Can Parakeets and Cockatiels Live Together?

Author: Mark Fultz | Co-Author: Shelby Dennis | Reviewed by: Nancy George | May 20, 2023 | Updated September 27, 2023
aviary, bird toys, cockatiel, parakeets, pet birds
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Photo by Adam Hilles on Unsplash

Can Parakeets and Cockatiels live together

Parakeets and cockatiels are indigenous to Australia, but they’ve been domesticated as pets around the world. These birds actually live together in the wild! So, it’s no wonder the question of whether they can live together in captivity often comes up.

Cockatiels and parakeets can and do live together. But there are some things to know before they can share a cage. Keep reading for tips on parakeet and cockatiel care, introducing the birds, and creating the perfect cage setup.

Do Parakeets and Cockatiels Get Along?

Yes, parakeets and cockatiels often get along quite well, especially since each bird’s size typically offsets its personality. You see, cockatiels are playful and social, but rarely aggressive or territorial.

Parakeets, on the other hand, are slightly less placid. They’re also affectionate and social but can be a bit more demanding than cockatiels. Luckily, since parakeets are the smaller bird, the odds of aggression are rather low.

So, Can Parakeets and Cockatiels Live Together?

Yes, parakeets and cockatiels easily live together in many scenarios! Just keep in mind that every bird has its own distinct personality traits. Though rare, it’s possible yours will be a bit more aggressive or territorial than average.

The biggest key to success here is remembering that each bird has its own needs. So long as they have separate food dishes and a big enough cage, your parakeet and cockatiel are likely to get along.

How To Bring a Cockatiel and a Parakeet Together

Before sharing a cage, the birds need time to get familiar with each other. Each bird needs its own cage for about four weeks while you make sure each of them is healthy.

Put the cages in the same room, but not side by side, so each bird still has their own space. After a week or two, try bringing the cages closer together.

When you do decide they’re ready to meet beak-to-beak, a large neutral cage is best. So, this is a perfect opportunity to unite them in the cage they’ll share.

What Size Bird Cage Do I Need If I Have Both Parakeets and Cockatiels?

bird avary

You want the largest aviary you can find if parakeets and cockatiels are sharing a cage. Both birds need to be able to fly and hop about without hitting a perch or toy. A regular-sized cage won’t have enough space.

Provide plenty of perches and a separate feeding place for each bird. There should also be areas for each bird to retreat. Parakeets and cockatiels are dusty birds, so the cage must be well-ventilated too.

What is the Best Cage for a Parakeet?

The best cage for a parakeet is one large enough for them to fly and move around in, but with bars close enough together that your bird can’t escape.

So, what’s the best parakeet cage size and design? Follow the above tips for parakeet and cockatiel cage setup. Get the biggest one you can and make sure the bars are no more than a half-inch apart.

What To Know About Parakeets’ and Cockatiels’ Personalities

Cockatiels are more mellow despite being larger. Parakeets are usually more outgoing and busier than cockatiels, but every single bird has its own unique traits. Both are also extremely intelligent.

There may be some hissing or wing puffing when first introduced. This is normal; however, violent behavior isn’t. Monitor the cohabitation situation until you know how each bird is responding.

Separate the birds if they fight. Give them another week in their separate cages, then try the introduction again.

parakeets & cockatiels

Katrin B on Pixabay

Do Parakeets and Cockatiels Eat the Same Foods?

Technically, parakeets and cockatiels can eat some of the same foods, but they also have individual dietary needs. Cockatiels like oily seeds, while parakeets need less fat in their diet because they’re prone to obesity.

You can try providing both with a millet-seed mix for parakeets and budgies. These pellets are formulated for small birds. Because cockatiels and parakeets both belong to the parrot family, your cockatiel will get some nutrition from this mix. To ensure both birds get all the necessary vitamins and minerals, purchase a mix specifically designed for cockatiels too.

Fresh fruits and veggies are great for both birds. Apple slices, fresh greens, and other fruits should be chopped small enough for your parakeet’s beak. Finally, it’s crucial to provide different feeding sites for each bird, which reduces aggression during mealtime.

Do Cockatiels and Parakeets Like the Same Toys?

parakeets & cockatiels

Yes, cockatiels and parakeets like the same types of toys, swings, bells, ropes and shredding toys. Larger toys designed for cockatiels can sometimes be a little scary to the parakeet, but they should adjust to them over time.

Both birds can be territorial when defending a favorite toy, but they can also appreciate sharing and being part of a flock. Just make sure to watch their behavior and offer separate arrangements if one gets aggressive. You may also consider buying two of each toy to prevent disputes.

What Do You Need to Take Care of a Parakeet?

To provide perfect parakeet care, you’ll need:

  • Daily feedings and water. Use our food advice above to select pellets and fresh produce. You’ll also need to clean the water dish and fill it with fresh water daily.
  • Parakeet-sized perches. Parakeet feet are small, so their perches need to be petite.
  • Toys for stimulation. Parakeets love the Busy Byrdie Play Perch because it’s bright, chewable, and doubles as a comfy perch.
  • Bedding or cage liner. Choose absorbent material you don’t mind disposing of daily, like newspaper, paper bags, or paper towels.
  • Bird baths 2-3 times weekly. This bath’s heavy-duty design and quick-lock make it a smart choice.
  • Daily playtime with you. Even with a cage-mate, your birds will still want your attention. Spend time with your parakeet outside of its cage for 30-60 minutes each day.

What Do You Need to Take Care of a Cockatiel?

For great cockatiel care, you’ll need:

  • Food and water daily. Just like your parakeet, your cockatiel needs fresh food and water daily. Each bird should have its own food and water dish that’s cleaned out often.
  • Cockatiel-sized perches. Polly’s Pastel Perch is a favorite because it also helps keep your cockatiel’s nails short.
  • Stimulating toys. We suggest starting with a bell toy and colorful, shreddable toys.
  • Bedding or cage liner. Again, newspaper and paper towels are good choices. You can also buy absorbent liners which work just as well.
  • Baths 2-3 times per week. Some cockatiels prefer being misted with a spray bottle instead of a traditional bird bath.
  • Daily playtime with you. Cockatiels are famous for loving human interaction. You’ll want to spend at least 60 minutes per day with your cockatiel out of its cage.

Having your parakeet and cockatiel live together in the same cage is completely doable. As you can see, parakeet care and cockatiel care require very similar things. And don’t forget these birds coexist in the wild. This means introducing them is often easier than, say, doing the same with a cat and dog.

If you make sure to provide the items each bird needs and take the introduction nice and slow, your feathered friends should get along wonderfully.

About the Author

Parakeets and cockatiels can live together

Mark Fultz

Mark is a content marketer that loves expressing his love for animals through writing. Hoping that he’ll connect with the right reader and assist in some way that may help them along the way in the exciting world of birds. With a mix of bird raising and training, Mark, and his wife, have become quit the experts, in addition to raising dogs, cats,[...] Author Details

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