Ideal Cage Size For Cockatiels – Choosing The Right Cage For One Or Two Birds

A cockatiel can grow up to 14 inches long by 12 months of age. This bird also has a small wingspan of 10 to 12 inches. So because of its medium size, you might wonder, what is the ideal cage size for cockatiels?

The ideal cage size for a cockatiel is about 24 by 18 by 24 inches. However, this is just the minimum size for a single bird. If you have two cockatiels, the minimum cage size should be around 36 by 24 by 24 inches. In that sense, if you can get a giant cage, the better.

But is there such a thing as a cage too big or too small for cockatiels? Keep reading to find out what size cage does a cockatiel need.

What Is The Ideal Cage Size For Cockatiel?

A cockatiel is a small to a medium-sized bird that grows between 12 and 14 inches long from the head to the tail. It has a wingspan ranging from 10 to 12 inches and an average weight of 3.5 ounces.

Therefore, the best size cage should be at least twice as tall as your bird and double as wide as its wingspan. Keeping this in mind, the minimum cage size for a single cockatiel is 24 inches by 18 inches by 24 inches (L, W, and H).

However, if your budget allows and you have space in your house, you can always get a bigger aviary. The reason a cockatiel needs a cage of this size is that:

Horizontal flight

Cockatiels don’t fly up and down or vertically. Instead, these birds fly horizontally. Therefore, they need a cage size at least double their size to ensure they have enough room to fly.

Playful and active

Besides being intelligent, cockatiels are playful birds. For this reason, they need a roomy birdcage to play around with ropes, swings, balls, and bells.

Long tail feathers

Cockatiels have long tail feathers. They need a larger enclosure than a similar-sized pet bird with a shorter tail. If not, the tail may constantly rub against the cage’s bars, which can be uncomfortable.

Toy varieties

Like other parrot species, these birds need to exercise or risk becoming overweight. A spacious cage allows you to add many toys to keep your bird active.

What Size Cage Is Best For Two Cockatiels?

A 24 by 18 by 24 inches cage is the minimum size for a single cockatiel. So, if you need a cage for two birds, it should be slightly bigger than this in length and width.

Generally, a cage measuring 36″ long by 24″ wide by 24″ high can comfortably house a pair of cockatiels. Such a birdcage will allow your two pet birds to fully extend their wings and fly without damaging the feathers on the cage’s walls.

How To Choose the Right Cage Size for Cockatiels?

Now that you know what size cage is good for two cockatiels, how do you choose the right one? Below are some critical factors to consider before buying a cockatiel cage.

Number of birds

If it is a single bird, you should get a 24 x 18 x 24-inch minimum cage size. But for a pair of cockatiels, you will need a more extended and broader cage. Alternatively, you could get two separate enclosures for your birds.

Bar spacing

Larger-sized cages tend to have wider bar spacing. Your cockatiel could escape through the bars or get hurt while trying to go through. Therefore, even as you look for a more giant cage for your cockatiel, you must ensure the bar spacing is between 1/2 and 5/8 inches.

Cage shape

Birdcages are available in three main designs, rectangular, square, and rounded. Round cages are not recommended because they are not spacious enough. Your bird’s tail feathers could easily get caught between the bars.

Therefore, when choosing the right-sized cage for your cockatiel, you should choose a rectangular or square-shaped one.

Available space

If you live in a small apartment, you won’t have the luxury of buying the largest cage you find for your cockatiel. However, if you have a lot of space in your home, you can get a giant cage than the recommended minimum size.


Your budget is equally important when buying the right size cage for your cockatiel. If you are on a tight budget, you must go with the recommended minimum size cage. But if money is not a problem, your cockatiel would be happy to get a bigger aviary.

Can A Cage Be Too Big Or Too Small For Cockatiel?

The bigger the cage, the better for your pet bird. A giant birdcage is handy when leaving your cockatiel for over 5 hours inside.

However, most large enclosures have wider bar spacing where your cockatiel’s head could get stuck. Hence, a cage can be too big for your cockatiel if the bar spacing exceeds 5/8 inches.

While a big cage is suitable for your pet bird, there is such a thing as too small a birdcage for a cockatiel as well. Your bird will feel cramped inside if you get an enclosure more petite than the minimum recommended size.

Moreover, your bird may even engage in aggressive and self-destructive behaviors like feather picking if kept in a tiny enclosure.

Can You Keep 3 Cockatiels In One Cage?

This entirely depends on the size of the cage and how well the birds get along with each other. In this case, you will need a larger enclosure measuring slightly more than 36 x 24 x 24 inches big.

Regardless of that, if the 3 birds don’t get along, you could put a divider inside the cage to separate them. This allows the cockatiel to see each other, but each will have its own space, toys, food, and water. But this is only possible with a vast enclosure.


Interested in learning more regarding how to choose the right cage size for cockatiels? Check out these commonly asked questions.

Do cockatiels need tall or wide cages?

Both. The best cage for your cockatiels should be as tall as it is wide. This is because these birds have relatively large wingspans and long tail feathers.

What is the minimum cage size for a baby cockatiel?

Baby cockatiels are very small and don’t need as much cage space as their adult counterparts. However, the chicks are usually about 12-inches in size at 12 months. Due to this, you should get a cage with a minimum width of 18-inches and 24-inches in length and height.

What size cage does a cockatiel need in CM?

The minimum dimensions for the cage’s length and height should not be less than 60cm. As for the width, it should be at least 45cm. But for a pair of cockatiels, you should not get a cage with a minimum of less than 80cm.

Key Takeaways

Overall, there are a lot of different-sized aviaries for cockatiels on the market. Therefore, knowing what size cage does a cockatiel need is essential before making your purchase.

Having said that, besides considering how many birds you have, you must also consider your budget while buying a cage. After all, a birdcage can never be too big for your cockatiels as long as the bar spacing is not expansive. However, it can be too small.

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