How Big Do Cockatiels Get? (Revealed!)

Last Updated on October 2, 2023 by Ali Shahid

A cockatiel is a beautiful small parrot that is one the most after pet birds worldwide. If you are thinking about getting a cockatiel, it’s essential to have a good understanding of these birds. One important aspect to know is:

How Big Do Cockatiels Can Get?

A fully grown cockatiel typically reaches an average length of about 13 inches (approximately 30 to 33 cm) and weighs between 80 to 110 grams (equivalent to 0.1 kg).

This article will help you understand what’s normal for your pet’s growth, so you can check if it’s growing well for its age.

How Big Do Cockatiels Get

Cockatiel Weight And Size Chart

Cockatiels typically complete the weaning process at approximately six months old, by which time their physical size is nearly fully developed. It is generally at this age that pet stores offer them for sale to potential owners.

In the event you have a young chick that is smaller or needs special attention, you will need to take on the responsibility of hand-feeding them and meticulously documenting their daily weight. 

For the initial two months of their life, it is essential to monitor and record their weight every day. After this period, daily weigh-ins become less necessary, but it remains crucial to visually inspect your bird regularly to ensure it is maintaining a healthy weight.

Below, you will find a cockatiel growth chart:

New-born baby bird< 5g4-5 Inches
3 to 6 days 5 to 12 g5-6 Inches
2 to 3 weeks 45 to 70g6-7 Inches
3 to 4 weeks72 to 108g7-8 Inches
4 to 5 weeks 80 to 150g8-9 Inches
5 to 6 weeks   80 to 90g9-10 Inches
6 to 7 weeks80 to 95g10-11 Inches
12 months or adult90-110 g10-12 Inches

Cockatiels reach sexual maturity after they pass the age of 12 months.  As your cockatiel grows, you’ll notice different things happening, like its feathers changing color and its crest getting longer. When they become adults, they won’t change much in terms of size and weight.

However, during the initial months of their life, cockatiel chicks undergo rapid growth, necessitating continuous weight monitoring to detect any signs of stunted development or illnesses. 

It is worth noting that chicks typically experience a weight loss of around 10% during the weaning phase. Additionally, different cockatiel species can vary in weight, with fully grown adults ranging from 2.6 to 5.3 ounces.

Some cockatiels don’t grow as big as they should despite getting good nutrition. In general, there is no reason to be concerned if your bird is in good health, receiving appropriate care, and growing steadily.

Average Weight: Male VS Female

The average weight of male and female cockatiels can be a topic of debate on the internet, which might be confusing for those unfamiliar with the breed. Here is a simple answer:

  • Male Cockatiel: 100-120 grams
  •  Female Cockatiel: 80-100 grams

As shown above, the average weight of a cockatiel can vary. Male cockatiels are generally larger than their female counterparts.

 However, it is important to note that if you’re considering purchasing a female cockatiel expecting it to be smaller, keep in mind that an average represents the central or typical value within a range of data.

This implies that many cockatiels may fall below or exceed the average weight range for female cockatiels. Individual variations are common within these weight ranges.

At what age Cockatiels are Fully Grown?

Cockatiels typically reach their full physical size by the time they are 12 months old, although some may stop growing as early as 6 months. However, it is important to note that internal development continues beyond the age of 12 months. 

In most cases, cockatiels do not achieve full sexual maturity until they are between 12 to 24 months old. This means that even though a cockatiel may appear fully grown externally, there may still be ongoing internal development occurring during this period.

Factors Affecting the Size of a Cockatiel

The size of a cockatiel, like that of many other animals, is influenced by various factors, both genetic and environmental. Here are the key factors that can affect the size of a cockatiel:

1. Genetics: The genetic makeup of a cockatiel plays a significant role in determining its size. Different cockatiel breeds and bloodlines may have slightly different average sizes. Breeders can selectively breed for specific traits, including size, so genetics can have a considerable impact.

2. Gender: Male and female cockatiels typically have slight differences in size. In general, male cockatiels are slightly larger than females. This size difference can vary depending on the individual bird and its genetic lineage.

3. Age: Cockatiels go through growth stages, with juveniles being smaller than fully mature adults. A young cockatiel will grow and develop, gradually increasing in size until it reaches its full adult size, which is typically reached by around 1 to 2 years of age.

4. Nutrition: Proper nutrition during the growth phase is crucial for a cockatiel to reach its potential size. A well-balanced diet with appropriate amounts of protein, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients is essential for healthy growth. Malnutrition during the early stages of development can result in stunted growth.

5. Health: Health issues can affect a cockatiel’s size. Illnesses, parasites, or chronic health problems can hinder growth and result in smaller-sized birds. Regular veterinary check-ups and prompt treatment of any health issues are vital for maintaining a cockatiel’s size and overall well-being.

6. Housing and Space: The environment in which a cockatiel lives can influence its size. Birds that have plenty of space to fly and exercise are generally healthier and may develop more robust musculature, but this doesn’t necessarily mean they will be larger in terms of physical dimensions.

7. Social Interaction: Social interaction and mental stimulation can also affect a cockatiel’s overall health and well-being, which indirectly can influence its size. A happy, well-adjusted bird is more likely to thrive and grow properly.

8. Genetic Mutations: Some genetic mutations can result in altered physical characteristics, including size. For example, certain color mutations may affect a cockatiel’s overall appearance, but these mutations are typically rare and not the primary factor in determining size.

Ideal Diet for Idea Growth of a Cockatiel

For maintaining a healthy weight and overall well-being in captive cockatiels, it’s essential to provide them with a balanced diet. Here’s a breakdown of the ideal diet for your pet cockatiel:

Commercial Pellets

High-quality commercial pellets are a fundamental part of your cockatiel’s diet, as they are specifically formulated to provide the necessary nutrition. Pellets should make up the majority of your cockatiel’s diet, approximately 75% to 80%.

Fruits and Vegetables

Incorporate a variety of fruits and vegetables into your cockatiel’s diet, accounting for about 20% to 25% of their daily intake. Ensure you wash all produce thoroughly to remove any chemicals, and cut them into small, manageable pieces for easy consumption. 

Opt for nutrient-rich options like dark, leafy greens such as mustard greens, kale, and broccoli, as opposed to low-nutrition, water-heavy options like iceberg lettuce.


While seeds can be offered occasionally, they should be given sparingly due to their high-fat content. Think of seeds as a treat, similar to giving candy to children. Limit seed consumption to around 1.5 tablespoons per day to prevent excessive calorie intake.

The following diet guidelines will ensure that your cockatiel maintains a healthy weight and is receiving the essential nutrients needed to thrive. Remember that access to clean, fresh water is also vital for your pet bird’s health.

How to Know If a Cockatiel is Overweight?

Determining whether your cockatiel has gained weight can be a bit challenging for new owners. Typically, you can assess this by gently feeling your cockatiel’s chest. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it:

  • Secure Handling: Gently hold your cockatiel in one hand, being mindful of its comfort. Keep in mind that not all cockatiels enjoy being handled, so be patient and gentle.
  • Use a Towel (Optional): To prevent your cockatiel from flapping around and potentially hurting itself during this assessment, you can wrap it in a towel. In this way, the bird is kept calm and secure.
  • Hold the Neck: With your thumb and forefinger, carefully grasp the back of the bird’s neck. It’s crucial to avoid startling the cockatiel, especially if it’s not used to being handled.
  • Feel the Keel: The keel is a bony ridge over the breast area. Place your fingers over the breast muscle and gently press. The breast muscle should feel round, and when you exert light pressure, you should faintly feel the breast bones.
  • Assess the Breast Bone: To determine if your cockatiel is overweight, focus on the breast bone. If you can’t feel the breastbone quickly or at all, it may indicate that your cockatiel is overweight. An overweight cockatiel may also show visible fat deposits where the breast bone ends.

Regularly checking your cockatiel’s weight and overall health is essential for its well-being. If you suspect your cockatiel is overweight, consider adjusting its diet and consult with a veterinarian for guidance on achieving a healthy weight.

How to Know if a Cockatiel is Skinny?

You can also use the same method to determine if your cockatiel is underweight. In this case:

  • When feeling the breast bone, it should be sharp and almost devoid of fat.
  • The keel will be prominently sticking out because the rest of the body appears thinner in comparison.

If you find that your cockatiel is underweight, your initial response might be to increase its food intake. However, it’s essential to remember that if your bird appears underweight, it could be indicative of an underlying health issue. 

In such cases, it is advisable to consult a veterinarian to address any potential health problems and ensure your cockatiel receives the appropriate care.

 How To Measure Your Cockatiel Weight and Size?

Measuring your cockatiel is essential for monitoring its health and ensuring it’s in good condition. There are two primary methods for measuring your bird: weight measurement and girth/length measurement. Here is how to do both:

Weight Measurement:

  • Use a Sensitive Gram Scale: Obtain a sensitive gram scale, which is readily available in many pet supply stores or online.
  • Prepare the Scale: Place some food on the scale and allow your cockatiel to become accustomed to it. This helps to ensure that your bird stays calm during the weighing process.
  • Weigh Your Bird: Gently place your cockatiel on the scale. Make a note of its weight.
  • Calculate the Net Weight: To determine your bird’s weight, subtract the initial weight of the food from the combined weight of the bird and the food.

Girth or Length Measurement:

1. To measure a cockatiel’s girth:

  • Use a measuring tape or a soft cotton string.
  • Position the tape or string around the fattest part of your cockatiel’s body, excluding the wings. Be gentle to avoid startling your bird.
  • If your cockatiel is frightened by the measuring tape, consider using a soft cotton string instead, and later measure the string.

2. To measure a cockatiel’s length:

  • Start measuring from the base of your cockatiel’s neck.
  • Follow along its back until you reach the beginning of its tail.
  • You do not need to measure from the beak to the tip of the tail; the measurement focuses on the body length.

Measuring your cockatiel using these methods can help you track its health and detect any changes in weight or size. Regular measurements are valuable for ensuring the well-being of your pet bird.


Cockatiels make lovely companions and possess numerous positive traits. These birds are classified as medium-sized parrots, but they generally weigh only about 120 grams when they reach maturity. 

An adult cockatiel can measure up to 14 inches in length, although the majority tend to reach around 12 inches. Typically, most cockatiels cease growing by the time they’re about one year old, although a few may continue to develop internally beyond that point.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *