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Lutino Cockatiels

Normal Cockatiel Cockbird

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White-faced Pied cock,
Silver Cock + Cinnamon Pearl Hen
Lutino Hen, Cinnamon Hen + Platinum Cock Assorted colours Normal cockatiel
The Male has brighter colours
Normal cockatiel Hen - note duller colouration
  • The normal colour for Cockatiels is dark grey with orange cheeks.


  • It's very difficult to sex cockatiels until they go thru their first juvenile moult, around 6 months
    • as until then they all look like hens.
    • A similar trait is found in a lot of other birds (i.e. Barrabands)
  • However, as in a lot of breeds of birds - hens bite and I mean bite, if they get hold of a finger they feels as if they are going into the bone.  They need this natural defence mechanism to defend their nests and young.


  • The cock birds are, by nature, much gentler.
  • The cock birds' colours are brighter but the hen stays duller, esp. round the head area.
  • Hens have horizontal barring down the under side of the tail feathers, which is visible even in the Lutino variety.  This is missing in the cockbird.
  • The Pearl variety is slightly easier to sex, as the cockbird loses it's "Pearl" markings after the
    first moult and the hen retains them.  So, once they have moulted if you have a Pearl marked bird
    it will be a Hen.
  • The cockbird starts to warble, whistle and strut - usually towards the time or just after the
    first moult. 
  • In a Pet-bird environment it is often a good "talker" and whistler (mainly the cockbird)
    - it will also copy the phone and similar noises.
  • They make good pets, however the hens do tend to have quite a sharp, piercing call, that isn't
    too bad unless you keep a mimicking parrot, such as an African Grey in the same house and then
    the sound the A. Grey makes mimicking the cockatiel is quite ear piercing - not good on the ears !


  • There are many mutation colours nowadays, including Lutino, Albino, Cinnamon, Pearls and Pieds.
  • Including many variations within the White-faced variety  i.e. silver, platinum, white-faced pied etc.  (These variations lose the orange cheeks which are replaced by white).
  • The Lutino (red-eye) variety are often predisposed to having a hereditary bald area on the top of
    their heads behind their crest.


  • As they originate from the arid areas of Australia they survive well on small parakeet mix and
    don't tend to partake much of fruit and veg. with quite the same enthusiasm as some breeds. 
  • They do enjoy raw carrots, apple and chickweed etc.
  • They love millet sprays.
  • As per most birds they love cooked Frozen Sweetcorn, (TO COOK: put into container, fill to its
    own level with boiling water and put in microwave for 2 - 3mins).  Drain off the water before
    mixing with EMP Egg food. (you can add any supplements necessary to this mix). 
  • This is a good feed to offer when breeding and feeding chicks as are millet sprays.
  • They also like wholemeal bread.


  • They like a deep nestbox approx 8 - 9" square and 14 - 16" deep with a pop-hole just slightly
    wider than the bird itself, so that it's a snug fit (see Notes on
    Nestboxes ).
  • Use Easibed or similar non-dusty wood chip for the base.
  • They start breeding around March in England, depending on the weather. 
  • You don't want them going down too early if the weather is very cold, as you could end up with
    Egg-binding  or other problems.
  • They will breed en-colony but try and make sure you have equal No. of cocks to hens otherwise
    there will be squabbling.
  • They do tend to mate "for life" and will stay with the same partner year after year, so it's quite
    cruel to split them up, esp. if you keep them within calling distance of each other.
  • Also, if you are breeding en-colony make sure you have MORE  Nest boxes than pairs
    (experts do say you should have twice as many nest boxes as pairs of birds but in my experience,
    so long as you have a few extra and they are all of similar design and at the same height in the
    Aviary, you don't have too many problems).
  • INCUBATION:  18 - 20 days, depending on when they start to sit.
  • They lay 4 - 6 eggs on alternate days.
  • FLEDGE around 34-36 days
  • Eyes fully opened around 12 days
  • RING: around 12 - 14 days  - 
  • RING SIZE:  P  (same as G.Cheek Conures)
  • The chicks hatch covered with a fine down. 
    • Usually white if they are a "red-eyed" or white-face variety 
    • pale grey if they are an orange-cheeked variety.
  • "Silvers"  can be recognised in the nest becos they have a "Skull cap" as they start to feather-up.

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