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10 things to put in a cockatiel cage

Mackenzie Gary



So, you’re all set to bring home your new pet. The excitement is through the roof. You dream of bonding with your bird friend. But hold it! Buying a pet isn’t just about fun and games. You also need to take care of them carefully.

They are entering a new zone and need your support to feel at home in the new environment. For a cockatiel, the cage is the most important part. You should decide to buy the best cage and then learn to set it up. How do you do it when you’ve never done it before?

Don’t panic. We’ve got you covered!

Here’s what you need to know about setting up a cockatiel cage.
Let’s dive in!

Cage should be ideal

Here are some points you should keep in mind when choosing for a cockatiel cage.

Size of the cage

Try to buy a larger cage for your bird’s better comfort. Your bird needs space, and it’s important to buy a cage that has plenty of it.
A single cockatiel should have a cage that is at least 24 inches long, 24 inches wide, and 24 inches deep.

Bar spacing is important for safety. If the bar spacing is not correct, the cockatiel may fall out of the cage through the bars or get his head stuck between them. For a cockatiel, ideal bar spacing is ½ inch.

Get a strong, sturdy cage

A cockatiel has a strong beak. Make sure you buy a cage that is strong and sturdy. The cage should ideally have thick bars and be made of stainless steel or powder-coated steel.

Keeping your cockatiel in a weak cage will increase the risk of your bird escaping.
It can also injure itself by rubbing on the chewed area.

Buy a variety of perches for the cockatiel

It is best if you buy at least 3 or 4 perches for your bird. Most of the perches are traditional wooden perches but there are some other types of perches that cater to different needs of birds.

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Take the example of cement nails, also known as grooming or pedicure nails, which cater to the need to keep the cockatiel’s nails rounded. This will save you time because you will have to trim your bird’s nails less.

Another type of perch you should consider investing in is one made from natural wood. They are very comfortable to stand and chew for cockatiel. You can find natural wood sheets in different thicknesses.

Besides these, there are rope perches. The distinguishing factor of rope slips is that they are flexible. They come in different sizes and lengths. At the very center is an adjustable wire that allows you to fit their length and shape to where you want them to be placed.

There is also a swing perch. As the cage is not only a place for the cockatiel to live but also a place for entertainment. Therefore, having a swing perch that moves, and swings is a great way to ensure that your bird has a good time while sitting next to it.

Buy quality food and water dishes

The most important thing you need in a cockatiel cage are food and water serving dishes. You should look for fortified food dishes for your bird’s habitat. Place the food dish in a place where your bird has a place to sit while eating.

Another point to consider for your convenience is the material of the pots. Buy cookware made from materials that are easy to clean, such as stainless steel or plastic. The food dish should also be wide enough so that the bird does not have difficulty finding where the food is.

For hygiene purposes, you can buy a covered food dish. When the birds sit on the pot, they defecate. Therefore, to prevent contamination of food and water, it is more hygienic to buy a covered food dish.

Most of the time, birds have two food dishes and one water dish. However, you can purchase this essential item based on what you plan to feed the bird and how many different food items you want to keep in the cage.

Cuttle Bone and Mineral Block: Both cuttle bone and mineral block provide the bird with essential nutrients like minerals, salt, calcium and more. They also provide an outlet for your bird to exercise its chewing instincts.

A bird’s beak continues to grow and these chewy, nutritious treats help slow it down. You can usually buy it at any pet store for a low price.

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Toys keeps your Cockatiel entertained

To choose a wonderful toy to entertain and enrich your pet, take ideas from what they like to do in the wild. Some birds are fond of chewing while others are fans of chewing. You can buy them a toy of their choice while they are engaged in their favorite activity.

For a cockatiel, chew toys, cuttlebones, and a mineral block, wooden toys, swings, mirrors, etc. are a good idea. A unique gift that your cockatiel is sure to love is a bell. Birds are very attracted to ringing the bell and playing with it.

And finally, your creative genius is always there. You can try any pet toy. Mix and match your favorites. See what works. If the bird doesn’t like it, keep it.

Toys are very essential as they keep the birds life entertained . There are various toys you can look for . These parrots ,budgies ,cockatiels almost share same type of toys . I already wrote a detailed article for toys you can see here.

How to organize the cage for your bird?

Got all your essential stuff? Then you are ready to set up the cage by bringing together all the essential items. Here’s how to do it.

Choosing the right spot for the cage

Cockatiels are ambiverts. They will love to be part of your family but will not like to live in a crowded or busy place. The best place to keep a bird cage is in the corner of the family room or living room. Thus the bird is in the corner but still involved in the hustle and bustle of the house.

Do not place the cage under a sunny spot, but try to find a spot near a window. This way the bird will be able to engage in outdoor activities and have plenty of sunshine. Just make sure the entire cage isn’t heating up from direct sunlight throughout the day.

Never keep the cage in the kitchen. Pots and pans have a lot of odors and fumes that can harm or suffocate the bird.

Put paper at the bottom of the cage

After the cage is in place, it’s time to start putting the inside together. A trick here to help you keep the cage clean is to place paper under the cage. This makes cleaning the cage easier as the paper can be easily removed and thrown away.

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You can also use newspaper or any sheet, so that the actual floor of the cage is not messy.

Take the paper (or alternative) and shape it to fit the bottom of the cage. Add a few layers. Some cages come with a bottom pan that can be removed.

You can also wrap newspaper over and around the pan to easily remove the dirty paper. Make sure to clean the pan as well and do it weekly.

Put the toys and other items in the cage

Place your purchased toys and enrichment items such as cuttlebones or chew sticks inside the cage. Spread the objects in different parts of the cage so that the bird has something to entertain around its home. Also, it will keep the bird physically active as it moves from one part of the cage to another.

To keep the bird mentally stimulated, place your cockatiel’s favorite toy in a hard-to-reach corner so the bird can find creative ways to reach it.

You can also tie the food to the bars of the cage or use a puzzle feeder to give the bird some mental work before getting the food. This will keep your cockatiel mentally active.

Put in the food and water dishes

Always keep your bird’s food and water bowls full. It is best to keep water and food dishes away from each other or at opposite ends. In this way, no food will be found in the water container.

Make sure the dishes are properly secured to the walls of the cage as birds sit on them and chew on them while feeding.

Make changes to the layout as needed

Your first cage arrangement may not work as expected and that’s okay. You can always change the arrangement of the bird’s habitat. It may be that you need to change a toy, or reposition food dishes for better access. Don’t be afraid to rearrange because birds adapt easily.


Cockatiels make for great pets. Any bird is sure to brighten up your place with its vibrant features and colorful personality. All you need to do is to provide a safe and fun environment to live and enjoy your exceptional friendship.