Feeding Your Cockatiel

Unfortunately, many owners fail to feed their birds correctly. A SEED DIET IS NOT ADEQUATE, but is high in
fat and deficient in vitamin A, calcium, and protein. Eating nothing but seed is like eating nothing but margarine
on bread. Seeds can be part of a healthy diet but only a minor percentage. Birds may want to eat only seeds
because they are very tasty (like junk food), and the bird may not recognize anything besides seeds as food.

For most parrots, a diet should be based on pellets with some other foods. For birds which cannot be converted to pellets, or on the advice of a veterinarian, about 65% of the diet should come from a variety of cereal and grain sources. Another 20-25% should come from vegetables, 5-10% can come from fruit, and the remainder (just a few percent) from protein sources. Just providing these items is not enough; these are what you pet should be eating.

It is not unusual for a bird to be resistant to trying new foods. The next section is called “converting the Seed Junky” that suggests techniques to get reluctant birds to try nutritious foods.
Cereal/Grains and Starch Sources

Unsweetened breakfast cereals (such as Cheerios TM, ChexTM, TotalTM, Shredded WheatTM, Grape NutsTM, puffed rice or wheat); dry or cooked pasta; corn on the cob, cooked rice, barley, corn, or oatmeal; wheat bread; taco shells; popcorn; unsalted crackers; cornbread containing vegetables. Give seed mixtures only as a partial carbohydrate source.
Vegetables

Any vegetable that is meaty, dark green, orange, or yellow (high in vitamin A) such as: carrots; sweet potatoes; beets; broccoli; legumes; frozen mixed vegetables; kale; greens (not lettuce); green peppers; zucchini and other squash; asparagus; ripe tomatoes; dried hot peppers; sprouts-bean or alfalfa; spinach; Brussels sprouts. Clean well.

Legumes (peas and beans); small pieces of freshly cooked lean beef, chicken or fish; tofu; Milk Bones, Small amounts of low-fat cottage and hard cheeses; nonfat yogurt; avoid milk as birds are lactose intolerant and may get diarrhea.
Fruit

Has few nutrients; apples; pears; peaches; bananas; berries; kiwi; citrus; pomegranate; grapes; raisins ;and other dried fruit.
There are many pelleted diets on the market, some better than others. You can feed pellets up to 90-95%, but supplement with vegetables and other foods (no seeds).

Pelleted Diets

There are many pelleted diets on the market, some better than others. You can feed pellets up to 90-95%, but supplement with vegetables and other foods (no seeds).

* Avoid chocolate, avocado, and seeds of apples, peaches, pears, and cherries: these are toxic.
* No food that is spoiled, salty, or greasy, alcohol, or candy.
* For most parrots, nuts and peanuts are too high in fat, and should only be given rarely.

Discard meats within an hour and veggies in 3-5 hours. Keep dry goods like pellets and cereals out for a full day.

If you do not give pellets, provide mineral blocks or cuttlebones as sources of calcium.

Grit is not necessary for parrots because the food is soft enough for the gizzard to grind up. Grit may be dangerous because ill birds may gorge themselves on grit and block their digestive system. Therefore do no give parrots (including “parakeets”) grit.

If you do not give pellets, you can sprinkle a powdered bird vitamin/mineral supplement on moist foods occasionally to help avoid deficiencies. Vitamins in the water are controversial and can go bad quickly also encouraging bacterial buildup. Some species (budgerigars and cockatiels) are desert birds and consume very little water. If the bird bathes in its water cup, chemicals in the water would be bad for the feathers.

Canaries and some finches should eat a similar diet, with more greens and starches usually accepted; pelleted diets are good.

Some parrots, and other types of birds may have different dietary guidelines. Speak to your veterinarian for more information.

Always give fresh water. Disinfect the bowl with bleach (rinse well) on a weekly basis.

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One thought on “Feeding Your Cockatiel”

  1. ifeed my cockatiels lettuce is this not good form them they seem to like it/i also feed them kale/carrots sweetcorn/what else can i feed them

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