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Caring for Cockatiel Babies

Learn what it's like to breed cockatiels and care for the hatchlings.

Learn what it's like to breed cockatiels and care for the hatchlings.

Baby Cockatiels

When a cockatiel baby hatches, it is only about an inch long and covered in yellow all the way down. They look a bit like prehistoric miniatures with heavy heads that loll on rubbery little necks.

On day one, they are too weak to stand, but that doesn't mean they won't try. Their parents take them under their wing and keep them warm and well-fed. It's amazing how fast they grow. In just six to eight short weeks, they are fully grown and ready for a loving home.

Incubation Period

It takes anywhere from 18–23 days for cockatiel eggs to incubate. One breeder pair I owned hatched babies like clockwork, laying every 18 days after the first egg. Another pair of mine hatched babies every 21 days. My current breeding pair is not quite as regular, though they do fall within the 18–23 day range. Eggs are most often laid a day or two apart and hatch following that order. This is why you often see chicks of different sizes within the same brood.

Role of Cockatiel Parents

Male and female cockatiels share the responsibilities of incubating the eggs, feeding the young, and keeping them warm. While incubating the eggs, the female stays on the eggs at night, and the male takes over the day shift. While on duty, the birds' responsibilities include:

  • Egg turning. Eggs are turned once an hour. This helps ensure the baby cockatiel inside stays a uniform temperature. Turning also helps prevent the baby from sticking to the shell membrane.
  • Maintaining proper humidity. Parents bathe in a shallow dish of water and use their wet feathers to maintain proper humidity for the eggs.

Egg Tooth

Before a baby cockatiel hatches, you can hear it chirping faintly within the egg. They start to break through the shell by using a small protrusion on the top of their beak, known as an egg tooth. The process of breaking free of the egg is called "pipping." It takes hours and a lot of energy for the baby bird to work free from the egg.

Baby Cockatiel

Baby Cockatiel

Cockatiel Baby Eyes

When baby cockatiels first hatch, their eyes are closed and remain closed for about eight to ten days. The skin over their sealed eyes is transparent enough to see whether their eyes are red or dark brown. Eye color is the first clue as to what color the baby cockatiel will be when its feathers grow in.

In some cases, color is a sex-linked mutation, and in others, it is a recessive mutation. I'll save all that for another article, but basically, red eyes mean the bird will cost a little more to buy because they are rarer. Cockatiels with red eyes may be one of the following:

  • Albino
  • Fallow (also called cinnamon)
  • Lutino
  • Recessive Silver

Getting Their Feathers

By the time baby cockatiels are two weeks old, they've lost most or all of their down and have started to grow feathers on their wings and back, along with sprouting crest feathers on top of their heads. By three weeks, they are almost fully feathered but a little mangy looking; by four weeks, they almost look like an adult bird.

Young Cockatiels as Pets

Cockatiels are an ideal choice for a first-time bird owner. They are a smaller bird with a big personality. Males are more vocal and often learn to whistle and talk, but either sex bonds affectionately to their owner as a loving companion. Finding a baby cockatiel who is just weaned is the ideal scenario as they adjust quickly to new surroundings.

Four-week-old baby cockatiel.

Four-week-old baby cockatiel.

Hand-Fed Baby Cockatiels

Hand-fed baby cockatiels make friendly, gentle pets. Hand-fed means the babies are pulled from the nest (usually 10–14 days old) and fed by humans. This practice establishes trust between birds and humans and eliminates the fear of human hands. Hand-fed babies often cost a little more because of the extra time and effort it requires to raise them.

When buying a pet, however, take time to handle baby cockatiels to see how they act toward you. Some breeders hand-feed babies but handle them very little other than that. The best choice is to select babies raised by breeders who both interact with the birds and hand-feed them. These conditions produce the best quality pets.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.


Donna Sundblad (author) from Georgia on August 28, 2020:

You are very welcome, None.

none on August 28, 2020:

thanks for your guide

Donna Sundblad (author) from Georgia on August 28, 2020:

Hi None,

A good age is when they first wean. That is usually somewhere around 8-10 weeks old. I recommend you find someone who handfeeds their babies because they are handled more and used to human interaction.

Hope you find the right bird. They make fun pets and good companions.

none on August 28, 2020:


how old should i buy?

i mean when is the best

i had one six month cockatiel but it didnt became friend with me

so i said i should buy a baby one

Donna Sundblad (author) from Georgia on August 27, 2020:

Hello, You say you want to buy two baby cockatiels. How old are they? Do they have feathers? Are they still being handfed or fed by the parents or are they weaned?

If it is still young it is best kept with it's parents or breeder until weaned. Ideally, the birds' environment should be kept between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

none on August 27, 2020:


i wanna buy two baby cockatiels

and the others are saying it will die easily by coldness

how can i protect the from cold?

please answer fast

Donna Sundblad (author) from Georgia on August 13, 2020:

Hi CARloss,

Baby cockatiels start to get their wing feathers by two weeks and they grow quickly. By the time they are four weeks old they often take flight for the first time.

CARloss on August 13, 2020:

My 20 day old cocktail only has its wing feathers why is this

darling on July 23, 2020:

I have a question. What happens if a 2-week old cockatiel just looks sleepy all the time, they barely have energy to eat

Donna Sundblad (author) from Georgia on July 15, 2020:

Hello Gaurish,

That roundness at the neck is a full crop which means the parents are feeding. The birds have a crop rather than a stomach. They should all have turns having a full crop which means they are all being fed.

Gaurish shirodkar on July 15, 2020:

Hello madam

I got, it's a crop of cocktail chick ...I think one chick has sour crop he is 8day old , what is the home remedy for it..

Please advise

One more thing...out of 10 eggs. 3 hatched

and now parents have kept aside 6eggs and one in middle.....

Only parents fed them...round wise...

Gaurish from Goa on July 15, 2020:

What is the huge round at the neck of cocktail chick , one of them is very big and yellow in colour, is it any disease or natural....they r now 8days old

What to do ? any home looks very big . .two of them is ok...

Donna Sundblad (author) from Georgia on July 14, 2020:

Hi Gaurish,

Cockatiels usually lay 4-6 eggs so 10 is a large clutch. Eggs usually hatch every other day. Some eggs may not be viable. But if most of them hatch, the younger chicks may need you to supplement their feedings because the older chicks will be stronger and bigger and push their way to be fed leaving the younger ones to fend for themselves.

Gaurish shirodkar on July 13, 2020:

My cocktail pair have 10 eggs and 3 are hatched . there any risk for them to many eggs ... .how to take care of them.... please advise pointwise.....

Donna Sundblad (author) from Georgia on June 29, 2020:

Hi Chelsea,

Baby cockatiels grow so quickly that they require a lot of sleep. They make that chirpy feeding noise while being fed, and from time to time chirp when they are content. As long as the bird is growing and eating, it should be okay, but if you have concerns it is always a good idea to contact an Avian vet.

chelsea on June 29, 2020:

Hi, Donna my cockatiel eggs hatched about 36 hours ago the baby seems to be laying still a lot with occasional chirping i would like to know if this behavior is normal or is my bird getting sick.

Donna Sundblad (author) from Georgia on June 28, 2020:

Hello Mohammed,

Provide your birds with a balanced diet that includes greens and hardboiled eggs along with their regular foods. Enjoy! Watching them grow is fascinating.

Mohammed on June 27, 2020:

Hello, Donna my baby cockatiel is only 4 days old and I don’t know what should we feed for parents so they feed the baby. Please suggest me the best food which I can feed them.

Valeria Fernandez on June 18, 2020:

I meant box. The baby is 3 weeks old, and they accept food just fine, they are in a box with a soft towel beneath them. I am also concerned about feeding, the breeder told be to feed them formula 3 times a day, 4 cc in a syringe, but I am suspecting that that information isn't so reliable. How often should I be feeding them? And how many ccs by now? The little one is silent now (meaning I don't hear them asking for food), which I think is good since they should be sleeping, but I'm still really afraid that they might start getting cold.

Thank you for your time and assistance

Valeria Fernandez on June 18, 2020:

It is the first night of my baby cockatiel with me, and I am using a desk lamp to keep them warm, however, they keep waking up. At first I had the lamps sort of directly inside the cage, using a piece of cloth to cover the light as it was way too bright and didn't produce much heat either. Now I put it outside and covered the box with a light blanket. The baby seems to have quieted down, though I'm worried that they might feel cold

Donna Sundblad (author) from Georgia on May 31, 2020:

Do you think the parents were plucking them? By 10 days old their fuzz is gone and they start to grow their pin feathers. By three weeks they usually are about half feathered and by four weeks they look almost like a normal adult bird, just a little ratty. So probably good that they are in your care. As for the red nostrils, this could indicate sinus infection. Are they sneezing? If that doesn't clear up with your care I would check with a vet for sure. I hope that helps. They make such wonderful pets. Hope you get to enjoy them.

Lindsey on May 31, 2020:

Donna, I recently took into baby cockatiels for some reason the parents were beating them up. There little bodies were all bruised no fuzz on them. They are between three and four weeks. The last couple days I’ve noticed they have a little bit of red or pink around their nostrils. I can’t find any information about this. These are my first ever birds that have been hand fed.

Donna Sundblad (author) from Georgia on May 21, 2020:

Babies have quite a few feathers at three weeks, but by four weeks they almost look fully feathered but a little scraggly. Since the baby has been hand fed, I would recommend you get instructions from the breeder to know what they have been doing...what the bird is used to. As for the heating pad, you need to be careful. If the baby gets overheated it can lead to heatstroke and the bird could die. So I suggest you get a thermometer The rule of thumb for babies between two and a half, to three weeks of age is an environment between 92 and 94 degrees Fahrenheit. But once they have more feathers, it should be 86 degrees. At five to six weeks the baby can be moved into a cage. Hope that helps. Enjoy your baby.

aolani on May 21, 2020:

Hi im getting a cockateil in a few days. The person told me its 3 weeks old but i honestly think its a little older because i was comparing to other cockateils and mine has a lot of feathers already. Anyways its still not weaned so i will be hand feeding it. Which i bought the kaytee formula and i bought a heating pad. Its my first time hand feeding and ive watched a lot of videos and read a lot of websites. but if you have any tips on what to do like when to feed,how,heat, when i should switch it from the tank to the cage, ect. It would be very helpful, I just dont want to do anything wrong. Thanks

maham on May 16, 2020:

so, have two adult cockatiels which are not friendly with humans but recently they gave eggs from which 3 successfully hatched. they were all healthy and even chirping but at like 2-3 days of age the first one died and the next day the second one died too. one of the babies id still alive any idea why they are dying? should i be worried or is tis common?

Donna Sundblad (author) from Georgia on May 04, 2020:

Hi Tim,

First let's address the heavy breathing. Since cockatiels cannot sweat most likely the heavy breathing is their way to release excess body heat. This panting is highly effective for cooling the bird's body down.

As for handling the birds. It is a good way to raise hand-friendly birds. I pull my babies at 2 weeks to hand feed. It's a round the clock schedule. They are ready to be on their own around 8-10 weeks. So the oldest that isn't interested in handfeeding may already be weaned. Just make sure it is eating enough food on its own. Does this help? Let me know if you have more questions.

Donna Sundblad (author) from Georgia on May 04, 2020:

Hi Immi, I'm sorry I just received this. The behavior your bird is showing is fearful. The hissing is to scare you off. One woman I helped in the past had placed her new bird in a cage near a window. The bird was never near a window before. It bit me when I picked it up, but once I handled it for a moment it calmed down and trusted. I told the woman to close the blinds for now. The bird became the sweet hand-fed baby she had bought. I hope it is turning out well for you.

Tim on May 03, 2020:

Here's a backstory my female tiel had babies a month ago and have 2 beautiful babies and we Check them regularly cuz our female raises them alone (the dad is violent so we separated them)

But me and my mom always take them out like every day or every other is it okay or safe? I mean the mom just look at us when we take them out and pet them at the bottom and the mom can see us but we return them after a while.

Aaand yesterday we try to handfeed them after 4 weeks(like yesterday) and take them inside (is it ideal?) but they where just gasping like thirsty or something (what could I do?) and one of them won't let be handfed (the eldest) even though it's hungry. but the other one is fine being handfeed (the youngest) eventually we returned the back to the nestbox

Now today I just googled about raising chicks with the youngest beside me on our house cuz I just decided that I will raise that one for now because it's easy to handfeed and I saw the answer by google (yours) and says don't take em out after 8 weeks did I dung goofed?

(I just returned returned the youngest after reading this)

P. S the chick did the same thing and was like thirsty(what should I do with it?) after a while of being inside its hot outside believe me

How should I handle the situation?

When could I raise the youngest or possibly both on my own?

Thanks for reading I hope you could answer :)

Imi on April 28, 2020:

Hello, I bought a 3 week old tiel this morning and it looks very my frightened. It won't even open its mouth when i try to feed. All it does is hisses and try to peck me

Can u help me with this? What should i do??

Donna Sundblad (author) from Georgia on April 25, 2020:

Hi Pablo,

I use a warm, wet paper towel and hold it on the hardened food stuck to the baby. Once it is softened a little, it most often will clean off. If it is a hardened glob, I carefully break it up with my thumb and index finger and reapply the wet paper towel.

If the baby is till eating formula and just starting to fly, it might be closer to 4-5 weeks old. Mine usually take their first flights about 4 weeks.

Hope that helps.

Pablo on April 25, 2020:

Hey Donna, we just adopted

a 5-6 week old cockatiel from a breeder. It’s eating well and even started his first flights today. He does have since we got him 3 days ago dried kaylee food on his neck and side of the beak. Every time we feed him we wipe him down with a warm damp towel but what he had already is still there as I don’t want to scrub to hard.

What do you recommend we should do?

Leave it be or try to clean it off and how?

Donna Sundblad (author) from Georgia on April 24, 2020:

Hi Jeanne,

My guess is that you are right since the baby is thriving. And if it is dried food, the parents will clean the baby up. If the condition is not remedied, I'd check with an avian vet.

Jeanne on April 23, 2020:

We have a 6 day old hatchling and we took her out to change her bedding tonight and her nostrils were all clogged with what looked like dry snot. It seems to be growing very well and very active eating often. My instincts are telling me it’s food from the parents. Should I be worried?

Donna Sundblad (author) from Georgia on April 20, 2020:

Hi Gert,

So sorry to hear about your bird. I am not a vet, so I can say anything for sure. The wet vent can sometimes be caused by stress or fear which can be normal when a bird is introduced into a new environment, but the fluffy feathers are usually a sign that there may be a health concern. Especially if they hang out on the bottom of the cage. It might be something like a vitamin deficiency or something more. Hard to say. Beak problems can also be related to nutrition, but might be something like a fungus. If you buy another bird, I would recommend you take it to a vet for a wellness check. So hard to lose one of these little companions. I really am sorry for your loss.

Gert Morris from Dillsburg PA on April 20, 2020:

Hi Donna, I purchased a baby male cockatiel Tuesday and by Saturday he had passed. I can't figure what happened. The room was warm, he had 3 different types of food, and 2 dishes of water. When I had brought him home he was a little fluffy but as the days went on he just got fluffier and then passed. I did see after he passed I did notice he had a wet bottom. I did ask when I purchased him about the dry formula around his beak but they insured me that he was not on formula any longer. I'm sure you may not be able to tell me for sure what happened to him, I was just wondering if you had an opinion about what may have happened. I can't believe how attached I became so fast. I am heart broken, Thank you for your time.

Donna Sundblad (author) from Georgia on April 14, 2020:

Hi Jakob,

I let my chicks stay with the parents for the first couple of weeks. After I pull them, babies between two and a half, to three weeks of age, may be kept in an environment between 92 and 94 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have more than one chick they huddle and help keep each other warm. As they get their feathers, gradually reduce heat to around 86 degrees. By the time they are 5 weeks, they can be moved to a cage where they will learn to perch, etc. Hope that helps.

Jakob on April 13, 2020:

Hi I just wanted to know at what temperature to keep the babies

Donna Sundblad (author) from Georgia on March 16, 2020:

Hi Penguin,

The baby will wean itself. You'll go to feed it and it will show no interest.

Penguin on March 12, 2020:

We have a young cockatiel less than 6 months old fully feathered. How do I know when he is ready tl get off the formula? He begs for it, but does eat seed too.

kylie frisch on January 29, 2020:

cockatiel female / baby egg week days30 eye open yet..... friends

Donna Sundblad (author) from Georgia on January 07, 2020:

Hi Sajil, Sorry I just saw your post or would have answered sooner. I really can't diagnose anything. I'm assuming you are talking about the hungry noise they make when feeding? Is the bird still eating? It's important that the food is warm but not hot, or it may develop sour crop in which the crop does not empty. This condition can be fatal if not treated.

Donna Sundblad (author) from Georgia on January 07, 2020:

Hi Mohan, Congratulations on your pet. Cockatiels are fun and engaging companions as long as they are handled regularly. It sounds like you bird is healthy...just weaned though so good to be sure he is eating. As a guideline, most cockatiels can be maintained on 1.5 - 2 level measure tablespoons of seeds per bird, per day fed in a shallow dish. Hope that helps.

Mohan RV on January 06, 2020:

Hi Donna,

Based on my interested talks, one of my aunt gifted me a 50 days old baby male cockatiel for my birthday. This is my first pet and never used to it before. Its been 2 days now and she is not taking any food. She said it was weaned and still not taking. I tried to pipe feed the formula food. It took only 4 ml food today morning. But he is active inside and outside of the cage. It is coming to fingers when called. How should i feed or is it normal with this minimal food.

Sajil on January 05, 2020:

Hi....I have a baby cockateil about 3 weeks old. It was not having any problem till yesterday night. But today, when we take it to feed, it was not making noice. It have been 1 hour since we notice this. We don't have any vet specialists for birds in Kerala. Is there any solution...?

Donna Sundblad (author) from Georgia on December 13, 2019:

Hi Painters,

In the first week, baby cockatiels eat every 2 hours. By the second week. By the second week, it's every 3 hours. This is because they grow sooo fast at this time. As long as the parents are feeding them, they should be okay. If not, you'll want to pull them and hand feed them with a high quality formula.

Painters Island Cockatiel on December 12, 2019:

Hi we just noticed we have 3 baby cockatiel chicks in the nest, we are feeding the other 6 Cockatiels well and also feed them 3 crushed maria biscuits with an egg yolk, is there anything else we can do? Babies screaming for food all the time

Donna Sundblad (author) from Georgia on November 05, 2019:

Hi Ashish,

I suggest you call the vet right away.

ashish shahapurkar on November 04, 2019:

I have 4 baby cockatiels one was died due to parents feed yellow pellets and 3 are remaining which having sour crop due hard food (yellow pellets) please let me know ho to treat

Donna Sundblad (author) from Georgia on October 15, 2019:

Baby birds do sleep a lot because they are growing and developing. Even adult birds should sleep 10-12 hours a day. As for the feeding, was the baby handfed before you got it? If not, it will have to learn that what you are doing is feeding. Maybe try a drop of food on your finger and get a little into the mouth so it recognizes it is food. You might have to do that a couple of times and then introduce the syringe again. If that doesn't work, try an eyedropper placing a small amount at a time in the mouth until the bird learns to eat. The trick with this is not to allow the food to get cold. Let me know how it goes.

Naila Ayaz on October 15, 2019:


I have just got a baby cockatiel nearly three weeks old but it is not gaping its beak to eat. Probably it is not trained to respond to hand feed. it sleeps a lot too. How to make it eat with a syringe? and how is it ok if it is sleeping that much?

Donna Sundblad (author) from Georgia on September 29, 2019:

Hi Gina,

It's good to ask questions before your baby arrives. By three weeks, they will have some feathers and they will have each other to cuddle with. I would keep them in an aquarium for starts with some bedding because they won't be perching yet. As for food, you will need a bird formula. There are a number of quality choices. I use the Kaytee blend. It is designed to meet their nutritional needs. As for seed or pellets, you can place a small dish in the aquarium/cage and at first they will play with them, but gradually they start to eat.

Gina on September 29, 2019:

In a few weeks I'm getting two 3 week old cockatiels. I have a 6 year old cockatiel, but I got her six months ago. I've had parakeets for most of my life, but I've never taken care of baby parrots before. I'm getting them when they're already at 3 weeks old so would I need a heating lamp? Will I need to give them formula? When Will I need to start with regular seed? what brand of formula would be ideal? Last but not least, would it be dangerous if I gave them baby formula/food?

PS. Sorry for asking so much, I'm just nervous and excited to add two to the flock

Donna Sundblad (author) from Georgia on September 20, 2019:

Hi Marina,

If you are handfeeding, use a quality baby bird formula. The babies should be fed every two hours around the clock for the first four days, and every three hours around the clock on days five through seven. By the time they are two weeks old, feedings can be about every 4 hours during the day and the babies will be okay for about 8 hours overnight without feedings. The formula should be mixed according to the manufacturer's instructions and the temperature of the formula should be between 102 and 104 degrees Fahrenheit.

Marina on September 20, 2019:

Our cockatiels dont feed their babies how much

Donna Sundblad (author) from Georgia on September 09, 2019:

Hello Emely,

In my experience baby cockatiels have both eyes open around 10 days old so I wouldn't worry yet.


Emely on September 08, 2019:

Hello i have a one week old cockatiel baby bird and he has only opened one eye. Should i be worried or is it normal?

Donna Sundblad (author) from Georgia on August 24, 2019:

You are welcome. Glad to hear your baby is being cared for. Molting is a stressful time for our birds so be sure to supplement your cockatiel's diet with foods high in vitamin A, like sweet potatoes and carrots and add more calcium and some boiled egg for additional protein

Rick on August 24, 2019:

Luckily enough both parents are still taking very good care of their first. Mama laid another egg yesterday and put it in the freezer last night, split overnight so lost both eggs so far, so keeping my fingers crossed that she’s finished laying, it does appear that she’s starting molting as well. Thank you for your assistance.

Donna Sundblad (author) from Georgia on August 22, 2019:

Hi Rick,

Fertilized eggs remain viable at room temperature for up to ten days as long as the incubation process has not begun. People sometimes freeze an egg for 24 hours to use like you would a fake or dummy egg to discourage egg laying but the egg is no longer viable once frozen.

If your birds have moved on to starting a new clutch and neglect the baby, you should plan to handfeed it. Along with that, you want to be careful that your birds aren't constantly egg laying because it will deplete your female bird of vital nutrients, I hope this helps.

Rick on August 21, 2019:

My tiels had a clutch of 4 eggs, of which one survived, is now 23 days old and mama laid another egg today, I read online that the egg can be frozen for 24 hours before putting it back in the nest, I hate to do it but don’t want the parents to abandon their current baby , they’ve both been very good at taking turns caring for their first baby, dad is 12 and mom is 3. They were even bickering over who got to sit on their 3rd batch which had the 1 survivor.

Donna Sundblad (author) from Georgia on August 21, 2019:

Hi Beth,

Consistently ruffled feathers are a sign of sickness. Do the feathers still look like they were wet and just dried like the bird didn't preen? The feathers should have a smooth look? If in doubt, I'd check with the vet.

Beth659 on August 21, 2019:

Hi there, just got a 8 week old cockatiel, the breeder gave him a bath before i received him. A day later and all dry he hasn't fluffed to normal looking. His feathers look all matted down like he got totally drenched. Is this normal or could he be sick?

Emily on August 07, 2019:

I have a quick question my 2 babe cockatiel are almost full of hair but they are missing some hair on the head.they are about 4 weeks old is that normal ?another question is they attempt to cheep a lot which gets me nervous since they are 4 weeks.another question is when do they start flying?sorry for all these questions it’s just we just have 2 new baby birds and don’t know how to handle them

Donna Sundblad (author) from Georgia on August 05, 2019:

Hi Celina,

How old is the baby? Is it in a nest box? Those falls can injure it so it would be best to move the baby to a lower level and see if the parents will feed it there. You might try placing it in a bowl with a small towel or pine shavings (not cedar). I pull my babies and start handfeeding when they are two weeks old but have had to had feed a few from the day they hatched. There are plenty of baby bird formulas on the market. Please let me know if you have more questions.

Celina Gomez on August 05, 2019:

My cockatiels had a baby but since we don’t handle them, they don’t trust humans, and they keep knocking down the chick out of the best or the chick keeps getting down. It’s about a foot and a half height. I’m worried the chick is going to get hurt. If I take the chick out and hand feed it, what can I give it?

Donna Sundblad (author) from Georgia on July 20, 2019:

Hi Carmen,

How old are the babies? Babies hatch a day or two apart which makes a difference in their sizes, but by two weeks old they are able to stand...not perch but stand and by four weeks they are starting to perch. If your baby is older than that, I would suggest making a visit to the vet to have it checked out.

Carmen Martinez on July 20, 2019:

Hello, I have a question, we have two babies cockatiel about two weeks ago but one isn't able to stand up, it is normal? The other is growing so fast. Thanks. We are worried

Donna Sundblad (author) from Georgia on July 13, 2019:

If you plan to harvest bird-safe wood from the wild, look for a hardwood like dogwood, elm, magnolia, etc., but be sure whatever tree you’re harvesting from is pesticide free. Some trees are safe once the bark is removed, like maple wood, due to a fungus that can cause respiratory issues in your bird. I suggest you research the specific wood you are considering because the lists for both safe and unsafe foods are quite extensive and available information is constantly being updated.

Jeannie on July 13, 2019:

What kind of wood is best to make perches for my Cocktail?. Are there some to stay away from?. Thanks

Donna Sundblad (author) from Georgia on June 08, 2019:

Hello Dallas,

Congratulations on your new chick. Is it the first of a clutch your birds are brooding? If so, is this their first clutch? So many factors play into breeding birds and raising chicks. In my experience, I allowed the parents to feed the babies for the first couple of weeks as I provided them with a balanced diet that included greens and hardboiled eggs along with their regular foods. Then I pulled the babies and hand fed them. However, there have been times I’ve had to pull a baby right away to supplement the feeding. If your birds are capable of feeding and keeping the baby warm, I’d let them take care of those responsibilities for a couple of weeks but that’s just my preference. Let me know how it goes.


Dallas Howard on June 07, 2019:

I am a bird owner and proud parent of a new baby. Any help would be appreciated please on how and what to do. Please

Donna Sundblad (author) from Georgia on June 03, 2019:

Hello Annabell,

It sounds like you’ve taken the right steps upon discovering the unattended baby cockatiel. Body temperature is critical to survival. In fact, keeping the baby warm is also crucial to its ability to digest food as feeding a cold baby can lead to an impacted crop. As for how much to feed it, each bird is a little different, but you probably want to feed it a little more than 1 milliliter per feed. By the time it is two weeks old, feedings should be about 4-6 milliliters with feedings approximately every four hours, except for overnight. Overnight you can wait 8 hours and feed in the morning.

As for the parents, I would suggest you take away their nesting box for now. They may not be cut out to be parents. In the decades that I’ve been breeding cockatiels, I only had one pair that weren’t good parents. I finally took away their nest box for good.

I hope this helps. If you still have concerns, I would suggest you contact a local breeder or an avian vet to check on the baby to see that it is getting enough to eat and developing as it should.


Annabell on June 03, 2019:

Good Morning.

My cockatiels are breeding, however, they don't look after their babies. The first clutch they laid 4 eggs only one hatched and 2 days later I found it cold and gasping for air, unfortunately, it didn't make it despite my efforts to save it. They laid another clutch of 4 soon after the first one and I had to pull the baby from the breeding box the morning after it hatched as both parents left the box and it got excessively cold. It is now 5 days old and I am hoping it will survive, I'm not sure that I'm feeding it enough, it eats approximately 1ml per feed. It seems to want food every 1:30 to 2 hours. I do feed it round the clock every two hours. Would you be able to assist with this?

Donna Sundblad (author) from Georgia on May 02, 2019:

Hi Suzanne,

If a baby has had inadequate nutrition it could develop beak problems. I'm not a avian medical expert, so I would suggest calling a vet...if possible, an avian vet.


Suzanne judy on May 01, 2019:

I just got a baby cockatiel, I think there is something wrong with it beak. Is there anyone who can help me?

Rosa on April 19, 2019:

My cocatail laid eggs they hatched and at couple of days they die dont understand why they both take good care of them

Donna Sundblad (author) from Georgia on April 18, 2019:

Hi Alice,

Congratulations. What you do next depends on what you want to do in the future. If you plan on letting them parent the chic, be sure to give them a nutritious dies that includes soft foods including greens and things like boiled eggs. Keep an eye on the baby to be sure they are keeping it warm and fed. Do you have other eggs waiting to hatch?


Alice on April 18, 2019:

My female is about 17 years old. She and her mate just hatched their first baby. What do I need to know.

Donna Sundblad (author) from Georgia on April 10, 2019:

Hi Agatha,

As I mentioned to Julia in the last comment, a healthy adult cockatiel can range from from 70 – 120 grams in weight. Birds with an inbred history, as well as certain color mutations, are more likely to be on the lighter end of that range. Plus, your bird is still young, so I expect that he/she will gain a little more weight when it finally makes a complete transition away for formula.


Agatha on April 10, 2019:

Hi, my cockatiel in two day will be 8 weeks old, but his weight is only 86 grams. He is very playful and exuberant bird. He started to eat less his formula, but he started to eat seeds. He fly a lot so maybe that is the reason why he's weight is little, but I don't know is it good weight for bird at his age.

Donna Sundblad (author) from Georgia on April 06, 2019:

Hi Julia,

Your English is great! Normal weight for a healthy adult cockatiel can range from from 70 – 120 grams. Birds with an inbred history, as well as certain color mutations, are more likely to be in the smaller range end. Your bird is still young, so I expect that he/she will gain a little more weight, but is fine where it is.


Julia on April 06, 2019:

Hello, my cockatiel is 7 weeks, but he is small looks kinda like on the photo above (I mean this 4 weeks cockatiel) he's weight is 93 grams, and I don't know is it normal or not. He eat normally and he's acting normlly. If I wrote somethins wrong - sorry, but I'm not a native speaker of language.

Donna Sundblad (author) from Georgia on April 01, 2019:

Hi Maryam,

When did your bird lay her first egg? Hatching takes place about 21 days later if the egg is fertile and all goes well.

Hope that helps.


Maryam Abawi on April 01, 2019:

My bird layed eggs but it is not poening

Donna Sundblad (author) from Georgia on February 03, 2019:

Hi sibani,

Your lutino may or may not give birth to another lutino. It's a bit complicated because the answer lies in the bird's genetics. There are Sex-Linked, Recessive, and Dominant mutations so it depends on your bird's background.

sibani on February 03, 2019:

does my lutino cockatiel give birth to a albino cockatiel

Donna Sundblad (author) from Georgia on January 17, 2019:

Hello Karen,

I have raised cockatiels for decades, but right now my breeding pair are both about 20 years old now and have not produced fertile eggs in about three years. I have one other female, but haven't found the right male for her yet. I do know someone who has a breeding pair so I can let you know when he has babies if you'd like.

Karen on January 16, 2019:

Donna do you raise them to sale because I bought three when they were brand new babies and watch them to become (Beautiful cockatiels). They barely had any feathers and feed them with a dropper till they got big enough to eat seeds. I’ve had cockatieIs for many years. I would love to have 1 or 2 birds I live in Nashville TN. I’m retired and would love to have them in my life and would love to watch them grow

If you want my email. Please text me back thank you have a great day Karen

Donna Sundblad (author) from Georgia on December 17, 2018:

The parents sometimes separate eggs and babies and sit on them individually like Haven might sit on some while the dad is on the other. Do you have a flat bottom in the cage? If so that might work. Do you have bedding on the bottom of the cage? Just watch that the baby is warm. How are you keeping baby number 1 warm?

Katlin Donnelly on December 17, 2018:

Thanks SO much Donna! I have seen both parents feed the second baby. However, it was by itself, at the back of the cage this morning. My tiels will not use a nesting box. I put it up with the other 3 eggs and daddy came right up and scooted it up under him. I'll keep a very close eye on that. Haven still has 3 eggs that they are sitting on. A day between hatchings seems like a lifetime!!

Donna Sundblad (author) from Georgia on December 17, 2018:

Hi Katlin,

Congratulations on your babies. You will be able to tell if the babies are being fed based on their crop. If it is totally flat the baby is not being fat. Plus you can here them feeding. You did the right thing pulling that first baby. How is the second one doing?

Katlin Donnelly on December 16, 2018:

Hi Donna,

My cockatiel, after 4 non hatching clutches, finally has hatchlings! The parents did nothing for the first one yesterday, and after 12 hours, I finally pulled it and hand fed. Another egg hatched today, and Momma, Haven, is keeping it under her and her other 3 eggs. How will I know if Haven and Harpo are going to take care of it? Is there a chance she will keep it warm but not feed it? The one I pulled is being hand fed every 2-3 hours around the clock and hanging in there!

Donna Sundblad (author) from Georgia on December 13, 2018:

Hi Kristie, Your baby cockatiels won't be fully feathered until they are 6-7 weeks old. At four weeks they still look a little ratty but that will change quickly.

Kristie on December 12, 2018:

I have 2baby cockatiels they ar 1 month but don't have all their feathers should I be worried

Donna Sundblad (author) from Georgia on November 26, 2018:

Hi Glenda,

Baby cockatiels under three weeks old should be kept at around 92 degrees. There’s not much you can do to cool them down but to keep them in the shade and make sure they have plenty of water to stay hydrated. You might want to spritz the parents with a spray bottle filled with warm water for a shower or place a shallow bowl of water in the cage for bathing. You can also place the baby in the bowl for a short time to help it cool down. Hope this helps and that the weather cools down soon.

As for air conditioning, my birds live in air conditioned space during the summer, but you don't want to bring them from extreme heat to air conditioning because abrupt changes in temperature can be harmful too.

Glenda on November 25, 2018:

Could I please get some advice about cooling off my one and only 3 week old chick? At the moment it's 39C or 102F and both parents are panting, so I took the baby out of the box and let it sit on the floor of the cage where I thought it might just be lucky enough to catch a little breeze. The cage is on a verandah inside the house with louvers and windows and is usually the coolest part of the house . The parents have lived there for years and don't seem to mind, but, is there anything else that you can suggest to help my poor bird family to be more comfortable in this heat? Does this kind of heat kill the young? Can I take them into airconditioning?

Donna Sundblad (author) from Georgia on November 12, 2018:

Hi N.V.,

Have your birds hatched eggs before or is this their first clutch? It is not unusual for proven pairs to lose babies in their first and second clutches. However, to help ensure healthy babies make sure to feed your birds a balanced died, and when they are feeding young to include soft foods which are easier for the young to digest. After babies hatch, keep a close eye on them to make sure they are thriving. I had one pair of cockatiels that were not good parents and I had to pull the babies when they hatched to start handfeeding. All you can do is put forth your best effort. Let me know how it goes.

N.V. on November 11, 2018:

Is there any way to prevent the babies from dying? My cockatiels have just laid eggs, and I don't want to see them dying.

Marsha on October 30, 2018:

My cockatiel babies are 31/2 weeks old, with the first one hatched being 4 weeks. They do not have any feathers or pin feathers on their backs or stomachs. They have crests, the larger wing, tail and face feathers and most of them have opened all the way up. I can tell that their parents are not picking at them. In all other ways, they seem very healthy, alert and active. Just bald. In all the years I have been breeding birds, I have never seen anything like it.

Donna Sundblad (author) from Georgia on October 18, 2018:

Hi Michelle,

I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your babies. It is not unusual for first time parents to lose babies, and even second time parents. It's hard for me to say why they died as it could be a number of things from feeding to temperature. Were the parents eating balanced foods including greens and soft foods? Soft foods are easier for babies to digest.

You may want to supplement feeding with a baby bird formula. If you have an avian vet, you could check with them for suggestions.