Are Cockatiels Messy? 

It is undeniable that taking care of birds is an enjoyable, stress-relieving, and wonderful experience.

Of course, who wouldn’t love talking and playing with these loving, small, and colorful creatures, right?

One of the most common birds that are good for any bird owner is cockatiels.

They are gentle and affectionate pets, though in reality, taking care of them may be pretty demanding. 

Cockatiels are small birds that are perfect for beginners.

They are naturally affectionate and are great bird companions.

However, having a cockatiel would also mean a constant cleanup every time, if not everyday, as they are also messy.

Whenever they are playing, eating, living, or just by simply sleeping, you would find their cages and other areas in a mess. 

So if you’re wondering – Are cockatiels messy?

The answer yes they are

But don’t let that put you off from adopting or buying a cockatiel

Because overall they are great birds that are cute and make great company

Here’s the good news

You can actually help keep your cockatiel clean


More on that later

Are Cockatiels Unhygienic? 

Cockatiels might be a great bird for people who begin to develop an interest in birds.

However, there are still few considerations you need to make if ever you’re thinking of taking care of one.

While they might be friendly and great friends, they can be naturally unhygienic and messy, so this is something to think about if you can sustain this lifestyle.

There are lots of mess to be made by your cockatiels: scattered food, bird dust, water spills, droppings, feathers, and in some cases, broken furniture and cords.

Cockatiels also love to chew which could also cause some additional mess in your house

Scattered food is one, but most common mess done by your cockatiels.

After all, these birds generally love to eat as well.

They love to drop their food and scatter it on the floor, especially with seeds.

Most of the time, you would see scattered outer shells of their seed meals after every meal. 

It’s not all doom and gloomy

Otherwise no one would ever adopt a cockatiel or keep them

So let’s look at how you can reduce the mess a cockatiel may make and also how you can keep your cockatiel clean

How To Keep Your Cockatiel Clean?

Cockatiels need to be bathed every now and then to keep their feathers and skin healthy.

However, not all cockatiels like to get wet.

Be sure you carefully introduce bathing to them, so you would not be struggling in the future to keep them clean.

There are three ways or methods to bathe your cockatiel. 

1. Provide a bowl or basin of water

The easiest way would be giving them a bowl of water and letting your feathered friend clean themselves

Be sure to use lukewarm, chlorine-free, and filtered water to ensure that no allergies and skin complications would develop. 

2. Clean your cockatiel with running water

You can also try to turn the tap on and let a stream of water wash your cockatiel.

You can either clean them under a shower or in a sink, just be sure to provide a shower perch for your friend to sit on. 

Keep in mind that you do not need to give your pet birds powerful running water as it might hurt them or even cause stress

Let your cockatiel become totally wet and groom themselves. 

3. Mist your cockatiel to clean them 

Another method to bathe your bird is through spraying them with fine and mist water.

There are available mist bottles online or in your local store that would perfectly spray a fine mist.

Make use you will only use lukewarm, chlorine-free, and filtered water when bathing them. 

Spray your bird for a total of two to three times from a distance.

Your cockatiel would naturally groom themselves.

They would also enjoy the soft mist from the bottle which is also a perfect way to introduce bathing to them.

Misting your pet birds would remove any grease and oils in their feathers. 

Do Cockatiels Stink? 

Luckily enough, cockatiels don’t really stink in an extremely bad way.

All birds have a certain and distinct smell, but it is not always on the smelly side.

Cockatiels, in particular, only have a mild, pleasant scent that is only noticeable if you really try to smell them. 

Their droppings, or their poops, don’t also have any odor.

This is pretty considered good news as cockatiels often poop a lot.

You might see droppings inside and outside their cage, depending on how often you play with them.

Though their drops are not really stinky, it is still best to clean their area from time to time. 

Cockatiels, and even other birds, would only have an odor if there is a health problem.

Stinky cockatiels would probably have a problem regarding their diet, hormonal changes, or some illness.

Sick birds would have smelly poop, so be sure to always check the status of your cockatiels.

Naturally, accumulated droppings and uncleaned cages would develop a stinky smell over time.

Are Cockatiels Very Dusty? 

If you are planning to own a cockatiel, be sure that you don’t have any allergies regarding dust.

Cockatiels often create bird dust which would eventually make everything inside your house dusty.

It’s no wonder why many cockatiel owners have to regularly dust, clean, and hoover their homes regularly. 

Bird dust is dust created, seen, and felt on your birds’ feathers.

The purpose of bird dust is to keep their feathers shiny and waterproof.

It is perfectly normal for birds to have lots of bird dust.

In fact, it is a sign that your birdie is healthy. 

I actually have some similar articles about cockatiels and dust which I’m sure you would find beneficial so do check them out by clicking the links below

Wrapping Up

Cockatiels are great bird companions.

They are also great pets for beginners who want to explore small birds first.

However, these gentle and affectionate birds are also messy in nature.

You would have to clean their cages and your house weekly to get rid of their mess. 

But then again this can be said for any pet right? Whether it’s a cat, dog, hamster or rabbits

So don’t let this put you off

You see, though cockatiels are messy birds, they don’t have any unpleasant smell.

A stinky bird would mean that they are experiencing some health problems or changes in their body, leading to a bad odor.

Nevertheless, cockatiels are still fun and lovable companions perfect for everyone! 


We at write about bird health and diet however it should not be taken as medical advice. For advice on your bird you need to seek out an avian vet. The information you find on is for educational purposes only. At we are not liable for any information that you may find on here. Birdcageshere is NOT a substitute for professional medical advice about your bird.