What Do Cockatiels Eat for Treats? Cockatiels are an omnivorous bird that appreciates having some variety in their diet. If you want to brighten up your cockatiels day you can give them treats like seeds, nuts, fruits, veggies, pasta, bread, and small amounts of eggs, chicken, and meat to add some extra protein to their diet.
What Do Cockatiels Eat for Treats
Cockatiels come from the Australian outback where they primarily forage for seeds that are dispersed by the native flora. When you keep a cockatiel as a pet they usually eat a simple seed-based diet. However, most commercial Cockatiel foods contain high-fat seeds that should only make up 30 to 40% of a cockatiel’s diet.
Some of these high-fat seeds like sunflower seeds make an excellent treat as long as you feed them to your cockatiel in moderation.
It’s also a good idea to hang some Millet Spray (Buy Online) in your cockatiel’s cage to stimulate their natural foraging behavior. This will give them a tasty treat to eat, and it will also keep them entertained as they peck at the seed head like a pinata
Seeds are always a good go-to treat for a cockatiel, but if you really want to keep your feathered friend happy you’ll definitely want to continue reading about some of the unique treat ideas in the rest of this article.
Fruit is a great treat for a cockatiel since it’s packed with beneficial vitamins and minerals. Most cockatiels enjoy fruit, but it can take a little experimentation to find out which type of fruit suits your cockatiel’s pallet.
Some cockatiels might not like fresh fruit at first since fresh fruit isn’t a big part of a tiel’s natural diet in the dry deserts of the Australian Outback.
Dried fruits (Buy Online) are usually a better choice for picky birds that don’t like fresh fruit since they have a lower moisture content and a chewier texture.
Sulfur free dried fruits like apples, papaya, oranges, berries, or banana chips make great treats for cockatiels.
Just be sure to only feed your cockatiel small amounts of fruit since they have a very high sugar content.
Dried Peppers (Buy Online) are also a great low-calorie fruit for a cockatiel, and they are packed with edible seeds that most cockatiels will go crazy over.
Vegetables are a healthy high fiber treat to add to a cockatiel’s diet. You can mix veggies into your cockatiels regular food by chopping up fresh greens or you can get Dehydrated Mixed Vegetables.
Dried Vegetables (Buy Online) can be rehydrated before mixing them into your cockatiel’s food, or you can serve them dry. Dehydrated vegetables like carrots, spinach, and cabbage are great for a cockatiels health since they are highly nutritious, and they will keep your cockatiel’s interest since they have a unique flavor and crunchy texture.
There are a few foods that you’ll need to avoid feeding to your cockatiel. Never give your cockatiel avocado, fruit pits, fruit seeds, or raw beans. These foods can lead to death or serious health problems. Plants that are part of the nightshade family like tomatoes and eggplants have leaves that are filled with toxic alkaloids.
In addition, you also want to avoid any foods that have been treated with pesticides or preservatives since birds can be very sensitive to these toxic chemicals.
Cockatiel Treats Homemade
There is a wide range of homemade treats you can whip up for your pet cockatiel. These homemade treats will help boost your feathered friend’s spirits, and they will add some variety to their meals so they won’t get bored just eating a commercial seed-based diet.
Making homemade treats for your bird will also ensure that the foods you give them contain nutritious ingredients like whole grains, vegetables, meat, and eggs that are freshly sourced from the store or a farmers market.
Whole Bird Seed, Whole Foods
The first ingredient you want to add to a homemade cockatiel treat is whole birdseed or specially formulated pellets. The seeds will ensure that you have all your nutritional bases covered before you start adding some extra goodies into your cockatiel’s diet.
One fun treat to make from whole birdseed is granola. You can mix whole grains and seeds along with some dried fruit to make a nutrient dense treat that will please even the most spoiled cockatiel.
Here is one of our favorite birdseed granola recipes:
Cockatiel Granola Recipe
Chop up all these ingredients in a food processor:
1/2 cup unsalted mixed nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, etc.)
Place in a bowl.
2 cups 5 grain rolled hot cereal ( uncooked)
1/2 Cup sliced almonds
2 Tbsp. flax seed
3 Tbsp. hulled sunflower seed
3 Tbsp. pumpkin seed
2 Tbsp. pine nuts
4 Tbsp. hemp seed
3 Tbsp. hulled millet
4 Tbsp. sesame seed
Blend until everything is smooth.
4 organic dates (remove seeds)
3 oz. applesauce
1 1/2 Tbsp. coconut oil
Combine the liquid ingredients with the seed/nut mixture above. Oil a pan and spread the mixture out evenly in the pan.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and bake for 20 minutes. Stir the mixture every 5-7 minutes until you remove most of the moisture.
Remove the pan from the oven promptly to avoid burning the granola
Most people don’t know that cockatiels love eating cooked meat and hard-boiled eggs. Cockatiels need this extra protein in their diet if you want them to lay eggs, or when they are molting. You can serve them homemade hard-boiled eggs that have been mashed up with their shell on which will also give them some added calcium in their diet.
High Protein Egg Food (Buy Online) is another quick way to add more protein to your cockatiel’s diet. This food is made with Baked Whole Eggs, Whole Grain Bread Crumbs, and Pure Honey. It’s the next best thing to cooking meat or eggs for your bird if you’re short on time or if you have a tight budget.
Bird Seed Bread
One of the best homemade treats for cockatiels is birdy bread. You can get a Seed Bread Mix (Buy Online) that comes with all the dry ingredients you’ll need included in the package. All you’ll need to do is add eggs with or without the shells for extra calcium.
You can also add dried fruits and blackstrap molasses as a natural sweetener. And if you really want to create a hearty meal for your bird you can even mix in some dried vegetables. The possible list of ingredients for making birdy bread are almost endless, so don’t be afraid to let your imagination run wild.
Home Cooked Meals
Cockatiels love to eat pasta along with other grain-based foods if you’re looking to cook up a quick homemade treat for your cockatiel. Tiel’s will also eat low sugar cereals and they absolutely love hot cereals like oatmeal and porridge.
Next time you’re boiling up some Pasta (Buy Online) try putting some aside for your feathered friend before you add any sauce or butter. Most cockatiels will gobble pasta down like there is no tomorrow, and if you want to be fancy you can even mix in some dried vegetables and seeds to make a 4-star cockatiel appetizer.
Cockatiel Food Safety
There are a few foods you should avoid adding to your homemade cockatiel treats since they can be poisonous. Avocado and Rhubarb are the worst offenders, along with caffeine-rich foods like coffee and tea, or chocolate which contains theobromine. You also want to avoid whole peanuts since they can contain harmful mycotoxins.
Meat and cooked eggs should be given to your bird in small amounts and any uneaten food should be promptly removed from their cage so it doesn’t spoil. You also want to make sure to refrigerate any excess meat or eggs if you plan on serving them as leftovers.
You also want to use Lactose-Free Milk (Buy Online) when you cook for your cockatiel since birds can’t digest lactose. You can also try using yogurt or other fermented milk products as an alternative since they contain minimal amounts of lactose. However, it’s still a good idea to give your cockatiel small amounts of dairy products since they are an excellent source of calcium.