Homemade Cockatiel Food and How to Do It Yourself

There are so many homemade cockatiel food options and treats that you can prepare at home which you can include in your feathered friends diet.  You can also save a lot of money in this way, as it is an alternative to buying expensive store bought food.

Most pet birds require broadly similar diets of seeds or pellets, fruits, and vegetables, with other foods providing extra nourishment.

Cockatiels thrive on about 60 percent pellets and 40 percent breed-specific seed mix.  Vegetables should be added for extra nutrition.  Cockatiels are prone to obesity, so if feeding other types of foods, you will need to keep a careful eye on him and watch for signs of excess weight.  Cockatiels benefit most from dark green or orange vegetables and they aren’t as enthusiastic about fruit as many other caged birds.

When preparing food for your cockatiel, try to use nutritious ingredients, eg. whole grains, fresh vegetables, dried and cooked beans, lean meats and eggs.

Things like salt and other seasoning should be left out, as can the extra fat.

So if you want to feed your cockatiel something other than bird seed, here are a few things that you can do.

Homemade Cockatiel Food

homemade cockatiel foodIf you buy carrots, try to buy them with the leaves attached, as cockatiels love to nibble on these types of greens and they are very healthy.  Just make sure to wash them off well before handing them over to your little pet.

The easiest snacks to make for cockatiels, and also the healthiest are shredded cooked meat and hardboiled eggs that are mashed with the shell on.  Mashed cooked chicken is also a good choice.

A normal balanced diet for a cockatiel will include cockatiel pellets, fresh fruit and vegetables. Carbs like cooked potatoes and lightly cooked vegetables are treats that your cockatiel will love.

Cockatiels also love pasta, so as you can see, cockatiels can eat basically the same foods as you do.

Here is a recipe for something your cockatiel will think is desert.

1/2 cup of pellets (fruit flavor)

2 cups of fine yellow cornmeal

1 carrot grated

1 jar of applesauce (the type babies eat)

1 jar puried sweet potatoes (the type babies eat)

3 – 4 cups boiling water


Boil the water then gradually add the cornmeal.  Stir until it starts to thicken.  Add the jars of babyfood, carrot and the pellets and return to the pot and bring to the boil. If the mixture is to watery just add more cornmeal.

Your cockatiels will enjoy this warm.  You can keep this in the fridge for up to four days or simply freeze the remaining portion.

Cockatiel Mash

Because pellets provide excellent nutrition, it is a good idea to use pellets in the preparation of homemade cockatiel food.  Using pellets you can make your cockatiel a homemade mash mixture, and because it is mixed, your bird won’t be able to pick out what he likes to eat, and thus consume a full range of nutrients.

When preparing a mash mixture for your bird, select from the following ingredient categories, and take note of the provided rations to ensure the balanced nutrition of your mash.  You can combine the ingredients in a food processor, but make sure to mix roughly, as the food must still have a chunky texture.

  • 25 percent cooked mixed beans such as mung, adzuki, or garbanzo beans.
  • 25 percent cooked grains including quinoa and amaranth.
  • 25 percent high-calcium greens such as kale, chard, mustard greens, collard greens, or dandelion greens.
  • 15 percent high-vitamin A fruits and vegetables such as cooked sweet potatoes or squash, carrots, papaya, and mangoes.
  • 10 percent miscellaneous additions – any bird-safe vegetable or fruit that catches your eye at the store.

Because making homemade cockatiel food is a slow process, it helps to make and freeze large quantities to maximize your time and efforts.

Work out how much your bird will eat each day and freeze in serving-sized quantities. Each day you can just defrost one in advance so it is ready for your cockatiel.

Other Ideas for Homemade Cockatiel Foodhomemade cockatiel food

Fill a paper lunch sack with dried fruit, pellets, nuts and dried pasta, then tie the sack closed and hang it in your birds cage. The forager instinct in your bird will enjoy the challenge of getting the food out.

Hang a rice cake on a string in the cage.

Mix sunflower seeds, cut up fruit, granola and chopped nuts.  Add enough honey or peanut butter to make the mixture stick together.  Spread the mixture on a clean pine cone, and then roll in millet seeds.  Hang in the cage.

Try mixing 1/2 cup sunflower seeds, 1 cup mixed walnuts and peanuts, 1/2 dried fruit, and 1 T. dry, hard corn kernels. Store in a tightly sealed container in a cool, dry place.


What Foods You do NOT Include in your Cockatiels Diet

These types of foods should be avoided, as they are not good for your cockatiel, and in some cases can even poison him.










Whole peanuts and nuts as they can harbor bird-poisoning bacteria and fungi

Milk as your bird cannot digest lactose

You can use cottage cheese and yogurt, as all the lactose in these foods gets digested during the culturing process.

When doing any types of meaty treats, feed the same day you prepare, as keeping and reheating can upset your birds tummy.


Hope that this article encourages you to try your hand at homemade cockatiel food.


  1. Thanks for this article, when I saw the word cockatiel I thought it was a misspelt word cocktail!I used to have budgies some time ago and I always tried to give them new foods to try. I love your ideas for enriching cockatiels’ diet and adding a bit of spark to their plate! Can other birds have it too? Pet food you get in store becomes boring after a while, eating it every day must be a torture! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thank you for your interesting tips about Homemade cockatiel foods.

    I haven’t heard before about these cockatiel foods and it’s totally new subject for me. I believe that these homemade cockatiel foods would be very healthy for pets. It just takes some time to put all the ingredients together and make the food. Usually it’s so easy just to buy a package from the food store. But this is a good option!


  3. Excellent tips although I’d steer clear from feeding them any type of meat or dairy as these aren’t in their natural diet (unless you’re feeding them insects of course lol).

    Making your own cockatiel food isn’t just a great money saver, but better for your bird than most store bought products laced with…well – just read the ingredients 🙂

    I make my own parrot, dog and cat food and they become like ravaging (but very obedient) fuzzies – that’s how much they look forward to freshly prepared meals.

  4. Thanks for this information. My friend has just adopted a cocketiel from her aunty who can no longer look after him. I’ll be sure to send her this link as there is heaps of really helpful information and tips. Especially on nutrition. At the moment the main thing she is struggling with is the Baron’s lack of apetite, or should I say fussy eating habits.

    Great thanks for this information

  5. i am grateful to this article and the comments. my two birds do not like their store bought seed mix. nor do they like pellets. the older bird is a bit tubby. perhaps making a more healthy mix will help their health and happiness. hope to find a favourite blend for them. thank you all

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