Knowing what to feed cockatiels is certainly going to help, but more important is knowing what NOT to feed cockatiels.
Being a nibbler, they will put everything into their beaks and touch it with their tongue. It is therefor very important that nothing is available that could harm your bird.
What to feed
The diet for a cockatiel must be supplemented with fresh fruit and vegetables on a daily basis. Cockatiels that have only a seed diet are prone to becoming unhealthy or overweight.
Our cockatiels have a varied diet. It consists of seeds which include millet, sunflower, nutrivit, shell grit, and other whole grains. We also offer them those honey bars that contain some fruit and nuts. Our birds absolutly love them.
Also twice a day we offer them some fresh foods like celery, snow peas, apple, pear, carrot etc. Then a cooked plate that we put on the floor of the cage. This can have spaghetti, rice, pumpkin, sweet potato, green beans, baked beans, mash or corn. You can add other fruits and veg and see what your bird likes best.
If they are in nesting mode then offer somethings soft as this is what they like to feed the young. (ours love warm food). Remember if offering warm food then test the temperature as they have very sensitive tongues and will scream if they get burnt.
Suggested Fruits and Vegetables
This is not meant to be the one and only list, please feel free to test them out with your birds. Not every cockatiel will like them all. However it is important that you continue to offer a fresh supply of these even if they are not immediately eaten, just remove and replenish, eventually your cockatiels will try and sample your goodies.
apple, pear, grapefruit, grape, mango, kiwi, melon, nectarine, orange, peach, pomegranate, plum, strawberry, tangerine, watermelon, banana, blueberries.
bok choy, broccoli, carrot, corn, celery, snow peas, spinach, sweetcorn, green beans, capsicum, watercress, zucchini, cucumber.
Remember when giving fresh produce that all are washed under warm water to remove any waxes, especially on apples etc. You must remove all cores, stones, pits or pips as these can be poisonous. Cut the fruits and vegetables into small slices so that they can be eaten with ease. Also offer them at room temperature not direct from the refridgerator.
There are a few well known foods that can be leathal to you cockatiels.
Some are but not limited to; Avocado, Chocolate, Coffee, Alcohol, Raw eggs, Raw beans (uncooked), Sugar and Salt (in high amounts), Soft drinks, Dairy products (we did feed our African Grey yoghurt)
Foods high in salt and fat should only be given in very small amounts. Try avoiding them if you can. As a reward for being well behaved or learning something through practice we offer some crackers. An absolute majority favourite. The cage is quiet and all that you can here is the cracking of these treats as they devour them. Also multigrain bread is liked, but try not to offer them too much of this, better keep to the healthier fresh fruits and vegetables.
Native trees and bushes
Some of the natives in Australia are a perfect addition to their diet. Eucaliptus and wattle are great. Also some grevilla. For you guys further afield I’m not so sure what you can offer. No doubt you will be able to let us know at some stage.
The important thing with any diet is a variety. That is what we give our birds and they love it. If like us you have your birds out of the cage for many hours and sometimes when you eat, they will want to try everything that you have. Be careful not to feed any hot and fatty, salty foods to much. Cooked chicken, beef and fish are all liked by our munchkins.
Water and Supplements
Ensure that your birds receive fresh drinking water, you can change this as often as you feel necessary, but it must be fresh and clean at all times. We change ours at least twice a day. Bacteria in water can be very harmful to your birds. Any extra multi vitamins can be added to the drinking water. If you are feeding them a good mixed diet then they may not need any supliments.
You could also notice that the droppings have become slightly wet and lose after the addition of fresh foods. This is normal so don’t be alarmed.
In each cage you should always have an ample supply of calcium bells, iodine and mineral blocks, also some cuttlefish bone. These are easily attatched to the cage with a cable tie if they don’t have a hook.
The key to keeping healthy cockatiels is a varied diet of seeds, fruit and vegetables…