How to Feed a Cockatiel

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Cockatiels are a small, friendly parrot often kept as pets. The tropical birds require a basic seed or pellet diet in additional to treats found in their native warm weather climate. Offer your pet cockatiel a varied diet, and he will stay happy, healthy and colorful.

Things You'll Need

  • Seeds
  • Pellets
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Treats
  • Water
  • Vitamins
  • Cuttle bones
  • Give your pet cockatiel a blended seed diet or pellet diet daily. A constant supply of these staple food should always be available for the cockatiel. Since he doesn't eat on a standard schedule, food must always be available for his grazing style of eating.

  • Select a blend of seeds that contains niger, millet, sunflower seeds, oats and other natural seeds. Select a pellet diet that offers a broad spectrum of nutrition. Serve the food in a dish mounted to the side of the cage or sitting on the floor of the cage, away from where the bird may accidentally go potty in it.

  • Feed a cockatiel a special seed diet when the bird is molting, nesting or feeding babies. Specially prepared, nutrient rich formulas are available at pet stores and vet clinics when your cockatiel needs added nutrition.

  • Offer your pet cockatiel fresh vegetables. Raw, unseasoned vegetables cut into small pieces are appreciated by cockatiels. Carrots, corn and peas are favorites. Do not give the cockatiel vegetables that have been cooked, buttered or have a sauce on them.

  • Feed your cockatiel fresh fruits. Tropical, non-acidic fruits are favored. Papaya, mango and bananas cut into small pieces make a great treat. Dried fruit mixes are also available in the grocery store, or pet store. Only serve dried natural fruits that haven’t had sugar added.

  • Give your cockatiel fresh water daily. Since cockatiels often soak their food in the water bowl, it can become dirty in just a few hours. It may need to be cleaned more than once a day if your bird often soaks his food. Choose non-chlorinated water for your pet cockatiel.

  • Add extra nutrients to your cockatiel's diet by adding a liquid vitamin to his water, or a powder vitamin supplement to his solid foods. These are especially important for nesting birds and those that are feeding young birds.

  • Offer your cockatiel treats from a pet store. Pasta based treats, popcorn sticks and fruit snacks are all popular options. Try sprays of millet seeds, and always have a cuttle bone for extra calcium in your cockatiels cage. Mineral blocks also help them keep their beaks filed down, and are a healthy treat option.

Tips & Warnings

  • Never feed a cockatiel leaves from a household plant. Many are toxic and can cause your bird to get very sick.
  • Photo Credit Angela Tague
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