation are crucial in ensuring your cockatiel has everything it needs for a happy, healthy life. It’s always better to be financially prepared to avoid cutting corners on your pet’s care and well-being.

🌟 Insight: Proper training and regular health check-ups can significantly reduce the long-term costs of owning a cockatiel!

Frequently Asked Questions

Which cockatiel is beautiful? 

Among the tapestry of avian beauty, the Lutino cockatiel stands out with its stunning, pure yellow feathers and vibrant red-orange cheek patches. A living masterpiece that graces homes with its elegance, this variation is a testament to the breathtaking diversity found within the cockatiel realm.

What do cockatiels eat daily? 

Cockatiels relish a balanced diet comprising pellets, seeds, and fresh treats. Greens, veggies, and occasional fruits not only please their taste buds but also provide essential nutrients. Remember, a colorful dish mirrors their vibrant personality, ensuring a chirpy, healthy friend by your side.

Can 1 cockatiel live alone? 

While cockatiels have a sociable spirit, some individuals can thrive solo with proper care and attention. However, like us, they do yearn for companionship. If considering a lone cockatiel, be prepared to be their flock, offering enrichment and interaction to keep their vibrant personality aflutter.

Can a cockatiel talk? 

The cockatiel surprises with its own charming symphony of sounds. Mimicking speech isn’t their forte, but their playful whistles and occasional words make for a delightful conversation starter.


In conclusion, while the financial aspect is crucial, the love and companionship that a cockatiel brings to your home are priceless. Ensuring you are financially prepared and understanding the responsibilities involved in owning a cockatiel is essential for a happy and healthy relationship with your new feathered friend. On average the cost of owning a cockatiel ranges from $30 to $300 depending on the variety, there are additional costs to consider.

Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below, and let’s continue to learn and grow as a community of bird enthusiasts!

Mohsin Iqbal

Dr. Mohsin Iqbal, a licensed veterinarian holding a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from The Islamia University of Bahawalpur, is a respected member of the Pakistan Veterinary Medical Association and a well-established figure in the world of animal advocacy. His professional experiences are diverse, including working in various settings like private practices such as My Pet’s Clinic, public institutions like Civil Veterinary Hospital, shelters, rescues, and the Bahawalpur Zoo. Treating a wide range of animals, from common pets to exotic species, has enriched his expertise in numerous facets of pet care, including nutrition, exercise, behavior, training, and preventative care—an area he is particularly passionate about. As an ardent proponent of preventative care, Dr. Iqbal's writing focuses on the importance of vaccinations, routine check-ups, and early health problem detection. His dedication to educating others steered him toward a successful career. Over the past two years, his insightful pieces have been published in national and international magazines and featured regularly on online pet care platforms. Beyond his professional life, Dr. Iqbal is the president of the Animal Rescue Organization Pakistan, demonstrating his commitment to animal welfare through the rescue and rehabilitation of animals in need. His belief in the power of knowledge shines through his engaging content, empowering pet owners to nurture a deep, enduring bond with their animal companions. We are delighted to welcome Dr. Mohsin Iqbal to our team of content writers, eagerly anticipating his contributions that will foster a well-informed pet-owning community.

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