Cages should always be selected with safety in mind. A good cage is expensive, but it is designed to house your bird for the entirety of its life. When you divide the initial cost amongst the years you will have your bird, it doesn’t seem like such a great expense.
Even though a cockatiel is a small bird, a parakeet or budgie cage is not suitable for a few reasons: the size is inadequate, the flimsy wire bars are coated with a plastic that cannot withstand the surprising power of the cockatiel beak, and the joints that attach each side are areas for foot and wing entanglement. A high-quality powder-coated or stainless steel cage is recommended.
The cage should be NO LESS than 24″ x 24″ x 24″ for a single cockatiel, and bar spacing should be NO MORE than 5/8″. It is always advised that you get as large a cage as you can afford for your cockatiel, However, you must get one with appropriate bar spacing. Unfortunately, the tendency in the pet cage industry is to increase the bar spacing with increased cage dimensions. While the cage intended for an amazon parrot might look like a dream mansion for your cockatiel, it is an accident waiting to happen. Heads and wings frequently get trapped in bars spaced too widely.
How To Choose Your Cockatiel’s Perches
Your cockatiel’s feet are involved in everything it does: eating, climbing, playing, and at least one foot is always in service while it sleeps. Maintaining good foot health is important. To do this your bird will need a variety of perches in different shapes, textures, and sizes. The ideal perch for a cockatiel is one whose foot wraps 3/4 of the way around and will likely be the perch it chooses to sleep on.
When you determine your cockatiel’s favorite sleeping perch (it will be the one with the biggest pile of poop beneath it!), you should be aware of the fact that this is your bird’s launching place during night fights, a middle of the night affliction that is unique to this species. Be sure to keep partial perches on the other side of the cage and have no toys that can cause entanglement or injury too nearby.