Should I Clip Cockatiel Tail Feathers?

cockatiel tail feathersShould Cockatiel Tail Feathers Be Cut?

I have often seen people asking online whether or not they should trim their birds long tail feathers.

Your cockatiel or any other pet bird should never need to have his cockatiel tail feathers trimmed, contrarily to popular belief.

Some cockatiels may thrash their long tail feathers in the course of their normal activities and you may feel better about your bird’s appearance if you trim the scruffy-looking feathers off. But don’t go overboard with your cockatiel tail feathers as he does need them and you can see just why here.

Why Do My Cockatiel Tail Feathers Look So Scruffy?

If the cockatiel tail feathers are getting damaged often or look ratty all the time, it could be that your cockatiel’s cage is too small to allow him or her to move around easily and comfortably.

The perch he sits on could also be to low and his tail could be dragging on the floor.

Make sure the cockatiel’s cage is spacious enough to extend his wings fully and not have her crest touch the cage ceiling or the tip of the tail feathers touch the floor.

Hope this short bit of advice on a bird’s long tail feathers serves you well.


  1. I am animal lover and never want to do anything that can cause harm to them. I totally agree with you that we should not trim  a cockatiel or any bird. I believe that’s their pride and we should never downgrade them for personal pleasure. I really hope your article can reach more people so they are aware and alert not to lower the self esteem of their pets. 

    1. You are right Florence, and without their tail feathers they cannot balance on their perches, which makes life very uncomfortable for them.

  2. I came to this website to see if it’s ok to clip a cockatiel’s tail feather. If it was just Zula’s appearance that suffered, I would happily let her keep them. However, her tail feathers always seem to get damaged. We’ve only had her for about a year, and in that time, we’ve taken her to the vet three times for blood feathers. In addition, I’ve found a couple of shed feathers with bloody damaged stems, and I wonder if these feathers were causing her pain. We haven’t been able to identify when the feathers get damaged. She only uses her cage to sleep at night and it’s plenty big. The rest of the time she’s out and about, often on or near us. She has a large wooden play area in the office, a “tree” in the living room, and a perch in the shower. We don’t know if she’s plucking her tail feathers or if they’re damaged in another way. She’s pretty impulsive and doesn’t seem to fear injury. We had another cockatiel for 15 years and he never had blood feathers or feathers with bloody damaged stems. How do we help Zula?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This website contains affiliate links, which means that commissions will be paid to the owners of this website if any purchases are made. This is at no extra cost to the buyer of the products.