Cockatiel - male or female?


New member
Feb 5, 2014
Chicago, IL
gcc Parry; lovebird Coco; 3 budgies (Tesla, Franky and Cesar); cockatiel Murzik, red rump parakeet girl Onyx
Hello again,
I've been thinking of a cockatiel for a while and was doing my research. I read a lot of information about tiels, and I sort of understood from what I have read that females are prone to be egg-bound and other diseases while the males tend to be more healthy. And also that white-faced and other mutations are less healthy than regular grey ones (my favorite color actually - I love those red cheeks and yellow heads!) :yellow1:
Is that true? What are your experiences?
Thank you!!!
Females aren't 'less healthy' it's just they can get more issues. Ie, a woman can't get prostate cancer but that doesn't make men 'less healthy'

If a female STARTS laying, she can go eggbound and get calcium deficiency, but so long as she never lays, it won't happen

The only reason males might be easier is because they won't ever lay.
I had a female Lutino and she was quite the little monster when she was hormonal. In her younger years during the spring, I would keep her covered for 14 hours a day to shorten the amount of daylight. It helped prevent her from laying eggs. It seems as she got older, her hormones calmed down. But that was my experience, it could be different for others. She was almost 16 years old when she passed.

I had a male normal gray that lived to be 22 years old. I do know other people that have other mutations such as the cinnamon, white faced, pieds, pearls, etc.. They lived I know for at least 15 years. I currently have a white faced pied who will be 3 years old in October. He is very content and happy. Health of your cockatiel depends upon you. You need to make sure that they are eating the right diet, that you spend quality time with them so you have a great bond and what I find important is that they are checked by an avian vet annually.
See..just for the opposite perspective I have a lutino hen. She's 14 and lays 1-2 eggs every spring, but that's it. She's a little hand shy, but is the gentlest sweetest baby, even when she's nesty.

Every bird is different.
I've had plenty of cockatiels over the years. I also like the yellow face, and despite being bashed on here about the longitivity of the white face and other mutations, I tend to agree in that the 'normal' color has a tendency to be healthier. And over the years it has been my 'normal' males who have lived the longest. Most of all my females had egg-laying issues, and despite veterinary care, they succumb to the stress of laying or the side effect of the drugs used to stop laying.

Having said that, where you buy your bird is important. A dedicated breeder can guide you in the right direction. Breeders who breed for quality birds may ask a higher price but usually you'll get a healthier bird. If you buy a bird from chain pet shops you may find your bird to be lacking in certain quailties. However, if you are selective, you can find your perfect pet at these types of shops. Stay away from birdy mills (avian version of puppy mills) as those birds can really empty your purse with vet bills.

As to the male and female personality thing, I've found female cockatiels to be sweeter and the males more outgoing. Both genders have good and bad qualities that you will have to adapt to. Any bird can become a devil without proper training. But the smaller size of the cockatiel allows a person to be more forgiving. Although a well placed cockatiel bite can make you sit up straight!

And don't forget the importance of the environment. No bird will be happy and healthy in a tiny cage with a cruddy diet. Get your cockatiel on a good quaility diet-very little seed, lots of greens, veggies, some pellets. They really enjoy seed sprouts. I've taken in pet shop rejects that lived more than 20 years on this type of diet. No fatty tumors, decreased egg laying issues and they usually died of athritis related conditions. Remember to take your time when adjusting a bird's diet at they can get addicted to certain seeds. Always give a variety of food.

Good luck with your research! Cockatiels are one of my favorite birds.

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