First of all, congratulations! Hours of research, countless trips to pet stores and maybe even your children’s emphatic persuasions are finally in the past. Now you are a happy owner of one of the best life companions that can be thought of – a cockatiel. You must have many questions: can cockatiels eat bananas or strawberries, bread or berries?
But it is likely that you have probably already set up the cage and stocked up with the best bird food. For example, recommended to you by a friendly clerk in your local pet store. But since you are here, reading this article, there are still so many things you need to learn about cockatiel diet. Do not worry, it is not that complicated. And we are here to help you get to the bottom of it. We are going to guide you through the main principles of cockatiel diet so that you can provide only the best for your loveable bird.
Cockatiels Diet: the Basics
Cockatiels are members of the cockatoo family that is indigenous to Australia. These birds live in a warm climate with unlimited access to all kinds of plant food. Pet cockatiels are not much different from their wild relatives. So in order to understand cockatiels eating habits, we need to answer the following question:
What cockatiels eat in the wild?
One might think that there’s not much diversity in a wild cockatiel’s daily ration, but that is not true. Cockatiels are herbivores which means that they are on a plant-based diet. In the wild cockatiels eat pretty much all they can find: seeds, roots, grass, leaves, blossoms, wild fruits, berries and vegetables, etc. There is no lack of food diversity in their natural habitat, so they can always maintain a healthy, balanced diet.
That said pet cockatiels are somewhat in a less favorable status. Their nutrition depends entirely on humans they live with. Therefore, it is our responsibility to provide our birds with everything they need to stay healthy and cheerful. Caring owners choose the best bird food for cockatiels and do not forget about treats as well.
When planning a ration for a cockatiel, you should rely on what cockatiels usually eat in the wild. You can break the whole variety of foods into several groups and make sure your cockatiel gets enough out of each group. It may sound a little complicated, but once you seen an example, you will understand.
What can cockatiels eat? List with estimated percentages*
|Type of food||Contents||Percentage of daily ration|
|Seeds, seed mixes||Safflower, millet, sunflower (in smaller amounts), etc.||25%|
|Pellets||Ground grains (corn, wheat, oat groats, flax seeds) eggs, beet pulp, soy bean, etc.||25%|
|Vegetables||Potatoes (cooked), carrots, zucchinis, Brussels sprouts||Total 25% (less fruits, more veggies and greens)|
|Fruits||Bananas, apples, peaches, pears, mangos||Total 25% (fewer fruits, more veggies and greens)|
|Leafy greens||Lettuce, romaine, kale, watercress||Total 25% (less fruits, more greens and veggies )|
|Cooked food||Pasta, beans, rice||15%|
|Other foods and treats||Cereal, bread, cheese, eggs, etc.||10%|
*These are the rough numbers for you to be guided by. You should always consult with your avian veterinarian on such an important question as cockatiel nutrition.
As you can see, cockatiels enjoy a pretty rich diet. You may think that it is hard to provide such diversity, but there are solutions that can help you with that. For instance, you do not have to buy seeds for your bird separately and scratch your head over how much of which to give to your pet. There are a variety of seed mixes offered in pet stores and online. They are formulated specifically for cockatiels to address their nutritional needs. Choosing the best food for cockatiels you are making an important contribution into your pet’s health and well-being.
What can cockatiels eat and not eat? Frequently asked questions
Bird owners often have questions regarding specific types of food. Today we are going to answer the most popular ones.
- Can cockatiels eat arugula? Although arugula is not the most widely advised type of food for cockatiels, it is perfectly fine for them.
- Can cockatiels eat strawberries? Berries are an important part of a cockatiel diet. Strawberries can add some valuable variety and make your cockatiel happy. These berries are great for the birds, but only in moderate amounts.
- Is banana good for cockatiels? Bananas are fine for cockatiels. Just like all other fruits, do not get too fond of them. Once or twice a week will be perfectly enough.
What fruits can cockatiels eat?
- oranges, etc.
Fruits taste good for cockatiels and they love them. On the other hand, fruits are rich in sugar and some vitamins, but low in nutrition. Therefore, you should be very careful with them and do not overfeed your birds with fruits. Too much fruits in a ration can even make a cockatiel overweight.
What do cockatiels eat for treats?
Cockatiels love treats! And if you treat them with something delicious they will love you even more. The main idea behind treats is that you provide them occasionally and in small amounts. That way, treats will become something special for your cockatiel and will not cause health problems. The most popular cockatiel treats are honey, millet sprays, cooked meat and eggs, some types of fruit, etc. You can make cockatiel treats at home or buy ready-made ones in pet stores. If you still do not have enough information about what can cockatiels eat, then see more here!
What foods are dangerous for cockatiels?
You must never ever give these foods to your cockatiel in any amount:
1. Alcohol of any kind.
3. Caffeine containing products.
6. Raw potatoes.
8. Milk and milk-derived products.
Cockatiels are wonderful life companions. If you care for them properly they will give you all their love and devotion. Proper nutrition is the number one thing you should provide your cockatiels with. And it is not hard at all. We encourage you to investigate more on this subject and do not forget to discuss all the information you find with your avian vet.