We all know that the basic cockatiel diet is a diet of seed.
It is also known that it is normal in a cockatiels diet to give the seed to them in a mixture rather than allow your cockatiel to make its own choice by putting each seed type in separate containers.
What Type Of Seeds Constitute A Cockatiel Diet?
Most often, the seed recommended in a cockatiels diet is a mixture of various millets, canary seed, and sunflower seed. Sometimes wheat, oats, safflower and even hemp seed may be added.
You will notice, especially if you have more than one cockatiel that each bird has its own personal taste as to which seed they prefer to eat.
Millet is the cheapest and least nutritious of all the seed types, but a lot of cockatiels go for this first, while others ignore it completely.
The advantage of mixing your seed types within in your cockatiel diet is that they become aware of more types of seed and hopefully sample them all. Because each seed type differs in its dietrary essentials, what one lacks the other will provide.
Unfortunately, most of the seed that we feed within our cockatiels diet is lacking in important nutrients and proteins. They are also low in many of the minerals, including sodium salts and calcium. Calcium is essential for healthy bones and egg shells if the birds are breeding.
For instance, millet seed has only 12% protein and canary seed has 18%.
Strangely most cockatiels live on a diet of only seeds for years and may even breed successfully, but it is not possible to raise good quality youngsters on this type of diet alone, because there is a lack of lysine.
The simplest way of providing supplementary lysine is to give the bird’s cow’s milk. Try dipping some bread in, or adding some to their water.
You could also try making your own cockatiel food.
There are also many vitamin and mineral supplements on the market that can be used to fortify the basic cockatiel diet and they are economical and easy to use. Here are a few that can be ordered online to supplement your cockatiels diet.
Here is one you can purchase online. Simply click on the picture to find out more.
This one is great because it:
- Supplies important vitamins for proper growth and nutrition.
- It’s easy to administer, just add to water.
- High potency daily multi-vitamin for all birds.
Cockatiels, like many other seed-eating captive birds, have been highly specialized by natural selection to make the most of a largely cereal grain diet.
Sometimes the vitamin deficiencies of the seed are overcome by eating small quantities of old and fresh feces. Bacterial activity in the bowel of the bird and after being voided produce many vitamins of the B type.
Although eating feces may seem perverse to us, it is a common practice for many animals including rabbits and sometimes dogs who like to eat the droppings of herbivores as well as their own.
The reason that cockatiels can manage on a diet of seed alone is that their digestive mechanism is so supremely efficient that it can remove practically every molecule of the scarce necessities from the grain. Most other animals would only achieve this by eating large masses of imbalanced food to get the necessary nutrition.
Cockatiels also get vitamin D from the sunshine.