In order to keep a cockatiel healthy and happy, you will need to provide them with a varied diet. The majority of their diet should consist of seeds and grains since that is what they eat in the wild. You can also give them fruits and vegetables as a treat, but it should only make up a small portion of their diet.
Table of Contents
- What do Cockatiels Like to Eat
- What Do Cockatiels Eat in the Wild?
- Best Food for Cockatiels
- What do Cockatiels Eat for Treats
- Cockatiel Diet and Nutrition
What do Cockatiels Like to Eat
What Do Cockatiels Eat in the Wild?
Wild cockatiels will eat a wide variety of foods in their native habitat. Their diet will mostly consist of native seeds and grains that are found in the Australian outback. They will also eat fruits and berries from time to time, but only when they are in season.
Cockatiels tend to spend most of their time foraging for seeds and grains that have fallen on the ground. However, they will also eat seeds right off the plant when the seed heads are full since it’s easier. They will also eat fruits and berries, but they tend to eat them more for the moisture than for the nutrition.
Wild cockatiels will also raid agricultural crops during the harvest season. This has become more common since humans have turned a good portion of the cockatiels native habitat into farmland. It is actually enough of a problem in some areas that cockatiels are seen as a nuisance.
Best Food for Cockatiels
LAFEBER’S Classic Nutri-Berries Bird Food (Buy Online) is one of the best foods to incorporate into your cockatiel’s diet. The large clusters of mixed seeds and berries will help stimulate your cockatiels natural foraging behavior. That makes them much more appealing, which means they are usually accepted by most birds, unlike regular pellets.
This specially formulated diet has been fortified with Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids, and it contains a wide assortment of vitamins an minerals. Some of the main ingredients include hulled canary grass, millet, oats, peanuts, corn, and wheat. This food is also a good source of B-Vitamins and it contains a vitamin D3 supplement.
ZuPreem AvianMaintenance FruitBlend Premium Bird Diet (Buy Online) is one of the best pellet foods for cockatiels on the market. The brightly colored pellets come in different shapes and sizes, and they will definitely keep your cockatiel coming back for more once they try it. This food is also nutritionally complete so it can serve as a staple in your cockatiel’s diet.
This food contains 21 vitamins and minerals, so you won’t need to add any additional supplements to your cockatiels feeding regimen. In addition, ZuPreem AvianMaintenance contains 14% protein, 4% fat, and 3.5% fiber. The main ingredients in this food are corn, soy, wheat, and vegetable oil. Your bird will also get a healthy serving of ground fruit in every bite of these pellets.
Volkman Avian Science Super Cockatiel Bird Food (Buy Online) is a good choice if you have a cockatiel that needs to go on a diet. This food doesn’t contain any sunflower seeds since they can lead to weight gain due to their high-fat content. By feeding your cockatiel this food along with cutting out snacks, you should be able to keep your cockatiels body weight healthy and stable.
The main ingredients in this food are millet, safflower seed, canary grass seed, oats, buckwheat, corn, wheat, peanuts, and hemp seed. Volkman Avian Science Super Cockatiel Bird food also contains fruits and vegetables like papaya, carrots, coconut, and peppers. It is also recommended that you only feed your cockatiel 2 to 4 tablespoons of this food each day in order to keep them fit and healthy.
Kaytee Fiesta Bird Food For Cockatiels (Buy Online) is a nutritionally complete gourmet food for cockatiels. This food contains all the nutrients a cockatiel needs along with some helpful supplements.
The main ingredients in this food are canary grass seed, millet, safflower seed, oats, sunflower seed, and ground corn. This food also has a very good macronutrient profile since it contains 15% protein, 6% fat and 12% fiber.
Kaytee Fiesta Bird Food For Cockatiels is also a rich source of antioxidants which can help maintain your cockatiels general health and well being, and they can also help improve their immune system. There are prebiotics and probiotics added to this food, which will support digestive health and nutrient absorption. In addition, this food also contains omega 3 fatty acids that help with skin health, along with heart and brain health as well.
Dr. Harvey’s Colossal Cockatiel Blend (Buy Online) is one of the best natural bird foods. This food contains no dyes, preservatives, chemicals, or artificial ingredients. In addition, this food is made in the USA, so you won’t have to worry about substandard foreign ingredients harming your bird’s intestines.
The main seeds in this food include canary grass seed, millet, safflower seed, canola seed, oats, sesame seed, sunflower seed, caraway seed, and flax seed. There is also a good mix of fruits like raisins, bananas, apples, and mangoes.
There is also a good mix of nuts in this food like walnuts, almonds, and cashews just to name a few. All together this food contains 14% protein, 15% fat and 9% fiber, which makes this food one of the most nutrient dense bird foods on the market.
Higgins Sunburst Cockatiel Food (Buy Online) is an excellent bird seed blend that will add a lot of variety to your cockatiel’s diet. This food can also be purchased in bulk, so you can save some money when you buy the 25-pound option.
Higgins Sunburst Cockatiel Food is fortified with omega 3 & 6 fatty acids which will help keep your cockatiels healthy and active. There also probiotics in this food that will help with digestion and nutrient absorption. It also has a good macronutrient balance since it contains 15% protein, 11% fat and 8% fiber.
The seeds that make up the bulk of this food include millet, safflower seed, canary seed, rapeseed, sunflower seed, flax seed, cantaloupe seed, hemp seed, and poppy seeds. There are also some dried fruits like strawberries, papaya, and pineapple for some added variety. In addition, this food also contains pellet food in order to provide a complete source of balanced nutrition.
What do Cockatiels Eat for Treats
Living World Spray Millet (Buy Online) is one of the best treats you can give to a cockatiel. This all natural treat will keep your cockatiel busy for hours, and it will also stimulate their foraging instincts.
This millet is all natural and it is harvested in the wild, and it doesn’t contain any preservatives or additives. It is then vacuum sealed in its packaging in order to lock-in freshness, and to prevent any mold or insect problems.
You can feed your cockatiel this as a simple treat, or you can give it to them when they are molting to provide them with more nutrients. Young fledglings will also enjoy it since the small seeds are easier for them to eat and digest. This treat can also keep your cockatiels occupied, so they will be less inclined to gnaw on their cage and make a racket.
Hartz Bonanza Flavored Treat Sticks (Buy Online) are a great treat if you want to add some vitamins and minerals to your cockatiel’s diet. These flavored sticks are specially formulated to meet the nutritional needs of cockatiels, unlike some of the other bird treats on the market.
This package includes 4 orange flavored sticks with a mix of tasty fruit, seeds, and grains evenly mixed in well-balanced portions. You can hang these sticks from the side of the cage, or you can use the hook to mount them like a toy for hours of amusement.
The seeds and grains in these sticks include millet, wheat, canary grass, oats, and corn. In addition, each stick also contains dried fruits like raisins, papaya, and bananas. Each one of these treats has also been fortified with essential fats and antioxidants. They also contain added vitamin D to help your cockatiel maintain a proper calcium balance.
Kaytee Fiesta Tropical Swing-A-Treat (Buy Online) combines a treat and a fun toy into a nice little convenient package. Each one of these treats comes with a string that can be used to hang it from the top of your cockatiel’s cage. That will make it so your bird can land on the swing and have fun while they eat it.
Each one of these treats contains a nice mix of seeds and grains like millet, canary grass, oats, corn, and sunflower seeds. They also have some dried fruits mixed in like banana, pineapple, and papaya. In addition, these treats are also fortified with vitamins and minerals, and they also contain antioxidants and probiotics.
Cockatiel Diet and Nutrition
Grains & Seeds
The bulk of any cockatiels diet should consist mainly of seeds and grains from multiple plant species. This is the type of food they eat in the wild, and it will serve as their primary source of calories and nutrients.
You should always try to feed a cockatiel a mix of seeds since feeding them too much of one type of seed can lead to a nutrient imbalance. A good example of this is if you only feed your cockatiel sunflower seeds they will be consuming too much fat in their diet. Alternatively, if they eat too much corn they won’t be getting a proper balance of omega 3 & 6 fatty acids.
Always make sure to look at the ingredients on a package of bird food. Check if it has a good mix of seeds, grains, and even nuts before you buy it. Some commercial foods rely heavily on grains like wheat and corn. While better brands like Dr. Harvey’s (Buy Online) have a better mix of grains that are better suited for a pet bird like a cockatiel.
Cockatiels can eat a small amount of fruit, but it shouldn’t make up the bulk of their diet. You can either give them a small portion of freshly cut fruit, or you can feed them dried fruit that hasn’t been treated with any preservatives like sulfur.
In the wild cockatiels will only eat fruit when it is in season, which means they really don’t need to eat fruit on a daily basis. You can get away with not feeding your cockatiel fruit, although if they are eating commercial food they will already be getting a little fruit in their diet.
Some people like to feed their cockatiels extra protein but this is not absolutely necessary. You can feed a cockatiel small portions of cooked meat or eggs if you really think they need it. This can be helpful when they are molting, or if you have a pair of cockatiels that are breeding.
Some cockatiels might also eat live or dried insects, which can be another option if you want to increase your cockatiels protein intake. This might be a more natural option since wild cockatiels might actually eat a few bugs when they peck around for seeds in their native habitat.