Q & A: Cockatiel cage size

Q: Should I start with a smaller cage, and then get a bigger cage as my cockatiel gets bigger? Or should I get a cage that would be ideally suited for an adult?

A: Depending on how old your cockatiel is when you acquire it, a small cage would be more suitable initially. We recommend that you do not purchase a baby who still needs porridge feeding, as cockatiels are difficult to wean onto adult food, and are prone to crop infections. They should rather be raised and weaned by an experienced person before going to their new homes.

A bird that is properly eating seeds, pellets and cooking mix does not need a small cage at first. But if you are weaning a baby, a large cage will be intimidating and distracting to him, and he should rather spend the transitional period in a small cage, half covered with a towel, with a solid floor and assorted food scattered around the cage, to encourage experimental nibbling.

Dr Dorianne Elliott, veterinarian

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