How Long Do Cockatiels Live For?

In their natural habitat, cockatiels can see their lifespan vastly reduced by the hazards that surround them. That can include predators, poachers, natural disasters, and heavy deforestation.

How Long Do Cockatiels Live For

With all that considered, it is perhaps no real wonder that they only live for between 10 and 15 years in the wild.

When tamed and brought into an attentive, loving home they can live for a lot longer. That extended lifespan can be due to a varied diet, freshwater, and a bond between them and their owner.

There are still the dangers of cats and dogs to consider yet a regular check-up from the veterinarian can tell you about the overall health of your cockatiel and any concerns. 

Knowing how long your cockatiel can live can prepare you for their old age. Especially if you have children that have grown attached to your pet. Finding out what signs to look out for and how to extend their lifespan can be crucial. 

How Long Do Cockatiels Live For In The Wild?

Sadly, the lifespan of a cockatiel in the wild is far less than compared to when it lives in comfortable captivity. In the wild, you can expect a cockatiel to live for only 10 to 15 years.

This is largely due to the danger of predatory animals, their declining habitat, and failing health from infections.

Life in the wild can be pretty precarious for a cockatiel. The land and weather conditions can be harsh, yet the flocks have to be nomadic to locate the food and water they require for survival.

Apart from camouflaged feathers and large flocks for migration, a cockatiel can struggle to look after itself. 

That is if the cockatiel gets to reach adulthood as some chicks do not even get to mature and some are not born with a suitably healthy immune system.

The weather conditions in the wild can also prove to be difficult to survive in as extreme cold can make flying difficult for these warm-blooded birds.

If they cannot migrate to warmer climates then those unfavorable weather conditions can mean a disease epidemic that can quickly decimate a flock. 

Being kept indoors means a stable environment that still has room for a daily flight or two. Once they are tamed you can create an engaging environment for them to thrive in.

That can mean a large window with a view of the outdoors and a TV set can be kept in the same room to relieve boredom. However, their diet and habitat need to be maintained by their owner but it has the potential to be a lot more pleasant than life in the wild. 

What Factors Are Important For The Lifespan Of A Cockatiel?

Several factors go into the lifespan of a cockatiel. That includes a varied yet balanced diet of a high-quality seed mix, fresh fruit, and vegetables with the odd treat for good behavior.

Foods like avocado or chocolate may be delicious to us but can prove deadly to a cockatiel so avoid thinking that these treats can be rewards for your bird. 

Make sure that you discard any food that is uneaten immediately to help prevent them from catching an infection. Their water bowl should be kept clean and you should wipe it dry before returning it to the cage to prevent the buildup of mildew in a wet environment. 

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Their cage also needs to be cleaned regularly with their excrement cleared. Keeping them away from danger is also important as stress and a lack of exercise can contribute to a poor lifestyle and the onset of obesity. 

Cockatiels have personalities of their own that need to be enhanced so look out for their emotional wellbeing by forming a bond with them.

Play with them and let them sit on your finger while you stroke them. As well stress, depression, and loneliness can mean that a cockatiel fails to eat properly which can be detrimental to their health. 

Cockatiels also require plenty of mental stimulation, this can come from human interaction or a wide variety of exciting toys to keep them entertained while the house is empty.

While you may want to keep them in their cage, having some toys around can keep them mobile. 

Just like many birds, a cockatiel can be very good at hiding its health problems which can be a factor if you cannot check them regularly.

If you notice any changes in their behavior then get it checked with a veterinarian. You should try to fit in a regular check-up too so a trained professional can carry out several tests to find out how healthy your cockatiel is.

How To Increase The Lifespan Of Your Cockatiel

A cockatiel can live for over 20 years when tamed but they can live even longer if you follow a few handy tips. This can include basic protection such as ensuring that the cockatiel is not left unsupervised with children or other pets.

That includes a dog, and especially a cat as cockatiels are natural ground feeders when in their habitat so they need to keep elevated and out of harm’s way.

Direct sunlight can be harmful to a cockatiel so provide them with a constant form of shade to prevent heatstroke too. They also require constant access to water as hydration is key and it helps to maintain freshwater. 

These tips should keep your cockatiel in good health yet as soon as they display any signs of sickness or tiredness, they need to be taken to a veterinarian to be checked.

Treat your cockatiel like you would any domesticated pet by ensuring that they have an annual checkup at the veterinarians. 

You should also pay attention to any changes you may spot such as alterations in their droppings and any erratic behavior. Cockatiels are especially intelligent and sociable birds and that should be taken into consideration by providing mental stimulation with a wide variety of toys.

Ensure that they also get around 10 to 12 hours of sleep and have the cage in a relatively quiet spot to achieve this.   

How Can You Tell How Old Your Cockatiel Is?

Finding out how old your cockatiel is can be helpful when it reaches a mature age. Especially when you become attached to its sociable personality, even more so if you have kids who are not prepared for life without their cockatiel.

The first step to finding out how old your cockatiel is should be asking at the purchase point when you buy it. 

Someone at a pet store should be able to give you a good estimate of their age through a breeder could even tell you the exact date they hatched.

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It is good to remember that if you did get your cockatiel from a pet store then you can assume that it should be under 12 months old. If no one can definitively tell you their age then you may get lucky if it has a ring on its leg.

These rings tend to include codes that you can quickly research that will tell you how when it hatched. 

There are some potential clues to determine a cockatiel’s age if it is roughly under two years old. The younger cockatiels, especially males, typically cannot sing too clearly or even sing at all under that age.

The young male cockatiels tend to look like females before their first molt which includes a gray face rather than the usual yellow. It is worth noting that the first molt will happen following the first six months of their lifespan.

Unfortunately, unless the cockatiel is less than two years old then it can be really difficult to find any clues as to its age. Another sign is only visible after they reach six months old which is courting behavior.

For females, one sign to spot is that they typically become broody after about a year.

How Long Do Cockatiels Live For In Captivity?

Cockatiels can prove to be a long-term commitment as they can easily live for 15 to 30 years when tamed, and even up to close to 35 years.

That is when treated to the utmost care from their owners yet some elements lie outside your control. A cockatiel’s genetic makeup can make them more prone to disease or they can come with a genetic mutation. 

Notably, there is no real difference between the lifespan of a male or female cockatiel. Even color mutations such as the albino or cinnamon cockatiel do not have an adverse effect on their lifespan.

With that being said, a real difference can be made by a dedicated owner who treats their cockatiel with care and affection.

If you decide on getting a cockatiel, do remember that they prove to be a large commitment. You may find yourself looking after the bird for decades and they do require a stable environment to reach such a lengthy lifespan.

That means little chance of a house move, a growing family, and an influx of other pets. You want to form a bond with your cockatiel so you should aim to keep it for as long as its lifespan dictates. 

Final Thoughts

As curious birds, cockatiels like to have a look around but that keenness for a new experience can bring them close to danger. You need to ensure a safe environment for when they are in their cage, and especially when they are out of it.

As ground feeders, they are ideal prey for even domesticated pets so potentially consider keeping cats and dogs out of the room. 

Cockatiels in the wild can only live for around 10 to 15 years as the environment can prove dangerous. When tamed, apply some common sense when looking after your cockatiel to aim for a long lifespan of up to 35 years or at least 20 to 25 years.

Keep their diet varied, their cages clean, their water fresh, and keep them out of harm’s way. With a healthy diet, lots of attention, and plenty of exercise, they can live for longer than twenty years.

Harlan Derricks
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