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Baby Cockatiel Growth Chart: Major Milestones from Hatching to Adulthood

Baby Cockatiel Growth Chart

It is impossible to forget once you have watched a baby cockatiel hatching. They are so tiny at hatching that it is hard to believe the baby has enough strength to peck through the eggshell.

But cockatiels grow and strengthen surprisingly quickly. Before you even realize it, your downy baby cockatiel is ready to become a parent!

In this article, learn what to expect and chart your cockatiel’s progress using our baby cockatiel growth chart.

Baby Cockatiel Growth Chart

A one-year-old cockatiel is equivalent to an eight-year-old human. This means your baby cockatiel is doing three-quarters of a year’s worth of growth every month of its first year!

Read on to discover what is happening inside your baby cockatiel’s body during the critical life milestones from hatchling to adulthood.

Watch a Time-lapse of Baby Cockatiel’s First 30 Days of Life

While baby cockatiels are born blind, deaf, near-naked, and completely helpless, they don’t stay that way for long.

This short YouTube video gives you a clear visual idea of just how much growing a baby cockatiel has to do in just the first 30 days of life outside the egg.

Baby Cockatiel First 30 Days Growth Chart

A baby cockatiel’s first 30 days are perhaps the most action-packed. This is especially true when you consider that on Day Zero; the baby bird is still inside the egg, where they have lived for the past 18 to 23 days on average.

So let’s find out what happens during those first critical 30 days of life, starting with hatching. Remember that the exact timeline for important events like eyes and ears opening, fledging, weaning, and flight can vary for individual chicks.

Baby Cockatiel Day 1

On day one, that all-important start-of-life event occurs. The baby cockatiel uses its tiny egg tooth on the top of its beak to peck it out of the egg.

As Rehabbers Den explains, the baby cockatiel entirely depends on its parents.

The newborn bird is blind and deaf, with only a few tiny down feathers for warmth. They cannot sit or stand, warm, feed themselves, or do anything else they need to survive.

Baby Cockatiel Day 2

As Feisty Feathers explains, by day two, the hatchling cockatiel has begun to master holding its head up to be fed, and its downy feathers have dried and become fluffier.

Baby Cockatiel Day 3-5

Lots are going on during these three days. The baby cockatiel’s eyes are just beginning to open. They are getting stronger and learning to stand.

Baby Cockatiel Day 6-10

By days eight to 10, the baby cockatiel can see more clearly, and pin feathers are starting to appear on the head and wings. American Cockatiel Society points out that by day eight or so, the ear flaps are also beginning to open.

Baby Cockatiel Day 11-17

The Beauty of Birds explains that the pin feathers appear on the baby cockatiel’s face, chest, body, and back from 11 to 17.

Baby Cockatiel Day 18-27

The baby cockatiel is starting to fowl, which means the pin feathers are beginning to grow and unfurl. It is often possible to accurately tell the color mutation during this period, although the gender may still be inconclusive.

Baby Cockatiel Day 28-30

Right around the end of the first 30 days of life, the baby cockatiel may exhibit independent foraging behaviors, seeking out food and exploring novel foods they have not tried before.

Baby Cockatiel Monthly Milestones Growth Chart

As this article mentions, each baby cockatiel may hit important milestones at slightly different times.

Birth order, genetics, parental experience, the choice to hand-rear versus leaving the chick with parents, diet, and health affect how quickly a cockatiel chick matures.

This is why you generally see essential milestones such as fledging, weaning, and reaching breeding age outlined as a range of days rather than a single concrete day.

Here are the monthly milestones for your baby cockatiel’s first year.

Cockatiel Milestones Day 1-30

As you just learned, the first 30 days of a baby cockatiel’s life are the most intense.

The eyes and ears open, feathers grow and unfurl, and the baby moves into fledging and weaning.

A baby cockatiel that has mastered these essential basics is well on becoming a healthy adult bird.

Cockatiel Milestones Day 31-60

Days 31 to 60 usher in two more key milestones, as LafeberVet points out.

Between days 32 and 38, the baby cockatiel will fledge. This means the young cockatiel has grown in the long-flight feathers on the wings and tail. Without these feathers, the young bird cannot learn to fly.

Fledging is a gradual process. A bird fledges before they are fully weaned, which means the young cockatiel remains dependent on its parents for flying lessons and successfully transitions from being fed to foraging for food independently.

Speaking of food, the weaning period typically occurs between day 47 and day 52. However, this timeline only applies to cockatiel chicks reared by the parent birds. The weaning period may differ for hand-fed, hand-reared cockatiel babies.

Cockatiel Milestones Day 91-120

During the three to six-month period of life, the young cockatiel continues to learn how to forage successfully for food independent of its parents. They are also actively learning other vital life skills – most importantly, how to fly.

Since their long-flight feathers continue to grow and develop, the young birds may only be able to take short flights at first. They become more confident as their feathers get longer and their wing and body muscles strengthen.

By the time the young cockatiel has reached the age of 120 days or six months, they start the most important transition into sexual maturity, breeding readiness, and full adulthood.

Cockatiel Milestones Day 6-12 Months

Cockatiels mature at different ages. Some cockatiels may be sexually mature as early as six months, while others may not reach this same milestone until the age of nine or even 12 months.

Here again, this can depend on several factors. Of these, genetics and birth order are two of the most important.

Baby Cockatiels Nutritional Needs

Baby cockatiels have specific nutritional needs to ensure they grow and develop correctly. A balanced diet is crucial to their overall health and well-being.

The primary food source for baby cockatiels is their parents, who regurgitate food for them to eat. However, if the baby cockatiel is being hand-raised, it will require a special diet to meet its nutritional needs.

There are several options for feeding hand-raised baby cockatiels, including a diet of seeds, vegetables, pellets, or formula. An age-appropriate and developmentally suitable diet is crucial for the bird’s well-being. 

For the first few weeks of life, baby cockatiels require a diet of mostly formula. Their diet can gradually transition to pellets and vegetables as they grow. Offering a diverse range of vegetables is essential to meet their nutritional needs adequately.

Moderate the consumption of seeds as they are high in fat and low in nutrients. A seed-only diet can result in malnutrition and health issues.

Baby Cockatiels Socialization and Behavior

Baby cockatiels are social creatures that require proper socialization to become well-adjusted pets. 

Training baby cockatiels is an essential part of their socialization process. They can be trained to sit on a perch or their owner’s shoulder. This not only helps with their socialization but also helps to build trust between the bird and its owner.

Baby cockatiels can be kept entertained with a range of toys. Consider options like swings, ladders, and mirrors, which they find enjoyable. Toys that can be chewed on, such as wooden blocks and balls, are also favorites for these birds.

Regarding socialization, exposing baby cockatiels to different people and environments is crucial. This helps them to become comfortable with different situations and people. Handling them gently and avoiding sudden movements that scare them is also essential.

Baby Cockatiels Physical Development

As soon as a baby cockatiel hatches, it weighs around 10 grams and is about an inch long. The chick is covered in yellow fluffy down and has closed eyes. 

During the first week of life, the chick’s body weight doubles, and its eyes start to open. By the end of the second week, the chick’s body weight can triple.

The chick starts developing pin feathers at around three weeks old, the first signs of feather growth. The flight and tail feathers are the first to develop, and the chick starts to flap its wings and preen a lot. The chick’s beak also starts to harden, and it begins to pick at things around it.

By the fourth week, the chick is well on it to weaning and starts gaining weight rapidly. The chick will begin to fly everywhere, and providing a safe environment for it to move around is crucial. The chick’s feet and legs become stronger and can balance itself better.

As the chick grows into a young adult, it will continue to gain weight and develop its feathers. The length of the feathers will increase, and the chick will become more colorful as it matures. The chick will also stretch and preen more, which helps keep its feathers in good condition.

By the time the cockatiel reaches sexual maturity, which is around 12 months old, it will have reached its full size and weight. The cockatiel growth chart can be used to track the bird’s growth and development, and it is crucial to monitor the bird’s body weight to ensure it is healthy.

Baby Cockatiels Health Care

When caring for baby cockatiels, paying close attention to their health is crucial. Here are some tips to ensure that your baby cockatiel stays healthy and happy:

Monitor your baby cockatiel’s weight regularly using a gram scale. A 10% daily weight gain is healthy. Consult an avian veterinarian if there’s a sudden weight drop or no gain. 

Maintain a clean, dry living area to prevent infections. Clean the cage, food, and water dishes regularly with bird-safe disinfectant. 

Seek an avian veterinarian if you notice signs of illness like lethargy, loss of appetite, or abnormal droppings. Choose a specialist in avian medicine for optimal care.

Baby Cockatiels Training and Bonding

Training and bonding with a baby cockatiel must ensure it grows into a healthy and happy adult bird. It is essential to start training and bonding early on, as baby cockatiels are highly impressionable and can quickly develop habits that are difficult to break later on.

One of the first things new cockatiel owners should do is establish a routine with their bird. This can include feeding, playtime, and training sessions. Consistency is critical in training, as birds thrive on routine and predictability.

In bird training, positive reinforcement is the most effective approach, involving treats, praise, and attention to reinforce desired behaviors. Avoiding punishment or negative reinforcement is crucial as it can harm the bird-owner bond.

Establishing a strong bond with a baby cockatiel is vital for building trust and security. This can be achieved through quality time outside the cage, showing affection, and providing engaging toys and activities.

Ensure a safe and comfortable environment by providing a spacious cage with plenty of perches and toys. Maintain a healthy diet and schedule regular veterinary checkups.

When Can Cockatiels Start to Breed

Cockatiels typically mate for life. Both parents are very involved in the incubating of eggs, the rearing and feeding of the chicks, and the overall care of the chicks.

However, while young cockatiels may be sexually mature as early as six months, it is crucial not to permit breeding until the bird is at least 18 months old.

Once cockatiels begin to breed, their breeding lifespan is relatively lengthy. In most cases, the couple can breed for up to 10 years.

Cockatiel Cottage explains that it is vital to discourage breeding until the young birds are fully grown, at a healthy weight and strength, and in the prime of life. Always limit clutches to twice per year.