how much do cockatiels cost

A cockatiel comes with a lot of advantages and a few new tasks that you’ll have to do. One of the most important things to think about when you adopt a bird is how long it will live. Some of the costs they will pay at the start will be one-time-only, but others will last for the next 10 to 15 years of their lives. 

There are a lot of costs that come with owning a bird. You’ll have to pay for things like food and toys for them. A good cage is important for small birds like cockatiels to keep them happy and healthy.

It’s important to make sure you have enough money set aside to keep your cockatiel happy and healthy. We’ll help you figure out how much it will cost to own a cockatiel in 2022.

How Much Do Cockatiels Cost?

There is no exact cost of cockatiels because it varies on the mutation and rarity. You can find a cockatiel free of cost or even find a cockatiel worth 300$. Let’s talk about how much do cockatiels cost.

Adoption or Home shelter (0$-100$)

Sometimes, there can be people who are shifting their homes to distant or people with too many busy schedules. Such people having a cockatiel often finds a better home for their pet bird. So if you manage to adopt the cockatiel, it’s going to be free of cost. But there are some reminders. Make sure the bird (if adult) is fully tamed or at least half-tamed unless you’re a professional bird trainer.

Adult cockatiels will find it difficult to live with strangers and also cause you problems that will eventually become your headache. Also, you can check out pet shelters where you may find a cockatiel to develop. Basically, they won’t charge you much but even if they do, it shouldn’t be more than 100$, depending on the mutation.

Adopting From A Breeder (50$-300$)

This is the place where you’ll find your favorite mutation of a cockatiel. Adopting from a breeder is also beneficial since you can get info about the cockatiel’s history, like its actual origin, its parents’ wing color, etc. Breeders actually have a wide variety of cockatiels and they mainly focus on their breeding. Now, it is highly recommended for you to buy only the cockatiels which are in their early life stage.

Usually, tamed pet birds are not that interested in breeding. As the breeders will always focus on breeding, the adult birds there will hardly be tamed. So you should get a baby cockatiel of your preferred mutation and tame it from the very beginning for a sweet relationship. But if you also want to breed, you can simply buy any of that you want.

The initial costing is counted as the most of total expenses you’ll ever do behind a cockatiel. The feeding cost, medical cost, environment maintenance cost, etc., are not that much comparing the initial cost. So if you’re planning to have a cockatiel as your pet bird and asking how much do cockatiels cost? The answer is 0$-300$ depending on the source, mutation, and rarity. 

Price Chart of 10 Popular Cockatiel Mutations

Here, we will list the 10 most popular cockatiel mutations with their price range.

Mutation NamePrice range 
1. Lutino Cockatiel150$-200$
2. Pied Cockatiel110$-180$
3. Albino Cockatiel200$-300$
4. Grey Cockatiel70$-150$
5. Pearl Cockatiel 150$-200$
6. Cinnamon Cockatiel/ Cinnamon Pearl Cockatiel125$-175$
7. Whiteface Cockatiel175$-255$
8. Normal pastel Cockatiel150$-200$
9. Lutino Pearl Cockatiel250$-300$
10. Grey pied Cockatiel100$-150$

Cockatiel Expenses

We can divide the total expenses in three ways, initial, monthly and annual. We have already discussed the initial cost of having a cockatiel. Now, it’s time to talk about other expenses and how much they’re going to round up monthly and annually. 

Home (10$-25$ per month)

Cockatiel Cage

The first thing you would want to provide your cockatiel with is a suitable cage as its’ home. This cost looks like an initial one but it is a good practice to keep a few dollars aside in case of emergency. The minimum size of a cage should be 24” x 18” x 24” (L x W x T). An average cage should not cost you more than 50$-100$. So after the initial cost, maintaining the cage should never cross 10$–25$ per month and annually 120$-300$.

Home Supplies (100$-175$ initial and 20$-30$ per month)

Now that you’ve provided your cockatiel with a home, you need to decorate it and make sure your pet bird gets a suitable environment. Also, there are some basic supplies that a cockatiel needs. Let’s take a look at some of the necessary care supplies with their cost.

     Id tag (3$-5$)

     Bed (5$-10$)

     Perches (20$-30$)

     Backup or travel cage (50$-100$)

     Toys (10$-20$)

     Food bowls (5$)

     Water bowls (5$)

All of these are initial costs, but for backup, it’s a great idea to keep 20$-30$ for maintenance. So, annually it will round up around 250$-350$.

Health Care (35$-50$ per year)

Cockatiels’ health is one of the most important factors you need to care about. Your pet bird may become sick for various reasons and it is a must to take it to a pet vet as soon as you can since cockatiels are vulnerable. Even if it doesn’t show any symptoms of any kind of sickness, it is a good practice to take it to a vet for a regular checkup. There are a couple of tests that you might need to do for routine health care. 




      Excretory urography


However, these tests should be done when suggested by a vet. Their costs also vary. But for a routine checkup, these tests are not necessary. So keeping 35$-50$ aside per year is enough for usual health care.

Vaccinations (Varies)

Pet birds require some vaccines for proper health maintenance. Of them, the polyomavirus vaccine is considered to be the most common vaccine. Although it is not always necessary to vaccinate your cockatiel since vaccines can cause side reactions and these sensitive birds might face some traumatic experiences. So, if you find it necessary, you can vaccinate your cockatiel. This cost also varies.

Medical Emergencies (10$-15$ per month)

Even if you’re not facing any kind of health issues with your cockatiel, you should always save 10$-15$ per month. This will help you outcome medical emergencies like parasite infections, broken wings or legs, dental infections, etc. So, the annual expense will be around 120$-180$.

Insurance (150$-1000$ per year)

Cockatiels do not usually require any kind of expensive insurance. However, it may rise if your cockatiel is a rare mutant or in breeding condition. Insurance can vary from 150$-1000$ per year. So, it is recommended to understand all the factors and make a wise decision while finalizing your insurance decision.

Food (120$-250$ per year)

how much is a cockatiel at petsmart

Talking about food, you should be advised about what to and what not to feed your cockatiel. The most popular diet for a cockatiel includes seed, seed mixes, vegetables, fruits, and cooked foods. Also, you can treat your cockatiel with shredded meat, bread, banana chips, hard-boiled eggs, etc. These foods should not cost you more than 250$ per year.

Maintenance of Cage Environment (5$-10$ per month)

Cockatiels will spend a good amount of time with you but mostly, they will stay in their cage. So, it is much needed to be kept clean and hygienic. You will need newspapers and cleaning wipes for that. You should keep in mind that birds like cockatiels are exotic and they hate their cage being dirty and messy. So always make sure the cage is never messy and cleaned up properly. For newspapers and cleaning wipes, it may not cost you more than 5$-10$ per month and 50$-100$ per year.

Total Yearly Cost (250$-350$ per year)

Let’s now sum up all the costs we’ve talked about. Note that this cost is separated from the initial cost and emergencies. You can expect to have an expense of about 250$-350$ per year for the basic needs of your cockatiel. The expenses you’re suggested to keep aside are also excluded from here. This yearly cost is the cost you’ll generally need to spend to meet up the basic requirements of your cockatiels’ lifestyle management. 

Buying Guide For Cockatiel 

Before buying a cockatiel straight up, there are some things you need to know. You need to set your main objective of having a cockatiel. If you want to tame the cockatiel, you shouldn’t focus much on breeding, as tamed pet birds show less interest in that. Let’s talk first about what to look for when buying a cockatiel. 

To identify a healthy cockatiel, you need to keep an eye on some basic things. The cockatiels which you are interested in buying should be active, sociable, and alert. They should eat and drink throughout the day. Sick pet birds do not eat much and are often lazy. The cockatiels should have bright eyes. The eyes are the primary spot for verifying if the cockatiel is healthy or not. Also, the cockatiels should have smooth feathers and a normal physical appearance.

Now that you know what to look for when buying your desired cockatiel, let’s also talk about some other factors.

     ⇒ Do your research.

          Having a cockatiel at home is like a commitment. So, prepare yourself for all the scenes you have to face in the future.

     ⇒ Search for a trustworthy breeder

          Don’t just buy the cockatiel from a random breeder. The pet bird could be a genetically unhealthy or false mutant. 

     ⇒ Set your purpose

          As mentioned earlier, set your goal of having a cockatiel. If you want a companion bird, you should look for a curious and playful one. If you desire to keep the bird as a showpiece, you should focus on its appearance. If you want to be a breeder, you need to find healthy female cockatiels.

     ⇒ Age of the cockatiel

          If you want to tame your cockatiel and want it as a companion, it is a must to buy it at a very early stage. Adult cockatiels are hard to tame unless you’re a professional bird trainer. If your goal is to breed, you can simply buy an adult pair. 

     ⇒ Make sure to have a suitable home for your cockatiel

          Cockatiels will spend most of the time in the cage, so you should keep it prepared with all the basic things. Baby cockatiels can’t live in a cage. So, you need to have a box of medium size where you’ll nurture and hand-feed it.

      ⇒ Make sure to have a lighting system

           These pet birds are afraid of the dark. So before buying a cockatiel, you need to ensure that the cage will receive enough lighting throughout the day. 

These were the basic things you needed to know before buying a cockatiel. Here are some tips you can also use.

     ⇒ It usually requires 8-10 days to grow feathers on a cockatiel. So do not buy a 1 or 2-day-old baby bird. At least wait for 8-10 days to make sure you’re buying the cockatiel you’ve been asking for.

      During the taming period, you need to give your full attention to your cockatiel (if you want it as a companion). It could be at least 1 to 1½ months. So, make sure you have enough time to give your cockatiel proper attention, or else it won’t be tamed easily and your dream of having a pet bird companion will turn to dust.

       Make sure to have enough credits to bear the annual expenses. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the cheapest type of cockatiel?

Answer: Grey cockatiels are considered to be the cheapest type of all. The initial buying cost should be around 70$-150$.

Q. How much does a white cockatiel cost?

Answer: White cockatiels, also called ‘Albino cockatiels’, cost a little bit more than others. The initial buying cost should be around 200$-300$.

Q. How much is a cockatiel at Petsmart?

Answer: At Petsmart, cockatiels used to cost around 100$-150$. But recently, they have stopped selling them to avoid infectious diseases.

Q. How much does a cockatiel cost at PetCo?

Answer: Cockatiels’ cost at PetCo can vary from 80$-150$. Also, for some rare mutants, you may have to spend as much as 200$-300$.


Cockatiels are great as pet birds. So if you’re planning to have a cockatiel, you are making a good decision. The initial cost is just one time and it won’t repeat in the future. This cost will vary on what mutant you’re looking for and how rare it is. However, the annual expense remains quite similar. If you think you can cope with all the expenses and have all the basic requirements fulfilled, you’re set to go. Just keep one thing in mind, birds are live creatures and they have emotions as well. They require to be taken care of.

If you’re committed enough to take such responsibility, you can follow our guide and eventually discover yourself as a proud cockatiel owner. Cheers!

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