Having got your lovely and wonderful pet birds, you definitely wonder, how to care for a cockatiel, wanting them to be happy and healthy. As any birds, they do need the special lighting conditions, the place for nesting. You are to know for sure, what can cockatiel eat, as, I guess, feeding is the most important for the parrots’ well-being and good health.
According to Wikipedia, cockatiels come from Australian wetlands or dry areas, striving to be always close to water. So, my Yo-Yo and Sweetie, Loki and Nigel should have free access to clean water and the best cockatiel food, rich in minerals, vitamins, carbohydrates, and protein. These parrots’ species are comparatively easy to breed, but what kind of nutrition makes them active, alert, healthy? Let’s check, what are the basic cockatiel safe foods, which dishes do they like eating, and how to make their nutrition good, diversified and efficient.
What Do Cockatiels Eat For Treats?
Cockatiels are small birds that are ground eaters by their nature. Therefore, grass seeds or pellets can make up to 60% of their diet or even a bit more. Pellets are better than seeds, as they are specially formulated for the cockatiels, containing a lot of healthy additions. However, the recent research showed that seed diet is not the best for your pets. It can lead to various diet-related problems like sinusitis, nerve damage or immune system disorders.
Therefore, if you want to prolong the cockatiels lifespan that can be up to 22-25 years, and want to see them in a playful mood, provide them with diverse nutrition. The cockatiel diet list should include for sure:
- cereals; edible flowers and blossoms;
- weeds and greens;
- fruits (but for toxic avocado);
- vegetables and legumes;
Fruits and Vegetables
The fruits safe for cockatiels include apples (without seeds), bananas, peaches, pomegranates, grapes, kiwi, mango, papaya, plums, melons. Berries are also desirable, as they are rich in vitamins, like B1, B2, K, E, C and A that are necessary to prevent eye and kidney problems, fighting various infections. If large seeds are available in fruits, especially in drupe and citrus species (as their seeds are toxic), they are to be removed before the food is being served to the cockatiels. Small seeds that are available in berries and tomatoes can remain, as it’s safe.
The food cockatiels can eat includes healthy vegetables like carrots, beet, cucumbers, all cabbage species (broccoli, cauliflower, etc.) and tomatoes. They are to be in the cockatiel food list for sure. Sweet potatoes, zucchini, spinach, asparagus, as well as beet and carrot tops, beans and sunflower seeds are highly desirable. They are recommended by avian vet doctors to prevent lipomas and obesity problems in cockatiels.
Fruits and vegetables are to be served in small pieces, to motivate the birds to grab and eat some food. However, these dishes should not be added too often. They can make about 25% of the pet diet. Steamed rice, cooked pasta, beans, and corn can be added, as well. However, they should not contain any butter or fat. For proteins, eggs, fish, and chicken are to be available. Hard cheese is acceptable, but only in small amounts.
Drinking water should be changed 2 times a day, at least. Additionally, the cockatiel food is to be always fresh. The legumes and greens are to be cleaned well, allowing no pesticides to be consumed by the birds.
What Can Cockatiels Not Eat?
Thinking about what to feed cockatiels, avoid plants and seeds toxic for the birds. Fresh potatoes, mushrooms, and onions, uncooked beans are not recommended for your cherished pets. Additionally, the following ingredients and foodstuffs are not allowable for cockatiels, being toxic:
- chocolate and caffeine;
All sugar-free, or, on the contrary, high-sugar, high-fat and high-sodium foodstuffs are to be avoided. Meanwhile, your cockatiels should also have their favorite toys, treats, and delicacies.
What Do Cockatiels Like to Eat?
Quite naturally, the birds like healthy food, including berries, vegetables, and greens. It may make them feel like in their natural habitat. Cockatiels favorite foods may include dehydrates veggies, dry, but still quite healthy. They also like eggs, with shells, finely chopped and preliminary cooked. The cockatiels are to get calcium, together with protein and minerals. Cuttlebones, edible chalk or mineral blocks can become treats for cockatiels as they contain the necessary nutrients. Minerals can be hidden in the favorite cockatiel toys, making the parrots entertain themselves, socialize and chew the toys’ soft or edible parts.
Video: What Can Cockatiels Eat?
Meanwhile, every bird has his or her preferable dishes, and I try to please my cherished pets. For example, Yo-Yo likes eating corn and bread toasts I buy in a health store. Sweetie prefers carrots and melon, papaya and pumpkin; she behaves like a real lady. These veggies and fruits are seasonal, so I dry them or buy the ready-made poultry feed in buckets.
Loki and Nigel are younger than their cockatiel companions, so I try to give them more vegetables, including beets, cucumbers, and carrots. Loki adores broccoli, but Nigel like cabbage and beet leaves, beans and sunflower seeds. However, my pets get these additives only occasionally, not every day and in small amounts.
General conclusions and recommendations
Thus, the best food for cockatiels includes healthy and natural ingredients, pellets, greens, vegetables, and some berries. Quite naturally, seeds are to be included in the diet list, as they make the basic nutrition for the birds in nature. Meanwhile, I would also recommend you to see and consult an avian vet, to adopt the diet for the needs of the certain cockatiel, according to her or his health condition, age and daily activity. Food is the basic thing in terms of cockatiel care; just pay some attention to it and enjoy the joy your cherished cockatiels can bring in your life.