How Much Does A Cockatiel Cost? (Plus Ongoing Monthly Expenses)

Keeping a pet cockatiel is typically not as expensive as other common pets (such as a dog or a cat) but that doesn’t mean they are cheap. If you are considering bringing a cockatiel home, it’s only natural that you would want to be prepared for all of the normal costs associated with these wonderful pets.

If you buy your cockatiel from a breeder, they’ll probably cost between $150 and $200, but the cost may be higher if you purchase one of the most expensive breeds. On the other hand, cockatiels might just cost about $30-$100 from rescue centers.

The accurate amount that you will need to spend for your cockatiel will vary depending on where you get them and what kind of supplies you buy for them.

There is a lot you can do on your part to reduce spending on your cockatiels. For example, provide your cockatiels with homemade toys.

The Cockatiel$30-$250
Initial Supplies
• Cage$90
• Food and Water Bowls$10-$20
• Bedding$20+
• Toys, Hiding House, Perches$50+
• Other Basic Supplies$10-$100
Bird Proofing Costs$20-$50
Initial Supplies Total$200-$350
Ongoing Monthly Supplies
 Food (Pellets, Seeds, Fruits & Veggies, Treats)$200-$350 annually
• Toys$10
Total Monthly Costs$25-35 (approx $300 annually)
Other Expenses
Annual Medical Care$30-$60 annually
In case of emergency$100+
Pet Insurance$50+ per month
Bird Care During Vaccation$30+ per day
Total Other Expenses$50-$100

The Cost Of The Cockatiel ($30-$250)

The cost of your cockatiel will vary significantly depending on where you get them.

At the rescue centers I’ve volunteered with, the adoption fees ranged from about $30-$100.

It’s possible they could be slightly cheaper or more expensive in your area, but they’ll likely be in the same general range.

However, if you’re looking for a specific breed, you’ll often have to find a breeder to purchase your cockatiel. Listed below is the ongoing market rate(2023) .

Lutino Cockatiel$150-$250
Cinnamon Cockatiel$130-$160
Pied Cockatiel $110-$170
Pearl Cockatiel$150-$200

Even if you have your heart set on a specific breed of cockatiel, I always recommend checking out your local animal shelter.

You never know what kinds of cockatiel you’ll find there and you might just fall in love with another bird unexpectedly. Even better, you’ll be rescuing a cockatiel and helping to prevent the overpopulation of animal shelters.

Initial Cost For Your Cockatiel’s Cage

There are some supplies that you’ll need to get for your cockatiel when you first bring them home.

All the supplies mentioned below are a one-time purchase and don’t have to be replaced unless they break.

Cage ($90+)

The minimum cage size for one cockatiel is 18 x 18 x 18-inch. The bigger the cage, the better.

A good quality cage can cost you anywhere between $50 – $100. 

You must keep in mind that cockatiels are extremely flikery in nature. Therfore, make sure that the cage you provide them with do not have any sharp corner or edges.

Food And Water Bowls ($10-$20)

You can use ceramic or metal bowls, or you could opt to purchase a feeder that clips onto the side of the cage.

If you use a bowl, make sure it has a broad base or is heavy enough that it won’t get tipped over easily.

Hanging feeders are a better choice because they take up less space, they make it harder to spill the food or water.

These food and water containers can cost you anywhere from $10-$20. However, the cost also depends on the quality and size of the containers.

Bedding ($20+)

There are a variety of bedding material that you can choose for your cockatiel.

Aspen wood shaving, recycled paper, and cage liners are some of the popular choice among cockatiel owners.

You must do your research and find out the best suited bedding material for your cockatiels.

In general, the bedding material commercially available in the market for cockatiel range between $15-$20 for a 5 kg bag.

Toys, Hiding House, Perches ($50+)

Cockatiels are pretty active. You will rarely see your bird sitting quietly in one place.

It is essential to provide your cockatiel with mental and physical stimulation to make their life healthy and happy.

Try to provide toys, swings, and other enrichment items in your cockatiel’s cage.

I would advise you to get your bird different varieties of toys. This will make sure that they do not get bored. These different toys can cost you anywhere around $20.

Talking about hiding houses, cockatiels feel safest if they have a place to retreat and hide when they feel scared or anxious.

You can get a hiding box to help them feel safe. In a pinch, a cardboard box can also be a great hiding house.

While 2-3 perches are recommended, there should be at least one wooden perch in the cage. Avoid metal, plastic, and stone perches if you can.

Other supplies ($10-$100)

Basic cleaning supplies for a cockatiel’s cage can cost you anywhere between $5-$10 per month.

Besides this, you can also choose to get your cockatiel an ID Tag (Ankle Band) for about $6.

In addition, if you are planning to travel with your cockatiel, travel cages can cost you anywhere from $50-$100.

These supplies are optional for a cockatiel. Therefore, you need not buy it necessarily for your bird.

Bird Proofing Costs ($20-$50)

You’ll need to take some steps to cockatiel proof so that your new bird might not get into trouble.

Most of these supplies will only need to be purchased once, but it’s possible you’ll need to buy replacements at some point in the future.

Basic supplies such wire mesh, shades, and cord concealers as can cost you anywhere between $20-$50.

Ongoing Monthly Expenses

After you get your cockatiel, you’ll have the ongoing monthly costs of food, and other toys.

The price of these should also be added to your initial care costs since you will need to have food, and toys available when you bring your cockatiel home.

There are ways of reducing these costs by buying in bulk or making your own toys, but these are what you can expect to pay if you choose to purchase all of your cockatiel supplies for about a month at a time.

Food ($200-$350 per year)

It is essential to serve our cockatiels a well-balanced diet. They must be fed a well-balanced diet of pellets, seeds, fruits, and vegetables.

  • Pellets($10-$20): Pellets are the ideal diet for a cockatiel. Pellets, crumble and hand-feeding mashes have been developed to meet all your bird’s nutritional needs.
  • Seeds($10-$20): Seeds should only be a small part of a balanced diet of our cockatiels. Seeds are available everywhere, store well and are very convenient to feed.
  • Fruits and Veggies($20+): Your cockatiel will also need a couple of cups of fresh fruits and veggies once in a while. Fruits, vegetables and greens should account for approximately 20–25% of the diet. 
  • Treats ($20): Treats should only be a minimal part of your cockatiel’s diet, but your bird will love you if you give them some of these yummy treats. My cockatiels love to chew on honey sticks and millet spray as treats.
  • Water: Fresh and clean water must be available to your cockatiel at all times.

Besides this, you must also get your cockatiel a cuttlebone. Cuttlebones($5-$10) helps to grind down our cockatiel’s beaks. Besides, it is also a great source of calcium.

Toys ($10)

Cockatiels need variety of toys for mental enrichment to keep themselves healthy and happy.

Typically I choose to get a big batch of toys every three months or so, but it averages out to about $10 per month. You can also cut costs by making some of your own DIY toys for your cockatiel.

Other Expenses

Just like with any other pet, unexpected expenses can also come up with your pet cockatiel. Even these expenses need to be incorporated into your budget.

Annual Medical Care ($30-$60 annually)

As cockatiels aren’t common household pets, compared to dogs and cats, you should do some research to find a bird-savvy veterinarian. This can help you cut back on unnecessary tests and procedures.

You must take your bird to a vet for checkup at least once every year. Each trip to the vet can cost you anywhere around $30-$60.

In Case Of Emergency ($100+)

While we always hope that an emergency won’t happen, it’s best to be prepared. Be prepared with about $100 at any given point of time.

The emergency cost will included the emergency appointment as well as the medicine and treatment that your cockatiel will need to recover. 

To prepare for these unexpected costs, you can get pet insurance. 

Pet Insurance ($50+ per month)

Most people think of pet insurance as something that’s for dogs and cats. However, that is not true.

If you own a cockatiel, you must consider getting insurance for it.

Pet insurance can provide peace of mind when emergencies do come up. Basic coverage for cockatiel can start at around $50-$100 per month.

Bird Care During Vacations ($30+ per day)

Yet another cost that is often overlooked is the care your cockatiels during vacations.

If you are unable to get a family member or friend to look after your bird while you are away, the price of hiring a professional can quickly add up. 

The rates will vary significantly depending on the type of service you get and how long you are gone.

For example, boarding your cockatiel with your veterinarian is typically cheaper than hiring a pet sitter, but your cockatiel will also get less personal attention.

The minimum that you should expect to spend is about $30 per day.

Final Thoughts

Cockatiels make great household pets.

However, being good pet parent means you need to give your best to create a safe and happy home for your bird, and a part of that is the ability to afford the day to day expenses of your bird.

If you are ready to take up the financial commitment, then you will see that cockatiels make one of the best house pets.


Hello, I am Mohini, the founder of this blog. I am a qualified Animal Nutrition. I am here to help everyone understand their pets better.

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