Cockatiels are popular pet birds known for their small size, vibrant colors, ability to mimic speech, and relatively low cost compared to other parrots. When adopting a cockatiel, price is often an important consideration for prospective owners. Here we will explore some of the least expensive options for obtaining a pet cockatiel.
Buying from a breeder
Purchasing a cockatiel directly from a breeder is one of the most affordable ways to get a young, healthy bird. Cockatiel chicks sold by breeders typically range from $50 to $125 each. The price varies based on factors like the bird’s mutation colors, gender, parentage, and whether it has been hand-fed. Female cockatiels and those with normal grey coloration tend to be the least expensive options.
When buying from a breeder, it’s best to visit their aviary in person. This allows you to meet the parents of the chicks and see the conditions they are raised in. Reputable cockatiel breeders will gladly show you around their facility and answer any questions. Make sure the birds appear healthy and well-socialized.
Adopting from a shelter
Another budget-friendly way to find a cockatiel is by adopting from an animal shelter or bird rescue. Shelters often have adult cockatiels available for adoption fees ranging from $50-$100. These birds are usually surrendered by previous owners who could no longer care for them.
The advantage of adopting an adult cockatiel from a shelter is that their personality and temperament will already be apparent. Shelter staff can match you with a bird that seems like a good fit. Adopted cockatiels are often already tame and socialized as well. However, the downside is lack of history on the bird’s background and health.
Checking sales ads
Online classified ads are another place to find inexpensive cockatiels for sale or adoption. Sites like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and Birdtrader often have cockatiels listed by owners and breeders in your local area. Prices are generally $50-100 but sometimes less for quick sales.
When buying privately from an online ad, be sure to ask lots of questions about the bird’s history, health, diet, and temperament. Request to see recent vet records if available. Also try to see and handle the cockatiel in person before purchasing if possible.
Buying from a pet store
Pet stores that sell cockatiels tend to price them on the higher end, with juveniles ranging from $100-$350. However, stores will sometimes put certain birds on sale if they have been there a long time or have minor defects like clipped wings.
The advantage of getting a cockatiel from a store is being able to purchase directly from a retailer rather than an individual. Make sure to thoroughly check the bird’s condition and energy levels when selecting one. Try to handle the cockatiel to gauge its temperament.
Considering an aviary-reared bird
Some breeders sell cockatiels that were reared in a large free-flight aviary rather than hand-fed. These aviary-reared birds are usually the most inexpensive from breeders at around $50-$75. However, they take more work to tame and bond with than hand-fed babies.
Aviary-reared cockatiels can make good pets with time and training, but are not ideal for first-time or inexperienced owners. Make sure to socialize aviary birds as soon as possible after bringing them home.
Important tips for finding an inexpensive cockatiel
- Always prioritize the bird’s health, temperament and your ability to care for it rather than limiting your search by budget.
- Ask about vet care and testing the bird has received before buying.
- Factor in future costs for housing, food, toys, vet care, etc. Cockatiels live 15+ years.
- Be wary of excessively cheap birds that may signal illness or poor treatment.
- Patience pays off – don’t rush into buying the first cheap bird you see.
- Check local bird clubs and rescues for cockatiels needing adoption.
The least expensive options for cockatiels are often young, aviary-reared birds from breeders priced around $50-75. However, such birds require more taming and training. Hand-fed babies from breeders are a bit more at $100-150 but make better pets initially. Shelters and classified ads also offer adult cockatiels for rehoming in the range of $50-100 or less.
Regardless of source, do your research to find healthy, well-socialized birds. With proper care and handling, even an inexpensive cockatiel can become a wonderful companion.