Almost every cockatiel owner knows seeds and pellets are the main foods of cockatiels. But what is the best feeding schedule for this pet bird? Let’s take a look.
Cockatiels are intelligent and playful birds. That’s why they are one of the most popular pet birds and more and more people want to own a cockatiel.
However there is a fact that not every bird owner knows exactly how to schedule the feeding for their cockatiels. We are going to go into more details on this topic in this post today.
Cockatiel feeding schedule
The cockatiel feeding schedule differs in each stage of the bird’s life. In each period of time, cockatiels need certain foods that are suitable with their digestion system and its development. And the bird owners need to know the proper time to feed their bird and how much food to give them.
Let’s take a closer look at each cockatiels’ lifetime from a newborn baby to a mature cockatiel:
1-7 day old baby
Newborn cockatiels are really pink, totally helpless with closed eyes and a few downy feathers. In this stage, the feeding time should start at 6 a.m until midnight. It is unnecessary to feed the chick at night because they also sleep the whole night in nature.
You should feed the bird baby every 2 hours. 1 ml of formula is enough per each feed of a day chick. This amount can gradually increase to 2 ml and 3ml in the following days of its first week of life. Because the bird’s feed itself already contains sufficient fluids, it doesn’t need any additional water.
2-3 week old young bird
In the second week of the chick’s life, pin feathers start to appear while its eyes open on the 8th to 10th day.
In this period, the feeding time stills starts at 6 a.m, but should end by 10 p.m. The gap between two feeds is 3 hours and you should increase the food quantity to 4-5 ml each time.
3-4 week old cockatiel
The bird has quite a lot of pin feathers on its whole body.
The formula for the bird in this stage should be a thicker consistency. The feed quantity can be 6 ml per feed while the feeding frequency should be fewer, around 4-5 hours each feed.
Then you are recommended to keep an eye on the bird’s crop where it stores excess food for subsequent digestion. The crop should empty within 4 hours. If it is still full and does not get empty within that time, there must be a problem with your bird’s digestive system.
4-5 week old cockatiel
The baby bird now can be called a fledgling while it has quite a lot of flight feathers developing. In nature, cockatiel in this age can start to search for food by themselves. The food quantity then goes up to 8 ml per feed and only 2-3 feeds per day.
You also need to start the weaning process by the time when the bird baby gets 5 weeks old. The weaning foods you can give your baby cockatiel are greens, bits of bread, crushed boiled eggs, and cream cracker biscuits. Other mixed seeds are millet (durra), foxtail millet (kheri), sunflower seed. These mixtures are a really easy digestible substitute for the rearing of young birds.
6-7 week old cockatiel
If you feel your bird is independent enough, you can put it into a cage when it reaches this age. However, you should still watch vigilantly to make sure they are eating well. The feedings can be once or twice a day.
In these weeks, you should increase the mixed bird seeds. In the evening when there is no more seed in its dish, you can give the cockatiel additional large millet seed, finger millet, foxtail millet, or sunflower seed. Because hulled seeds tend to decay and mold, it is better to give your young bird entire or unhulled seeds. These seeds can be seeding grass, French beans, and carrots which are good treats. Other green leafy veggies like lettuce, millet sprouts, and fenugreek leaves are also necessary. With these foods, your cockatiel will be completely weaned by the age of 8 weeks.
You should also be aware of some toxic foods which are apple pips, avocado, cherries, and chocolate. Avoid those foods if you don’t want your bird to get seriously ill.
While feeding the bird, you should never place the feed and water containers directly beneath perches. Your bird’s dropping can foul the contents. Besides, there should always be clean and fresh water in the bird cages. And you can consider grit, a mixture of sand and stones to provide your bird with additional calcium and phosphates.
A popular feeding schedule for a mature cockatiel?
For mature cockatiels, two feeding times a day is enough, in the morning and early evening before dusk. And the food amount should be 30-40 grams of seeds and pellets. If you are the bird owner who likes to give lunch to your bird, that’s fine as long as you don’t take an exceeded total amount.
Water is also very important to provide your cockatiel every day. Tap water is acceptable, but spring water can be more beneficial. The point is that you must wash the water bowl daily with bleach or hot soap water. Dirty water is a health hazard to the bird. Keeping it clean will protect your bird from fungus and bacteria.
This post has shown you proper feeding schedules for your cockatiels in each of their life stages. Hopefully, you have got for yourself an idea to prepare delicious and nutritious foods as well as when you should feed your bird and how much to give it each time.